Which backup method should you use for making constant archives of your data?


You’ve probably heard it dozens and dozens of times: It’s important to back up your data. Apple has Time Machine to help you get on a regular backup routine, but are there other methods you should be using?

Different backup methods use different frequencies by which they push updates to an archive. When evaluating these methods, ask yourself: How many copies are made? How and where is the data stored? How securely is data locked away, both physically and with encryption? And, often the most important, how recent?

Here are a few popular methods for consumer backups

  • File synchronization services: These services, including Dropbox, typically monitor particular designated areas of your Mac’s storage device and update changes immediately.
  • Local backup software: Apps like Time Machine perform backups on a regular interval, which can sometimes be selected.
  • Internet-hosted backup services: Services such as Backblaze can perform continuous backups, but may not be as up to date as a syncing service.

Why do these backup methods act so differently? It has to do with the computational effort to index files without burning up so many CPU cycles that your system slows down.

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