iCloud Drive Visit Site

Pros / The backup speed is fast.

Cons / The encryption level is low, and you don't own the encryption key.

 Verdict / Since the iCloud Drive is already part of your Mac's operating system, the integration is seamless and the backup fast. However, the security is minimal.

The iCloud Drive is an app that's already integrated on your Mac because it's part of the operating system. All you have to do is set up your iCloud account, which includes 5GB of storage free. However, that's not nearly enough storage to back up a Mac, so you can add storage up to 1TB. Since you can back up all your computers, tablets and smartphones with the one account, the value for the 1TB account is above average. ICloud may not be the best Mac online backup service in our review, but it's worth your consideration, since it's already part of your Mac.

When you back up folders with iCloud, you simply move the folders to the iCloud Drive already on your Mac, or you can set up the folders to be iCloud drives in their original location. Once added to the iCloud Drive, your files automatically back up to iCloud servers. Upgrading to the 1TB subscription costs $119.88 a year, or $9.99 a month. This means it costs $24 per computer each year for a large family with at least five Macs and about $40 per computer each year for a family with three Macs. As such, iCloud Drive’s relative value for the 1TB subscription received a B for large family, a B- for a small family and a B for an individual.

In our tests, the backup was consistently fast, receiving a B+ for relative speed. At the average rate that we recorded, assuming that the rate remained constant, iCloud could complete a backup of 1TB of data in just over a week. For comparison, the slowest backup in our review would take over a month, and the fastest would take a bit less than three days.

The restore speed of iCloud is only average, receiving a C+. The average speed in our restore tests suggests it would restore 1TB in just over two weeks. For comparison, the fastest restore time in our tests was less than three days.

The ease of use for the backup process received a B- because the sync folder has no inherent process to guide you through the process, but once you do it once, it becomes very easy. The restore process is more complicated than it is with other Mac data backup services, which is why it received a C for ease of use. You have to log in to your iCloud account, find the settings tab in the menu and restore files from there. The restore speed is only slightly slower than the backup. At the rate we recorded in our tests, it would restore 1TB of data in a bit less than 14 days. As with the backup speed tests, the slowest restore in our tests would take months, while the fastest would take less than three days. So iCloud is not a bad option for restore speed.

One significant downside to iCloud Drive is the security. Your files are encrypted with 128-bit AES encryption, which is the lowest level. In addition, the files are encrypted after they are uploaded to iCloud servers. This only protects your files from being viewed if the servers are hacked. However, iCloud has been notoriously easy to hack on the user side of the account, which means that the files and folders are easily viewable. Since you don't own the encryption key, anyone who gains access to your account has access to your files. This is what happened in 2014 when more than 100 celebrities had their iCloud accounts hacked and photos stolen. If you really value the privacy of your data, you probably don't want to back up to the iCloud.


If you own a Mac, iPad, or iPhone, then you already have iCloud Drive installed. This makes it an easy choice for your Mac data backup service. For performance, the backup speed was good, but the restore speed was just average. In addition, while the learning curve for the backup process is minimal, the restore process is much more complicated. The lack of sufficient security features is a downside, which doesn't make it a great service for backing up sensitive data.

iCloud Drive Visit Site