Is there a Mac web site that preaches backup more than Mac360? If you love your files, find a way to backup.
How many ways are there? Like the grains of sand on a beach… or, a few good ones that do the job.
At Mac360, we have our favorite Mac utilities, tools, applications. Backup may be one of the most important categories.
Today we’re adding another Mac application that fits in the middle and contains a range of features you may like.
Decimus Software’s updated Synk Pro garners well deserved praise for being both a backup and a synchronization utility.
First, should you back up your Mac’s files? The answer is an unqualified yet (assuming the files are important to you).
Second, how should you back up, and what if your files need to be synchronized between Macs or another hard drive?
There are plenty of Mac backup and synchronization tools to do the job. Our favorites simply do it better, more dependably.
So does Synk Pro, which takes a different approach to backup and syncs from other utilities.
When it comes to cloning a Mac volume, one hard drive to another, that’s what you want. A clone. File for file and fast.
Synk Pro does that, preserving all the vital characteristics of each file, making your back up a bootable clone of your original.
Back up again using the built-in scheduler, and the next back up takes less time, as not all files need to be copied.
All versions of Synk have a nifty technology called ZeroScan, which makes incremental backups faster than any utility we’ve used.
After your first backup, Synk’s ZeroScan technology watches your Mac’s every move. Whenever a file is changed or modified, Synk will back up that file during the next backup, skipping all the files that were not changed.
That speeds up the backup routine dramatically for many scheduled backups.
Another feature that combines and simplifies the best of SuperDuper! and ChronoSync is the N-Way synchronization.
Synk Pro will backup to 64 directories or Macs, in groups, so a number of Macs or hard drives get the appropriate synchronized files at the same time.
Backups and file synchronizations are serious business. Why? Consider the basic scenario—
you turn on your Mac and nothing happens
Your hard drive is dead. What will you do? A good backup plan should get you back to normal within an hour. If not, get another plan.
Our recommendations for backups are basic. Get an external Firewire hard drive (or USB combo for Intel Macs) and clone your Mac’s hard drive.
Set a regular schedule for backups. For example, I’ve used SuperDuper! to clone the hard drive, but ChronoSync to backup select files during the day (between SD clones).
Synk Pro can be set to do both functions with a single application. This page compares Synk’s versions with .Mac and other backup utilities.
We agree, so choose carefully. Since those reviews were published, both Synk and ChronoSync have improved remarkably in their ability to create quality synchronizations and backups.
I notied that the article talks a lot about metadata problems with many other Mac backup utilities.
While factual back then, things change. That was then, this is now.
Some of the meta data in question in older reviews isn’t something most Mac users should worry about, therefore, some backup utilities with a poor rating are actually quite good and will do a decent job for you.
At Mac360 we tend to be somewhat selective about which applications we choose to guard our Mac files. For backups, it’s a short list of SuperDuper!, ChronoSync, and we’ve added Synk to the mix.
As always, your mileage may vary, though any developer that gives you a 30 day trial period and runs a forum for users has confidence in their product.
What’s missing in Synk? Not much. It’s fast, stable, relatively easy to set up and straightforward to get running within minutes.
The interface is a bit different than the standard “left to right” configuration for most cloning and synchronization utilities. It’s vertical, but it makes sense when you realize can you use Synk for backing up all over the place.
Pricing starts at $25 for Synk and there’s a competitive upgrade discount for users of some other Mac backup utilities.
What’s your favorite Mac backup utility and why? What problems have your encountered when backing up your Mac? Share with other readers in the comments section below.