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How to Use Cloud Storage Backup for Apple Devices

Anyone with an Apple device such as an iPad or iPhone knows that there are frequent updates that often stick—or require users to completely rebuild their mobile device in order to install the latest patch. Whether you’re seeing this happen a great deal and getting frustrated trying to reinstall or find all your photos or you’re just concerned that something is going to happen to your priceless family photos and work information, understanding how to create a cloud storage backup for your Apple devices is important information.

Traditional iTunes Backup

If you’ve had an Apple device for quite some time, you are probably more familiar with the option to backup your device or devices to iTunes—a step that requires a physical desktop or laptop computer and a cable to connect the two devices. While relatively fast and not requiring an Internet connection, this option does require you to take a physical action: e.g. plugging in your phone or tablet, choosing to make a backup, and then selecting which information to sync with your iTunes instance. This can be a bit frustrating, especially if you’re changing computers relatively often—as you can never be sure exactly what type of data is in your backup and you’re also limited by the hard drive space on your machine whereas a cloud backup of your iOS device is essentially unlimited in size.

Into the Cloud

Unlike Android phones and tablets, the best way to back up an iOS device is through iCloud or iTunes. For Apple, iCloud is the service they created specifically for backing up devices, and it works (mostly) like a charm. While there are some types of information that will not back up automatically to the cloud, nearly everything you need can be backed up to iCloud and saved just in case of emergency. While broader in spectrum than a localized backup to iTunes, an iCloud backup also has a few limitations. Specifically, the need to encrypt the backup if you’ve decided to back up your Keychain or Health data—items that might be of critical interest to any hackers hovering around.

Pay to Play

Of course, just as with other online cloud storage options, Apple iCloud storage isn’t free—or even particularly cheap. However, it does allow you the automation that you may need as your device will back up any time that it is locked and plugged in, and connected to WiFi. Plus, you can restore your device from anywhere that you can find an Internet location—even if you completely shatter your phone and need to buy a new one, you can restore from the cloud. This added benefit can make a huge difference and get you up and running much more quickly than having to wait until you’re back home and can connect to iTunes after an extended business trip.

Other Options

Dropbox, Google Drive and several others also offer options for backing up your iOS information, however they do have some pretty serious limitations. Dropbox is limited in that you’re unable to backup anything beyond photos and videos; but whether that limitation is important or not is something individuals will have to determine. Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive are similar in that they won’t backup the entire device, just selected portions.

Choosing and using the best online cloud-based storage alternative for your iOS device can be a bit challenging, but as long as you understand your options and how much you’re likely to pay for online cloud storage, you can easily create your backup and manage subsequent data restores with ease.
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