Most reliable and durable way to backup, TimeMachine? CCC?, other ideas?

Luba

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Original poster
Apr 22, 2009
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I have used Time Machine before and I liked it, except for the instance when an update somehow took away and turned off encryption in Time Capsule. So maybe Time Machine software is not rock solid.

I’ve never had to restore using CCC, so I don’t know how easy or reliable it is though. I wonder if i could clone my system using CCC to the hard disk inside Time Capsule.

I'm looking for a reliable backup system so if my MacBook got stolen etc., I could simply buy another MacBook and restore it in few hours and be using it like nothing ever happened. Everything just the way it was before.
 
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Sciuriware

macrumors 6502
Jan 4, 2014
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Gelderland
Hi, I recently restored 10.14 from CCC in order to get back from 10.15
Well, it's fast and easy, but it relies on the frequency you make backups
because you're going back in time ... to what moment?
I stopped using Timemachine because it took too much time.
And it's very easy to mount a clone for a few files.
;JOOP!
 

HDFan

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Jun 30, 2007
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TM and CCC in effect have different objectives. TM excels in quickly finding a file or a folder in a backup archive that can span multiple disks over long time periods, even years. CCC is great at quickly creating and updating a bootable clone copy of a boot drive, or selected files/folders from a single drive.

Each program is limited by its focus. TM can be very slow in doing restores of an entire disk due to its complicated structure, CCC isn't any easy program to use to find different versions of different files over time. TM is more likely to fail than CCC, again due its' complicated structure.

Best option is to use both, as part of a 3-3-3 or 3-2-3 backup strategy. I would never rely on just a TM backup.
 

Sciuriware

macrumors 6502
Jan 4, 2014
365
38
Gelderland
There is another solution that more or less combines the advantages of the 2 products:
I make, on a regular basis, snapshots of my critical documents to an archive,
then I reduce the previous snapshot by all files present and equal in the latest snapshot.
This way my system AND a CCC clone will contain multiple versions of any document
depending on the frequency of the snapshots, while the space used is relatively few.
A find by name over the archive will reveal all those files in all versions.
My reduce operation is a JAVA program I wrote, you can easily do it, even as a shell script.
If I would make snapshots every hour I would simulate Time Machine.
* this approach will finally fail if you have very huge files that change every now and then,
but in case of Time Machine it would delete older versions just the same.
;JOOP!
 

Luba

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Apr 22, 2009
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TM and CCC in effect have different objectives. TM excels in quickly finding a file or a folder in a backup archive that can span multiple disks over long time periods, even years. CCC is great at quickly creating and updating a bootable clone copy of a boot drive, or selected files/folders from a single drive.

Each program is limited by its focus. TM can be very slow in doing restores of an entire disk due to its complicated structure, CCC isn't any easy program to use to find different versions of different files over time. TM is more likely to fail than CCC, again due its' complicated structure.

Best option is to use both, as part of a 3-3-3 or 3-2-3 backup strategy. I would never rely on just a TM backup.
Hmm, what is a 3-3-3 or 3-2-3 backup strategy?
 

MarkAtl

macrumors regular
Jul 9, 2019
170
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I'm a big fan of CCC. I also put important documents in iCloud so I get an extra backup there as well.
 
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Riwam

macrumors 65816
Jan 7, 2014
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Basel, Switzerland
TimeMachine and bootable (frequent) clones in external drives complement each other to have enough safety. Of course there might be exceptional events like fire, flood or burglary but normal computer users using TM and making frequent bootable clones are on the safe side not taking into account such catastrophic events which luckily are not frequent.
Pros and companies with very valuable data must of course take additional measures since there is much more at stake for them.
One hears so often of data leaks that I prefer to use clouds for non sensitive large data like movies or music but I am aware that many people are less afraid than I am.
 
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MisterSavage

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Nov 10, 2018
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I back up locally with Time Machine and I do online backups of everything with BackBlaze. Anything you care about is worth having more than one backup.
 

richmlow

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Jul 17, 2002
161
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Luba,


I highly recommend Backblaze.



richmlow



I have used Time Machine before and I liked, except for the instance when an update somehow took away and turned off encryption in Time Capsule. So maybe Time Machine software is not rock solid.

I’ve never had to restore using CCC, so I don’t know how easy or reliable it is though. I wonder if i could clone my system using CCC to the hard disk inside Time Capsule.

I looking for a reliable backup system so if my MacBook got stolen, I could simply buy another MacBook and restore it in few hours and be using it like nothing ever happened. Everything just the way before.
 

tommiy

macrumors regular
Dec 11, 2015
186
51
I use an elgato dock. I have CCC on a weekly schedule of backing up ever Friday as I work from home that day. Backup drive plugged nto the dock. Almost never misses a beat.
 

HDFan

macrumors 68020
Jun 30, 2007
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what is a 3-3-3 or 3-2-3 backup strategy?
3-3-3 is 3 backups in 3 different formats in 3 different locations. 1 location should be off-site, such as a bank vault.

Formats could include hard disk, cloud, tape, SSD, etc.
 

