iPad back-up apps: PhotoSync v FileExplorer

Back up your own way: A screenshot of PhotoSync.
Back up your own way: A screenshot of PhotoSync. 

It's easy to back up your iGadget to a wide range of devices once you step outside Apple's ecosystem.

You can automatically back up your iPad's files online to Apple's iCloud, but your free 5 gigabytes of storage doesn't stretch far once you're dealing with photos and videos. Alternative cloud storage services such as Google Drive and Dropbox offer iOS apps and cheaper storage than iCloud. The benefit of PhotoSync and FileExplorer is they can tap into services such as Dropbox but they also let you copy files from your iPad to computers and network drives around your home. 

As the name suggests, PhotoSync is primarily designed for backing up your iPad's Camera Roll (there's also an Android version). PhotoSync supports Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Picasa, Flickr and other online services. You can also copy files to a computer, network-attached storage drive or online server using FTP or WebDAV. There's free desktop software for syncing wirelessly to Windows or Mac.

A screenshot of FileExplorer.
A screenshot of FileExplorer. 

Once set up, PhotoSync is easy to use – press and hold the red sync button to copy new photos and videos to your preferred back-up location. You can even configure it to automatically back up when you arrive home.

FileExplorer offers a lot more flexibility than PhotoSync because it is primarily designed for copying files from remote devices to your iPad. It's easy to download photos and documents, plus there is support for music and movie streaming. You will also find Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and Box support along with WebDAV and Samba for connecting to your own devices and servers. It automatically discovers network-attached storage drives on your network. 

FileExplorer can also upload from your iPad's Camera Roll, but there's no one-touch option like PhotoSync and you'll need to manually select each photo.

The verdict

If you're just looking to easily back up your entire Camera Roll then PhotoSync is definitely the way to go. If you're shuffling around individual files and you need wider document format support then FileExplorer might suit you better.