Let‘s talk backups

You could say that I‘m crazy about backing up. Let’s face it: most people don’t think about it. In 2018, it is still difficult to set up, can get expensive and there is no “set it & forget it” solution.

If you’re all-in on Apple, you can pay for iCloud and it will cover you for most scenarios even though some of the Desktop and Documents syncing is unreliable at best. Your iOS devices and photos are pretty well backed up.

But is that enough? 

Of course not! Like most people who are thinking about backups, I have adopted the 3, 2, 1 backup strategy. But I also added a fourth copy because it doesn’t take that much extra work once you have the basics in place.

My setup 

My setup consists of an iMac and a MacBook Pro which are more or less in sync using cloud services: a mix of Dropbox, iCloud and Google Drive for work. Some might see that as backed up already, but remember: Dropbox is not a backup! It’s very close to that though! It’s the first place I go to when I need to revert a corrupt file or restore a previous state of my documents. It’s faster and more intuitive than any “real backup”.

What’s the “real backup”?

  1. First copy: the main copy on the internal drive
  2. Time Machine: this is just running in case I need to revert something that can’t be done through Dropbox
  3. Backblaze: off-site copy of all important parts of my system
  4. Super Duper Scheduled bootable clone: every day at the end of the working day, Super Duper creates a bootable copy of my internal drive on an external USB drive. 

Add in the cloud services and the habit to store everything on Dropbox instead of using the Desktop or Document folders locally and you’ve got a pretty solid backup strategy with plenty of room to recover from any possible failures.

Especially since these backups are running on 2 separate computers where the files are in sync as well. That means that I can also revert from my iMac to my MacBook Pro and vice versa. Which makes this an 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 backup!? 😂

Let’s quickly talk external drives

Any external drive also has to be backed up to Backblaze and will need at least one scheduled copy. This has the unfortunate site effect that every harddrive purchase means that you need to buy two drives instead of one. Depending on your storage needs, that might not be feasible.

But if losing data is the other option, buying 2 drives is really worth it!

Leave a Reply