Backup Solutions?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Daniel97, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. Daniel97 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I'm a little stuck ..

    I have a 2010 iMac, iPhone and soon to be ipad2 but have NO BACKUPS :(

    So .. Time capsule? Airport & USB? FireWire external?

    What's best?

    Thanks
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Just get a big USB 2.0 external HD. You have an iMac which is a desktop so having an external connected is not an issue like it is with laptops and wireless backups are much slower plus they cost more. FW800 also costs a lot more than USB and for backups, the speed isn't that important.

    FYI, I grabbed a 2TB USB 2.0 external on Friday for 100€.
     
  3. PsyOpWarlord macrumors 6502

    PsyOpWarlord

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    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #3
    For plain backups I wold have to agree with just using a good external USB drive since it would be the cheapest.

    How important is the data on your computer? If its very important and the files would be hard to impossible to replace, you might want to have 2 external drives. One for your Time Machine and one to make a copy about once a month and keep somewhere else like at work or in a safety deposit box.

    I went ahead and opted for an ioSafe Solo. It's an external hard drive that is fireproof and waterproof. That way if there is a fire or some other disaster I'm not as likely to lose all my important information. The only thing it won't help with if used alone is theft, like the dual drive option above.
    http://www.iosafe.com/
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    "I have a 2010 iMac, iPhone and soon to be ipad2 but have NO BACKUPS
    So .. Time capsule? Airport & USB? FireWire external?
    What's best?"

    Get one of these:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=usb+sata+dock&x=0&y=0
    (many items shown, pick the one you like. These normally run $20-30)

    ... and then, get one or more "bare" drives of your choice. Newegg.com is a good vendor.

    And download the free "CarbonCopyCloner" backup/cloning app.

    CCC will create a "bootable backup" of your drive, with all files in POFF (plain ol' finder format). They will be instantly accessible -- if you need one, just "copy it over" via the finder. You can also boot from the dock/drive combo in a emergency (TM backups are NOT bootable).

    I don't own an iPad, not sure how that is "backed up". Can it be connected to an external drive via USB? If so, connect it to the docked drive.

    Other World Computing also sells their dock, which they call "The Voyager Quad", with firewire 800, firewire 400, USB2, and eSATA -- but it's more expensive.

    I think you will find the concept of dock + drive VERY useful. The only real downside vis-a-vis an "external drive" (i.e., drive in an external casing) is that it isn't as readily "portable". But if you're not carrying it around, they're hard to beat.
     
  5. lowonthe456 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 27, 2007
    #5
    So what about drives crapping out? Drives are cheap and I find they last a year or two and then die....this is my biggest concern.
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #6
    Well, if you have a backup, then your data is in at least one working drive. If a drive dies, then you replace it with a new one. The key point is to have your data in at least two separate drives so if one of them dies, you can always recover from the other one. It's extremely unlikely that both drives would fail at the same time.
     
  7. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #7
    Skip the HD dock if you're planning to use it as your regular backup (i.e. leaving it plugged in). These things are noisy. Buy a decent external drive and use that for your backups.

    Wow, if you're only getting a year or two out of a drive you're having some really bad luck.
     
  8. itickings macrumors 6502a

    itickings

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    #8
    Well, doesn't that depend completely on the drive you pair it with? At least my docks are completely silent save for the drive.

    Agreed. Either that or something wrong with the handling or a unsuitable environment for the drives.

    Anyway, the point of backing up data is that all important data should always reside on multiple drives which most likely doesn't fail at the same time.
     
  9. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9
    I would pass on the fire resistant/waterproof drives.

    The very best method is to back up to the cloud. I think that Crashplan+ is the best available for the Mac. It is inexpensive, and gives you safe offsite backups.

    Then... use Time Machine as a local backup so that you have quick and immediate access to your data if a drive crashes.

    Now you have:
    • Two backup destinations
    • One offsite, one onsite
    • Full revision history
    • Fully automated... you set it up once, and it just runs

    BTW, some people have fears about backing up to the cloud. These are unfounded concerns. Your local backup is MUCH less secure than your cloud backup. Good cloud backups are completed encrypted on your local machine before they ever hit the wire.