Riwam

macrumors 65816
Jan 7, 2014
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3-3-3 is 3 backups in 3 different formats in 3 different locations. 1 location should be off-site, such as a bank vault.

Formats could include hard disk, cloud, tape, SSD, etc.
This is needed with companies and graphic studios wich cannot afford any loss of their valuable data risking even bankrupcy. It is in my opinion an overkill for usual computer users but whover can afford it will be as safe as humanly possible.
It however involves great efforts and considerable expenses.
 

HDFan

macrumors 68020
Jun 30, 2007
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It however involves great efforts and considerable expenses.
Certainly no need to backup if you don't care if your data is lost. But if you do care, then adequate precautions need to be made.

"considerable expense" is, of course, relative. A 2 TB Seagate drive at Cosco U.S. is $70, 5 TB is $119. Flatrate backup services with unlimited storage such as Crashplan and Backblaze run ~$60 a year. If you don't have a safe deposit box that's maybe $40 a year, so your total cost for year 1 would be $240, and $100 a year after that. Cost is even less if you already have a safe deposit box.
 

MisterSavage

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Nov 10, 2018
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This is needed with companies and graphic studios wich cannot afford any loss of their valuable data risking even bankrupcy. It is in my opinion an overkill for usual computer users but whover can afford it will be as safe as humanly possible.
It however involves great efforts and considerable expenses.
Agreed, but usual computer users should do a 3-2-1 at a minimum. If you only back up locally then you're vulnerable to complete data loss with fire, theft, natural disaster, etc.
 

Riwam

macrumors 65816
Jan 7, 2014
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Basel, Switzerland
Agreed, but usual computer users should do a 3-2-1 at a minimum. If you only back up locally then you're vulnerable to complete data loss with fire, theft, natural disaster, etc.
Fire, theft and natural disasters like earthquakes luckily are not the usual events most computer users risk if they do not backup frequently.
When such catasthropic events do happen the damage is not only limited to computer data loss.
A whole household or office premises destroyed and people injured can be part of such a doomsday scenery.
Most people doing backups of privately used computers are well served with local backups in external drives.
People making a living on their data and risking bankrupcy for losing some of it are a chapter by itself.
For them additional safety measures and the included expenses are a part of their business budget.
Additional safety never harms but costs additional money and what seems a little amount in a rich country can be a lot in a poor one.
 

MisterSavage

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Nov 10, 2018
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Fire, theft and natural disasters like earthquakes luckily are not the usual events most computer users risk if they do not backup frequently.
When such catasthropic events do happen the damage is not only limited to computer data loss.
A whole household or office premises destroyed and people injured can be part of such a doomsday scenery.
I don't think it's really a "doomsday" scenario. The last time I evacuated for a hurricane I realized I forgot to bring my external drive with me. If I would have had a total loss I could have still gotten everything back because of my online backup. Backblaze makes backing up online so easy and cheap that the average user really doesn't have an excuse not to. I've only used my local backup drive for large data restoration but I like knowing I have another option in a bad situation.
 

Riwam

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Jan 7, 2014
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I don't think it's really a "doomsday" scenario. The last time I evacuated for a hurricane I realized I forgot to bring my external drive with me. If I would have had a total loss I could have still gotten everything back because of my online backup. Backblaze makes backing up online so easy and cheap that the average user really doesn't have an excuse not to. I've only used my local backup drive for large data restoration but I like knowing I have another option in a bad situation.
Luckily not everyone lives in a place subject to hurricanes, Tsunamis, earthquakes and giant spreading fires.
You did what was needed in your particular geographic position.
Where I live there have not been such destruction and havoc situations in hundreds of years and I will no doubt be long buried before something of that kind happens over here.
My personal worries relate to magnetic hard drives suddently stopping to work and additional external drives is what I presently need as soon as I can afford them since I have collected many movies and saved many tutorials which need big external drives. I am particularly fond of stereoscopic 3D movies which are being less and less isued so those I have should not be lost because of hard drive failure.
I do not have to justify myself in this forum for not using cloud backups if I see for myself no need for them and do not trust them after countless supposed safe places turned one day not to be as safe as advertised,
Be happy with your Backblaze and let everyone decide what to do.
 
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MisterSavage

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Nov 10, 2018
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Be happy with your Backblaze and let everyone decide what to do without giving lessons not asked for.
I will and I will also keep telling people that there are cheap, effective ways to backup their data online. Some people are unaware and are actually appreciative of people that are trying to be helpful.
 
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Riwam

macrumors 65816
Jan 7, 2014
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Basel, Switzerland
I will and I will also keep telling people that there are cheap, effective ways to backup their data online. Some people are unaware and are actually appreciative of people that are trying to be helpful.
There is a difference between being helpful (a very good thing!) and taking the rigth to teach lessons like writing "the average user has no excuse not to do..."...whatever someone else does.
The "average user" in this forum is supposed to be mature enough to decide his/her policies without someone else saying "he has no excuse" for not doing what that someone else does. Nobody in this forum needs any "excuse" or justification for doing or not doing anything. They call that Freedom and it is priceless!
I believe this thread has, in my opinion, fullfilled its purpose and doubt that anything more needs to be added.
 
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