Tim Cook once called iCloud the "strategy for the next ten years" and it's clearly become one of Apple's most important features across all of its devices. iCloud offers a range of different storage options, but are they worth paying for? Or does it make more sense to skip iCloud and store your data locally instead?
Right now Apple offers three monthly iCloud storage tiers:
50 GB: $0.99
200 GB: $2.99
1 TB: $9.99
The question of whether or not additional iCloud storage is worth buying came up in a recent thread on the MacRumors forum, and the folks there weren't shy about sharing their opinions.
I'll share my own throughts below, but here's a sampling of comments from the MacRumors Forum thread:
Abazigal: ”Yup, I upgrade, if only because icloud photo library already takes up 7+ gb. Add in icloud backups and I am using about 15gb a month.”
Hiddenmarkov: ”NO. basic stuff like contacts goes to the clouds for fast phone turnover if needed (or pull a number when phone not nearby). Very small upload this so well under plan. Everything else goes to backups at home to the what leads to NAS storage at some point.”
Sanke1: ”I think iCloud is a sheer waste of money considering little to no control over individual files. My private files are best kept on my own personal cloud, that is my computer's very own hard disk.”
John Mcgregor: ”Well I have no choice since 5GB is an insult when they sell you 16 GB phone. How the **** can you backup 16 GB phone with 5 GB storage? let alone 64 or 128 GB one.”
Hiddenmarkov: ”The 5 gb can be looked at as 2 things. Its typical "drug dealer" tactics where the first hit free or cheap to bite the hook for return business. Or its them being conservative and did not like worst case scenarios of large scale data spamming. I work in IT so will actually opt to say this was the driving factor. some seem to think I hate apple or are pessimistic towards them. ”
Birnando: ”Yup, I have the 50 gig option. My main reason for having it is to have all my pictures safe. I keep a disk in my bank, and one at mt brothers house in addition to icloud. Better safe than sorry."
Btbam91: ”Nope. I found Onedrive to be by far the best cloud storage option since I get 1 TB for paying for Office anyways. I turned off all iCloud stuff and have my photos/videos automatically uploaded to OneDrive.”
Paco2: ”I pay for 50GB as well. Lots of iOS devices that need their iCloud Backup. $.99 US per month is absurdly cheap for the convenience and peace of mind it provides me.”
JackieInCo: ”I've never paid for it. I still have the 5GB free. I have only use 1.3GB of that space since 2007. I use it just for email. All my pics are stored on my phone. I have 1,434 pictures, 235 music videos and 10,035 songs on my 6S+ with 10GB free. Not worried about space.”
Onemadrssn: ”The troubling thing I find about all these per-month cloud services is if you get used to it, you're essentially locked in for perpetuity. $1/month doesn't seem like much today, but it's not something I want to commit to for life. For this reason, I prefer to be able to run my own cloud where I have control over the terms and the access. It's certainly more work, but I find the long-term costs more reasonable.”
As you can tell from the thread, opinions are all over the place when it comes to buying additional iCloud storage. Some folks find it to be well worth the money, while others adamantly refuse to pay Apple a single dime for more storage. As with anything else, beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.
I opted for the 200 GB iCloud storage option for $2.99 per month
I decided a while back to go with the 200 GB iCloud storage plan. It works very well for me since I use it mostly for backing up photos and videos. I find that using iCloud frees up a lot of storage on my iPhone and iPad. I can easily access my photos and videos, but I don't need to carry all of them with me at all times.
At one point I did try to avoid buying more iCloud storage, and just stuck with the free 5 GB option. But as the sheer number of my photos and videos files grew, it became impractical to have all of them on my iOS devices at all times. So I bit the bullet, so to speak, and now just pay Apple $2.99 per month to store them for me.
It's also comforting to know that my photos and videos, as well as certain other data, are backed up in the cloud by Apple. If anything bad happens to my iOS devices or Macs, all of my photos and videos are tucked away safely in the cloud and can easily be accessed on a new Mac or iOS device.
So for me, it's well worth paying Apple a few bucks each month for additional iCloud storage. I don't think the price is all that bad, though no doubt there may be cheaper options out there. But for me iCloud's cheap cost and excellent integration with all of my Macs and iOS devices really makes it a no-brainer.
Did you miss a post? Check the Eye On Apple home page to get caught up with the latest news, discussions and rumors about Apple.
This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. Want to Join?