We know every computer user keeps a usual backup. From accidentally deleted files to bad hard drives, there are so many things going wrong, which might rely on luck. So in this post, we’ll show you the best ways to back up your Mac device.
There are a number of ways to make sure your files are not lost. It’s always better to keep a copy handy due to unwanted problems like lost files or failing equipment. We’ll be covering the best backup methods for MacOS users, though many services will also work for Windows.
Back Up Your Drive to the Cloud
Backing up your drive to the cloud is the most accessible form since it doesn’t require any hardware. All you need is just an account with an online cloud service provider and everything will be backed up automatically. So, you don’t need to worry about losing permanent files. The backup can take a while, especially if the internet connection is slow. However, the process is deadly simple.
There are currently many different providers with loads of plans, but we’ll only pick out two good ones listed below.
Backblaze: No Nonsense Backups
Backblaze supports very well with MacOS platform compared to other backup services out there. It does not just have an app for management, but it will also install to a preferences pane in your settings. It’s extremely easy to set up and manage even for the newbie user.
They also offer an “unlimited” option for only $5 per month, which is for personal users to back up their computer.
Arq: A DIY Cloud Backup
If you want to manage your storage yourself, you can then consider Arq to automatically back up your MacOS to Amazon S3 or other storage providers. You need to manually do it, and Arq will then do its job when managing the annoying parts for you.
Back up your drive to an external hard drive
If you don’t like the cloud or wish to transfer files fast between computers, you should invest an external hard drive and back up your whole drive to it. If possible, you should combine this method with an online backup. It’s easy to restore all files from your external hard drive and the available cloud backup in case something goes wrong with your external drive.
You should prepare a hard drive at least twice the size of your main hard drive. You can refer a 4 TB external drive for around $100.
Here are the apps you can try to back up your Mac to an external drive.
Time Machine: Built Into macOS
Although you can certainly drag your files to an external hard drive, you’d better take advantage of an app to do it automatically. MacOS offers a simple built-in tool, called Time Machine that allows you to easily back up your files
Apart from backing up your files automatically, Time Machine will store changes on your external drive when you change a file. You can also browse back in time and see previous versions of files, or restore files you have already deleted. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up Time Machine on your MacOS.
Also see: How To Fix A MacBook Pro Not Turning On
Carbon Copy Cloner: An Upgrade of Time Machine
While Time Machine has its simplicity and compatibility, if you want more features, Carbon Copy Cloner is a good solution with bootable backups, supporting for raid configurations, and a powerful system to manage as soon as your backups will take place.
If you only have a few documents that you wish to keep backed up and save space for backing up your whole drive, remember to keep your important documents in the cloud. Since you don’t usually store hundreds of GBs, these services are all free even though they also offer “pro” option with more storage.
Another thing you should keep in mind is that the cloud syncing isn’t the same with backing up. You will need to store your documents in a separate location, but changes that you make a file on your computer also occur everywhere after the file is synced. So, you will not receive much protection against things like deleting your files if the service does not keep old versions of files.
However, if you are dealing with problems like the crashed hard drive or stolen computer, you can then count on downloading your documents. Here are some of the popular services you should consider:
iCloud Drive- Offering 5 GB Free
With iCloud Drive, all your Desktop and Documents folders will be stored in the cloud, downloading them when you need to save some space in the process. iCloud Drive offers 5 GB free, but you should note that this space is shared with other iCloud functions and other Apple devices associated with your account, making it fill up quickly. You simply set up iCloud Optimized Storage, or disable it when your iCloud Drive is full.
Google Drive: Offering15 GB Free
Google Drive offers the largest storage among all the free options currently available. It has a great office suite and integrates with Gmail and other Google services. There is also a sync tool that allows automatically backing up a specific folder, so you will not have to upload your files via the web interface. 15GB free space is also shared with Gmail, but if you have thousands of emails, it won’t make a dent.
Dropbox: Offering 2 GB Free
Dropbox offers shared storage and business apps. While it just comes with a small amount of free storage, and automatically sync, it focuses more on work-centric uses.
OneDrive: 5 TB Free
The last one in our recommended services is OneDrive. Depending on your situation, it might work well for you. You can get 5GB of free space and there is also an app working with MacOS. Moreover, if you’re an Office 365 subscriber, you can then get 1TB of OneDrive free space inside your subscription. If you want more OneDrive storage to store your backups, then head over to this post to get 5TB OneDrive for free.