You will need an internet connection to access iCloud and it is absolutely accessible from anywhere and at anytime with an internet connection as mentioned above. Your friends must have backed up all the files on the cloud server which will definitely going to take out the data loss issue as it has been proven that cloud backup
services store all your important data on the cloud server which is safe, sound and secure as well.
There are a lot of options available in the market. Just as like mentioned above, Dropbox and Mozy. Both of them are good enough to rely upon. I have used SOS Online Backup and My PC Backup as well. They offer military grade encryption and secure podium to store data online.