Best way to back up your mac?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by boateng, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. boateng macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2012
    I have just purchased a Lacie harddrive to back up my mac....

    Which is the best way to do it?
  2. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008

    Seriously though, there is no "best" way. Just ways which suit different people. I have a time machine backup on my time capsule for both my Macs and it works fine for me. Doesn't mean my setup is the best for you.

    Important files which you cannot afford to lose should be in 3 places: the original in your computer, on a backup, and in the cloud should the house burn down and you lose both the other ones.
  3. ivanwi11iams Contributor


    Nov 30, 2014
    Kennesaw, GA
    ...time machine for me. Albeit, I'm yet to test a restore. But, I've heard it is seamless.
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
  5. garyleecn macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2014
    so for most people time capsule is ok.
    if you want added protection, because time capsule is single drive, and for any hard drive, it's not IF it is going to fail, it's when its going to can add another portable HDD to the USB port on the back of TC, and back up to both, then you are protected against drive failure.
    if you still don't feel safe, you can use another Mac (with OS X server) or a NAS as time machine back up destination, then back up your TM file to cloud using services like crash plan (they usually have ~$50/year unlimited backups, with Black Friday sale 50% off).
    then as long as you are paying and kept the backup files on the cloud, then even if there is some disaster that your house is completely burn down, your data is still safe. an alternative to this is back up your TM file, put it in a portable HDD, send it to a family or friend to keep it.
  6. Howard2k macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2016
    I use Time Machine to several drives.

    i) NAS (Network Attached Storage) - I keep a smaller backup footprint.
    ii) External drive in my backpack - so if I'm away from home and the place burns down with my MacBook and NAS up in smoke, I still have a copy.
    iii) External HDD on my desk. It's an older USB2 drive but it does nothing - so it's another backup solution. I leave it unplugged and plug it in once every few weeks to backup, then unplug it.
  7. jmebbk macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2013
    So with time just leave the harddrive in the Mac and it does it automatically?
  8. skids929 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 24, 2011

    Best way with TM is to have a Time Capsule with an HDD hitched to it. That takes care of two locations. The Cloud would be the next place (not that I do it that way) then you have your offsite covered. Thats the ideal situation and best. But for me I just to use Time Machine on Time Capsule with an attached 3TB HDD. That drive gets a lot of use for my Mac, and offloading data from Mobile Devices via File Browser app.

    Hope that helps.
  9. boateng thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2012
    I dont get this?

    So the Lacie external drive i bought is no good for this? What do you mean by attached HDD?

    Sorry I am new to mac!
  10. ajcgn macrumors regular


    Oct 19, 2014
    Toronto, Ontario
    I have the airport time capsule and use time machine to backup. It backs up automatically over wifi.
    My hard disk failed a couple of years ago and the backup not only saved my files, but all of my settings as well.
    I have Onedrive for offsite backup, but I only backup important files automatically and backup the rest my stuff occasionally.
  11. jerryk macrumors 601

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    I backup to my NAS using Time Machine. I also store critical files on a NAS share and on OneDrive.
  12. skids929 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 24, 2011

    No worries we've all been there. So if you have a time capsule, it acts as a router and a storage back up unit. It also has inputs to attach things to it via USB. So in addition to the Time Capsule it self you can hook that Lacie (likely an Hard Disk Drive or HDD) to it and your Mac will find both and you can store to both if you like.

    Then my last point was if you store to the cloud you have a proper back up situation. Make sense?
  13. boateng thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2012
    Can i just use the Lacie external drive instead of purchasing the capsule at the moment

    Ive spent a ton on tech that i dont want to spend anymore at the moment? Can i use just the lacie had drive with time machine?
  14. skids929 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 24, 2011

    I hear you on the money thing. I just did a full tech refresh in my house-it hurts..Yes, you can use Time Machine to back up to the Lacie and it will prompt you when you need to reattach to the Laptop to update. Or you can network the drive with your existing router, same idea as the Time Capsule except no back up capability in the router and not as easy and slick as having an apple router.
  15. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    I have an AirPort Extreme with 3 WD My Passport Drives (4TB each) connected via a USB hub. I use two of the drives for Time Machine. I like to have a backup of the backup Time Machine. I use another WD My Passport For Mac Drive (3 TB) with Carbon Copy Cloner, so that I can have a bootable backup. Finally. I backup a lot of important files to the Apple Cloud.
  16. Baldrake macrumors 6502

    May 22, 2012
    Great White North
    Like others have said, use at least two backup methods. Personally, I use Time Machine, and also my home directory is all in Dropbox. I've used Crashplan in the past, and found it to work well.
  17. Ace2617 macrumors regular


    Mar 16, 2016
    I use time machine. For the most part, it's great. I have had problems since moving from El Cap to Sierra, (longer than usual backups, mostly) but it completes the backups eventually, which is my goal. I've never had to do a full restore, but it's great when I've had to retrieve files. As others have said, backing up in more than one place is ideal, if possible.
  18. PieTunes macrumors 6502


    May 6, 2016
    San Diego, CA
    I'm a fan of the simplicity and unobtrusiveness of Time Machine. Turn it on, select a drive, and that's it, pretty much set it and forget it. Restoring individual files and folders is seamless and pretty easy to understand.
  19. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    The best way is: regularly and redundantly. From the ease of use perspective, nothing beats Time Machine. I have a number of TM backup destinations, both over network and via external drives. I also regularly rsync my important data to a remote server.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 16, 2016 ---
    Well, the question is how much your data is worth it for you. I am sure that in case of data loss, the damage will be much higher than the cost of well-setup backup. That said, I wouldn't get Time Capsule at this point, as Apple is reportedly quitting the router business. They have opened the Time Machine spec to third-party though and it is only a matter of time (probably a couple of months at most), until we have a number of high-quality network disks that natively support TM (rather then using experimental reverse-engineered support as third-party do now).
  20. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Time Machine is the most straight forward, fire and forget method. I use a combination of TM and Carbon Copy Cloner. I use CCC because it gives me an exact image and is faster at restoring, plus I have a bootable external drive after the cloning finishes up.
  21. jmebbk macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2013
    Can someone explain something to me with regards to Time Macbine

    If you want to retrieve a file that you have time machine backs ups all the are you supposed to remember what date you had that file you have lost when you try and retrieve it from time machine?
  22. marc55 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2011
  23. jmebbk macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2013
    Can you answer my above question since you use time machine regularly
  24. uptownnyc macrumors 6502

    Mar 28, 2011
    On-site, Time Machine. Off-site, CrashPlan.
  25. MacBH928 macrumors 68030


    May 17, 2008
    3 words: Carbon Copy Cloner

    unlike Time Machine, when you backup to an external HDD using this great app, you can boot your HDD from another machine if your computer dies or breaks or gets lost. Its an exact replica.

    Just last month, I tried to transfer my TM backup to a new HDD and it failed. Erased the drive, backedup using Carbon Copy Cloner, transfer complete and easy. 0 issues.

    also backup regularly, like each week or whenever you make big changes to your hard-drive. Do multiple Backups too just in case.

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