There’s a rapidly growing trend when it comes to Mac users and their files. It’s called back up strategy. What’s yours? Need another option?
Many Mac users opt for an extra hard disk or two and use OS X’s Time Machine, or SuperDuper! to keep extra copies of files. Why not store your back up files on the internet, out there in the cloud? It’s cheap to cheaper, not too fast, but another layer of protection.
Sure, we use Time Machine. Sure, we use a cloned hard drive. Some Mac users even opt for plain old CDs and DVDs to store their precious Mac files.
What do I mean by files? Music, videos, photos, documents, utilities, and anything else that’s valuable and needs to be stored and secured in more than one place.
Personally, I use a crazy quilt protection method that combines Time Machine and an extra hard drive, SuperDuper! and an extra hard drive, and ChronoSync and a couple of Macs and their respective hard drives.
It’s a pain but I don’t lose files on my Macs. At times I don’t have much of a life, either, but I breathe easier and sleep better.
The recent trend is store your valuable files online, taking advantage of cheap storage, cheap online rates, in the hopes that someone else’s data center is more secure than the extra hard drive you bought.
Apple’s iDisk in the MobileMe package is similar to commercial online storage except it’s a manual proposition. But the trend is unmistakably going toward online storage.
One of our favorites is Mozy because it’s Mac friendly. Select the files you want to store online and Mozy’s little Mac utility does the rest.
The first upload of files to the Mozy servers takes awhile, of course, but after that incremental back ups are easy. It’s remote. It’s safe. Even if all your Mac’s die a horrible death in a flaming fire of Windows retribution, your data is safe. Out there. Somewhere.
Mozy has an unlimited storage plan for only $4.95 a month. To get you started like the candy man or neighborhood drug dealer, Mozy also gives you up to 2 gigabytes of online storage for free.
Mozy is one of a number of online storage options for Mac users. FilesAnywhere is another. One gigabyte is free. Five gigabytes goes for $8.95.
The back up is automated synchronization from your Mac to a remote storage system.
Another of our favorites is BackJack, which also specializes in Mac back ups, comes with a Mac utility to do all the dirty work, a 15-day trial, and up to 100 gigabytes of storage for $100 a year (a little over $8 a month).
Yet another online storage option for Mac users is iDrive which features a Mac utility, 2 gigabytes of free storage, a personal package of up to 150 gigabytes for $4.95 a month.
In keeping with Apple’s tradition of iMac, iBook, iPod, iPhone, and iThis and iThat, iBackup has online storage, too. Plans are priced from up to 10 gigabytes for $99.50 a year, to 300 gigabytes for $299.95 a month.
See the trend? More online storage. Lower prices. Am I willing to bite for the bytes? Not yet.
I have about 50 gigabytes of music, 40 gigabytes of digital photos, another 50 gigabytes of movies, and about 25 gigabytes of documents, email, and other files I’ve saved for a few decades (so it seems).
Which files are more valuable and therefore deserving of an online back up strategy? I’d be very displeased if I lost any of my backed up files, so another layer to the storage strategy is worthy of consideration, if not money.
But I’m not ready to bite the online byte bullet just yet for all my files. Prices need to come down, incremental back ups need to work flawlessy, and my lack of desire to be a pioneer (the ones who get arrows in the back, while the guys in the wagons get the land) diminishes.
Are you into online storage? What do you use and why?