Macs are sleek and beautiful machines. Unfortunately, that beauty often comes at a price - many modern Macs come with SSD disks wielding low storage capacities.
This means users are forced to store their files and folders on external hard disks or in the cloud. But, with so many solutions to choose from, how can you know which is the best cloud backup for Mac devices?
Well, first and foremost, you have to choose a service that has dedicated Mac and iOS applications. You also need to go for a solution that has advanced security features to make sure that your files are in good (virtual) hands. So while doing my research, I've been looking just for that.
And these right here are my best cloud backup services for Mac:
- pCloud (Best security features)
- Sync.com (Best overall cloud backup solution for Mac)
- Google Drive (Best for collaborating on creative projects)
- OneDrive (Best solution for businesses)
- iCloud (Best for users with all Apple gear)
Price: from free to $350 (one-time payment for lifetime access)
Recommended for: Users who like to consume content while on the go.
Unlike other services, pCloud comes with a built-in audio and video player meaning you can listen to all your favorite music or watch videos straight from your device.
Better yet, pCloud automatically uploads your camera roll to your account so you’ll always have your fondest memories right in your pocket. And, as soon as you upload files to your cloud account, these automatically sync across all your devices.
In addition to all the above, inviting others to view your files and folders is easier than ever before. With a simple link, you can share, download, and upload files to and from your cloud account. Plus, all of these come with 256-bit AES encryption. In fact, you can now add another layer of security to all your documents thanks to pCloud Crypto – at an extra cost, of course.
Aside from its free plan which offers users 10GB of storage, the service allows you to pay a one-time fee for a lifetime subscription.
You can choose between the $175 plan which offers 500GB of storage or the $350 one which comes with 2TB.
- Available on all devices
- Built-in audio and video player
- One-time payment for a lifetime subscription
- Generous free plan
- Only two personal plans to choose from
Price: from free to $49/year
Recommended for: Users sharing sensitive files
Thanks to its zero-knowledge encryption, you have the sole ability to access your files.
Better yet, the solution also comes with two-factor authentication for extra protection.
No matter which device you’re on, Sync backs up all of your files automatically. From there, the system keeps them synced across all your devices. Basically, no matter where you are, you’ll always have access to all your most important folders. Additionally, Sync.com allows you to share all kinds of files with others, even if they don’t have an account.
Aside from its free plan that comes with 5GB of storage, you can choose from various personal and business subscriptions.
The personal plans start at $49 a year for 500GB of storage or you can upgrade to 2TB or storage for $96. If you want something more robust, you can also go for one of the business plans. These start at $8 a month for solo entrepreneurs.
- Dedicated Apple applications
- Zero-knowledge encryption
- Secure file sharing
- Affordable plans
- Limited free plan
- No music streaming directly from the app
3. Google Drive
Price: from free to $2.99/month
Recommended for: Users wanting to collaborate on files in real-time
In fact, when it comes to productivity, there is little to no competition. Google Drive comes with its own integrated office suite which gives you access to Google Sheets, Docs, Slides, and more.
Something that makes Google Drive perfect for Mac users is its simplicity. With it, you can access all your files from the dedicated application which sits in your Finder sidebar and syncs folders automatically. You can also access your folders from your web browser and from your phone or tablet.
Furthermore, Google Drive is one of the best tools for collaborating on projects. By simply generating a link, you can share your documents with others and watch them make changes in real-time. You’ll also have full control over the permissions of each file in your cloud.
Last but not least, Google Drive has one of the most generous free plans which gives you a huge 15GB of storage. And, if this isn’t enough, you can always upgrade to Google One which gives you the choice of a 100GB and a 200GB plan for $1.99 a month or $2.99 a month, respectively.
- Great productivity tools
- A dedicated application for Mac users
- Option to collaborate on files in real-time
- Generous free plan
- Limited plan choices
- No music streaming or videos from the app
Price: from free to $99.99/year
Recommended for: Users wanting a more robust choice of personal plans
Microsoft OneDrive for Apple users? Yes, you’re reading this right! OneDrive has a dedicated application for both iOS and Mac users so you can use all the features straight from your preferred device.
But, that’s not all. Aside from accessing files from any device, you can also edit them – you can pick up right where you left off as long as you have an internet connection.
Additionally, once you upload your files to the cloud, you’ll gain offline access so that you can continue what you started even if you’re off the grid.
Plus, similarly to with Google Drive, you can share files with others thanks to a simple link. There's no need for large email attachments or USB drives.
When it comes to plans, OneDrive has a lot to offer. Aside from its free 5GB plan, you can go for a basic 50GB subscription for $1.99 a month. For a more robust service, you can go premium for $69.99 a year or $99.99 a year depending on your storage needs. Both these plans come with the Office Suite for Mac.
- Offline access
- Link sharing capabilities
- Robust personal plans to choose from
- Limited free plan
- Not a good option for looking back on photo albums
Price: from free to $9.99/month
Recommended for: All-in Apple usersIf you’re looking for an online backup for Mac, you have to check out iCloud. After all, it is Apple’s very own cloud solution.
This cloud service integrates seamlessly with Apple products and services.
In fact, it’s perfect for Apple users that have everything from the iPhone, iPad, and Mac computer.
What I like most about this service is that whatever you drop into your Apple ecosystem, you’ll be able to find it on your cloud.
Aside from its free plan which comes with 5GB of storage, the company offers 50GB of storage for just $0.99 a month. You can also get 200GB and 2TB of storage for $2.99 and $9.99 a month respectively. In short, If you're all about products beginning with a lower case 'i', then iCloud is a good apple for you.
So why isn’t iCloud top of the list?
The truth is, if any of your devices are not Apple products, you could face some problems. This is mainly because iCloud was designed with Apple in mind, and so while using iCloud might be a seamless experience for Apple-lovers jumping from Mac to iPhone – as an Android user, for example, you're not going benefit from instant multi-device access in a heartbeat.
If your ecosystem is all-Apple, there is reason as to why you would choose anything but iCloud. If you, however, like to mix things up with a bit of Google and Microsoft, it's better to look elsewhere.
- Syncs seamlessly between all Apple devices
- Very competitive pricing on all plans
- Full suite of web applications
- Limited free plan
- Not a good alternative for businesses
- Better for all all-in Apple users
So, What Is The Best Cloud Backup for Mac?
When it comes to choosing the best cloud backup for Mac, you need to make sure you go for a solution that works on all devices. Here’s my verdict:
- Sync.com is best for individuals who have files with sensitive information;
- pCloud is best for accessing media such as music and videos;
- Google Drive offers the best free plan;
- OneDrive is the best option if you want access to Office 365;
- iCloud is the best option for all-in Apple users;
Aside from being available on Mac, your chosen cloud solution should meet your professional and personal needs. With this in mind, you need a solution with the right storage capacity, editing capabilities, and security features.
Do you know of a better piece of cloud backup software for Mac? If so, I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below.