HOW TO BACKUP YOUR MAC

In this day and age, data represents value that has been made easier by digital devices as a medium to carry it forward. All these digital devices are creating new data per user every day. And, as the number of users grows every day, the data being stored on such digital devices also grows.
Even for a single person who has been storing data on a wide range of digital devices that pop up every few years, the volume of data still grows. As more people opt for such device for storing valuable information, our reliance on keeping this information intact also grows.

This is why it has become extremely important to realize the value of your data. Today, this information holds a real value that can even be realized financially. So, let us see how you can move forward in preserving this information in a safe and reliable way.

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KEEPING A BACKUP PLAN FOR YOUR MAC

Primarily, every user today has two operating systems to choose from, namely the Windows Operating System and the MAC Operating System. People mostly opt for the MAC because of its overall value that comes attached with the hefty price tag, such as its smooth operating system when compared with the Windows.

If you’re using the MAC, it’s important to make the case for backing up your information. As we have already mentioned how important your data can be, the path moving forward is choosing a backup method. With the MAC, users are presented with a number of backup methods. Choosing the right one usually depends upon your requirements and by outweighing the advantages and disadvantages of each. Some methods mentioned here are provided by Apple as an in-built interface such as Time Machine and iCloud. Others come as an external option and can be chosen based on personal requirements.

Keeping the data on your MAC backed up is an important step that needs to be taken immediately. Let us look at the main option users are presented with, along with how the data can be backed up using these backup methods.

METHOD 1: TIME MACHINE BACKUPS

Time Machine’ is a feature that already exists on your MAC when you buy it. By using Time Machine, you can backup all of your data on an external storage drive. This preexisting feature helps in routine backups, as the software works continuously in backing up your data after a certain period of time. This time period can be hours, days or months, depending upon how it has been configured. In this period, you will have to keep an external drive connected with your MAC so that it can back up your data automatically. However, it should be noted that this feature will start removing old data from the storage device once it is full. So, it is important to keep track of what you are backing up on your MAC. You can even exclude some items from your list of files to be backed up, giving you the ease of selective backup on your MAC.

The process is simple, where initially you connect an external storage device with your MAC. Once the storage device is connected, turn on Time Machine and choose the time period after which you wish to back up your information. You will be given an option to encrypt your data, which is always recommended to keep your information secure. Only the user of the MAC will thus have access to the data on the external drive, preventing any sensitive information from being compromised. Once you’re done with this, you will have a method in place to keep your data automatically backed up.

Other than using an external drive for back up in the Time Machine process, you can also use another MAC as your Time Machine backup spot. It is not recommended that you use a MAC as the backup drive for backups. The problem with this option is that in case of any damage to your MAC, the backup maintained through Time Machine in your MAC can also be at risk of being deleted.

METHOD 2: BACKUP THROUGH ICLOUD DRIVE

iCloud is an online backup storage platform that allows users to keep information preserved offsite through the internet. The use of the iCloud comes built-in as an Apple service and allows you to back up your data on the MAC. A major advantage that exists with using iCloud for backups is the availability of the data on multiple devices. This means that if you upload a file from the MAC to the iCloud, you have the ease of access on a number of devices, such as iPhone, iPad, iPod or even your Windows operating system.

MAC users can simply visit iCloud.com and start the backup process. Before you begin, keep in mind some simple points.

  • First, try updating all of your Apple devices especially your MAC.
  • Second, make sure iCloud is set up on every device where you wish to access the data that will be backed up
  • To make sure you will be able to access the information on your entire Apple devices, make sure that you are logged in to all of these devices with the same Apple ID
  • Note that in case you wish to access iCloud on a Windows PC, the iCloud is only supported on Windows 7 or later versions.

The information you will back up on the iCloud through the MAC can be done so in the following way:

  • First, go to ‘menu’ and select ‘System Preferences’. Once this is selected, go to iCloud. Once you have done this, a window will pop up showing your iCloud information.
  • Now, you should be able to log in with your Apple ID if you aren’t already.
  • You can choose the files that will sync with the iCloud by marking or unmarking the ‘Documents folders’ box, etc.
  • Your iCloud drive is now open and ready for backup.

