CrashPlan announced that as of October 28, 2018, it will stop supporting its consumer backup service. Here are our favorite alternatives for backing up your Mac.
One of the stalwarts of the online backup industry, CrashPlan, announced on Tuesday that it would be phasing out support for its home and consumer backup services to better support its education and business customers. Though the changes won’t take effect until October 28, 2018, this is still a pretty big blow for people who relied on CrashPlan for their backup needs, as Joe Kissell illustrates so eruditely at Tidbits.
If you use CrashPlan, you do have just over a year to switch your mode of computer backup. We’ve put together our favorite online and offline alternatives below to help you make the switch.
Why back up at all?
Anyone in the tech industry, and every IT person, and your friend that knows a thing or two about computers will tell you how important it is to back up your data. No matter how new your Mac is, it is not infallible, and therefore is subject to the laws of reality, which are that sometimes things go wrong.
You can look the other way and pretend that it will never happen to you, but the moment you see that distorted screen, or hear that weird clicking noise coming from your computer, you’re going to wish you had backed up your data. So, I’m here to give you some suggestions to help you secure and store your most precious files with a list of the best online backup services and external hard drive backup programs.
Online backup services
Online backup services allow you to save your most important data in a remote location without having to switch out hard drives and relocate the spare every week. It ensures that, even if something catastrophic happened to your computer and external hard drives, your personal data would still be safe.
BackBlaze has one of the least expensive plans on the market, while still providing a plethora of features and options. It’s also the easiest to use if you aren’t trying to customize your back up options. It automatically selects what data to back up, though you can manually exclude folders you don’t want backed up. When you sign up with BackBlaze, you can download a special tool that will track your Mac’s location in case it ends up lost or stolen. And, if something goes wrong with your computer and you have to download everything that was stored with BackBlaze, but don’t want to bog down your internet, you can order a USB Flash drive or hard drive and they’ll FedEx it to your door.
BackBlaze has personal plans with unlimited back ups starting at $50 per year.
IDrive is a multi-platform online backup service that lets you connect multiple devices for full backup security. There are multiple account options to fit your needs, and they’ve even solved the oh-so-cumbersome issue of first-time backup bog down. They send you a physical hard drive to load your data onto, and then upload it to the cloud themselves after you ship it back!
It’s available for Mac, PC, and mobile devices. You can even back up your Facebook and Instagram data.
PC Mag named it one of the best online backup service of 2016.
IDrive does just about everything you need an online backup service to do—and more. With continual backup, folder syncing, file sharing, archiving, File Explorer integration, strong mobile apps, and an unlimited number of devices per account, it’s hard to believe the service costs less than most of the competition.
IDrive runs about $70 per year for the 1 TB personal level, though you can get started with a 5 GB basic plan for free.
Carbonite is a great online backup plan for beginners. If you’ve never delved into the world of securing your data remotely, it features a suggested backup option for you. So, you won’t be muddled up wondering whether you should be backing up less-important data. It also has a back up scheduler, so you can designate when backups happen. This is useful for people with poor internet connections because you can schedule a backup to take place every night, while you sleep, and not during the evening when you’re trying to watch Game of Thrones (ugh!).
Carbonite offers unlimited online backups for one computer at the personal level and keeps a dozen of the most recent changes made to a file so you can go back to an earlier version if need by.
Carbonite’s unlimited cloud plans start at $60 per year, but you can save up to 30 percent off if you subscribe for multiple years at once.
External hard drive backup programs
External hard drive backups are the simplest, and least expensive way to secure your data. All you have to do is download some software, connect a hard drive, and schedule back ups. To be doubly safe, it is a good idea to always have two hard drives if you don’t have a remote backup plan. That way, you can switch the drives each week and move the spare to a different location. This ensures that if something catastrophic happens to your home or office, there is a backup that is no more than a week old at a different location.
Time Machine is an obvious choice for Mac users. It comes with your Mac, and all you have to do is connect a hard drive to get started. It has a smart local snapshot feature that will delete older backups as you run out of space, and then save them for longer periods of time when you get back more space.
Time Machine also lets you retrieve specific images from folders, so you don’t have to restore from a full back up or deal with the internet slowdown of uploading all of your files online.
It’s also free, which is a very nice incentive to start using it. You can virtually set it and forget it until you need to access it.
Time Machine is built-in software on your Mac. You have no excuse not to back up your data, now.
Carbon Copy Cloner
Carbon Copy Cloner creates an exact copy of your Mac’s drive or individual folders with a simple interface that makes it easy to understand what to do next. You can schedule backups hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or manually. You can view your history and filter types of backups. It creates a bootable clone that is stored on an external hard drive, which you can start up your computer from if something does wrong. In addition to the full backup, you can also access recently deleted and changed files, which are cached as you work.
Carbon Copy Cloner costs $40 for all computers in your household.
Super Duper backs up all of your Mac’s files to your external hard drive. It features a smart updater that will copy and erase files as needed and can be scheduled for regular cloning backups. It is super easy to set up and use. You hit “Copy Now” to create a bootable backup on your external hard drive. Then, schedule the smart updates, which will only update changes that have been made, so it doesn’t take a lot of time or use up a lot of energy.
You can register one Mac with SuperDuper! for $27.95.
Mac Backup Guru
With Mac Backup Guru, you can make an exact clone of a folder or an entire disk drive. If you have older, partial backups, it will sync up to create a clone faster than starting from scratch. You can use it to make a bootable backup, which can be stored on an external drive. It also includes incremental snapshots that use software to create essential thumbnails of your backups so you can access multiple backups without taking up a lot of space.
Mac Backup Guru costs $29 per computer for a one-time licensing fee.
Do you use a particular online and/or external hard drive backup with your Mac? What is your favorite and why does it work for you?
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