Other than using your choice of productive apps, the single most important function for a Mac user is to backup files.
Sooner or later something will go wonky or break, and your hard-earned files can disappear in a heart beat. Here are two free and easy Mac apps that do exactly what you want in a backup plan. Save everything, sync, clone, backup, and do it on the cheap.
File By File Backup And Restore
Backing up important files on your Mac may not be cheap. It could require one or more additional hard disk drives connected to your Mac. That means you have to manage an app that does the backups.
Or, you can set up Backuplist+ to copy your important files from your Mac to somewhere else.
That somewhere else should be an external hard disk drive, or a network backup server, or even another Mac.
Regardless, the idea is to make the process simple, painless, cost effective, and easy to setup and use.
Backups can be scheduled for hourly (as in the case of a few important files), daily, or weekly. Backuplist+ uses rsync to copy your Mac’s files to a target destination. Which files?
Whichever files are important to you. That includes whatever is in the Documents folder or your home folder—including iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie and any other files of importance. Setup is straightforward. Create multiple backup lists (hence the name) for specific source files on your Mac. iTunes music or Mail or whatever.
Click the Browse button to find the backup destination (for example, an external hard disk drive). Click the Backup button to backup your files immediately, or use the built-in schedule to assign a specific time to backup.
Restoring files is a simple drag and drop operation which replaces the originals with the backups. Backuplist+ will also clone your Mac’s hard disk drive, so you have a fully working, complete duplicate of the files on your Mac at the time of backup.
Send In The Carbon Copy Clones
At the other end of the free scale for backup utilities is Carbon Copy Cloner. It works similarly, but the focus feature is cloning everything on your Mac’s hard disk drive to another disk drive, instead of the file-by-file, or folder-by-folder backup.
CCC adds a few more features, too. Not only will it clone your Mac, but it also synchronizes files and folders from one Mac to another source.
So, it backs up files, synchronizes files, and clones an entire disk drive.
Both are good at what they do. Backuplist+ does clones and backs up, but takes a file-by-file approach. CCC does complete clones, backs up, syncs, and clones. Both will do their deeds according to a schedule that you set up. Both are free.
We like CCC’s incremental backup. That means the first backup may take an hour or so (depending on the number of your files). While each subsequent backup only copies files that have changed since the last backup, resulting in a much faster backup.
We also like Backuplist+ for the simple ability to backup only a few files or folders from your Mac to a target destination. That can be very handy to ensure important files are backed up between clone operations. Either way, the backup you make now may be the best thing you do besides using a Mac in the first place.