Is it Worth Paying for Additional iCloud Storage?

Upgrading to an iCloud subscription is good for backups, media syncing, and to fully utilize other Apple apps and services like Notes. iCloud+ offers additional benefits like iCloud Private Relay, Hide My Email, HomeKit Secure Video, and a custom email domain. While iCloud works well with Apple devices, it may not be the best option for Windows or Android users who may prefer alternatives like Google Drive or Dropbox.

Apple provides 5GB of iCloud storage for free when you buy an iPhone or similar device, but it won’t last long. From there, you can get 50GB, 200GB, or 2TB of storage for $0.99, $2.99, and $9.99 per month respectively. If you need lots of storage space, Apple has added 6TB and 12TB plans for $29.99 and $59.99 per month.

The obvious benefit of iCloud storage is the amount of data you can store in the cloud. It allows you to keep media, device backups, files and documents, and just about anything else safe via third-party app integrations. Moreover, buying any amount of iCloud storage comes with an iCloud+ subscription, which includes iCloud Private Relay, Hide My Email, HomeKit Secure Video, and a custom email domain.

iCloud+ is worth paying for because of device backups. You can automatically maintain and store backups of your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch in the cloud simply by connecting your device to a charger while it’s in sleep mode. These incremental backups are fast since they only register changes made to your device between backups.

Another reason to pay for iCloud+ is to store media in iCloud Photo Library. Keep all of your photos and videos in the cloud, sync them to your devices, and access them from anywhere. iCloud Photo Library can also help save space on your local devices by moving your full-sized master copies to the cloud.

After upgrading your iCloud storage, you can use it however you like. It works on any Apple device as long as you have an internet connection. You can turn on features like Desktop and Documents sync on a Mac to keep your Mac folders in the cloud. iCloud storage is useful for other core apps too, such as Messages, Notes, and iCloud Mail. It can also function as a general cloud storage service, similar to Google Drive or OneDrive.

However, the more you use iCloud, the more you depend on it and the more likely you will run out of space at your current storage tier. It’s easy to cut down on the amount of files in your Documents and Desktop folders, but harder to cull your personal media libraries or delete important files in Notes and old conversations from Messages. Apple’s limited selection of storage options and expensive 6TB and 12TB tiers may also be a drawback. Additionally, iCloud integration is not as seamless on Windows or Android devices.

If you don’t want to pay for iCloud, you do have other options like Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive. These services lack the deep integration with Apple hardware that iCloud has, but they may be more versatile, especially for Android and Windows users.

In conclusion, if you’re heavily entrenched in the Apple ecosystem, iCloud is worth it for backups, media syncing, and app integration. However, if you use a mixed approach to technology or prefer non-Apple devices, you may need to explore other cloud storage solutions.