When it comes to basic backups on my Mac I prefer the posture of set it and forget it. That wasn’t so easy a few years ago, but today Mac users can choose from a few dozen backup apps, most of which are decent. Some are cheap, some are expensive, and loaded with extra features.
Cheap and set it and forget it are the way to go.
Of the dozen plus Mac backup apps I’ve tried, I settled on two. Time Machine is one. All it cost me was an extra disk drive. They’re cheap these days, so I bought two.
The other backup disk drive uses Carbon Copy Cloner to do incremental file backups. A clone of the Mac’s hard disk drive.
4 Basic Functions For Basic Backups
The first most attractive feature of CCC is the price. It’s donationware, which means it’s priced right. Try it. If you like it, donate. If you like it but you’re poor and can’t donate, use it anyway.
Second, CCC has four basic functions which make it flexible and ultimately very simple to set up and use.
Clone – What this function does is what you expect. Your Mac has a disk drive. Add a second disk drive and clone your Mac’s disk drive to it by using CCC. It makes a perfectly cloned backup of your Mac.
Because it’s an extra disk drive, you can use the backup to boot up on your Mac if the disk drive fails, or tote it wherever because it’ll boot up using a different Mac.
Incremental Backup – Whether you clone a Mac or simply backup specific folders, the Incremental Backup function saves a whole lot of time. It only copies files that have been changed, not those that haven’t, so the backup process is reduced to minutes.
Plus, the backups can be to other hard disk drives, a network disk drive, or a Mac disk image.
Scheduled Tasks – You will love this. A backup can be scheduled to run automatically. You don’t have to be around to start up CCC at all. Set a backup for hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly. Just make sure your Mac is awake and running at the scheduled time.
Even better, CCC sends you email notifications of the backup process.
Backup To A Mac – Instead of backing up your Mac’s disk drive to another disk drive, you can also schedule it to backup files to another Mac on the local network.
I do this all the time. My old desktop iMac acts as a backup for my MacBook which I use most of the time. CCC schedules the backup, does incremental file transfers, and even clones folders– when you want.
Seriously, what is not to like? Carbon Copy Cloner is low cost, has the basic feature of cloning, and features a scheduler, and after the first backup, subsequent backups are incremental and take mere minutes.