The Time Machine backup system is great for beginners and anyone who is just aware of the need to create backups, but has never encountered difficult data recovery from a copy.
Time Machine does not have any settings at all and does not have advanced options for advanced users. The system is made in the style of Apple: everything just works by pressing one button.
You cannot set a flexible copy schedule or difficult conditions to change its parameters. There are other significant drawbacks.
I do not claim that the system I described is the best and safest. Just sharing my experience and alternative backup method.
Why I don’t like Time Machine
First , the most convenient way to backup from Time Machine is to save to a network drive. Apple has long turned the production of branded routers with a built-in drive, the direction is clearly not in the priority of the Cupertino.
You can continue to use the obsolete Time Capsule or switch to third-party solutions, which do not always smoothly support the creation of becks, but it is better to switch to another method of storing copies.
Secondly , working with removable backup drives sooner or later becomes boring. At first you try to connect the disk every day, then you make backups once a week, and then you completely forget about this process.
Thirdly , you need to do backup backup yourself. When storing data on an external disk or network storage, it is necessary to duplicate it in a more secure place.
Devices at home are not protected from external factors (fire, flooding, robbery, etc.) and are not safe enough for backups. You have to periodically throw copies into the cloud.
Fourth , to restore from a backup copy of Time Machine, you need a working Mac. The computer broke down and without a new sense there will be no backup from backup.
You will not extract data from it, you will not be able to boot, just deploy on another Apple computer.
To get rid of all the indicated problems of Time Machine, I decided to switch to third-party backup system.
How I store data on a Mac
You already know that I use not the original Mac, but the ASUS laptop with the hackintoshinstalled . Three drives fit inside my computer: a 256 GB SSD disk with macOS , a 256 GB SSD disk with Windows and a 1 TB HDD for files and data that I formatted with exFAT to work with them from any OS.
I keep all the working files and data exactly on the general exFAT for work from macOS or Windows. In addition, the disc is installed in a laptop through an Optibay adapter instead of a regular DVD-drive. This allows you to unscrew just a couple of screws from the bottom of the laptop, remove the drive and connect it to any computer with a penny adapter .
Temporary files and not the most important data are already stored in each operating system separately.
For backup, I outlined two tasks: keeping the current backup of the working data folder and regularly creating a backup copy of the boot disk to restore the system.
How to backup work files
I prefer to store the data folder in the cloud. I chose for myself the most versatile option – DropBox . I have long since expanded the space to 22 GB in an easy and cheap way , this is enough for me to keep working data in order not to buy a paid subscription.
Periodically I clean and delete unnecessary or outdated data, storing approximately 15-17 GB of relevant information. If this is not enough for someone, you can always choose another suitable cloud .
To synchronize the folder using a normal client DropBox, which instantly uploads all new and changed data to the cloud.
Storing data in this form is convenient in that access to it is possible from any other computer through a browser or even from a mobile device through a cloud service client . In addition, you can in a couple of clicks to share a link to the file with the customer or to open access to colleagues.
Very important data can be encrypted or simply archived with a password.
As a result, all the data necessary for work is at my fingertips and, if necessary, access to them can be obtained from any other computer or mobile device. Of course, after authorization in DropBox. I recommend enabling reliable two-factor authentication in this service.
How to backup your system disk
This is where third-party utilities need help. Such solutions can be found a couple of dozen. One of the search criteria for me was the ability to create boot copies.
I found three good solutions: Carbon Copy Cloner , ChronoSync and Get Backup Pro . Frankly, there was no time to deal with all the nuances and peculiarities, first I installed the trial version of Carbon Copy Cloner . I understood that the utility suits everyone and did not want to deal with other programs.
When you first start Carbon Copy, Cloner prompts you to create a backup rule. Select the target drive, the destination drive (it can be a network drive) and the copy schedule.
To create the first backup, I recommend connecting the drive directly to the Mac, so that the process does not take too much time. On an SSD drive with average read and write speeds, the first copy took about half an hour.
In the future, the system will only record modified or new data, the process will take a few minutes.
After creating the backup, do not forget to confirm the creation of a boot disk with a copy. Carbon Copy Cloner will write some additional files and perform the necessary manipulations.
Everything, now this disk can be simply connected to any Mac or working hackintosh and boot from it. We get a familiar working environment with everything you need at the time of backup creation.
No procedures are required to restore and download data from the network or the cloud.
Carbon Copy Cloner can store modified or deleted data. The SafetyNet option is responsible for this . When updating a copy, old copies of modified or erased data will be in a special folder. This will continue until the end of the free disk space with the backup, then the oldest data will be deleted.
How to protect the backup system disk
After the first creation of a backup of the system disk on the drive, we get our working system in open form. It is not encrypted in any way, which is not very secure.
There are two solutions: initially, when formatting a disk for backups, make an encrypted APFS drive, or boot from the backup disk once and enable FileVault encryption on it .
In the first case, you will have to remember the password to access the protected drive and enter it when you boot, and in the second, the backup will continue with the built-in encryption enabled.
After that, I disconnected the drive from the computer and connected it to the network media player based on the Raspberry Pi . After that, I reconfigured the backup rule in Carbon Copy Cloner and set the appropriate periodicity for creating backups.
You can make copies every 3-6 hours or backup data 1 time per day. Here, everyone will customize their needs. Conveniently, the creation of backups can be limited, for example, during a heavy load on the home network.
It is possible to even remove the computer from sleep mode or turn it on at night to create a copy.
If there were not many changes since the previous backup, then updating the copy will take several minutes. The load on the system will be minimal, and network activity will be compared with the transfer of a similar amount of data between home devices.
As a result, you can stop at creating 1-2 backups per day. You can do this even during working hours.
To “backup backup”, I decided to upload it to the cloud. I had the required amount of Yandex.Disk pumped for free . I configured to download all the contents from the connected drive on the “raspberry”.
This process can be improved and modified, but so far I have stopped on such a solution.
What did I end up protecting from
▪️ Working data is saved to the cloud and accessible from any computer or mobile device.
▪️ a daily copy of the system disk with macOS is created. In the event of a breakdown or failure, you can recover the data or simply connect the drive to the computer and boot from it.
▪️ A backup is uploaded to the cloud, if access to both the computer and the data drive is lost, it can be downloaded and deployed on another disk.
In such a backup system, I like most of all the ability to quickly deploy a workflow in the event of a computer crash or loss. In addition, it is convenient to keep separate copies of the system and working data, and cloud backup will protect against unforeseen situations.
Tell us what backup system you are using and what you replaced with is not the most convenient Time Machine.