How many ways can you back up the files on your Mac? What? You don’t have a back up plan? Among the least expensive, more useful, most critically acclaimed Mac apps are those that help back up your files with a click. Sometimes without a click. From free to barely $2 a month, recommended Mac back up solutions are everywhere. If you don’t back up files, ask yourself this question.
If Not Now, When?
The questions are simple. When your Mac dies, and one day the Mac itself, or the hard disk drive, will fail, what happens to all your files? Music? Photos? Videos? Documents? Where do they go? How do you get them back?
See why you need a backup plan? Backing up your Mac’s critical files is a must. True, your Mac’s hard disk drive could last for five or six years, surely until you buy a new Mac and move your files. Or, the hard disk drive could last five or six minutes, then simply stop working, and prevent access to everything.
Everything? Yes. A dead hard disk drive makes it very difficult for most Mac users to retrieve those increasingly valuable songs, movies, photos and documents. Since something on your Mac will fail (not if, but when), what’s your back up plan?
Planning For Back Ups Smartly
Mac360 has advocated a two step back up solution for years. First, an extra hard disk drive using Time Machine. It’s not a good solution for a full back up, but it’s great for finding files that seem to have fallen into a dryer and disappeared along with one sock.
Second, another external hard disk drive that clones your Mac’s drive, making a bit for bit copy, a bootable clone that can be used on any substitute Mac. In other words, your files are in multiple places.
For years we’ve recommended a few commercial solutions; including SuperDuper! Carbon Copy Cloner, and a few others which do the job with more elegance and less effort. On our list is the popular SmartBackup.
For example, if you can plug in a mountable device that shows up on your desktop, it’s likely that SmartBackup and back up and restore your Mac’s files. An external hard disk is the medium of choice, but flash drives, iPods, or even network share points will work.
The Do’s And Don’ts Of Backing Up Smartly
SmartBackup uses a smart sync engine to back up files from your Mac to another device or location. In other words, the first back up may take an hour or more, but subsequent back ups take minutes.
That’s because SmartBackup only copies files that have been changed on the original Mac disk, rather than copy again all files. Instead of a proprietary back up file method, SmartBackup makes the files accessible even if SmartBackup isn’t around to do the restore. It also makes a bootable clone of your Mac.
That means your back up hard disk drive is a clone of your Mac’s drive, which also means it can be used to start up your Mac if the original disk drive fails. There is no faster way to get your Mac (or any Mac) up and running again.
Do try the SmartBackup archive. Files can be stored in a time based archive, especially beneficial if your Mac is connected to a network hard drive.
Do restore with a click or two. Use SmartBackup to restore all your files and folders, as is, using just a click and the automatic restore feature. SmartBackup uses iCal and an Automator action to schedule an automatic back up, whereas that feature is built in to SuperDuper! and Carbon Copy Cloner.
Regardless, you get to try out SmartBackup with little risk. The first 20 back ups are free. Do you have a Mac back up plan? What’s your favorite Mac back up app? What would you do first if your Mac’s hard disk drive failed?