I will soon be sending my MacBook in for service and figured it was as good as a time as any to get my backup strategy in order. The MPU episode was more of a launching-off point for me; not a detailed comparison… Do y’all have any suggestions or resources?
Here’s something I wrote a few years ago. I’ve made enough changes to my own strategy I should probably revisit it, but I think it still covers the major bases.
Will review, thanks!
I have a few external drives and have gotten into the habit of using one for daily backups, one for weekly, and one for monthly.
I made sure to update my daily and weekly before I sent off my MacBook Pro for service (because “one is none” and once I no longer had my MacBook, I wanted to have at least two copies of my data).
Just because I own licenses for both, I use Carbon Copy Cloner for the daily and SuperDuper for the weekly/monthly. I think they both do an equally good job of making a backup, but CCC definitely has some nice extra features, and if I had to choose one, I’d probably go with that.
Off-site storage is still an issue. Upload speeds are so poor for most of us in the USA that it’s a major point of frustration. I’m going to give a try using ChronoSync to backup over the Internet between my office and home, but I’m going to ‘seed’ the initial backup locally, so they only have to do the updates over the web.
If that works, I may be able to drop my Backblaze subscription for a couple of my Macs.
For planning purposes, list the types of failures that you’re trying to protect against. Then identify how different backup strategies will mitigate those failures. The three main categories of failures for me are: stupid user tricks (deleting or overwriting files), hardware failures (drive failures or pouring coffee over the keyboard), and major disasters (fire, flood, theft).
The more automated you can make any backup process the better. You don’t want to have to remember to make a backup.
Finally, if you haven’t tested your backup, you don’t have a backup. Regular testing is important.
Image your Mac to a hard drive using Superduper or carbon copy client.
If you want make a 2nd backup on a separate drive with time machine.