I broach this subject again as we continue to see numerous incidents of lost data by clients who either did not have a backup or thought they were backing up, but it turns out they were not. It’s always a tragic story. Imagine losing family photos, important school or work documents, or hours/days/years of work, etc. Don’t let it happen to you!
It’s really easy to set up an automatic backup system, but it’s a good practice to also check back to see that everything is working as it should.
Here are some simple ways to back up:
1. Use Time Machine, Apple’s built-in backup system. All you need is a Time Capsule (for wireless backup), external hard drive, or a thumb drive with enough storage for your entire system. (You can exclude non-critical files to save space, but it’s most convenient to let it back up everything.) Time Machine will also back up additional drives plugged into your Mac, but you have to change the settings to include those attached devices. We recommend a Seagate which you can purchase at Best Buy.
2. Use Backblaze or Carbonite, two popular cloud backup systems. This works great for laptops and people on the go who don’t want to think about having to plug something in. It just happens automatically when you are online. It is a subscription service, so you pay every year or every month to store your data, but it is usually unlimited.
3. For the pros who want a complete bootable backup–that means instead of just a copy of your files, you have a fully functional system clone that you can use immediately in case your drive fails–I suggest Carbon Copy Cloner.
4. Go old-school and manually copy your important files onto a Dropbox folder or thumb drive. (Just remember to grab everything that you cannot easily replace!)
Automation is usually the best and most convenient, but everyone has their preferences and particular needs. Obviously, there are roadblocks that come up, and there are plenty of other ways to make backup copies of your files. Talk to us if you would like any help sorting through your options or just making sure your setup is working for you.
Need help recovering lost files? We offer software data recovery services here, and we work with Data Rescue in California for clean-room data recovery services.