It’s a simple procedure and will allow you to back up your data on a cloud backup platform. Here, you have the ease of easy access along with no dependency on any physical storage device. In case of any unexpected loss of information, you will be sure that this data is backed up offsite.

METHOD 3: OPTING FOR A CLOUD BACKUP SERVICE

While backup options such as the iCloud and Time Machine come as built in backup services on the MAC, other options also exist. Choosing an external backup method such as an online backup service can help fill certain requirements that might not be advantageous on iCloud or Time Machine.

Take the process of data backup on the cloud versus a physical storage system. If this information is stored on an external storage device, the risk of damage to the physical device can result in data loss. Most of the times, users will feel secure that the data they backed up is secure in a physical storage device. But, when they try to access this information in case of a data loss on the MAC, they find out that backup has also been lost due to a malfunction. This risk can be minimized easily. By opting for the cloud, you are securing your information on a platform that has no physical presence.

It should be noted that a cloud backup service is different from a cloud storage service such as Google Drive or Dropbox. In cloud storage platforms, you have to upload files and data manually, while cloud backup provides automatic backup of your data continuously in specific intervals of time.

With iCloud, some users can feel disadvantaged because of the limited sharing options. As iCloud has limited access, an issue can arise when users wish to access this information on other devices. By choosing a different cloud backup service, users can upload the data stored on their MAC to a cloud backup platform that can be accessed in a wide range of devices. Even cutting the issue of access, iCloud can charge a hefty price when the volume of data grows. Users can choose a cheaper backup service that fits within their financial range.

The cloud backup service might ask you to install software capable of routine backups. This also can be advantageous over a feature such as Time Machine, because of the offsite management of the data. It might take some time to upload the data from your MAC to the cloud, but the wait can worth it when considering the security of not worrying about your data being lost with online backups.

On a final note, make sure that you have the access information such as username and password provided by the cloud backup service stored somewhere safe. This is in case your data is lost, and you need to access your backup and don’t have time to waste.

METHOD 4: CLONING DATA ON YOUR MAC

Cloning can be a direct alternative to using Time Machine for your MAC backup. A bootable backup external hard drive or a ‘clone’ acts as a way to preserve all of your MAC information in a physical storage device. The clone can simply be attached to your MAC and all of the information present can be backed up.

Usually, a software (such as the carbon copy cloner) is provided with the clone that facilitates the backup. This can also help in preserving an older version of the same file by keeping a backup on the clone. There are number of software that can be used for this, which are not limited to the built-in software that might be provided with the clone. A feature not present in the Time Machine that exists with the clone is the ability to boot up from it. This means that by simply copying the data from the MAC to the clone, the clone can be plugged into another computer and booted with the same data.

The process of using a clone is very simple and it provides a plug and play feature. It can be used in the following way:

  • First, connect the clone to your MAC.
  • Make sure the clone is properly formatted. This means that you need to make sure any previously held data on the clone has been properly deleted to make storage space for the MAC backup. To format, go to ‘Disk Utility’ on your MAC. Then, select the external drive and choose ‘Erase’ to format.
  • The MAC OS Extended (Journaled) also acts as a feature on MAC to format drives such as your clone.
  • Now, you need to open the clone software in order to start the backup process. Make sure that the entire data present on your MAC is backed up on the clone. This is because some clones might not be bootable unless the entire MAC storage is backed up properly in it.
  • You might be presented with an option to secure this data with a password or enter an already existing password. Simply enter the password or create one in order to keep the data secure.
  • That’s it. It might take a while for the cloning process to complete. But, your software should give you an estimate of the time once the backup starts.

Final Note

The methods presented here hold their own advantages and disadvantages. But, all of them ultimately facilitate the backup process, so that the information on your MAC is safe. It is always advised to keep multiple copies of the same data either it’s in the form of local backups or online cloud backups, so that failure of one or two systems doesn’t cost the loss of data.

To choose from any one of these, you must analyze your own requirements. This can be your required storage space, the sensitivity of data being secured, cost or any other related factor. Ultimately, the point to be taken is the importance of having a backup solution ready and how it can be realized on your MAC.