How to kill your home Internet Connection with Apple iCloud Photo.

I love most things Apple, I take a bit of convincing some times. However, I recently saw the benefit of iCloud Photos, the ability to have all your photos in the cloud and on smaller capacity devices it will only download on demand the photos you want to view etc.

Upload all your photos from a weekend trip whilst you are away and they will be on your main machine when you get back etc. It holds a lot of advantages….

Sadly there is a downside to this.. I’ve been using digital photography for over 10 years, my photo library is over 25,000 photos about 90Gb in total. I didn’t think this would be a big problem. We use CrashPlan on all our machines, my iMac has uploaded over 400 Gb, yes it took several weeks, but it got there in the end.

iCloud Photo though isn’t quite as clever as other Cloud storage applications, it just grabs all the bandwidth available and tries to use it all ignoring the fact you might want to look at a website or down an email or two. The only control you have over it is to pause it. Even closing the application doesn’t stop it unless you have paused it. So you end up pausing it during the day and then having to remembering to resume the upload last thing in the day.

PhotosPerferences copy


By comparison CrashPlan as you can see has a much smarter approach to controlling how much bandwidth it uses when you are using the machine or you are away from the machine.

Crashplan copy


I’m not the only one complaining about this, I’ve come across several other blog posts on the topic in the past few weeks. Short of taking my iMac to somewhere that has super high speed fibre internet to upload all the remaining photos, I shall just have to continue to upload a couple of hundred photos each day, pathetic really.


[2017 Update: Apple seem to have tamed iCloud uploads so that they are a bit more slow connection friendly. They no longer kill your connection. It backs off until the connection is available.]

5 thoughts on “How to kill your home Internet Connection with Apple iCloud Photo.

    1. Steve

      Since writing this we have now got ADSL2+ ‘Wow’!!! This gives us about 7Mb download and about 800k upload with nothing running just a speed test.

      But Photos still kills it. We eventually got all our photos in to iCloud photo but I think it took nearly 3 months of night time running to get both machines in to the cloud, and it’s about 150 Gb of photos.

  1. Geoff Marshall (@geofftech)

    So, i am fortunate to have Virgin Media fibre, which works ALL THE TIME! 100 down between 8-10 up! my friend with a Mac wants to come over and BRING HIS MAC WITH HIM, and leave it over night so that he can upload his iCloud Photo library, because he too at home, has a paltry DSL connection…. So yes, it’s bandwidth heavy.

    1. Steve

      I left my machine running 24/7 whilst we were away and I was able to log in to it remotely to check on progress. It speeded up considerably with no other network activity. I had considered doing the same as your friend although hawking around a 27″ iMac (>15kg) is not for the faint hearted!

  2. Andrew Christoffersen

    I have the exact same issue and spent a solid month trying to figure out why my internet would just drop out. I had a computer wired to my router pinging google, with -A which makes a tone whenever it doesn’t get a ping back. Sure enough after trying a dozen different things I read about this issue and yup, that’s it. I also have Crashplan, the familiy plan, and at any time 3 computers at home are each backing up to the cloud with NO degradation of internet. If I take JUST ONE photo with my iPhone, with iCloud sync on, instant internet death for the entire household. COME ON APPLE


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