Using a Mac has become more complex in recent years. True, we Mac users have it easy. Mac OS X usually doesn’t give us the trials and tribulations that Windows users face with malware, viruses, spyware, and BSODs.
It’s just that we ask an awful lot from our Macs. We do email, accounting, browsing, graphics, video, photos, music, and much more on our Macs. So, our data has become that much more valuable. So much so that even Apple has a back up plan for Mac users. Here’s a back up utility that dares to Sync Different.
Back Up Utilities
Two of the most popular back up utilities for Mac users are Apple’s built-in Time Machine, and Shirt Pocket’s SuperDuper!. They’re different, yet complementary. Both require a second hard disk drive.
Time Machine makes incremental back ups of files that have changed. If you lose a file you’ve had for more than an hour, Time Machine probably has it safely stored away.
It’s not so easy to recreate your Mac’s hard disk drive if it crashes or becomes inoperable. That’s where SuperDuper! works so well. It clones your Mac’s hard disk drive so you can boot up immediately if the original drive fails.
Those of us who manage many different Macs in an office or school environment may prefer a better way to back up Mac data. That’s where Decimus’ Synk becomes a good alternative.
Synk is a Mac back up utility that comes in three versions—Synk Backup, Synk Standard, Synk Pro, each with a different price tag and feature set.
Synk Backup is basic and provides simple back up options. For example, your Mac’s home folder can be backed up to another Mac or external hard disk drive with just a click. Yet, the simple scheduler is built-in for automatic back ups, even if your Mac is asleep or you’re logged out.
Synk Standard does the basics—synchronizing, scheduling, archiving, previews, and comes with a summary display so you can quickly see what’s going to happen and when (or, what happened and when). It’s always nice to know when a back up is successful, but it’s better to know when something went wrong.
The Standard version also tracks what gets backed up in a database log. The Preview display shows what will get copied or deleted or archived before it happens.
Synk Pro carries back ups to a more professional level with N-Way syncing, which is what I use to manage dozens of Mac back ups. N-Way means you can control back ups of data to and from many Macs from one Mac on a network. The Rules feature means that specific files can be included or excluded from specific syncs.
Synk For The Rest Of Us
It’s difficult to imagine that any utility could be as simple to set up and use as Apple’s Time Machine.
Synk, in whatever version, requires more thought, extra hard disk drives or networked Macs, and some attention to what gets backed up and when. The Scheduler is very easy to configure.
What could be easier than cloning a Mac’s hard disk drive with SuperDuper!? It’s two clicks. Even the scheduler is easy to set up, making cloning an automated, daily task.
Each of the Synk versions actually does more than the two most popular back up utilities, including incremental back ups, which only save what’s changed on your Mac.
In fact, there’s an impressive comparison chart which displays the basic features of each Synk version to Time Machine and SuperDuper! Notice that Time Machine doesn’t make a bootable back up and isn’t compatible with non-HFS+ disk drives.
Synk is a worthy competitor with plenty of features that won’t strain your budget or your brain, and better than Time Machine or SuperDuper! in a multi-Mac network environment.