Why back up files? Because $#!% happens. Files get lost. Hard disk drives fail. Even Macs fail. Sooner or later something goes wrong.
The number of Mac backup apps and options is growing because our digital files are more important than ever. Music. Movies. Photos. Documents. Apps. Here’s one way to get started in the Mac backup game without spending much money.
How To Backup Easy And Almost Free
I hesitate to recommend a Mac app that I don’t use or wouldn’t use, but there are exceptions to nearly everything, so here goes. Backuplist + is an almost freeware, nearly nagware app with some useful features.
Why an exception for Backuplist +?
My neighbor bought it without my recommendation, used it without my permission, and likes it without reservation. Go figure. It’s not that we have a shortage of Mac apps for backups.
Backuplist + is an effective but odd duck among backup apps. It will backup files from one location on your Mac to another location. It will clone your Mac’s hard disk drive to another disk drive.
Despite those two basic functions, Backuplist + comes with a boatload of tweak this and click that features to give you control over the backup process. All this in an age where simplicity seems to rule.
The basic user interface is easier to understand than Lady Gaga’s motives for publicity.
Basically, you create a list of the files and folders you want to backup. Backup-list–plus. Get it?
Select a destination for the backed up files, select which files and folders to backup, click Backup, and you’re done, right? Yes. And no.
Backuplist + also means there are more options.
Suddenly, you have more options in Settings (Preferences) than you thought possible.
Clone an entire Mac volume. Set up the number of incremental backups. Compress the backup into an Archive (like a .zip). Even set a specific schedule for the backup.
The Exclude List gets verifiably geeky very fast.
Drag and drop folders onto the list that you do not want to backup (there needs to be an optional dialog box here).
Advanced settings have to do with a debug log report, and some Rsync expert options (Rsync is built in to Mac OS X, and Backuplist + gives you the controls).
What are the advantages of using Backuplist +? Price. It’s essentially donationware. There’s no price tag except for the damage to your conscience if you don’t pay something to use it, but it’s not like Satan will take over your life or force you into Tea Party servitude or anything.
The basic backup is drop dead simple, but not worth much in the event of a catastrophic disaster. Files are stores as copied files (unless you want to archive them) so they’re easy to retrieve. And, Backuplist + makes a credible clone for a low price.