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iCloud has now been around for quite some time but I still get questions about it all the time. These questions are valid and incredibly important to have the answers to. This post will cover the inner workings of iCloud, explaining how it works, what data is and is not backed up.
The overall explanation of iCloud is that it’s a service offered by Apple that can back up some data from your iOS devices while syncing other data across most of your Apple devices. All of this data is stored securely on Apples servers for you to access at a later time, if needed. You can back up your devices over a Wifi network either manually, or automatically. iCloud syncs your data not included in a backup over WiFi or a cellular internet connection, in real time.
This is a fantastic tool Apple has created; however, in order to ensure your information is copied somewhere other than your iOS device, there are some things you must know. The purpose of this post is to explain how to do this. After all, the tools in our toolboxes are only valuable if we know how to use them.
To start, I’ll explain to you the difference between syncing and backing up. I’ll also cover what data is able to be synced. Syncing is when you have the same information accessible on numerous devices. When they connect with each other, changes made on one are then pushed to the other devices. This process creates a mirrored image of certain information across multiple Apple products. Syncing is done through either iCloud, or by physically connecting to iTunes. I will cover the iTunes part of this in a post about backing up and syncing using iTunes, but for now we will continue with how iCloud handles syncing.
iCloud pushes any changes you make to Apple’s server in real time via a WiFi or cellular internet connection. As long as you are signed into other Apple devices with the same Apple ID and they are connected to the internet, those changes will automatically happen behind the scenes. The data that syncs via iCloud includes:
• iCloud email
• Safari bookmarks
• Keychain passwords
• Photos in your Photostream
• Miscellaneous data
You can find and edit this list in your settings. The important thing to remember about iCloud syncing is, what you do on one device will reflect on all your devices, and once you delete something, the likelihood of you getting it back is very slim.
From my experience, data loss can be a traumatizing event for most. Let’s face it, majority of us have come to rely on technology and in many cases, we have adapted to the digital world in our work and personal lives. This means items such as photos, voicemails, contacts and messages are now housed on our computers, phones and tablets. It is of grave importance that we protect these things as best we can. That is where backing up these items comes into play.
You now know iCloud makes it almost effortless to sync certain information across multiple devices. Apple has also made it incredibly simple to make a copy of your important data so that if your mobile devices were to quit working or go missing, you can get most if not all of it back. An iCloud backup includes:
• Purchase history for music, movies, TV shows, books, and applications
• Photos and Videos in your Camera Roll
• Device settings
• Application data
• The organization of your device
• Picture messages, texts and iMessages
• Visual voicemail messages
iCloud keeps a copy of the your information in a secured location on their servers. This makes it possible to store a digital copy of the prior list without needing a computer. You can still back your devices up to your personal computer, but I will cover that in a post about backing up and syncing using iTunes. With the iCloud service, you can back up automatically and manually. For automatic backup to occur your device must be connected to WiFi, in sleep mode and plugged into a power source. If you wish to do a manual backup you must be connected to WiFi, then you can choose “Back Up Now” from your iCloud settings.
While syncing services work over a cellular internet connection, it’s important to remember that for the backup to be successfully complete, a consistent WiFi connection is required. Please also keep in mind that there is no such thing as a partial backup. It’s all or nothing. Apple gives each customer a complimentary 5GB of storage space. Many of you might find you have more data than that. In many cases you might have an extensive Camera Roll, or you are wanting to back up multiple devices with the same account. For these scenarios, Apple offers an affordable solution that can be accessed in your iCloud settings. Lastly, iCloud is only able to back up your mobile devices. It is just as important to back up your computers. This topic will be covered in another post so feel free to check back in to read about it.
You’ve now learned how your data is handled using the iCloud service and what data is included in the backup. I hope you’ve all found this post to be helpful and if you are in need of further assistance, I encourage you to contact me so we can set up a time to meet.Contact