Every computer user should perform a regular backup. From accidentally deleted files to failing hard drives to natural disasters – there are too many things that can go wrong to just rely on luck. Here are the best ways to secure your Mac.
There are many ways to ensure that your files are not lost, and almost all require you to keep a copy of your files in a different location. Even better, have a copy somewhere handy for problems like lost files or broken devices and another out-of-site copy. We will go over the best backup methods for macOS users in particular, though many of these services will work for Windows.
Back Up Your Entire Drive in the Cloud
Backing up your entire disk in the cloud is the most accessible form of backup. You do not need additional hardware – just an account with an online vendor – and automatically back up everything so you do not have to worry about losing files. The initial backup can take some time, especially if you have an Internet connection with a slow upload speed (and must be aware of these ISP data restrictions). But the process is usually easy.
There are many different providers offering plans, but we will pick out two good ones here.
Backblaze: No Nonsense Backups
Backblaze is very well integrated with macOS, more so than most other backup services out there (of which there are many). There is not even an app to manage, as it will be installed in a preference pane in your preferences. It's incredibly easy to set up and manage, even for inexperienced users.
They provide "unlimited" storage for $ 5 per month, which is always sufficient for personal users backing up their computer.
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Arq: A self-cloud backup
If you prefer to manage your storage yourself, use Arq to automatically backup to Amazon S3 or other systems Storage Providers (also known as Backblaze B2 Storage) , You can certainly do it manually, but Arq does the annoying parts really well for you.
Backing Up to an External Hard Drive
If you do not trust the cloud or want to quickly transfer files between computers, installing an external hard drive and backing up your entire hard drive is probably ideal for you. We recommend combining this method with an online backup to cover your bases. It's quick and easy to restore files from your external hard drive, and you have the cloud backup as … well … backup in case something happens to your external hard drive.
You probably want a hard disk to be at least twice your main hard drive, and you can find large 4 TB external drives for around $ 100.
Here are the apps we recommend to back up your Mac to an external drive.
Time Machine: Integrated in Mac OS
You can easily drag your files to an external hard drive; it's better to use an app to do this automatically. On macOS, nothing beats the simplicity of Apple's Time Machine.
In addition to automatically backing up your files, Time Machine saves these changes to your external drive every time you change a file. You can go back in time and view old versions of files or recover deleted files. You can read our guide to setting up Time Machine on your Mac to get started.
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Carbon Copy Cloner: Upgrading to Time Machine
While Time Machine undoubtedly wins in terms of simplicity and simplicity Compatibility, but sometimes you want more features. Carbon Copy Cloner provides bootable backups, support for RAID configurations, and a powerful planning system to manage when your backups take place.
Store specific documents in the cloud
If you have very few documents to back up, and you do not want to waste space to back up your entire drive, you can keep your important documents in cloud storage. Since you typically do not store hundreds of gigabytes, these services are all free (although they all have "more" "pro" options on them.)
It's important to keep in mind that cloud synchronization is not technically the same thing. Yes, you have saved your documents to a different location, but any changes that you make to a file on your computer (such as deleting the file) will also take place wherever the file is synchronized. So they do not offer much protection against things like accidentally deleting your files unless the service you are using keeps old versions of files.
If you experience something like a crashed hard drive or a stolen laptop, you can do that by counting on downloading your documents. Here are some of our favorite services:
iCloud Drive: 5 GB free
iCloud Drive is a new addition to the iCloud suite. It saves your desktop and document folders in the cloud, downloads them as needed, and actually downloads them, saving you some space. 5 GB is free, but you need to know that this storage space is shared with other iCloud features and your other Apple devices (such as your iPhone and iPad). You can read our iCloud Optimized Storage guide to set it up, or disable it completely when your iCloud drive is full.
Google Drive: 15GB Free
Google Drive offers the most storage space among the listed free options here. It also comes with its great Office suite and integrates well with Gmail and other Google services. You also have a sync tool to back up a specific folder automatically, so you do not have to upload your files through the web interface. This store will be shared with Gmail, but if you do not have tens of thousands of emails, it probably will not do any harm.
Dropbox: 2 GB free
Dropbox is designed for shared storage and business applications. Although it has a small amount of free space and can be synchronized automatically, the focus is more on work-oriented applications.
OneDrive: 5 GB Free
A recommendation from Microsoft for your Mac? Depending on your situation, OneDrive can work well for you. You get 5GB of free storage and your MacOS app works just fine. If you're already an Office 365 subscriber, you have a full terabyte of OneDrive storage in your subscription.
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