Backing up my data

Backups are a necessity, as we all know. Using CrashPlan (for Small Businesses) I’m backing up to their cloud (CrashPlan Central), as well as my Synology NAS. It’s working great, but because of the way that they maintain the backups, it appears that more maintenance is happening than backing up. So to that end, I’ve started using Chronosync to make a bootable, daily backup of my internal hard drive. I’m also thinking of ditching the CrashPlan local backup, and using Chronosync to backup to my NAS.

Chronosync has much less overhead; it just syncs the data to the drive without de-duplicating, compressing or encrypting. It creates archived versions of files, bases on the criteria that I’ve set, just like CrashPlan. And since it’s only syncing the data, I don’t necessarily need a tool/app to restore the data, if/when I need it. I can simply copy it from the NAS. A downside to Chronosync and the NAS, is that it’s best to put the data in a sparse bundle, as that keeps all of ownership settings and allows the data to be encrypted. But, the data will ultimately out grow the sparse bundle, and I’ll have to mirror it to a new one.

Any reason(s) not to switch my backup? Any gotchas, or anything that I may not have thought about?

I’m going through the same thing now, and am interested in what people have to say. I previously backed up to external drives at the office (Time Machine and a SuperDuper clone), but with working from home, I’m exploring other options.

I tried Chronosync to my Synology (an incremental backup of my home folder), and it was slow – as in a couple days slow. The Chronosync website mentions Smart Scan, and how it is available on Macs (and perhaps a NAS if you use a sparse bundle). Instead of trying it on the Synology, I instead attached a USB drive to my Mac Mini (2012, used as an iTunes and Plex server), and just did a test sync that went pretty fast. We’ll see if the actual sync goes faster. I used it with Chronoagent running on the Mini, and set up a sparse bundle, since the help article recommended that to help with speed. I believe I’ve configured it correctly to mount and unmount the disk image, which is password protected. I should be able to report back soon on how it went.

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Nice. I like what you’re doing, and am curious to hear how it goes for you.

Using CrashPlan to the NAS is pretty slow, as it scans, de-duplicates, compresses, encrypts and then copies the data over, not to mention all of the maintenance on the back end. I’ve had a Chronosync job running for a bit, and it’s taken several days to backup my 6TB RAID (photographs and videos), so I’m not exactly sure if it’s any faster than CrashPlan. Like you, I have it set to mount/dismount the NAS and the DMG.

Are you backing up the whole drive or subsets – like Documents, or Desktop?

Im backing up my home folder to the external drive on the other Mac.


With Chronosync, I’m backing up Users and my external RAID to my NAS. I’m also doing a full, bootable backup of the entire internal drive daily.

Just to update, after my initial backup, I excluded my Photos library from the Chronosync backup, since a full version of my Photos library lives on another Mac (which is backed up several different ways).

Now, when testing the MacBook’s Chronosync backup after the initial run, the scan took less than 6 minutes for a Home directory that is 571 GB (not counting the Photos library).

The only glitch I’m running into is the mounting of the sparse bundle on the Mac Mini. It takes several minutes for it to mount, and I’m not sure why. That interferes with the Chronosync scheduler. I see other complaints of this delay online, but no clear solution. I’d rather not keep it mounted all the time.

Recommend you contact Chronosync support on this as they are very responsive. They might help you isolate the problem.

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An update on my slow sparse bundle mounting issue – I just opened up my MacBook, and a few seconds later noticed the indicator in the menu bar that Chronosync was backing up to the network mounted drive (a trigger I use is when that Chronoagent becomes available). The backup happened without issue. The only change I made was, on the remote Mac, to disable Spotlight search on the sparse bundle.