I am looking for an alternative to iCloud's calender sync between my Mac and my iPhone. Like many others, I really didn't appreciate the fact that you're now forced to use iCloud to sync your calender...

So I'm looking for an alternative to either locally via USB sync my calendar with my iPhone, are to get a server on my MacBook for this purpose, which would only accept connections from my LAN. Or a totally different application for both Mac OS and iOS, syncing over USB. What I don't want is uploading my data to a server that I don't own: iCloud, Google...

I have read this alternative: sync calendar and contacts without iCloud in Mavericks but the reviews are not really good for this app... erasing instead of sync is not an option for me!

Then I was thinking about something like Radicale, i.e. setting up a server but I'm a bit worried about all the problems arising from security issues etc.

What would you suggest? Is there even something like this out there?

  • Do you care if your data is in a "public cloud" and would you rather have someone else patch and maintain things or DIY? – bmike Mar 16 '14 at 23:45

Update: According to developers/macrumors local sync is back in the latest beta of iTunes, and will hopefully be back in the next release as well.

Like you already said - being worried about security issues when you run the server locally is reasonable. You probably will never get your local server as safe as apple has made their iCloud Server. I honestly don't think your calender is so interesting that anybody would want to hack it, bur that's your decision after all.

I currently don't know of any app that syncs via usb. Sync mate doesn't work under mavericks, but they said an update would come in "winter" this year.

If you want to go local, I'd recommend using OS X server.

  • Well actually I am less worried about being hacked on purpose as I believe that nothing is safe enough to resist to a good hacker. Nevertheless, I wish my information could be safe enough to keep 99.99% of the hackers out, that's probably good enough to me. But I really dislike the fact that Apple thinks it's okay to gather all this information without expressively saying it, without warning people switching to Mavericks. That's not cool, and that I really don't like. It's extra work for them, so it means it's also extra money. Else they wouldn't do it, would they? – ATN Mar 16 '14 at 19:59

I don't think that syncing over USB is your goal, but rather ensuring that your data only lives on your server and not in the public cloud (iCloud, Dropbox, etc). With that in mind, the simplest solution is to purchase and install OS X Server.

If you install OS X Server, you can run your own server. OS X Server includes mail, calendar, and contacts servers (IMAP, CalDAV, and CardDAV, respectively). These servers and protocols should be secure enough for your needs. Macworld magazine did a great write-up of how to set up OS X Server for calendar and contacts.

Personally, I use an old Mac as a server at home, which means that I don't have to sync only when I'm near my laptop. You'll have to decide for yourself whether this is worthwhile to you. I've been running a server for this purpose (amongst others) at home for several years.

  • Another good reason to go with a home server instead of OS X Server on a laptop is that your server may become available to anyone on a Wi-Fi connection. – zigg Mar 17 '14 at 0:34

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