You startup your Mac in the morning and it does not. Whatever it is– SSD, hard disk, motherboard, CPU– something got fried and your Mac is gone. Yes, it can be repaired, but that takes time. Along the way you may have lost everything you stored on your Mac.
How valuable are the files in Documents? How can you replace the photos in Photos? All MP3s you saved from the Napster days? Gone. Movie clips? Gone. It’s easy to see where iCloud storage can be valuable as a backup for various Apple devices, but that cannot and should not be your own backup system.
That brings me to the options for backups and the price tag can add up in a hurry, especially in a household with multiple Macs. Use TimeMachine? You’ll need another external disk drive. Got an app to clone your Mac so you’ll always have a bootable backup? That’s another price tag and another external disk drive.
See? It adds up fast and there is no inexpensive solution.
One of my favorite Mac bootable clone apps through the years is Carbon Copy Cloner, which, after the first clone, works very quickly and on an unattended schedule to backup changed files.
CCC uses the tried and true Source to Destination backup and clone, but also features a built-in scheduler so you can get the backup done while you’re doing something else.
Set what you want to clone or backup in the Source setting. Set the destination disk drive in the Destination setting. Then set the Schedule. When it’s done the backup will be a clone of your Mac’s disk drive or SSD.
What’s nice about CCC is that each backup or sync can be saved as a task, and tasks can be chained together to run one after the other; perfect for Mac to Mac sync, or Mac to multiple storage Destinations. You can even set it to send you an email message when a task is completed.
Personally, I think CCC’s price tag is nominal considering what it does and how it has improved through the years. But it’s not free. And neither are external disk drives. Where TimeMachine shines is the option to backup files from a Mac via Wi-Fi. Apple’s Airport Time Capsule is good for that but again, comes with a hefty price tag. And anything with Wi-Fi backup in the list of options is slow. Sometimes worse than slow.
This scenario also points out a problem with almost every Mac user’s backup plan, and why a better Wi-Fi or off-premise backup solution is still waiting for a workable, affordable solution. The catastrophe; a catastrophic event that destroys the Macs and backups, home or office. You would think the internet would be perfect for a solution, but so far there isn’t one that is inexpensive, saves a clone of the Mac’s disk drive, and which makes restoring a simple proposition.
I’m still looking.