Best app that can do fast backups

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Sossity, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. Sossity macrumors 65816

    May 12, 2010
    I have been using disk utility to backups between large external hard drives, but as my amount of data grows the backups take longer and longer.

    I read that disk utility does file by file backup which takes longer, and some apps do block by block, which does not take as long.

    I am also looking for something that can identify between new and previously backed up files and folders, and save time by just backing up what is new.

    another thing is I often change folderstru tures on my drives, so I may have the same files but rearranged in new folders, so I need the app to be able to see new files regardless of changes in folder structures.
  2. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    Clear Copy Cloner is fast and will do what you want, in my opinion. It is a heck of a lot faster than Time Machine. And, unlike Time Machine, it saves your backup structure just as you see it on your screen.

    I use CCC for cloning to an external USB as well as to a NAS, and haven't had any problems.

    CCC is much more practical and stable for backing up, than disk utility.

    A lot of people like Super Duper but, I haven't used it.
  3. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I also recommend and use CCC for cloning... and others seem to like Super Duper (which likewise, I have not used). CCC seems to be the most popular.

    I do think that cloning is not really the same as backup (close but not the same). I personally like a combination of backup and cloning. They serve different purposes, and both are quite valuable.

    CCC can be configured to provide incremental clones... hence... only things that have changed get updated on the destination. Most backup software does the same thing.

  4. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    In regards to backup, CCC also makes a fast sparsebundle, which some here may or may not know about. I like both methods with CCC. And from a NAS experience, it has been much faster than Time Machine (one's experience may vary).

    Another feature I like with CCC, is the ability to send yourself an email after the fact, letting you know the process has completed etc. It comes in handy, when one may forget to plug in the USB drive. That has happened to me several times.

    Time Machine is lacking in the abilities of CCC, in my opinion.
  5. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    No disagreement... but I still think there is a difference between cloning and backup.

    For cloning I use CCC. It is fast, efficient, has good support from the developer.

    However, cloning... for my purposes, is insufficient. The big reason is its very limited support for deep versioning. It is absolutely fine for simple version recovery, ex: a single file or an inadvertently deleted directory. It fails if you need to turn back the clock and recover something more complex like a database that evolves over time. Examples might be iTunes, Aperture, Lightroom, iPhoto, DevonThink, etc. For those types of applications... you want to turn back the clock to a known good state... and too much is going on to rely upon a simple clone, even with changed data saving turned on.

    To turn back the clock to a known configuration... then a true backup is really necessary. Backup is so inexpensive, I think it is foolish not to do it.

    I personally employ dual backup:
    1. Time Machine to a Time Capsule for local backup
    2. Crashplan for offsite disaster recovery
    Both are fully automatic, and require zero human intervention. Both give alerts if backups fail.

    I also employ dual cloning:
    1. CCC to a local HDD
    2. CCC of my media to a pair of portable HDDs... at least one of which is offsite locked in my desk drawer at work.
    The first is automatic, and gives me a local usable copy of my data at any time. The second is my "the world just came to an end" clone of my most important data (personal pictures and camcorder videos).

    This is just my view of the world and protecting data that is totally irreplaceable.

  6. BasicGreatGuy, Dec 23, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014

    BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    Excellent points, Jim.

    I have considered services like Crashplan. One of my concerns is being on a monthly data cap from Comcast (300 GB). I am pushing that limit now with the amount of backup I currently have.
  7. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    I had the same concern with the same limit on my Cox account. I wanted to backup my media collection (1.5 TB). Setup Crashplan to do it only a few hours a day. Took 5 months but I now have an offsite. While checking the progress I noticed that I was getting more data backed up than my Cox usage showed. Some type of compression was taking place. It was about a 40% savings.

    Now that all systems are fully backed up to the cloud the incremental data is minor.
  8. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    My backup set on my personal iMac is about 1.6TB right now. On my most recent computer... I used Crashplan's seed service. They sent me a 1 TB HDD for about $125 and I made the initial (encrypted) backup to that device.

    I prioritized my backups by first enabling backup for only my most important data.
    1. Documents
    2. Pictures
    3. Camcorder videos
    After that was backed up to the drive, I turned on Music and let the backup run. Then I backed up again turning on movies. That filled up the HDD to its capacity (and the movies had not completed... nor did I care). With compression, my backup set was 1.2 TB on the 1TB HDD.

    At that point, I put the disk into the Fed-Ex mailer they provide... and two days later... everything important was backed up to the cloud.

    Per their instructions... I changed the destination to their server... and my backup synced up with their server... and any new (or changed) data synced up to their servers very quickly.

    At that point, I turned on my entire user folders... and the remaining backup completed in a few days (or maybe a week). In any case... it didn't matter since everything important was backed up. Also... the prioritize new data getting backed up first... so as I worked, my newest data was always backed up ahead of the less important data.

