Which External HD Backup?

Keetybwoy

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 17, 2017
10
0
UK, Hertfordshire
Hi everyone,

First post here.

Amongst other apple products I have an iMac which has all my pics, movies, photos etc. It's not turned on / used that much, roughly 5 times a year for backing up our iPads and phones.

I am concerned about losing all of this if something catastrophic happened. For instance the pics and movies of my children are priceless to lose. Because of this I am thinking of getting an external hard drive to back all of this up.

This seems to be a bit of a mine field with compatibility and reliability. I would appreciate some support with suggestions please.

Thanks.
 

Keetybwoy

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 17, 2017
10
0
UK, Hertfordshire
Hi,

It's a quandary as different suppliers contradict each other with their reliability list / reviews.

Which one would you recommend? Or which one would you spend your money on?

Thanks for helping.
 

DotCom2

macrumors 601
Feb 22, 2009
4,109
2,362
I went with G-Technology since I saw them selling at the Apple Store and I figured if apple is selling them then they must be good? dunno, but that's what I went with and I haven't had any problems in the 2 1/2 years I've had it.
I backup everything to it using Time Machine and I also backup to iCloud.
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,474
24,252
Hi,

It's a quandary as different suppliers contradict each other with their reliability list / reviews.

Which one would you recommend? Or which one would you spend your money on?

Thanks for helping.
Personally I'd get the Seagate one I linked as it has a 2 year warranty.

But HDDs will always fail, even from wear and tear alone. It's good to have a local backup like this (personally I'd set up Time Machine to backup onto it), though it may be worth considering a second backup. Maybe iCloud set to just backup your photos. It's 80p a month for 50GB if you need a larger iCloud plan.
 

RootBeerMan

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2016
1,272
5,008
I've had great luck, over many years with Western Digital. They come in a wide variety of sizes for storage and they're always quite affordable. Very reliable, too. Never have had a single issue with compatibility.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,226
5,560
OP:
How much storage space is currently "used up" on the iMac?

Why I asked:
If it's not too much, you could buy an SSD to serve as the backup.
No moving parts to fail.
Cost will be more (per gigabyte) than a platter-based hard drive, but again -- no moving parts to fail.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,196
8,835
California
Which one would you recommend? Or which one would you spend your money on?
There really is not much of a difference among the major brands. Just decide what size you need, then grab whatever USB3 drive you can find on sale. Format the entire drive to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) in Disk Utility and away you go.
 
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Keetybwoy

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 17, 2017
10
0
UK, Hertfordshire
Hmmmm..... Great feedback from everyone which I'm appreciative of.

I used iCloud once until it lost all of my contacts list. I contacted apple support only to be told "off the record" it's a common experience and not to use it.

Time Machine.....what's that? Same as iCloud??

I've used about 200G on my iMac.

Thanks guys.
 

Taz Mangus

macrumors 68040
Mar 10, 2011
3,285
375
Hmmmm..... Great feedback from everyone which I'm appreciative of.

I used iCloud once until it lost all of my contacts list. I contacted apple support only to be told "off the record" it's a common experience and not to use it.

Time Machine.....what's that? Same as iCloud??

I've used about 200G on my iMac.

Thanks guys.
Take a look at this: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201250
 
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kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
1,027
322
+1 for "anything". Rather than worry about backup drive brand or longevity, I myself prefer to buy a cheap drive, use it for a few months, then I toss it into a drawer and start using a new one. I generally don't use any backup drive longer than a year.

Backing up to SSD is not a bad idea either if you can make the pricing work.
 

stallie

macrumors newbie
Apr 2, 2010
19
0
If you're only using it as a backup, you would be just fine with a cheaper USB 2.5 inch portable hard drive. It doesn't need to be the later spec. Sure it'll take longer to copy, but you only do that once. Just have another coffee.

And remember to keep the hard drive off site - at a relative's house. No point losing both the computer and the backup in the one theft / fire / flood / tornado.
 

Taz Mangus

macrumors 68040
Mar 10, 2011
3,285
375
Thanks Tax Mangus!!
[doublepost=1498723845][/doublepost]
Bloody spell check, I meant Taz :(
Not to over complicate this too much for you, but you should also consider doing at least 2 backups. There are several reasons for doing this. Having dual backups reduces the chance of loosing all backups in the case where one of the backup drives dies. I had that happen in the past and lost all my backups because the backup drive died. I have one backup drive attached to the computer all the time that contains the hourly backups. My second backup drive is manually connected to the computer ever 7 days or so and then I have Time Machine backup to the secondary hard drive. I keep the secondary backup drive away from the computer.

Others do a full bootable backup of the computer on a separate hard drive. Still others use multiple backup types such as TimeMachine and cloud backup.

I bring all this up as something for you to think about going forward. I would suggest as a starting point getting at least TimeMachine backups going. Once you get comfortable with that than move on to possibily doing more backup types.
 

Keetybwoy

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 17, 2017
10
0
UK, Hertfordshire
Not to over complicate this too much for you, but you should also consider doing at least 2 backups. There are several reasons for doing this. Having dual backups reduces the chance of loosing all backups in the case where one of the backup drives dies. I had that happen in the past and lost all my backups because the backup drive died. I have one backup drive attached to the computer all the time that contains the hourly backups. My second backup drive is manually connected to the computer ever 7 days or so and then I have Time Machine backup to the secondary hard drive. I keep the secondary backup drive away from the computer.

Others do a full bootable backup of the computer on a separate hard drive. Still others use multiple backup types such as TimeMachine and cloud backup.

I bring all this up as something for you to think about going forward. I would suggest as a starting point getting at least TimeMachine backups going. Once you get comfortable with that than move on to possibily doing more backup types.
Great advice from everyone.

Time to have a coffee or two and think.

Thanks :)
 

dborod

macrumors regular
Jul 22, 2002
124
53
I use an external spinning hard drive for time machine, another spinning hard drive for a nightly cloning of my boot drive (using SuperDuper) and then BackBlaze to incrementally back up everything offsite.
 

Keetybwoy

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 17, 2017
10
0
UK, Hertfordshire
I use an external spinning hard drive for time machine, another spinning hard drive for a nightly cloning of my boot drive (using SuperDuper) and then BackBlaze to incrementally back up everything offsite.
To be honest I don't use my iMac to its full potential. I only really use it to sync my phone & iPad maybe 4 times a year with the rest of the time turned off. Just want something to backup my photos, music, some documents, that sort of thing. The most important thing is photos & videos of my children from birth which is priceless to me and don't want lose.

Thanks guys.