FileVault Questions

Discussion in 'macOS' started by danqi, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. danqi macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2010
    I am setting up a clean install of Mavericks on a mid 2010 Mac Pro (I have already manually moved my data over from the old system) and I am wondering about a few questions regarding FileVault:

    1) Is it worth it to activate it on a Mac Pro? Obviously, the chances of it getting stolen are smaller than with a laptop. On the other hand, if there are no downsides to it, why not? It might make me sleep a little easier knowing that my information is secure, should someone ever brake into my house. Are there any downsides?
    2) I also plan on setting up a TimeMachine backup to separate internal drive. Can I activate TM now, even though I might activate FileVault later on? Or should I start up TM only after I have activated FileVault in order to avoid confusing TM?
    3) I also plan on setting up a scheduled SuperDuper clone backup to an external firewire hard drive. As with the TM backup, can I start it now, or should I wait until after I have activated FileVault?
    4) What is the best way to encrypt the TM and SuperDuper backups? I have heard there are several options.

  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    1. IMO anybody that has anything at all they don't want a thief having/seeing should use Filevault2 (FV2). It is very easy to turn on and quite transparent. There is a slight slowdown, but I don't find it noticeable at all.

    2. It does not matter either way as far as Time Machine goes. Time Machine will not care or operate differently with FV2 on.

    3. Same... does not matter. SD will work the same either way*.

    4. TM has encryption built in and it can be enabled by simply checking a box under Options (below). I am not familiar with the encryption options available in SD as I do not use it.


    * The way FV2 works is it converts the entire volume to an encrypted "vault" of sorts. So when you login and enter your password the "vault" is unlocked and open, so anything you do after that as far as backups and utilities or copying files to external drives is not impacted at all. All those utilities etc still see the files as they always did.
  3. -Tobi- macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2012
    Hanover, Germany
    Read/Write performance will go down a little bit, but I personally didn't recognize any difference on my Macbook Air (=flash drive).
    Second "downside" is, that the guest account feature gets deactivated. So if you need this feature, don't active FileVault :cool:
  4. unplugme71 macrumors 68030

    May 20, 2011
    I never noticed a performance drop with FV2 on.

    It just takes a LONG time to encrypt. Even on a fresh clean system with no apps/data on it.

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