The only weak links in my Mac backup system are the condo where we live, and Apple’s Time Machine. So far, I haven’t found an easy way to backup files outside of where we live.
Time Machine? Hey, it works OK. Despite a drop dead simple interface, finding specific files in Time Machine can be challenging. It’s hit or miss. Rather, miss plenty, hit every now and again.
Where Did That File Go?
I’m beginning to think that Apple loves putting a glow on the apps that reach the lowest common denominator user. That’s Time Machine. Simple to set up, simple to use, but missing plenty of must-have features.
For example, restoring is cumbersome at best. Fortunately, restoring a Mac from Time Machine is very low on my list of needs.
Finding files stored by Time Machine on another Mac can be tricky (handy for multiple Mac households).
Enter a more robust way to use Time Machine data. Back-In-Time. This not-quite-elegant Mac app works more like a database app to find files saved by Time Machine, almost no matter where they’re stored.
Time Machine doesn’t tell you how many versions is stored of a file you need. You have to find the files and check to see when they were stored. Back-In-Time displays the size and date of each version.
With all these wonderful features, Back-In-Time’s interface can appear daunting and convoluted. There’s plenty more going on here than in Time Machine.
Time Machine doesn’t display what’s been deleted or when. Back-In-Time does, including which items were deleted and when they were last backed up (handy, to get to the most recent backup).
Time Machine leaves you stuck on a single backup disk. Back-In-Time doesn’t care and lets you scan and search Time Machine on any disk mounted to your Mac. Conversely, Time Machine only finds what it has stored on your Mac. Back-In-Time will check Time Machine data on any modern Mac.
Time Machine only works on one window at a time to find files in the past. Back-In-Time will let you open multiple browser windows on your Mac. The only negative in all this is that you still need Time Machine to do the backing up. Back-In-Time merely makes it easier and faster to find what Time Machine has already saved.
Restoring files from Time Machine is drag and drop simple in Back-In-Time. Each document that’s backed up has a history, which Back-In-Time will display. If you’re dealing with multiple Macs in a small office or home environment, and you use Time Machine for backups, Back-In-Time makes it easier to find what’s lost and bring it back with a simple drag and drop.