Senin, 16 Desember 2013

How to back up your Computer

What's the most important thing we do with our Mac's?  Any thoughts?  For some of us it's creating documents or presentations that we use regularly for our businesses.  For others its the movies we create using Final Cut or iMovie, or our picture database we've created using Aperture or iPhoto.  Whatever it is you do with your Mac, my guess is that it's got some level of importance to you.  I know my content is of utmost importance to me.  So I ask you, are you prepared if your Macs hard drive fails?  Do you have a back-up option in place now?  If not, please, please, please tell me you are about to implement one.  There are so many great, easy to use options to back-up your computer, from Time Machine, software that actually comes with every Mac that's sold, to various online back-up options like Backblaze, CrashPlan and Carbonite.  Do yourself a favor, if you are not using Time Machine, check out one of these online backup options.  Hopefully you never need it and your hard drive keeps on ticking!

Let's start with Backblaze.  Backblaze offers only a single backup option.  Most others have multiple, some even offer ten or more.  That said, I like Backblaze's KISS strategy (keep it simple stupid).
The folks at Backblase let you backup an unlimited amount of data from a single computer, no restrictions on file size or file type.  There pricing is pretty straight forward:  $5/month; $50/year; $95/2 years.  They offer a nice discount for signing up for multiple years.  Other things offered include External Drive Support, Military-Grade Encryption (nice!), Continuous backup, iPhone Mobile App (very nice!), ability to restore to either a USB hard drive, or other Flash drive, and it's available in 11 languages!  So as you can see, you get quite a bit for not a lot of money!  All in all, a fantastic option!

Next online option, Carbonite.  Carbonite has three online options, sadly only one available to Mac users.  You pay $59.99 a year for unlimited backups.  Not much else to talk about here with Carbonite, as their website doesn't offer much...:(.

Another online option is called Mozy.  Mozy is a service offered by EMC, a company that has been involved in storage for years.  Mozy has a couple of options, starting at $5.99 a month for one computer, which gives you up to 50GB of storage (not so much).  For $2/mo you can add additional computers, and for another $2/mo you can add 20GB of storage.  I appreciate the fact that Mozy offers military grade security for my files, not that I need it, but it's nice to know its there.   Your files are readily available via your mobile device, or online, another very nice feature.

The fourth option, is not so strangely called SOS.  SOS has single user plans starting at $9.99/mo, which gives you 100GB of storage.  Or for unlimited users, you'll shell out $99.99 a month, which is quite costly for the consumer, but is a pretty good option for small business.  SOS is unique in that it will also backup your mobile device, something the other options here are yet to offer.  SOS offers military grade encryption, similar to the other services listed above, has online chat support, all in all, a nice rather pricey option.

The final online option I'm going to cover in this blog is CrashPlan.  CrashPlan has two options, both can be discounted substantially if you were to prepay for up to four years of service.  As you might imagine, the unlimited  plan lets you backup unlimited amounts of data, no restrictions (allows backup only from a single computer).  Pricing is like so.  If you decide to go month to month, you are looking at $5.99.  If you pay for 1 year of service, you price is lowered to the equivalent of $5/mo, so you'd pay $59.99.  If you prepay for 2 years, your total comes to $114.99, or $4.79/mo.  3 years upfront payment will cost you $164.99 or $4.58/mo.  Finally if you want 4 years prepaid, you are looking at $189.99 upfront, or only $3.96 a month.  The last option is absolutely fantastic.  It's easily my favorite option listed in this blog.  CrashPlan has military grade encryption, you can access your files from you mobile device, quite frankly, CrashPlan is a fantastic way to go.

Lastly, I'll talk about Time Machine.  Time Machine is a great tool available on all Macs, at no extra cost.  You will have to pay for an external drive to store your backups.  The beauty here, is that purchasing an external drive is a one-time fee, unlike our online brethren which you pay either monthly or yearly.  Time Machine is easy to use.  When you plug an external drive into your Mac, you are asked whether or not you'd like to use that device for backing up via Time Machine.  To get started, you can either enter the Time Machine setting via System Preferences, or there's an icon on the top menu bar of your Mac, that has about 80% of a circle, with an arrow on the left end.  You can right click on that to open Time Machine as well.  Time Machine keeps hourly backups for a 24 hour period, and daily backups for the past month.   One downside to Time Machine is that you need to monitor it to make sure it's backing up.  However, on a positive note, if you loose internet connection at your house, you can still backup, as Time Machine doesn't need internet connection, the online options do.

So I hope I've given you some resources to get yourself motivated to do your backups.  Don't wait till its too late, get a head start, you'll be so happy you did.

Backing up your Mac shouldn't be an option, rather a priority!

Good luck with your backups, till next time, best to you and your devices!

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