Time Machine backs up files only every hour. If you clone your Mac’s storage, you get a backup of recently changed files only when the actual backup occurs; not before, not after. Both processes leave a hole in the backup scheme unless you do a manual copy of files or folders from here to there from time to time. Manually. Or, use this Mac app instead and automate backing up the hole in the backup scheme.
Wholly Plugged Hole
For most Mac users, that little backup ‘hole’ isn’t much of a problem. For those of us with files that are beyond important and cannot easily be replaced, it’s a huge problem. Files changed while we’re working on them need to be backed up elsewhere. Instantly. Here’s the solution.
The utility I use to plug the hole is called DropSync, an elegant backup utility that has a number of useful options you won’t find in other backup utilities; one much more valuable than others.
As with many backup utilities, DropSync will sync up a folder from your Mac to another source; another Mac, an external storage device, even a folder on a remote source (sFTP). Those are all well and good but the one feature I want and need is the option to monitor a folder on my Mac, and when the backup app detects a changed file in that folder, performs an automatic backup sync to make a copy of the file elsewhere. Instantly. Automatically.
That fills in where Time Machine leaves a gap, and does what will eventually get done with a cloned backup, but does so almost instantly. DropSync uses the time honored source and target user interface to setup the automated backups, but it’s folder watching utility that makes it worthwhile to include DropSync in your Mac backup routine.
The built-in file browser lets you view both source and target files so you can compare one to the other. It even lets you include or exclude whatever files and folders you want from the sync and backup process. It even does bi-directional syncs, and comes with a bunch of useful file type filters for advanced syncing options.
Easily the most valuable for me is the Folder Watch feature which monitors a folder for changes. When you save a file to that folder, or update a file in the folder, DropSync swings into action and copies the file to another location (disk drive, remote server, another Mac) of your choosing. Instantly. Automatically.
DropSync doesn’t cost much, works reliably in the background once you set it up, and does a good job of filling in the backup hole between SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner backups and Time Machine. That makes it worthy of all the four and five star reviews and the nominal price tag.