If you’re not backing up your Mac, iPhone, or iPad regularly then one day you could be the victim of this situation. Your turn on your Mac one morning and nothing happens. Something died. Hard disk drive, system board, power supply. Your Mac is as good as dead. If it was the disk drive or SSD that bought the farm, then your photos, music, movies, Documents and everything else is as good as gone and getting them back can take time and money (if it’s possible).
I don’t mean to sound dire but a regularly executed backup plan is a must for any Mac user (as well as iPhone and iPad, both of which get backed up differently than a Mac). Alright, back to my original question, “Will any backup do?”
So long as the backup is effect and available, yes. I’m not married to a specific methododology; you know, different strokes for different folks, even though I have favorite apps (SuperDuper, ChronoSync, Carbon Copy Cloner are difficult to beat). That said, if a Mac backup app works for you and you can afford, then it’ll do.
Here’s an example of a decent backup app which doesn’t usually rank in the list of recommendations but is very good and priced right. It’s called SmartBackup and it backs up files to external disk drives, SSDs, flash drives, even network connected devices. And, importantly for a recommendation of sorts from me, SmartBackup creates a bootable clone of your Mac’s storage.
As Mac backup utilities go, SmartBackup doesn’t blaze any new ground or add different functionality. Instead, it’s more tried and true in methodology, including the standard Target and Source to create and manage multiple backups.
Be forewarned that the first backup of files to an external disk, or a complete bootable clone to an external disk may take awhile depending upon how many files are on your Mac. The more files, the slower the initial backup.
From then on, though, SmartBackup makes what are called incremental file backups, copying only those files which have changed since the last backup. Deleted and changed files can be archived and timestamped; just in case. It also comes with a handy Automator action so backups can be automated using Events in Calendar. That works well as there is no built-in scheduler like you’ll find the three aforementioned and well-known backup apps.
Geekier Mac users will appreciate the option to use scripts and setup launchdaemons. What I cannot tell about SmartBackup is how smart it is. SuperDuper! has a well deserved reputation for creating nearly perfect clones of Mac’s system. SmartBackup has two versions; website version, and Mac App Store version. The former is recommended, the latter is better to avoid as Apple’s MAS requirements reduce the number of available functions.