Backup Software

The Mac has a number of backup applications available. Some are free and some are commercial products. In a backup strategy there are a few paths.

  1. Cloning
  2. Versioning
  3. Cloud Backups

Cloning

Cloning is the process of making an exact copy from one hard drive to another. This is a snapshot in time and is best to make a bootable hard drive as a backup of your entire system. The idea is that if you main hard drive fails, you can boot into your cloned drive and be up and running in minutes.

Application Publisher
SuperDuper http://www.shirt-pocket.com
Carbon Copy Cloner http://www.bombich.com

Versioning

Versioning is different in that it generally does not make a bootable drive instead it makes a full copy of your files and then after makes copies of only the changed files or versions. These are kept in serialized backup sets that allow you to go back in time and retrieve an older item or deleted item that may no longer be on your drive. So instead of only one snapshot at one point in time, it keeps track of items over time.

Application Publisher
Time Machine http://www.apple.com
Data Backup http://www.prosofteng.com
Silverkeeper http://www.lacie.com/silverkeeper/
Backup 3 http://www.apple.com
Restrospect http://www.retrospect.com

Cloud Backup

Backing up to the cloud means a web based service will store data for online access. Most of these service provide free backup for up to 2GB of data and can allow for multiple computers to backup and sync data. These are excellent solutions for a offsite redundant backup of your data. Below are a number of these services. Although some are not true backups but sync services and do not retain versions or archives. Check carefully.

  • SugarSync
  • DropBox
  • SpiderOak
  • CrashPlan
  • Mozy
  • Carbonite