We need an easy way to back up files– regardless of the device– and the easiest method I know of is the iCloud backup system for iPhone and iPad, which is conducted nightly, but isn’t the most comprehensive.
Here’s an example of where backups fail. iTunes on your Mac is a good way to get a complete backup that is easily restorable to iPhone and iPad. But it requires the Mac to be nearby. And it requires a backup for the Mac, too.
Time Machine? No thanks. It’s about as easy as a thorough backup can be, yes, but recovery is slower than a cloned external disk drive (which Time Machine requires anyway), and Apple’s own support forums indicate Time Machine comes with its own set of dependability issues. Clones are good but still require an external disk drive to be managed and note that more than 70-percent of all Macs sold these days are notebooks; MacBook or MacBook Pro. It’s an extra step to plug the Mac in to the backup disk at the appropriate time.
What about NAS? Or, iCloud? Or, any one of the dozen or so online backup systems? As to the latter, recovery is slow. iCloud only backs up critical files and does nothing to get your Mac back up and running like a cloned Mac disk does.
Repeat: What about NAS? Mac geeks know it as Network Attached Storage and setting one up isn’t exactly the simplicity you find in Time Machine, and most NAS disks start in the hundreds of dollars range. Check out the instructions on this MacWorld article.
Alright, if NAS is complicated and expensive, and iCloud is incomplete, and Time Machine is fraught with issues and slow recovery, and iTunes for iPhone and iPad is inconvenient, and an external disk drive to clone a Mac’s storage has a price tag and even more inconvenience, is there a workable, usable, Mac backup system for the rest of us?
For most of us, backing up a Mac, iPhone, or iPad is a hit or miss proposition. iPhone and iPad backups to iCloud are incomplete, though a restore works well except for all those app files that don’t get stored on iCloud. Otherwise, settings are handled well and the only inconvenience is some time while the restore takes place.
It’s the average Mac user that suffers the most, and as much as I hate to say it, iCloud for the Mac would be a decent backup choice if it were not for the ongoing price for storage and the fact that not everything important gets backed up, even if you choose the monthly $20 fee for 2TB of storage. Of course, restoring files to a Mac from iCloud isn’t exactly a quick picnic, either.
Is there a workable, usable, quick, convenient, and affordable Mac backup system for the rest of us?
Mine is somewhat hit and miss and I suspect that’s similar for many Mac, iPhone, and iPad users. Both iPhone and iPad get backed up to the Mac, but not every day. Thanks to a couple of external disk drives, the Mac gets a Time Machine backup, and a clone backup, but, again, not every day because inconvenience.
What do you use to back up and secure your Mac, iPhone, and iPad?