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Time Machine and Mac back-up Options

With so much of our lives now stored digitally on our computers, the effects of data loss can be devestating. This will always be true. Whether due to simply deleting the wrong file, hardware failure or something even more unfortunate, it's impossible to get back precious videos, photographs or documents without having a backup already in place.


From 2015 survey data, only 8% of us backup our computers daily and 25% of people have NEVER backed up their machine! Now that backup has become far easier in many cases, there is no excuse for those figures to be that high.


With that in mind, in 2015 our Hull team put together the video below to guide you through what you need to get started backing up. It also shows just how easy Apple have made backing up with the built-in Time Machine software built-in to Mac OS and also with the (now discontinued) Apple Airport Time Capsule, or even with a simple external hard drive from drive experts like LaCie.



Over the intervenening four years, two things have grown even faster and are even more heavily relied upon by all of us. Speedy, reliable broadband and our mobile devices, like our iPhones and iPads. Using the former, there are now a great many cloud services that would have been impossible to use for fast, reliable backups, even only a few years ago. By making automated backups to the cloud, you remove the issue of remembering to have to do your backups and the associated risk of loss, theft or damage of your backup drive is removed. The rise of importance of our mobile devices, which increasingly carry so much of our lives, from priceless photographs and videos, to business critical email and documents, are arguably even more important to backup than our computers were a few years ago.

The best 'first-party' way to back-up your data and applications on your iOS device, such as the iPad or iPhone, is with Apple’s iCloud or iTunes. Both of these options work in different ways and you’ll need to decide which works best for you. This useful Apple article can help you decide which will suit your individual needs best. When you sign up to an Apple iCloud account, you automatically have 5GB of free storage. If you find you run out of space, then there are a range of paid-for upgrades. At the time of writing (mid-March 2019), an upgrade to 50GB is priced at 79p a month, with 200GB at £2.49 a month and the largest plan with 2TB of storage costs just £6.99 a month – ideal for households with a number of iOS devices, as this can be shared by up to six family members who all can backup their apps, settings, photos, videos and documents easily to the cloud.

For those who want to explore other options, and for those who want the same benefits and convenience of backing up to the cloud, can take a look at the growing list of online backup providers. The well regarded Backblaze, Crashplan, LiveDrive and iDrive are all options you should explore if you are looking for a simple, external solution. For those of a more technical bent, or those who want to keep closer control over their data, you can investigate a 'roll-you-own' solution by creating a "personal cloud" with network attached storage (NAS) on anything from an old computer to custom kit, such as that made by Synology.


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