I have never used any form of cloud storage but next week (16/6/22) we're being upgraded to full fibre since we have been informed it is now available in our street. We're going for the Full Fibre 500 package which I understand should give us an upload speed of around 73Mbps - rather different to the 8Mbps we currently have. We are therefore considering connecting with BT Cloud and saving our Macrium Reflect backup files to the cloud - but how the hell do you use it, what is the best strategy?
The manual says to define a folder on my PC but since I already have 1TB of space available on the cloud with my current BT package, does this mean that ideally I should have a 1TB folder set aside for cloud use on my PC (this is the way it seems if I want to use the full 1TB). What have others done?
Please, in any replies remember I am absolutely new to the idea of cloud storage and know very little about it or how it is used. Quite frankly the BT Cloud document is no real help at all. In fact what is BT Cloud like these days, is it good, is it useless? I've found posts dating back to 2018 which say it was next to useless - but what is it like now? Is it worth the effort or should I consider a different but paid package? Is cloud storage actually worth it or should I keep everything "in house"?
I know I've asked a lot of questions but they do illustrate my concerns. Bearing this in mind, I would appreciate any replies folk are good enough to respond with and thanks very much for your trouble.
With any of the 'cloud' solutions you tend to define a folder on your PC and have the data / files that you store in that folder synchronised with an equivalent folder on the cloud. That's how the BT Cloud service works and that's how Microsoft OneDrive works. You don't need to set aside a specific amount of storage space on your PC but, obviously, the data is stored both on your PC and in the cloud.
I used the BT Cloud for a while - I don't any more ... others may have a different view. OneDrive works perfectly for me but then I have a Microsoft 365 subscription anyway ... What's best for you will depend on what you have and use.
I use the cloud, primarily, to share data between my desktop and laptop. That way pretty much all my data is available irrespective of which machine I am using - and it's backed-up in real time too.
But I don't fully trust any cloud service as my only backup. So I run daily backups to local storage at home. It is a good idea to have backups at home as they are generally easier and potentially quicker to access - but a liability if the house burns down (heaven forbid).
Unfortunately, what's best very much depends on what you want to do ... 😉
Thanks very much for your reply.
Really all I am looking for is effectively somewhere I can store the backup files for three PCs rotated on a weekly basis such that only one PCs files are uploaded in any one week and then again after three weeks. During the intervening couple of weeks I will make do with the files I have on hard drives.
I must be honest though, I'm wondering whether it is really worth all the effort. I'm therefore beginning to ask myself whether I really, really want the hassle or whether to take the risk of 'the house burning down' as you so delicately put it.
Whatever, I've got some serious thinking to do. What I will say is that it looks like Icedrive has the facilities I would be in need of since you can apparently treat a virtual drive rather as you would a folder on your PC. Anyway I've got a lot of thinking to do.
Thanks again for your reply.
I haven't used BT Cloud in quite a while so thought I would remind myself what I did and didn't like about it.
I have Full Fibre 500; I do not have / no longer have BT Cloud. That might be a 'fault' on my account but, equally, when you upgrade you may no longer have BT Cloud either so that may not be an option at all.
Edit: no that's nonesense - I do have BT Cloud and 1TB of it at that. BT had just buried the BT Cloud panel so far down the page that I didn't realise it was there ...
BT Cloud provides a web interface. If all you need to do is upload weekly backups, so that you have a copy stored 'off site', the BT Cloud service will do that just fine. The only limitation is that uploaded files must be less than 2GB each.
If your Macrium backup files are system backups, rather than file and folder backups, you can't use BT Cloud simply because of the 2Gb file size limit. System backups are way over that. If however we are talking about file and folder backups under 2Gb then no reason not to use it, though personally I can't see much point in using Macrium in that way in preference to simply backing up your personal stuff locally using Windows File History and/or a good 3rd party app such as WinRAR. I have found BT Cloud easy to use and reliable in Backup mode but have completely avoided using Sync mode as I don't need to sync my files across multiple devices. But I appreciate having this extra layer of backup for my personal stuff and highly recommend it.
Good question... I've been using BT Cloud for some time now and yes it does work well, once you've worked out how to use it effectively. There are 2 ways that you can use it:
1. Automatically backup the user files on your PC/Device (default option) - documents, pictures, videos and any other folders that you select. So, if your hard disk failed, you could replace it, clean load your OS (e.g. Windows 10) and reinstall BT Cloud. Cloud would then automatically restore your user files. The added bonus is that it also keeps a archive of your deleted files, that can be restored (by logging in via your browser). Note. you can back up several devices in this manner.
2. Sync files between devices - I have quite an extensive music collection so I locate it in a 'BT Cloud' folder on the root of a separate physical/logical drive and create all the folders that I want to sync in that folder. I then re-map my music folder on each PC /device to that location, thus I can maintain and listen to music on any device that is synched.
Note :The mobile App version is still a bit clunky in my opinion, but hopefully it will get better in later versions.
Hope this is of some help.
My 2 cents:
BT cloud App is ok, when it is working.
I use other cloud storage apps, such as Google Drive for my work (corporate subscription), as well as Dropbox, for which I have 5Gb free use.
In my experience, Google drive and Dropbox have always operated flawlessly and reliably, though the BT Cloud app will sometimes break and you might have to wait for a new version to fix an issue.
This has happened twice recently, where my BT Cloud iPhone app was broken, telling me I had no content in the cloud, when I had 600Gb+ of data stored there. That was eventually fixed with a new release of the App for IOS.
Right now, my desktop BT Cloud agent (Windows 10) won't start and I've exhausted all ideas as to how to get it working.
Conclusion - BT Cloud is flaky and not an enterprise grade solution. I would never rely on it as a repository for valuable data. Make sure you have a USB drive or other backup mechanism, as when the cloud app stops working, you might not be able to secure your data for a period of time.