Whether you are a domestic user who just wants to safeguard photos and videos, or a home or office based business which wants to guarantee business continuity, you must at least consider backing up your data. By ‘consider’ we mean seriously consider because if you just consider quite how damaging to you or your business finding your computer lost/stolen or the data missing would be…
All computers (even Macs) fail at some time. They just wear out. Add to that the risks of fire, flood, accidental (or malicious) damage and theft and it’s only sensible to take precautions (see where we’re going here?). Office based businesses also have to consider lack of access to premises (situations out of their control) which could be seriously damaging to the business.
Your Mac comes equipped with some backup software called Time Machine. This is ideal to cover hardware failure and accidental or malicious erasure and the backup is typically made to a physically attached external hard drive. The backup is made hourly, daily and weekly and is incremental which means it’s possible to retrieve earlier versions of documents.
This is excellent if you need or want a new machine or hard drive as it will restore your Mac exactly as it was without the need to find software serial numbers, email settings and passwords etc.
The only drawback is the system is designed to be permanently attached to a Mac and in the event of theft, fire etc. it is likely that this backup will be lost too. It also doesn’t help if you’re locked out of the office due to a gas leak!
All the other scenarios can only be adequately covered by offsite backup. It is better to automate this process rather than rely on manual removal of a hard drive every night. For domestic backup it may be enough to run this process occasionally and take it to a friend or relative’s house. Only you can decide!
A system where after usual business hours data is transferred via the Internet in an encrypted form to a remote location is recommended. This can be to the Cloud or to another physical hard drive. The drawback with the Cloud is that it can take a very long time to restore all the data needed and this has to be manually loaded back on to a replacement machine but it may be suitable for some. If the backup is made as a clone of the desired hard drive to another physical drive then it can be available as soon as it can be retrieved and work can commence.
The off site backup drive can be located wherever there is another Mac and adequate Internet speed. Some offices swap data, some backup home to office and office to home. We offer hosted backup in our office to a private, separate hard drive which is monitored and maintained daily. Please ask for details. In the event of an emergency the drive can be collected from our office or couriered to you.
For home/personal users who are largely concerned with images and video there is an excellent free service from Google called Google Photos. This has the added advantage of combining with an app to give access to unlimited photographs on an iPhone or iPad when used with WiFi. (providing ample embarrassment opportunities!) We can help you set this up and ensure that it’s working correctly.
Don’t forget that if all else fails we at MacRat are one of the UK’s leading Apple data recovery specialists and offer a fixed £140 fee on a no fix, no fee basis.
Any questions please get in touch for a friendly chat.