    After that... backup is near instantaneous. I have Crashplan set to backup ever 15 minutes. It is never noticeable.

  9. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    As others have noted, TM and cloning are two completely different tools; although both can be used for different types of backup it's like comparing Word and Excel because both produce written documents.

    If your folder structure is changing, cloning maybe isn't for you. Cloning produces a clone; it can be incremental, and it will produce an exact duplicate of say /Documents. But then you can't have a different folder structure in bootdrive/Documents and backupdrive/Documents. It will "see" the changes and make both identical. Is that what you want? And remember that the changing around of folders will be seen as a change, and hence use up time in your backup; the files may not have changed but the software still needs to rearrange them.

    OTOH the versioning backup programs, like TM, will let you have any folder structure you like; it makes note of the changes and only has snapshots of your structure over time. It would probably work for you, and be easier and faster than Disk Utility since it's easier to use.
  10. Sossity thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 12, 2010
    I would like something that can see and make the changes I make in drive a like folder structure change and new files, and reflect that in the copy drive b.

    the drive a I am working through, changing folder srtucture, and moving the old files around as well as adding new files, so the app would need to see this and make those changes to the copy drive b.
  11. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Both cloning and backup will do what you want. They understand the current structure of your data... and the backup or clone will reflect that.
    • Clones have an advantage of being immediately usable... even bootable if needed.
    • Backups have the advantage of having deep and easily recoverable versioning.

    Some people choose one over the other. I prefer both. With the ridiculous low cost of storage... I personally think it is silly not to have both.

  12. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    It sounds to me like Time Machine is what you need. The first backup will go slowly, but once that's done, it only backs up that which has changed - incremental backups. That's pretty fast. It's built into OS X, so it's easy to use, and cost is not a concern.

    It seems you aren't considering the recommendations for Time Machine (and using Disk Utility to do this the "hard way"). Can you explain why? With that knowledge, we may be able to make better recommendations.

    I'm having a hard time understanding exactly what you want, based on what you've said so far. Here are several versions of what you may want:

    A) An exact duplicate of your hard drive, immediately updated, with no history of past changes - something you can immediately switch to if your hard drive fails. Consider a mirrored hard drive (also known as Raid 1).

    B) A backup system that allows you to "turn back the clock," whether it's to get an earlier version of an individual file/accidentally deleted file, or to get the entire computer back to the way it was before you made a big change (or something major went wrong).

    C) A clone or disk image that duplicates the entire hard drive so that it can be installed onto another drive.

    Also, it's not clear if you're trying to backup one external drive to another external drive, or are backing up your internal hard drive to an external.
  13. Sossity thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 12, 2010
    I am backing up content from one external hard drive to another, and I thought time machine was nade for backing up just the internal hard drive of a mac, I have used time machine for backing up my macs internal hard drive, but right now, I want to backup one external hard drive to another.

    I would like tha app to be able see changes I made to one hard drive and reflect those changes on the backup hard drive.

    maybe a combination of cloning and incremental backup might be best for me, if I have made alot of folder changes on one hard drive, I may just go with a clone, as I want the backup hard drive to be or mirror the main hard drive. I would use incremental back up if I have just added new files and no folder structure changes.
  14. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    [[ I am backing up content from one external hard drive to another ]]

    Then you want either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to do the job.

    Am I correct to assume that by "backing up content", you want the contents of the second drive to "mirror" the contents of the first?

    Again -- you want a cloning app to do this.

    ALSO -
    CCC can do -more- than "just clone".
    It can also -preserve- older (existing) files on the backup drive. That is, it will add the new files (from the original), but won't erase the old files (you have to set it up to do this).
    It can create an "archive" of changed files (similar to TM machine, but without all the extra space being eaten up).

    I recommend that you download and try a CCC clone.
    CCC is FREE to download, and it is FREE to use for the first 30 days.
    (I have no financial connections to, just a satisfied user.)
  15. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    If you are suggesting that CCC somehow keeps versions in less space than Time Machine, I would like to know why you think that.

  16. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Nope... TM will also backup external drives if you tell it to. By default external drives are excluded from TM backups, but if you open the TM preference pane in System Preferences and click on the Options button you can drag the external drive off of the exclude list there and it will be backed up as part of the regular TM backups.
  17. Sossity thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 12, 2010

    yes, that is correct, I want the backup to mirror the 1st, I also looked at chrono sync, but it looks a little complicated

    which would be better? superdupe or ccc?
  18. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Both do about the same thing. CCC is more popular, either will work.

    I'll make your decision easy for you. I just flipped a coin in my head... it came up tails. Use CCC. Problem solved.

  19. 370zulu macrumors regular


    Nov 4, 2014
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I use a combination of Time Machine to the latest Time Capsule and CCC with Safetynet turned on to my Synology NAS. I then replicate my Synology to an offsite Synology I own.

    It may be overkill, but I need my data safe and I need to have a reasonable amount of control over who has my data.

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