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Backup Recommendation for Users/Customers  



This one's for anyone, of course, but largely targeted at consultants and those who advise other home users and small business owners: How do you recommend other folks back up their Macs?

Us geeks know to use SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner, of course, or Time Machine to some network drive (but not a Time Capsule anymore), so I'm curious what the simple/bulletproof backup recommendation is for folks in the field doing this each day?

2 Answers

For my home clients, with 1 or 2 Macs and basic needs, I keep it simple. Time Machine default config to backup to an external "passport" 1-2TB USB 3 drive. Leave it plugged in all the time. Usually I don't have them turn on encryption unless they give me the password - because this drive is the fallback when they forget the password on their FileVault protected Mac!

Next step up from that is to have a cloudy service for photos & documents.

Next level is to have a 2nd passport drive to be used by Time Machine and rotate this on a regular basis (weekly or monthly) with the 1st passport drive. I usually recommend that the one currently not in use be stored off-site (usually at their office, or next door neighbour). Anything going off-site should have encryption turned on. 

Beyond that moves into the more geeky options of NAS backups (previously including Time Capsule)  via Time Machine and cloning via CCC and online backup via Arq.

Of course every one is slightly different depending on the client's situation and I'm always careful to explain the pros and cons and limitations AND the difference between a backup and an archive. (I've had several cases of clients thinking that because files have been backed up they can then delete those files safely from their Mac!)

This post was modified 2 years ago by Graham McKay

Combining Arq Backup with AWS S3 (?) storage is a good fit for some of my small business clients who have a "mobile office" and also a regulatory requirement for data to be kept within Australia and for encryption keys to not be available to the storage provider. (AWS allows you to nominate the location of your storage)



Here is my setup for backups (belt and suspenders plan) :

1 - For my iMac and two iPads, CCC clones on external old rotation hard drives from the G5 era. For Macbook, TM on another external disk once every other week.

2 - Time Machine on Synology NAS (2 dedicated volumes for iMac (1T) and Macbook (500GB)). The NAS also contain archive files not present anywhere else.

3- Backup of the archive files on 2 x 4T NAS to External 4T drive. TM volumes had to be excluded because Hyper Backup was filling up the ext drive too fast and giving me a "Disk full error" every two-three weeks.

3- Time Machine of main iMac to external 1T MacOS extended partition on a 4T external locally attached rotational hard drive.

4- CCC copy of Archives files from NAS and from Macbook to 3T APFS Partition on the same external hard drive.

5- BackBlase cloud backup of iMac internal HD and external locally attached drive APFS partition.