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Is it equally effective to backup my apps, photos, contacts, SMS texts etc on my Android Smartphone (which is non rooted) using MS Skydrive or Dropbox compared with using a dedicated Backup App from the Google Play Store eg My Back Up Pro ? Is it the case that, it is as effective but the process is far simpler and less time consuming to carry out if a dedicated application is used. This applies to general backing up and backing up in order to migrate/transition as seemlessly as possible when upgrading to a new smartphone

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You would have to look at the pros and cons.

Pros of Cloud Backup

  • Off site backup (you will keep your data if your house burns down)

Cons of Cloud Backup

  • Make take a while to upload all of your data to the server
  • Make take a while to download the data again

Pros of Dedicated Backup App

  • Quick (no upload)
  • Quick and easy access (on your SD Card, so you can easily access it without an internet connection)

Cons of Dedicated Backup App

  • If your SD Card breaks, you lose all the backups
  • If there is a fire, you lose your backups
  • If you lose your phone with the SD card in it, you lose both the phone and your backup

You also have to bear in mind that My Backup Pro (which you mentioned), has the ability to back up to the cloud as well as file backups. You can also set scheduled backups.

With this in mind, I would say that a Dedicated Backup App would actually be better and easier than using a standard cloud service.

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Excellent, thanks very much for your advice. Does the same apply for Rooted devices and Titanium Backup Pro ? – Simon Nov 28 '12 at 18:06
The same does apply for rooted devices, although I am not sure if Titanium Backup has cloud backup ability, I have only ever used MyBackup :) – Liam W Nov 28 '12 at 18:07
Ok fine. My Backup Pro has the advantage that it can be used on both non rooted and rooted devices if my memory serves me correct – Simon Nov 28 '12 at 18:11
Thanks for confirmation and your guidance relating to the above :) – Simon Nov 28 '12 at 18:20
Titanium Backup AFAIK has Dropbox support. Also keep in mind that non-root backup apps cannot backup everything (e.g. not all app data -- just what's available via "provider" services on the device). So Titanium Backup would be a good choice for both, local and Cloud backup. – Izzy Nov 28 '12 at 19:40

One more thing to keep in mind is privacy: While you mostly have control over your locally stored data, you cannot say the same for Cloud services. For storing personal/sensitive information to the Cloud, you should always consider encryption.

A third option is to have your app creating backups on your sd card, and use another app (e.g. FolderSync) automatically sync the backup directory to your local computer (or NAS device). This way you are a bit safer if your card breaks, and have more privacy. And you have both, a local and a remote backup -- plus even if you need the latter one, download is a bit faster as from the Cloud. If you trust some Cloud service, chances are also good that service is supported by FolderSync as well.

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I think you have provided some very sound advice in your answer above Izzy. Another point to consider, is what actually happens if the cloud in which your data is stored suddenly disappears - I guess then its lost for ever. Like the old saying goes "never have all your eggs in one basket" – Simon Nov 28 '12 at 21:47
Exactly. Which in a way is also why I'd take separate apps for "accessing all my data, making backups, encrypt them" and the other half "make a copy to the cloud". Best from two different devs. Though in case of TB, I have no concerns regarding Joel :) PS: But right: Good thing to have a local copy (SD), another one on your PC, and an encrypted one in the cloud :) – Izzy Nov 28 '12 at 22:09

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