We’ve tested, re-tested, and reviewed about every Mac back up utility available. Some are simple, others complex. Is there a Mac back up method that can be all things to all Mac users?
Probably not. SuperDuper!‘s cloned drives are as get as it gets. Time Machine is about as simple as back ups can get. In between is a steady, stable, increasingly competent favorite. ChronoSync and the new CS Agent.
Mac360 is on record stating that ChronoSync is one of our favorite Mac back up utilities. It’s remarkably stable, easy to get running, comes with a reliable scheduler and notification system (it’s nice to know when things go wrong).
While ChronoSync is simple to set up it also has the ability to handle very complex back up jobs, especially in situations that require backing up some files that are in the same folder as other files.
That kind of selective feature adds to the complexity, of course, so ChronoSync also makes fully bootable Mac back up clones to another hard drive. In my tests, the incremental back ups are finished in about the same time as SuperDuper!‘s incremental clones.
Last year Econ Tech added the Chrono Agent for Mac users to help speed up connectivity and back ups between Macs, which, in multi-Mac offices and households, is important.
ChronoSync has more options than most Mac back up utilities, and may look more complex. Features have a tendency to do that to a first impression.
However, digging in a little, Mac users will find some very handy capability. Not only does ChronoSync clone your Mac’s hard drive, it can automatically connect to another Mac, and synchronize or back up files (there’s a difference between the two).
Some Mac users point out, and rightly so, that connecting to another Mac, home or away, can be problematic. But once connected, ChronoSync can remember the login ID and password, and connect automatically during the next back up sync.
Did I mention the need for speed? To date, I’ve not found a Mac utility which does incremental back ups—from one Mac to another—that is as fast as ChronoSync. With one exception.
ChronoAgent is even faster and easier. Basically, you put ChronoSync on your Mac, and ChronoAgent on other Macs in your home or office.
ChronoSync then logs into ChronoAgent, bypassing Apple’s slower file connection protocol, AFP (or SMB, but not Mac to PC), which makes back ups faster, eliminates file ownership problems.
It’s a one to one or one to many back up and synchronization set up which works wonders.
Wonders? First, connecting is easier. With ChronoAgent on the other Macs, ChronoSync auto finds them, making the connection easier and faster, bypassing Apple’s sometimes slow and arcane connection method.
And, just flat out—ChronoAgent makes copying and backing up files notably faster than using Apple’s built in AFP method. Back ups that took minutes can be done in seconds.
Since ChronoSync’s scheduler is so reliable, syncing files becomes mostly automatic, faster, with complete management over file owner permissions. Not bad for $10, huh?
I’ve begun deploying ChronoAgent on all our office Macs, which lets them back up automatically to a single installation of ChronoSync running on a Mac server. Simple and fast. What else does a Mac user need?