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Old Mar 2, 2013, 04:07 AM   #1
abz1981
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Back up solutions for MBA

Hi all

What do you guys tend to use as backing up solutions for your MBA. At the moment any important files I keep a back up of it on drop box.

However I am just thinking maybe I should have a solution to back up my whole MBA. My ideal solution would be a wireless backup.

I don't have an external HD or anything so what do you suggest. Is the easiest and not too expensive solution. I mean someone mentioned carbon clone etc to me the other day but I will need to have an external HD connected with cable to my MBA. Plus do not know too much about that application.

Thanks in advance
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 04:30 AM   #2
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Actually, Dropbox is NOT a backup service. It is a syncing service. Read about it here:

http://gigaom.com/2010/03/26/syncing...a-backup-make/

and here:

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4703943

It is an important distinction. With a sync service everything that happens on the server also happens on your computer. So if your Dropbox data got corrupted for whatever reason, your files on your computer would be in danger. If you have an actual backup service, then a failure on the service only means that you have to re-upload your data from your computer.

And if you delete a file by mistake in your Dropbox folder on your computer, the file also gets deleted on the server. Sure, there is a file history feature on the Dropbox website. But that's only for 30 days. Maybe you discover your mistake months afterward. A true backup service keeps ALL your files, even if they are deleted on your computer. And with the Dropbox feature you can only restore individual files. Sure you can contact Dropbox support and ask them to restore your folder to a given time, but good luck with that on a free account.

Now don't get me wrong, Dropbox is a great service for what it is and I use it all the time. But don't use it for backup. I use an application called Arq, but maybe that is to expensive for a whole computer. I would recommend it for your most important documents and photos however.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 04:36 AM   #3
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Time Machine (Software included with your MBA) + 1 Time Capsule ( http://www.apple.com/timecapsule/ ) = DONE !
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 05:32 AM   #4
abz1981
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xe89 View Post
Actually, Dropbox is NOT a backup service. It is a syncing service. Read about it here:

http://gigaom.com/2010/03/26/syncing...a-backup-make/

and here:

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4703943

It is an important distinction. With a sync service everything that happens on the server also happens on your computer. So if your Dropbox data got corrupted for whatever reason, your files on your computer would be in danger. If you have an actual backup service, then a failure on the service only means that you have to re-upload your data from your computer.

And if you delete a file by mistake in your Dropbox folder on your computer, the file also gets deleted on the server. Sure, there is a file history feature on the Dropbox website. But that's only for 30 days. Maybe you discover your mistake months afterward. A true backup service keeps ALL your files, even if they are deleted on your computer. And with the Dropbox feature you can only restore individual files. Sure you can contact Dropbox support and ask them to restore your folder to a given time, but good luck with that on a free account.

Now don't get me wrong, Dropbox is a great service for what it is and I use it all the time. But don't use it for backup. I use an application called Arq, but maybe that is to expensive for a whole computer. I would recommend it for your most important documents and photos however.
Oh okay. Thanks for the detailed information regarding Dropbox. I will try and have a look at your suggestion.

----------

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Originally Posted by nightmars View Post
Time Machine (Software included with your MBA) + 1 Time Capsule ( http://www.apple.com/timecapsule/ ) = DONE !
Thanks for that. Problem is, its a bit expensive though
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 06:21 AM   #5
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If you don't mind refurbished, Best Buy has the 2TB Time Capsule (Refurbished) for $179.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Time+Cap...sule&cp=1&lp=2

Last edited by iSP; Mar 2, 2013 at 06:29 AM. Reason: Corrected link
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 06:44 AM   #6
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The best way really is to buy a used AirPort Extreme and an external USB HDD. Cheaper than time capsule, and you get what you want from it. I've enacted this solution for 4 years and it works great.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 06:52 AM   #7
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The best way really is to buy a used AirPort Extreme and an external USB HDD. Cheaper than time capsule, and you get what you want from it. I've enacted this solution for 4 years and it works great.
So you mean connect the airport exteme to my wireless router wirelessly and then connect the external USB HDD to the exteme via USB cable?

Then this way I can use it wirelessly via time capsule?

Ps does it have to be an airport exteme or an airport express. Do they do the same thing?

