No matter who you are or what you do, one of the most important things you should do with your Mac (or any computer) is to back up all of your data. Your Mac is where all of your photos, video, documents, and other important data resides, and no Mac is immune to system failures. When something happens, you’ll want to make sure that you can recover that data. These are the best solutions for backing up all of the important data on your Mac.
Time Machine is built-in to every Mac, so you should utilize it as much as possible. All you need is to hook up an external hard drive, and Time Machine is good to go! Time Machine backs up everything on your main HDD, and you can retrieve specific files from folders, so you don’t need to restore everything if you don’t need to. It also has a local snapshot feature that deletes older backups when you run out of space, and save them for longer periods when you recover more space on your external.
Backblaze is one of the most affordable cloud backup solutions on the market. It automatically selects what data to back up for you, though you can manually exclude folders you don’t want to back up. There is also a special tool that tracks your Mac’s location if it’s lost or stolen, and you can order a USB flash drive with all of your backup data if you don’t want to bog down your Internet connection when restoring. There is a free 15-day trial.
iDrive is another excellent and affordable cloud backup solution. It works with multiple platforms, has support for multiple device backup for a single price, and it can even backup your Facebook and Instagram data. To solve the problem of bogging down your Internet connection, you can request a physical drive to back up your data to, then send it back to iDrive and they’ll upload everything for you. You can get 5GB for free to try it out first.
Carbonite is great, especially for anyone who has never used cloud backup before. They have suggested backup plans to fit all of your needs, whether you have one computer, multiple computers, or multiple computers and servers. It keeps unlimited backups for your computers and keeps a dozen of the most recent changes to files so you can revert at any time. There is also a backup scheduler, so you can designate when Carbonite should back up your data.
Cloudberry is a unique cloud backup solution because you control where your backup goes. You can use Amazon S3 and Glacier, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage, OpenStack, RackSpace, HP Cloud, Backblaze B2, and more. Backups include all of the data on a machine, and you can restore it from a certain point on a new machine. You can set up backup schedules, and even use it with a physical drive if you want to. There’s a free version for personal use, but the Pro version gets you compression and encryption.
Carbon Copy Cloner works with an external hard drive, like Time Machine. It makes an exact copy of what’s on your Mac’s drive, or you can select individual folders and files to back up on the external. Backups can be scheduled for every hour, daily, weekly, monthly, or manually. Your backup is like a bootable clone that you’ll have access to if something happens to your Mac.
SuperDuper! is a great complement to Time Machine. It creates a fully bootable backup on your external hard drive, and features a smart updater that copies and erases files as needed. You can also set up a schedule for regular backups. SuperDuper! is perfect for those who want a super simple way to back up everything that matters. There’s a free trial so you can give it a try before paying for more advanced features.
Mac Backup Guru helps you create an exact, bootable clone of your Mac’s disk onto an external hard drive. The great thing about Mac Backup Guru is that it can even take older, partial backups and sync them up with what you have now to create a clone faster than starting from scratch. There are also incremental snapshots to create thumbnails of your backups so they don’t take up too much space.
With Acronis True Image, you get to run a local backup on an external hard drive of your own, while also storing a second backup on the company’s cloud servers. Local backups run automatically and continuously with end-to-end encryption, and you can schedule the cloud backups as often as you want, even if it’s every five minutes.
If you want to be in total control of what gets backed up and when, then ChronoSync is the solution for you. While it can create a clone of your entire drive, you can optionally choose what gets backed up, such as select folders only, or you can create a bootable backup on your external drive. Schedules can be set up, everything can be synced with a cloud storage server as well, and there is a 15-day trial to see if you like it before committing. All updates are free.
With all of these solutions available, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be backing up your Mac on a regular basis. It’s always best to have a physical backup available, as well as an off-site cloud backup, just in case something happens to your external hard drive as well. Our personal favorite from these is Time Machine and Backblaze, because the first is built-in and easy to use, while the second provides simple cloud backup at an incredibly affordable rate.
January, 2019: Added ChronoSync to the list.