Three Ways to Back up Your Mac

You spend hours downloading MP3s, uploading countless digital photos, and writing both personal and business emails. Chances are you would be in a world of trouble if anything happened to your hard drive…that is unless you have a reliable backup method for your Mac. Here are three different proven methods to backup your Mac in case a devastating fire – or moronic human error, whatever the case may be – strikes.

External Hard Drive
Using an external hard drive to backup a user's primary hard drive has become an extremely popular backup method since it's really simple to do and the cost of hard drives has come down significantly. Users simply plug it into their computer and specify which files they want backed up. The drawback of an external hard drive is it is typically kept in the same vicinity as the original hard drive. In the event of a fire or a natural disaster, the backups could be destroyed as well.

Network Attached Storage (NAS)
More apt for business Mac users, network attached storage refers to data storage on a computer network that can be accessed by several network users. A NAS device is a large hard drive, typically attached to a router, which multiple computers can back up to. Time Capsule is a popular NAS device for Apple users which works in conjunction with the Apple backup software Time Machine. However, just like a conventional external hard drive, a NAS device still doesn't solve the issue of keeping backups in the same general area as the originals.

Online Backup
A web-based Mac backup software program tends to be one of the easiest and best options when it comes to backing up your Mac. The latest versions of selected documents and files are automatically backed up on a schedule determined by the user, whether hourly, daily, or weekly. Most programs offer ample storage space (if not unlimited) for a monthly fee. When considering various online backup solutions, look for providers that offer archiving (so you can access past versions of documents), encryption and a unique key so only you can access your data, and comprehensive customer service.