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Originally Posted by iSP View Post
If you don't mind refurbished, Best Buy has the 2TB Time Capsule (Refurbished) for $179.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Time+Cap...sule&cp=1&lp=2
Thanks problem is I don't have best buy in my country.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 08:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abz1981 View Post
So you mean connect the airport exteme to my wireless router wirelessly and then connect the external USB HDD to the exteme via USB cable?

Then this way I can use it wirelessly via time capsule?

Ps does it have to be an airport exteme or an airport express. Do they do the same thing?

----------



Thanks problem is I don't have best buy in my country.
If you can replace your current wireless router with an AirPort Extreme, you can use time machine wirelessly with its USB port. The airport express only uses the USB port for wireless printing. I think, but can't verify, that the AirPort Extreme will allow time machine in bridge mode (how you described it), but I've never tried.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 08:58 AM   #9
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I have a few different time machine external backup disks that I rotate between. One of them is little Passport bus powered drive with an encrypted backup that I keep stashed in my car, just in case the house burns down or if I need access to my data away from home.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 09:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abz1981 View Post
So you mean connect the airport exteme to my wireless router wirelessly and then connect the external USB HDD to the exteme via USB cable?

Then this way I can use it wirelessly via time capsule?
That is the idea. Just be aware that using an external disk attached to a Airport Extreme for backup is not supported by Apple. Many here report it works fine for them, but other users report it is inconsistent and sometimes just stops working. The Lion and Mountain Lion help files even tell you not to do it.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 10:32 AM   #11
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That is the idea. Just be aware that using an external disk attached to a Airport Extreme for backup is not supported by Apple. Many here report it works fine for them, but other users report it is inconsistent and sometimes just stops working. The Lion and Mountain Lion help files even tell you not to do it.
Lol now you have put a doubt to that idea in my head now lol.
I went into apple store today just to ask same question. They said it will work with the apple exteme. My set up that I was thinking as advised here. That I got told at the store when I connect the exteme to my MBA it will atomically give me some options to connect to my router and then connect it to a USB external HDD. Even on apples website it tells you that you can use it to connect this way. So now I am confused. As I do have lion on my MBA.

Check out this share my hard drive section near the bottom of this page:

http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD...e-base-station
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 10:44 AM   #12
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Lol now you have put a doubt to that idea in my head now lol.
I went into apple store today just to ask same question. They said it will work with the apple exteme. My set up that I was thinking as advised here. That I got told at the store when I connect the exteme to my MBA it will atomically give me some options to connect to my router and then connect it to a USB external HDD. Even on apples website it tells you that you can use it to connect this way. So now I am confused. As I do have lion on my MBA.

Check out this share my hard drive section near the bottom of this page:

http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD...e-base-station
You can share files on a USB drive attached to the Extreme, but Time Machine is different and not supported. Look at this Apple support page and you will see the only device that shows it works for Time Machine is the Time Capsule.

Go to the help on your machine and search "time machine" and you will find the below info that specifically says not to use a USB attached to an Extreme.

Thumb resize.

Like I said, some people get it to work and have no trouble, and others have problems. I would not trust my data to it. It is your call.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 10:50 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Weaselboy View Post
You can share files on a USB drive attached to the Extreme, but Time Machine is different and not supported. Look at this Apple support page and you will see the only device that shows it works for Time Machine is the Time Capsule.

Go to the help on your machine and search "time machine" and you will find the below info that specifically says not to use a USB attached to an Extreme.

Thumb resize.

Like I said, some people get it to work and have no trouble, and others have problems. I would not trust my data to it. It is your call.

Guess your right. You make a point.
I either spend money on an exteme and external HDD and run the risk of it not working properly and waisting my money.

Or save up a bit and get the time capsule.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 10:52 AM   #14
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Guess your right. You make a point.
I either spend money on an exteme and external HDD and run the risk of it not working properly and waisting my money.

Or save up a bit and get the time capsule.
Do you already have a working router? Maybe you can get by now with just a cheap external USB drive and plug it in to the Macbook when you want to do a backup.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 10:59 AM   #15
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For now, I'm just using a small, USB powered external HD with Time Machine. This is not my main computer, so constant backups are not a big deal. Whenever I charge the MBA in my office, I try to remember to attach the HD as well.
"USB powered" is what I think makes this attractive for a MBA. These are usually very small, so you can take it everywhere you take the MBA and not have to worry about finding an outlet for it.

