Best back up option for rMBP

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by yaymath, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. yaymath, Apr 5, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013

    yaymath macrumors regular

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    Jan 8, 2011
    #1
    I will be going starting college next year and I will get the new version of rMBP when it comes out this summer (hopefully). I know it's a great machine but I still want to be sure that I will not lose my data for some strange reason and end up having to recreate all my papers/assignments from scratch. Therefore, I want to get a good external drive for regularly backing up my files. I have searched this forum but I haven't found any recent threads about this.

    I don't think I would like spending over $200 for my back up device, so Time Capsule is not an option. Plus, I won't be allowed to bring my own router to college, so it has to be wired. I was thinking of getting either Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 for a better speed. Also, would SSD be noticeably faster than a regular hard drive?

    I was also thinking of getting either 1 TB or 2 TB so that I could partition it and store some files in addition to Time Machine back ups. I assume that's possible. Still, I'd like it to be secure in case it gets in the wrong hands. Can I somehow secure both back up and other partitions (either password protection or filevault)? Does filevault have to be enabled on the computer as well? If so, does it make it significantly slower?

    Finally, I don't what the external hard drive to be ugly, like those orange rugged ones I've seen.

    So, what are my best options for backing up (and possibly also partitioning)? Is SSD out of the question? Would a regular hard drive be significantly slower for backups? Would USB 3.0 be just as good as thunderbolt? Please share your opinions and experience.
     
  2. xShane macrumors 6502a

    xShane

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    Nov 2, 2012
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    #2
    Not only will a SSD be significantly faster, it's also safer. If you accidentally hit/drop a SSD it's much less likely to ruin the drive and lose your data.

    To keep it secure, you can encrypt the drive.

    As far as looks go, rugged usually means slightly safer.

    I would definitely not consider SSD out of the question. I do know however that they are more expensive. I believe a 1TB SSD is around $2.7K USD. A 250GB-500GB SSD is more reasonable cost-wise.
     
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #3
    Just grab an inexpensive external drive like the WD My Passport series. Get whatever size you prefer. Thunderbolt and SSD will be faster for backups, but that is going to be VERY expensive for a minimal real benefit. Once the initial backup is complete, subsequent backups are pretty quick even on the slowest HDD.

    I would just use the included Time Machine backup software. Just plug in the new drive and it will ask if you want to format for Time Machine and off you go.

    If you like, you can certainly make a second partition on the drive for your other data. This will walk you through adding a second partition.

    For security, yes... you should turn on Filevault2 full disk encryption on your Macbook. There is a performance hit, but it is very minimal.

    You can also encrypt the Time Machine backup. When you set it up you will see a check box to enable encryption.
     
  4. yaymath thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 8, 2011
    #4
    So, do you think it's worth enabling Filevault on the computer? I will just a college student. While I see the need for it for an external storage device, I think it has little use as my laptop will be password protected. Do you think that is enough for a college student or should I enable Filevault?
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #5
    Yes, I would enable Filevault2. The login password alone is not very secure as it can easily be reset.
     
  6. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #6
    Time machine is good and it will work in the background (as long as you remember to plug it in!). I would also consider Carbon Copy Clone so you have a bootable drive.Then if the worst happens you can be up and running in no time.

    In terms of security I think your biggest risk is theft. Thats why I would consider getting two drives and keep them in separate places. You can have all the back ups in the world, but if you keep them in a bag with your laptop you have lost the machine and the data.

    Why not get a couple of cheap internal drives (you might even have some lying around) and a USB 3 docking station for them? This will be the cheapest option.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/IB-111StU3-...65180853&sr=1-5&keywords=docking+station+usb3
     
  7. frimp macrumors newbie

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    Jan 28, 2013
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    Hamburg, Germany
    #7
    In addition to the above mentioned scenarios I would consider an additional USB stick with at least 8 or 16 GB. There you store all your important personal files and all your papers/assigments.
    You can carry this stick always with you, which gives you the opportunity to work on other systems in case of disaster.
    If you need encryption, use TrueCrypt. Portable Windows and Mac versions can be stored on the FAT32 formatted stick as well.
     
  8. yaymath thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 8, 2011
    #8
    I think Dropbox would be a better option for this. I wouldn't have to worry about constantly copying my files to the flash drive or losing it. In addition, this way I could even access my files from my phone.
     
  9. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #9
    Dropbox is another good option as long as you don't exceed your free allowance. Otherwise it gets expensive. I keep a USB stick on my keychain so it's always with me.
     
  10. bill-p macrumors 65816

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    #10
  11. ColdCase, Apr 5, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #11
    There are plenty of well made portable USB 3 drives, 1TB for less than $100. The Hitachi Turo is a good one ($80 here: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/846319-REG/Hitachi_0S03454_1_TB_Touro_Mobile.html ). You want the backup drive to be at least as large as your internal drive, preferably 2x.

    Plug the drive in. If it says it needs initialization format it as MacOS extended (which should be the default). Rename it if you like

    Open system preferences and time machine. Select your new drive as the backup and initiate. On a new machine, it may take an hour to finish. Eject the drive and set it aside in your room somewhere safe, don't carry it with you.

    Use file vault to encrypt your laptop drive as the computer password can be reset and someone clever can have access to your data. With disk encryption, the perp will have to crack your password, not as easy if you set a strong one.

    When you'd like to backup, plug in the drive and tell time machine to do a backup.

    This has been sufficient for my four daughters as they have gone through school. When they stop by the house for a visit they backup to my NAS.

    There are several other ways. CCC is nice for creating a bootable and recovery partition. Should your internal drive fail, replace it and plug the portable drive into the USB port, boot from it, and clone it to the new drive, reboot and done. For Time machine you would reinstall mac OS onto the new drive and then tell it to recover from your backup drive. Time machine is better for versioning (keeping a copy of changes).

    Personally I do both, a TM backup to one drive and a CCC clone to another.... but I'm a belt and suspenders type of guy.
     
  12. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

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    Dec 21, 2011
    #12
    OP: You're making this too much of a chore. Just get any cheap-assed USB drive you can afford. If using Time Machine (which I'd recommend) get a drive that's double the capacity of your internal drive.

    Plug it in at least once a day. That's it.
     
  13. Kushp14 macrumors regular

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    Jun 13, 2010
    #13
    yeah pretty simple , any drive will work.. just pick the size.
     
  14. redkamel macrumors 6502

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    Aug 29, 2006
    #14
    1. Get a USB or thunderbolt HD that is larger than your current drive to ensure it doesn't run out of room
    2. If you plan on storing large nonessential files, like movies, partition the drive in 2 using DiskUtility
    3. Use backup software and backup at least once a month. I prefer SuperDuper as you can boot from it and you can access your files by plugging into another mac. It is good for full crashes. TimeMachine needs large drives, is not bootable IIRC, and needs to wipe a computer and install before you can access files. However, it lets you "go back in time" so it is good for always plugged in/"I just deleted a file on accident" type stuff.

    Updating only the new stuff will make updates quick. You don't need an SSD or a rugged drive unless you are moving the drive a lot; I store mine in a drawer.
     
  15. mykem macrumors regular

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    May 20, 2008

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