Why macOS Sierra iCloud Integration will Cost You Money Every Month

macOS Sierra save money iCloud cloud storage

When macOS Sierra was officially launched on September 20, people were mostly excited about Siri’s appearance on Mac PCs and laptops. What many people did not notice, however, was how well macOS Sierra was integrated with iCloud. But there’s a problem there, one that could cost you money every month. I’d like to explore that in greater detail and give you options to save cash on cloud storage.

Essentially, macOS Sierra allows you to sync all of your desktop files and folders on iCloud. The reason is that if you have everything backed up to the cloud, there’s a zero possibility of ever losing your files permanently in case your device is damaged, misplaced or stolen.

But there’s a down side to that as well. Apple doesn’t have huge cloud storage capabilities the way Amazon or Microsoft do. That’s why they charge for anything over 5 GB. If you’ll notice, 5 GB is not a lot of free space at all. One 4k movie (4k is basically four times the resolution of the 1080p HD format), for example, can go up to 100 GB or beyond. Even 1080p HD videos streamed via Netflix and iTunes are typically around 4 GB to 8 GB. So what happens when you have several 4k movies or even normal resolution videos on your system and you choose to sync your device with iCloud?

Here are the current costs for various iCloud storage options above the free 5 GB:

50GB for $0.99 a month ((£0.79, AU$1.49)
200GB for $2.99 a month (£2.49, AU$4.49)
1TB for $9.99 a month (£6.99, AU$14.99)
2TB for $19.99 a month (£13.99, AU$29.99)

The more files you sync to iCloud, the bigger your monthly bill is going to be. So what are the options left to you.

The cheapest long-term option would be to buy an external drive. You can pick one up on Amazon.com for about $128 – that’s for the 4TB option, or twice the upper tier on iCloud. And this will be a one-time purchase, don’t forget.

There are also other, cheaper cloud storage alternatives. You can get 100 GB of Google Drive space for about two bucks a month. Dropbox gives you 2GB of free space, but you can keep getting more space by referring your friends and family, installing it on multiple devices or even simply going through their Getting Started guide. But my personal favorite is Amazon Drive’s unlimited storage plan. You pay $59.99 a year for unlimited storage, and you even get 3 free trial months when you join. Not bad for five bucks a month, right?

If you’ve already downloaded and installed macOS Sierra, I would recommend trying one of these options rather than get a surprise charge on your credit card for iCloud usage. If you haven’t, I suggest you set up your service and then install macOS Sierra.

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