    /Jim
     
  10. itickings macrumors 6502a

    itickings

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    Apr 14, 2007
    #10
    It is all about trust. If you use their supplied application to back up data to their servers you need to trust that the provider is perfectly competent and doesn't lie to you.

    Backing up my iTunes library or applications and trusting the provider is one thing, but for the photo library or sensitive documents I'll put them in an encrypted image myself and have that one backed up instead...
     
  11. flynz4 macrumors 68040

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    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #11
    What you are describing is a manual process... which means that for nearly 100% of the population... it almost never gets completed. Plus, every time you add pictures to your encrypted file... the entire file changes, and you are re-backing up 10's or 100's of GB of data on a regular (daily or weekly) basis. It is just not feasible.

    If you are arguing that the software company could have a back door into the application... I guess it is possible, but extremely unlikely that a corporation would put their corporate brand at risk, since there is no upside to doing so. If you are worried about a brut force attack, then for sure any fears are unfounded. With 448b encryption... my yet to be conceived grandchildren will be dead before it is hacked.

    I'll concede that does take a tiny (infinitesimal) bit of trust that the company is legitimate, but probably less than putting your money into any bank or other financial institution... especially since anyone who ever received a personal check from you has all the information they need to perform a bank transfer from your account.

    /Jim
     
  12. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #12
    Not in my experience. I sometimes get vibration between the drive and the slot of the dock, regardless whether the drive is a Seagate, WD, or Hitachi. It would probably help if I inserted some kind of shim, but to do it permanently would mean that the drive would only be able to read one size drive (3.5" or 2.5") or the other, since there are multiple door-flaps covering the drive slot that vibrate against the drive.
     
  13. lowonthe456 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 27, 2007
    #13
    What about like drop box for documents and iTunes libs? I only have 25 gb I just don't want to lose it all. Yes hellhammer, I haven't had good luck with externals.

    Btw: what are some good ones? I have had lacie and iomega and nither last more than 2 years
     
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #14
    "Skip the HD dock if you're planning to use it as your regular backup (i.e. leaving it plugged in). These things are noisy. Buy a decent external drive and use that for your backups."

    Absolutely, positively WRONG.

    I have a dock/drive combo, and it's nearly silent. You have to put your ear up against the drive to tell that it's actually spinning.

    How much noise you will hear depends upon the noise level of the drive that's sitting in the dock.

    Think about it for a moment. If you have an external enclosure with a fan and a drive inside, you will hear both the noise of the drive spinning AND the fan.
     
  15. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #15
    In an enclosure, the drive is fixed in place - it won't vibrate against its housing. You didn't finish reading:

     
  16. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    Finland
    #16
    Depends how fast your internet connection is. At 1Mb/s upload speed, it would still take about 56 hours to back up 25GB of data. It's an okay solution but I prefer having the data in a physical hard drive that I can access, not somewhere in the cloud.

    I would just make sure the drive has good warranty. If it fails, you will get a new one for free.

    You have to be quite stupid to buy an external HD that has a fan. There are plenty of drives that are fan less.
     
  17. itickings, Mar 7, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011

    itickings macrumors 6502a

    itickings

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    Apr 14, 2007
    #17
    In other words, my dock is better than yours ;)

    Thanks for letting me know that some models are seriously flawed, I'll be careful the next time I need to acquire one.

    A manual process that can easily be automated however. But you're quite right that it isn't for everyone. Regarding your point about the amount of data - updating an encrypted image seldom causes the entire image to be rewritten, so delta-uploads aren't rendered completely worthless.

    You are far too obsessed with living in a perfect world. Malice isn't the only possible way a back door could exist, honest mistakes are far more dangerous. A back door from early development can be left in by mistake, and "448b encryption" can be rendered virtually useless if the implementation is flawed.

    If you only need to trust a company an infinitesimal bit to entrust them with every piece of data you got, go ahead, thats your prerogative, just as I prefer to apply different levels of trust to different data.

    And as far as personal checks go I've never ever written one ;)


    That's for the initial backup. You don't need to constantly re-upload it. When the initial transfer is complete only changes need to upload. For modified files, usually only the modified bits need to be uploaded.

    Using online backup doesn't interfere with a local backup. Why not get the advantages of both?
     

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