Computers are at the center of modern society, and one of the most popular computer brands on Earth is Apple. Mac computers are fast, reliable, easy-to-use, and come with a ton of features other companies lack.
Even so, accidents happen. When they do, it always helps to have a backup available. That not only ensures you can easily retrieve your lost data, but it also makes you ready and gives you peace of mind.
There are many routes you can take when learning how to backup Macs, and this guide will break down some of the more popular options available.
Cloud Storage Vs. Traditional Options
Many people, when going over how to backup Mac computers, will tend towards physical options. Though those are more than fine (and they will be covered below) cloud storage is also fantastic because of how affordable and readily available it is in the modern world.
In this guide we will break down each method to help you determine which you prefer.
The Ease Of Live Backups
When learning how to backup Mac, it is key to note that every backup gives you something different.
Bootable backups are great because they provide an extra layer of security as well as peace of mind. However, if a problem does occur with your machine you will still lose anything you worked on in the time since your last backup.
To fix that issue, there are live backups (also known as cloud storage options).
These methods are important for people who find themselves constantly working because it enables you to secure your document as soon as it’s saved. That means you’ll have your work no matter when disaster strikes.
They also come with many different plans.
To know exactly what you need, look at the size of your documents and see how much space you use on a daily basis. If you use a lot, a paid service is best. However, many people can get away with the free storage.
One of the most popular (if not the most popular) cloud storage options on Earth is Google Drive. This storage system is perfect for people learning how to backup Macs because it has a lot of compatibility with programs they likely already use.
Everyone utilizes Google in one way or another. For those that use it with their email, Google Drive integrates with Gmail so that you can save any file directly from your inbox.
If you use that service a lot (or it is the primary way you share information) that can be a good reason to choose Google Drive when looking at how to backup your Mac.
In addition, this method comes with 15 GB of free space. That enables you to access a lot of storage without spending a dime. Of course, you can also go bigger if you need.
Another aspect of Google Drive is that it is a great option for people who work with others. That is because it enables anyone to access or collaborate on your files in real time as long as you give them permission.
There is a slew of built-in office tools as well, which range from spreadsheets, presentations, and word documents. That means you can work within the extra space the program provides if you so choose.
Where Google Drive naturally integrates Google into cloud storage, the next cloud storage option in this guide, OneDrive, integrates with Microsoft.
It may seem odd to discuss Microsoft when breaking down how to backup Mac computers, but the truth is that OneDrive, as with all cloud storage options, is perfect for many people.
If you use Window’s programs like Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, this is a great way to get some extra space for your computer. All of those can be used in OneDrive, giving you more options and letting you work on the same document or project from multiple machines or locations.
Beyond that, OneDrive also enables you to easily share folders and files with other people through a link.
This, like Drive, comes with 15GB of storage. That should be more than enough extra space to hold any files or folders. As you can work on such projects in real time, it also gives you a way to quickly make corrections.
As an added bonus, if you use Office 365 you get unlimited storage for free. Hard to beat that deal.
Unlike the above two cloud storage options, Dropbox does not come from a tech giant. Even so, it is perfect for people who want to learn how to backup Mac simply because of how easy it is to use.
Asking how to backup a Mac can lead to simple or complicated answers. Dropbox, which uses a combination of website and desktop client to provide the user with extra space, has a folder that you simply drag and drop files into.
That simple process makes it a perfect choice for people who want extra space without getting overwhelmed.
This method also comes with plenty of easy sharing options as well as a great mobile app. That range of choices enables you to use it from your computer, but you can also access it in various ways depending on where you are or what you need.
If you need to get a file or folder to someone else, you simply drag it to Dropbox, let it upload, and then share it through the site. This storage method also allows link sharing as well.
Even if you don’t need to collaborate, you have more than enough ways to store your own information. You don’t need much more than that.
The final mainstream cloud storage option for people who want to learn how to backup Mac is Amazon Drive. This method comes from one another mega-company, which gives it an air of authenticity and ensures you’re buying into a secure product.
Amazon Drive comes with unlimited space for just $59.99 a year, a great price for those who don’t want to worry about running out of room.
If that price doesn’t get you, the fact that you’re storing information with the security of Amazon might. This service is incredibly secure. It runs on top of S3, which is one of the best network infrastructures in the world.
As an added bonus, Amazon Drive also has a mobile, web, and desktop app. That makes it easy to use for anyone on the go.
The Pros Of Remote Backups
Though you can get a lot of legwork out of the above cloud storage options, they are not the only way to get extra space for your computer. Live backups help you protect your data on a day-to-day basis. In contrast, remote backups both restore the entire drive and ensure you’re protected from larger disasters like fires or thefts.
In that way, this method is one of the best ways for people who want to learn how to backup Macs because you’ll never lose your files no matter what you come up against. As with live backups, you have quite a few options here. Online backups are the best way to go, but do note that the process of putting your entire computer into a remote location is a slow process. In fact, some programs, while effective, can take weeks to complete. For that reason, you only want to use this method if you’re not in a hurry and you don’t need to get everything secured right away. Once the initial backup finishes, updating won’t take much time. It is simply the first one that drags on for a while.
If you have the time, this is a great way to go. There are many remote options out there, but Backblaze and Carbonite are two of the best ones on the market. Just note that it is typically a good idea to have a different backup set up before you begin the remote process. Then, once you get everything secure, you can switch to it full time.
Safe Storage Through Archiving
The fourth and final backup option for Mac is archiving, which enables you to access files or folders you worked on at different times in the past.
Though Apple offers Time Machine (which is built directly into OS X) as a form of document recovery, there are plenty of effective third-party options as well.
Archives are great because they offer a large amount of versatility. The files can be compressed, encrypted, and versioned as needed. They can be archived onto an external hard drive as well.
Extra Space With Little Hassle
Anyone can learn how to backup Mac computers. There are various options out there, and all of them are quite simple to both use and implement.
If you need space right away, you can go with numerous cloud storage options listed above. However, if you have more time or want a different method, archiving and remote backups are great too.