You could also use something like Backblaze for cloud backups. Unlike Dropbox, you don't really have instant access to your files, but it is a true incremental, versioned backup solution.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 11:26 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Weaselboy View Post
You can share files on a USB drive attached to the Extreme, but Time Machine is different and not supported. Look at this Apple support page and you will see the only device that shows it works for Time Machine is the Time Capsule.

Go to the help on your machine and search "time machine" and you will find the below info that specifically says not to use a USB attached to an Extreme.

Thumb resize.

Like I said, some people get it to work and have no trouble, and others have problems. I would not trust my data to it. It is your call.
Come to think of it. When I look at my requirements again I think I am just trying to think of a lazy way and easy way of doing things. Keeping all things wireless I think it's cuz I have a wireless printer router wifi everything is in a wireless world for me.

I guess if I pay for a decent external portable HDD ( even though I don't take my MBA out the house much but like the idea of portable) would just do my needs. All I really have to do is maybe connect it via USB cable to my MBA once a week for a back up etc. Then I can put it away again. I guess now the question is of a good not so expensive reliable portable HDD. I guess the key thing here is to get a HDD that meets my current total HDD space on my MBA. Any suggestions.

I appreciate the help everyone giving me in my original dilemma however I guess now it's a matter of just having an external HDD.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 11:40 AM   #17
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I have a few different time machine external backup disks that I rotate between. One of them is little Passport bus powered drive with an encrypted backup that I keep stashed in my car, just in case the house burns down or if I need access to my data away from home.

Is this the kind you have:

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/wester...93021-pdt.html

How your finding your passport bus?
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 11:44 AM   #18
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I guess now the question is of a good not so expensive reliable portable HDD. I guess the key thing here is to get a HDD that meets my current total HDD space on my MBA. Any suggestions.

I appreciate the help everyone giving me in my original dilemma however I guess now it's a matter of just having an external HDD.
The WD My Passport line is pretty popular and reasonably priced.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 12:03 PM   #19
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The WD My Passport line is pretty popular and reasonably priced.


Thanks

Thinking of this one: http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/wester...53523-pdt.html

I have a 20 coupon off for this retailer. So I can get the price reduced. Now this is a n00b question. However is it easy to reformat this to mac os x lion. Any simple instructions?

thanks in advance.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 12:10 PM   #20
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As an alternative you could just add an external network HDD (eg. WD Mybook Live) to your router. --> wireless backups !!!
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 12:40 PM   #21
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As an alternative you could just add an external network HDD (eg. WD Mybook Live) to your router. --> wireless backups !!!
Is that easy to set to that type of connection?
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 12:52 PM   #22
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Thanks

Thinking of this one: http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/wester...53523-pdt.html

I have a 20 coupon off for this retailer. So I can get the price reduced. Now this is a n00b question. However is it easy to reformat this to mac os x lion. Any simple instructions?

thanks in advance.
That is a good deal!

Here is a step by step how to format the disk with Disk Utility.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 01:15 PM   #23
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Is that easy to set to that type of connection?
Well, I have two WD MyBook World (the predecessor) hooked to my Time Capsule. They immediately showed up in Finder after connecting them for the first time. When selecting a location for Time Machine (The backup location) they are showing as well- so on OS X basically no setup needed :-)
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 02:38 PM   #24
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Well, I have two WD MyBook World (the predecessor) hooked to my Time Capsule. They immediately showed up in Finder after connecting them for the first time. When selecting a location for Time Machine (The backup location) they are showing as well- so on OS X basically no setup needed :-)
Cool set up. Think me just going to keep it wired now with my previous idea. Cheers for that though.
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Old Mar 2, 2013, 02:40 PM   #25
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Yes, except I have the 500GB model that was pre-formatted for the Mac. I figured that would be enough for the 256GB SSD which currently only has about 120GB on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abz1981 View Post
How your finding your passport bus?
Sorry, but I don't understand that question...

I have a 2011 MBA that doesn't have USB 3. Don't know if there are any issues with the 2012 models and USB 3.
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