General Question

jabag11's avatar

What is the smartest, easiest, and best way to back up information on my computer?

Asked by jabag11 (673points) December 13th, 2010

I’m one of those people where my LIFE is on the computer, as in, if I were to lose the information I have saved on this computer,(documents, videos, pictures, etc.) then I really, honestly do not know what I would do.

I have a MacBook Pro Lap Top (Macintosh). I need something that will have my information backed up on something separate incase my lap top were to be stolen. What I do at the moment is send all the important information I have worked on to my email, I do this once a day at the end of the day, that way if my laptop breaks or something, I’ll at least have it on my emial, but still that’s not safe enough for me. Because email websites crash sometimes!

So please I’m looking for the easiest, smartest, and cheapest way to do this. All inputs greatly apprecited! thank you.

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16 Answers

crisw's avatar

Time Machine – it’s included with your MBP system software. Simple, reliable, and free!

AGN's avatar

The smartest way would be to buy an external hard drive (you can get a 1 T for under $70 dollars now) and transfer everything onto that. Slap that in a safe place and you are good to go!

flutherother's avatar

Back it up on an external hard drive but to be extra careful I would also back it up in ‘the cloud’ as well on Googlemail or the like. You never know, there could be a fire at home when you are out.

jaytkay's avatar

Dropbox is a great way to back up your important stuff to the cloud, so it can be accessed even if your own computer and hard drive are lost or stolen or broken.

2GB free and it simply works, anything you put in your designated Dropbox folder is immediately saved onto the Internet.

It also saves previous versions – so if you accidentally mess up a document, you can revert back to a previous state (Time Machine does that, too).

You can log onto your account from anywhere, any computer and access your files.

And you can share files. At work three of us share a folder, so everyone has the latest copies of our documents.

Cruiser's avatar

I am on board with that Dropbox that @jaytkay mentions. Doesn’t get any easier and you have access to your data 24/7 from any computer.

koanhead's avatar

Most UNIX-like systems have a program called rsync. rsync is a program which can “sync” files either locally or remotely. It can make a snapshot of the current state of the folders you choose and store a compressed copy on the local system or any other reachable system to which you can authenticate. It can be set up to run periodically (as a cron job or as a daemon) and can be made to run automatically on events if the machine is down when it’s time comes up. After the initial snapshot is made it will copy and transfer only changed files.
There are a number of “frontends” to rsync available for those who don’t want to learn the ins and outs of the program (rsync has a really long man page). According to another program called rsyncx is needed to sync resource forks. I can’t believe MacOS still uses those…
Another powerful solution is the use of a revision-control system like git. These generally only work on certain types of files, but they allow the ability to go back to older versions and see the entire history of a document (git and many others allow for many users to collaborate on a single document with changes tagged by user, but you might not care about that).

xxii's avatar

I use an external hard drive with 640 GB of space – I think that’s the best way to really back up everything. For the really, really important files and short-term storage, I use Dropbox, because the 2 GB they give you (for free) isn’t very much if you want to store photos, songs, videos and so on.

wundayatta's avatar

Are there any places in the cloud that offer you a terabyte of free storage?

answerjill's avatar

I use two methods: an external hard drive and

camertron's avatar

Here’s another vote for Time Machine. If you’re not a power user, using rsync (even with a front-end) has the potential to be pretty daunting. Time Machine is really easy and has a great, complete feature set. To use Time Machine, you’ll need an external hard drive to back up to. External hard drives can fail, though, so I would combine Time Machine backups with some kind of online storage like Dropbox. To give you even more peace of mind, back up your most important files on a flash drive and carry it around with you so even a house fire wouldn’t be a problem.

josie's avatar

I backup to an external drive, and Carbonite (not free).

Doppelganger19's avatar

I back up all my data with Time Machine software and an external HD. Additionally, I back up my financial data a second time to a Flash key.

mrrich724's avatar

Like others have said, time Machine and an external hard drive, Here Here!

world_hello's avatar

I use CrashPlan for online storage. It seems to work better than Mozy and Carbonite it completely worthless.

And grab a external drive. I wouldn’t really suggest Time Machine. I prefer using Carbon Copy Cloner to make a bootable clone of the drive. It runs really fast if you just have it modify new and changed files. This way if the drive in the internal fails you can boot from the external and continue working until you can get the internal one replaced.

m0tek's avatar

id google hiren boot cd and look for it :) u’d be amazed what it can do for you!

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Apple’s Time Machine and an external drive.

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