It appears the post I wrote about downgrading from Mountain Lion to Lion has become wildly popular (relatively speaking). The reason I was able to restore all of my data (and then write that post) was that I had a recent backup. Backing up is probably the single most important piece of maintenance you can perform on your computer. And having multiple backups in multiple places is also a pretty stellar idea. So with that in mind, I thought I’d share my current backup strategy.
- Hourly: Time Machine to a Time Capsule.
- Daily: Arq, which backs up my home folder to Amazon S3.
- Monthly: SuperDuper!, which clones my entire hard drive to an external USB drive.
This setup works really well for me and I haven’t been tempted to change it since I started using it (which is a minor miracle in itself). The most important facet is that it’s pretty much friction free. And that’s what you want in a backup system: something where you can set it and forget it until the (hopefully rare) moment you need to use it. The Time Machine and Arq backups happen automatically, so I never need to remember to do them. If I were to keep the external drive attached to my MacBook Air at all times, I could also schedule SuperDuper! to run its backups automatically as well, but I don’t so there’s a monthly repeating task in OmniFocus that ensures I do it.
There are other solutions out there, especially in the online backup arena (you can check out CrashPlan, Backblaze, or Carbonite, for example). If you want even more information on the topic, the Mac Power Users Podcast recorded an episode all about it. I highly recommend checking it out.