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iCloud backups vs. Time Machine?


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inovice

 
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So I have a 3 TB time capsule and my 20 GB complimentary storage upgrade from apple is about to run out at the end of September. Am I being foolish to think about renewing it if I'm using time machine to backup my Mac already? I also have an iPhone and iPad mini that I would want backed up too. The iCloud storage says I'm at 24 GB of space used so I could likely get away with the 20 GB plan again, but my wife's is full and we would need to go up the the 50 GB plan which seems crazy to me to spend $100 a year when I have 3 TB of storage here. Am I missing something or should I ditch the iCloud storage plans and if I do am I loosing anything that the time capsule won't be able to do such as iTunes match etc?
Thanks, Jeff
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Time Machine and iCloud do very different things. Time Machine is meant to serve as a backup of your Mac computers and their data so that you can restore files in case of issues. iCloud is used as a mechanism of backing up certain content across multiple devices. You use it on your iDevices to backup the application data. You use it to enable Photo Stream to be able to have the same images on all of your iDevices and Macs.

You can also use it to sync contacts, e-mail and documents with the iWork on iCloud package.

While there is a little bit of overlap between what iCloud and Time Machine provide, they are separate. Depending on what you are backing up to iCloud, you could reduce the amount to fall within the free 5GB that you get and live with that..

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inovice

 
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Gotcha. So even though I have both my phone and iPad back up to the Mac and the time capsule backing up my full HD on the Mac the data I'm using through iCloud is for the sharing of pictures, email etc between my devices? If I limit or turn off these features then I can get down to the 5 GB of free space. I think what was confusing was the term "backup" I was thinking that time capsule like backups were being done on iCloud but really it's just another location that has copies of my pictures etc and makes sharing them between devices easier.
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Exactly. iCloud is not a general backup facility like DropBox/Copy/Box.net/Carbonite or any of those cloud based services. It is used in very particular ways by particular applications..the things you mentioned are the ones that iCloud is generally used for..

If you look at the picture below:

Look at the Backups section, you see iCloud and This Computer and the blurb clearly says "important data to the iCloud" and "full backup to this computer"..that's the big difference..

So if you wanted to do a restore of your iDevices (or upgrade to a new version of iOS), you should really do a full backup to This Computer and you can use that to restore later on. Using just the iCloud option means that you might get your most important data back, but not everything depending on your settings..

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inovice

 
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I have iTunes set to back up both my phone and iPad to the Mac but when I turned off some of the iCloud sharing features the amount it said I had used up was still 24 GB? So if I'm not backing up on the cloud is it possible I have 24 GB of pictures, email, contacts, and notes? This seems awfully high as I don't typically have a lot of emails saved or, contacts, though I do have about 900 pictures. How do you guys manage to stay under the 5GB limits and still sync your email, and photos etc?
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Photos synced via Photostream are not counted against your total.
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inovice

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
Photos synced via Photostream are not counted against your total.
Good to know, I wonder why then I'm at 24 GB of storage used? I'm thinking I must have had backups set to the cloud prior to getting the capsule. Can you delete these old backups from the cloud if that's the case?
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inovice

 
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I found it in settings, you can delete old backups easily. That is what did it. I'm back down to only 1GB of storage!
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