I am currently paying like a dollar a month for 20 GB iCloud storage, but I am just now building a new computer and am hoping to install an Amahi server on it so that I can have my own 'Dropbox' type of cloud access wherever I go.

Am I able to use a service like Amahi (or anything else) to redirect my iCloud backup from apple's servers to my own? Instead of paying $12 a year for 20 GB of storage, I could be paying no subscription for 3+ TB of space.


5 Answers 5


In a nutshell: No, you can't.

Apple uses proprietary protocols for iCloud access (both data and backup) so you can't just switch backends by redirecting some DNS entries. And as far as I know, nobody has reverse engineered the protocols yet (at least not the full set required to implement an alternative server-side solution).

  • The only alternative I can think of is having their phone do a local backup to iTunes over wifi, which would have the same outcome as doing an "iCloud" backup to a desktop.
    – Kellen
    Mar 30, 2015 at 17:02
  • @Kellen That would not keep app data synced between devices though, which defeats the purpose of all of iCloud. Mar 30, 2015 at 21:21
  • @erdekhayser The question's premise is to not use iCloud for data storage.
    – Kellen
    Mar 31, 2015 at 3:10
  • 2
    I like the simplicity of the answer here. Since iCloud is integrated with Apple's tiered storage service with worldwide routing and multiple data centers - you'd have to crack Apple's code signing profiles and either jailbreak the device so that it not only communicates with but trusts your private cloud. There are options to still back up the device and set up DropBox like services, so I'll add an answer to cover that way to solve the backup/file storage problem without needing an iCloud "dopplegänger"
    – bmike
    Apr 1, 2015 at 12:59

I found OwnCloud (and its successor nextCloud), which does at least appear to give the option to host your own cloud on your own server, that is to sync files across devices: desktop, Apple, Android etc.

It's open source and free, with iOS/Android apps around $1 USD / $0 USD respectively.

It has been thoroughly tested on many different architectures.

  • 3
    You got downvoted (not by me) because the OP was asking about iCloud Backup in particular. This is something that is locked to Apple’s servers and hence there is no way to host it yourself. OwnCloud is for syncing contacts, calendars, etc.
    – bdesham
    Mar 30, 2015 at 21:18
  • 1
    the OP specifically asks for a solution "so that I can have my own 'Dropbox' type of cloud access wherever I go." for which the answer is quite right.
    – meduz
    Apr 13, 2015 at 11:53
  • Unfortunately, owncloud isn't supported to run on a Mac, even in a MAMP installation. Jun 2, 2016 at 1:24
  • 1
    It's several years old now, but this tutorial purports to show how to set up OwnCloud on macOS: macminicolo.net/blog/files/…
    – jefe2000
    Mar 3, 2017 at 17:33
  • This has been upgraded to nextcloud, and you cannot do icloud backups, however it can do everything else icloud does and more.
    – Mack Baise
    Aug 26, 2020 at 6:15

Now with a fully vetted files app and new file sync provider API on macOS and iOS it’s much easier to bring whichever file storage solution you want. Automated device backup is still challenging, but ensuring your main file storage hit other accounts should let you ride the free iCloud tier for backups - especially if you can turn off categories you don’t need backed up to iCloud due to cost considerations.

In 2015 and the following couple years, it was much harder to avoid iCloud and then, the simplest way to accomplish equivalent functionality was to set up several things.

This isn't meant to be a full iCloud dopplegänger but instead to serve equivalent high level functions of iOS backup and iOS file sharing endpoint.

  1. Disable iCloud backups and instead back up to iTunes via WiFi.
  2. (optional) Set up a VPN profile on iOS to have the device be able to VPN in to the local WiFi while on the road.
  3. Set up WebDav server - optionally expose it to the internet with either a static IP address and/or one of the dynamic DNS services.
  4. (bonus) set up a cloud or single point backup so that the server is backed up offsite. Look at CrashPlan or Amazon's various storage options (glacier or S3 are written up in several places on the internet with "How To" and their new cloud drive offering might also work well)

This allows DropBox like file sharing over WebDav - your own personal cloud that is optionally backed up outside your house periodically (but not a true cloud where your iPhone could hit multiple storage tiers at once). You could then decide if backups while on the road are needed and set up/test the VPN access to iTunes for networked backups.


Western Digital makes a NAS device that will automatically back up your iPhone photos to it's hard drive and act the same way as iCloud, but without a fee. Plus you will be hosting the data on your home network. check it out.



You can take a look at iCloud DNS Bypass... it connects to a remote server instead in between.. its not backup thing, but thought it might help..

  • This isn't related to the question at all.
    – Salocor
    Jan 8, 2022 at 19:22

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .