Should I use iCloud or iTunes backup for my iPhone?

icloud backup vs itunes backupThis is almost up there with the “Should I buy a PC or Mac” question.  Should I use iCloud or iTunes backup for my iPhone?

You may think that the iCloud backup is a no-brainer.  After all, it’s set up and it backs up while you’re sleeping.  Yes, it is ultra convenient and doesn’t require the USB cable connection like the iTunes backup requires, but is it really the way to go?

As per cost considerations, the winner is iTunes.

For iCloud, you get a slim 5GB for free and then you’ll have to anty up per month.  Apple support has recently decreased costs so you’ll be looking at $1 / month for 20GB extra; $3 / month for 200 GB extra; and $10 / month for 1TB extra.  Keep in mind this extra storage may be used by other devices.  But, keep in mind that iTunes is still free.  So, you’ll have to weigh the convenience versus the cost benefit here.

With the full back-up efficiency, iTunes also wins this battle.

This means that the iCloud backup isn’t a full backup.  Instead, it backs up only what Apple support deems is the most important stuff, such as your camera roll, accounts, documents, and settings.  It won’t back up apps.  With the iTunes backup, your apps are back on your iPhone.  With the iCloud backup, you have waste a few days at least to re-download your apps.  The same applies for music or videos that weren’t purchased through iTunes; your local camera roll, call history, home screen configuration, and other data.  The call history and text history void alone is a deal-breaker for many of our customers when bringing this up.

So, the iTunes backup is able to back up everything and for that reason alone is the backup to go with.  Think of it like a restore point like on your computer.  If your computer starts acting up, you can restore it to a previous time when it was working fine.  Same thing with the iTunes backup.  That being said, I still recommend using the iCloud backup.  It assures you that your basic core data is saved.  Plus, if you only perform a full iTunes backup every once in awhile, the iCloud backup can act as your incremental backup in between.

To sum this all up, iTunes backup is the better backup to use for your iPhone backup.

You can back up monthly or on another periodic schedule.  But, still use iCloud backup as an in-between, daily backup.  If you have the choice, go with the full iTunes backup to ensure all your stuff is restored.

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