Where do you keep your most valued files? Whether they’re photos or videos, or Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, files for work, or your entire music collection, where are they? I’m willing to be that the most valuable files you own are not on your iPhone or iPad. If you backup those valuable files, then it’s likely you have them stored on a Mac and backed up in multiple locations.
If all you use is iCloud to backup files then you’re in the minority and sooner or later the one-trick pony and single point of failure will catch up with you.
Why don’t we trust iCloud?
Actually, I do trust iCloud. Apple’s online storage system has become more reliable and affordable in the past couple of years and I use it regularly to keep important and frequently used files synchronized between Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
I trust iCloud. But not completely. Why not? Apple is not very good at cloud services. Google Drive is better and less expensive. Dropbox is superior in every way except price and application usage. Would you trust your company’s email to Apple? No. Why not? Apple is a hardware company. Apple’s iCloud Mail just is not sufficiently robust or dependable to use in business.
Neither is iCloud.
That’s why my files are backed up in multiple locations that range from iCloud to Time Machine, from one Mac to another, from iPhone to iPad, with plenty of important files dedicated to storage on Dropbox, Drive, and even Amazon S3, among others.
I don’t trust iCloud to store all of my files for the obvious reason. A single point of failure is what Murphy’s Law is all about. iCloud is useful and affordable, but insufficiently dependable to rely on its storage capability 100-percent.
I could say the same about Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Box, Dropbox, and others, but I know far too many iPhone and Mac users whose only means of backup is iCloud.
A single point of failure (SPOF) is a part of a system that, if it fails, will stop the entire system from working. SPOFs are undesirable in any system with a goal of high availability or reliability, be it a business practice, software application, or other industrial system.
That should explain why many of us who have been around personal computing for a few decades to not trust or rely upon iCloud, or any of the other services. Murphy’s Law:
It is an experience common to all men to find that, on any special occasion, such as the production of a magical effect for the first time in public, everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Whether we must attribute this to the malignity of matter or to the total depravity of inanimate things, whether the exciting cause is hurry, worry, or what not, the fact remains.
With Apple’s own iCloud email, too much goes too wrong too often. For too many Mac and iPhone users, iCloud is their only backup mechanism and the universe is waiting for an appropriate moment to show them the error of their ways.