Apple Guide Podcast

Apple Guide Podcast


June 04, 2021

Think of all the important files on your Mac. Your massive photo collections of your children growing up, that vacation you took a couple of years ago, or that party you went to in your younger days. How about your important documents from work or school. Now think what would happen if all of that disappeared in an instant. Maybe you lose your MacBook, or it's stolen. Maybe something inside your computer fails, like your storage drive. Or, one day, you turn on your computer, and nothing happens. In an instant, all those memories are gone, and all that hard work has vanished. This is why it's so important to back up your computer, and that's what I'm going to show you today.

When you're backing up your computer, you're making another copy of your treasured information. It can be a full copy of your computer or just important folders and files. Then, if something happens to your computer, you have another copy of your data to fall back on.

Now, there are a couple of places you can save another copy of your data, a local backup with an external drive, and/or an off-site backup with a cloud provider.

First, let's look at the cloud, which may be a more expensive option since it requires a subscription plan from a cloud service like Google Drive, iCloud Drive, DropBox, or Microsoft OneDrive. The way this works, each of these cloud storage solutions has a desktop app. From their app, you can dictate which folders on your computer you want to sync. Anytime you save a file, delete a file, or edit a file in one of those folders, your changes are, more or less, immediately copied to that cloud service, as long as you have an internet connection and are signed in.

In addition, each of these cloud storage providers has an app for Mac and Windows, Android and iOS, and web access. With this, you can access your files saved on the cloud from any device.

The cloud is a good solution if you switch between multiple devices, like a desktop, laptop, and phone. For instance, you use your iMac at home and a MacBook when you're on the go. You can start a document on your laptop and save it to the cloud. Then, once you get home, you can open that file on your iMac and pick up where you left off. It does all of this while also serving as an off-site backup.

So, which service should you use? Well, if you're in the Google ecosystem, then purchase some Google Drive storage. If you're in the Apple ecosystem, get some iCloud Drive storage. And, if you're in the Microsoft ecosystem, get OneDrive storage. But, don't be too quick to jump on OneDrive because you may already be paying for it. If you have a Microsoft 365 Family or Personal subscription, 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage is included with your plan, in addition to the most up-to-date version of Office. But, it also depends on which provider you feel more comfortable with and you think will keep your data private and secure.

If you want to learn more about these cloud solutions, check out the links below.

Cloud services are good for saving your important folders and files then syncing them across your devices. But, it still doesn't capture a full copy of your computer. For that, we will need an external drive and a time machine.

Let's start by looking into external drives. You can get these from almost anywhere, Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and, of course, Amazon. When browsing your options, there are two things to consider, its capacity and how it connects to your computer.

My recommendation is to find a drive that is twice the capacity of your computer. If you don't know how much space is in your computer...