Online backup for mac external hard drive

A clone of your disk indicates that the disk is copied bit-by-bit to create an exact copy of your primary drive.

Top 3 Best Ways How to Backup Your Mac in

Clones can be used as your main backup method and can also be instrumental in data recovery efforts by minimizing disk usage on a damaged drive. The tool can use the clone to enact data recovery functions or you can simply use it as a backup that is an exact copy of your original disk. It may take a while, but eventually the process will end and you will now have a large DMG file that contains the contents of your hard drive. This clone can be used for data recovery operations, or simply stored as a backup of your machine. Another tool that you can use to create disk image clones is SuperDuper!.

Recently a new method of backing up your computer has become available to individual users.

Final Thoughts

Remotely backing up to the cloud offers the user some advantages over more traditional backup methods. Rather than use an external storage device that you furnish, when using an online backup service you use their storage. There are many options available for performing online backups. We will take a look at a few of them and describe what they offer and their costs. You can easily create a folder structure on your iCloud Drive and manually copy your files to the cloud location.

Paid options: Based on how much data you will store in the cloud, you can upgrade your storage plan. Free options: Similar to iCloud Drive is the online storage offered by Google. When you sign up for a Google account you are given 15GB of free storage which can be upgraded as you need it. Free options: Another online alternative that will allow you to backup your data is Dropbox.

When you sign up for a Dropbox account, you can save any of your data to their online storage — you get 2GB for free. You pay for the storage by the month and can use as much as you are willing to purchase. You are not constrained by the size of your storage device. Since you have backed up to an online location, your data is kept separately from your computer, ensuring that you can retrieve your data in the event of a catastrophe such as a fire or flood that may destroy the primary and backup copies of your data.

You do need an Internet connection in order to perform online backups. You will also need to be connected in order to use this backup for a restore. This may be an issue for some users and is one of the main reasons to continue with locally created backups. As you can see, there are a multitude of techniques you can employ to backup your Mac. There are a few common practices for configuring when backups occur. The most common option is on a fixed schedule, such as once a day, week, or month.

The second, which we prefer, is to upload file changes whenever they're changed and saved, otherwise known as a continuous backup setting. Services only transfer the modified part of the file in this scenario, so as not to overburden your internet connection or take up unnecessary storage. A third way is simply to upload files manually. Some may appreciate this degree of control, but this method is only effective if you remember to regularly run the backup.

Most services encrypt your files with strong systems such as AES before sending them up to the servers over an encrypted connection. The majority of products we tested also offer a private encryption key option. If you choose to manage your own encryption keys basically the "key" that decrypts your backup , know that it is your responsibility to remember it.

The online backup service itself will not be able to help you reset the password if you forget it. On the flip side, this means that no one including employees of the backup service and law enforcement officials other than you can unlock your backups. This is ideal from a privacy and security standpoint.


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Use a password manager to keep track of your private encryption key if you think you will forget it. An online backup service isn't much use if it doesn't make the process of restoring or recovering your data quick and simple. For example, a service should offer search tools for finding particular files in your backup. It's also desirable for a service to be able to replicate an entire folder-tree structure so that it can help you recover from bigger data losses.

Keep in mind that if you buy a plan that covers just one computer, you may have to transfer the account to a new PC if you ever switch your main device or if you need to restore data from a damaged computer to a replacement. Many services also offer a feature called versioning. This saves incremental changes you make to files as recoverable snapshots of the file. It's useful in case you need to get back information from an earlier version or if your latest file save becomes corrupted.

Services vary widely in how many versions they keep and how long they're saved. One of the biggest advantages of using an online backup service is that it lets you access your files from anywhere. Most online backup providers let you view and download files from a web browser, but that should be the bare minimum.

Many also include file-sharing options, the best of which even let you specify a password for access and an expiration date for the shared item. All the online backup services we tested offer Android and iOS apps, but the quality and utility of those apps vary widely. Some just offer simple document and media file downloads from your existing backups, but the most feature-complete allow you to back up the data on your mobile devices.

An online backup service's speed depends on how quickly it can encrypt, compress, and upload files to its servers. This should be of particular concern if you need to back up or restore a large amount of data. A high-performance backup service also minimizes its effect on network and system resources. Make sure to check out our speed test results in the review of any service you're contemplating using. Backup speed should not be the sole determinant of which online backup service you use, but fast upload speeds can certainly make initial and subsequent backups less disruptive.

Some services go above and beyond, including extra capabilities that improve the experience. For example, a few offer disk courier services for bulk uploads and restores via an external drive that the company ships and manages.

The Best Online Cloud Backup Service

A couple of these services throw in a local backup component, too. If you go that route, you should take a look at our roundup of best external hard drives. Some of these services can even track your device's location and let you remotely wipe it in case it's lost or stolen. Pros: Easy setup. Unlimited devices per account. Disk image backup.

File Explorer integration. Folder syncing. Bulk uploads and restores via mail.


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Fast upload speeds in testing. Cons: No true continuous backup option. Fractured web interface. Storage isn't unlimited. Pros: Excellent desktop interface. Local and cloud backup.

The research

Full disk image backup and restore. File syncing. Ransomware Protection. Cons: Expensive. Slow web interface and mobile apps. Lacks password protection for shared files. Pros: Robust security options. Archival features. Can back up external and network drives. Local backup. Outdated desktop and mobile interfaces.

Best Cloud Backup Services 12222

Continuous protection limited to individual files. No File Explorer integration. No free or unlimited storage accounts. Besides software protection, data centers use biometric scanning, key cards, patrols and monitoring to ensure there are no breaches. Your data is also stored on multiple servers and those servers are protected against natural disasters and fires. The desktop client is easy to navigate but the text is a bit small.

One of the most compelling reasons to justify its higher cost is that speed. To see the actual numbers and other features, read our Acronis True Image review. Unlike most backup services, Carbonite offers three plans instead of one for unlimited storage: Basic, Plus and Prime. Carbonite Plus is the most popular plan because it supports external hard drive and automatic video backup, unlike Basic.

All three plans are billed annually. You can try the service out, first, with a day trial, too. Carbonite protects all data stored on its servers with bit AES encryption. It holds the key for that encryption but you can enable private encryption. If enabled, Carbonite uses bit AES, instead.

Completing its mostly foolproof security profile, Carbonite has strong password requirements and an option for two-factor authentication. The Carbonite desktop client Windows or macOS is easy to install. Once installed, you only have one step when initiating backup since most of the process is automated. The only match for its simplicity is Backblaze. Carbonite even color codes your files if you have that option enabled while backing them up so you can check their status more easily. There are no other reasons as the backup process is much slower than the competitors like Backblaze and IDrive.

Backblaze represents a great choice when backing up external hard drives because you get unlimited storage and an unlimited number of drives to backup, in addition to one computer. Do you use another service for backing up your external drives? Is there something we forgot? Tell us about it in the comments below. Thank you for reading. I am heartbroken. Table of Contents.

Using Cloud Storage Like An External Hard Drive

Visit Crashplan for Business. Cons : Limited to one computer Private encryption not truly end-to-end. Backblaze Review. Visit Backblaze. Pros: Unlimited device backup Inexpensive plans Private encryption. Cons : Harder to use than Backblaze No unlimited backup plan Not multi-threaded backup.

Pros : Unlimited backup Backup external drive Retains deleted files indefinitely. Cons : No two-factor authentication Expensive. Acronis True Image Cloud Review. Visit Acronis True Image Cloud. Cons : Very slow No monthly subscriptions A little expensive. Carbonite Review. Visit Carbonite.