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Choosing an Appropriate Backup Strategy for an Apple Laptop

Despite being known for their durability, even Apple Laptops can crash and leave owners scrambling for data backups.


To keep your files protected from hard drive failure, theft and other common dangers, you need to develop an appropriate backup strategy for your Apple laptop. Fortunately, there are a number of excellent data backup programs for the Mac OS operating system, including the Time Machine software and Time Capsule, Apple's backup solution for Mac computers.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when planning effective backup on an Apple laptop:

Time Machine or Third-Party Options?

The Mac OS X operating system has a built-in automatic backup application, Time Machine. In our experience, Time Machine is a powerful and dependable choice for backup software, as it creates incremental backups that allow users to restore OSX systems to virtually any point in time up to a month before the most recent backup.

Time Machine works with all external and internal drives. It is designed to work exceptionally well with Apple's Time Capsule, an external Wi-Fi drive that offers terabytes of storage space. If you use your Apple laptop primarily at home, Time Capsule and Time Machine are an excellent resource, particularly if you have more than one Mac OS computer.

You can also choose from a number of third-party backup applications. You might use these if you prefer the user interface of a third-party option or if you need a specific feature for your backups. If you want to create archival backups, you should look into third-party software, as Time Machine is not intended for long-term archival storage.

Keep Your Backups Automatic

Most Apple backup software allows you to set up an automatic backup schedule. Always enable this feature; manual backups are risky, especially if you are busy or if you use your laptop in more than one location on a regular basis. Automatic backups provide serious protection and will give you peace of mind.

With this being said, you can occasionally perform manual backups if you make key changes to important files. Keep at least three copies of your most important files, and never travel with all three copies.

Keep Your Backups Secure

Apple laptops have a number of features that provide protection if they are lost or stolen. You should apply the same security standards to any backup copies of your data. Enable encryption in order to prevent unauthorized users from accessing your files.

On Time Machine, you can enable encryption via the preference pane. Most third-party backup applications support some type of encryption, although you will need to do some research to figure out how to enable the feature. Choose an alphanumeric password with uppercase and lowercase letters and store it in a safe location. Remember, if you lose your password, you will not be able to access the encrypted data.

Check Your Backups Occasionally

Even the best backup software can occasionally fail, so occasionally check your backups and make sure that they function correctly. Pay special attention to any error messages or any signs of data corruption on your backups. Replace failing backup media as soon as possible.

Have a Data Recovery Plan

Even with the best backup strategy, sudden disasters can leave you without access to your most important data. By knowing what to do if your backups fail, you will improve your chances of getting a fast recovery at an affordable price.

Secure Data Recovery Services' Apple data recovery engineers can safely open Mac OS laptop computers to perform recoveries. We offer free media evaluations for the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and other Apple devices. To schedule free diagnostics, call us today at 1-800-388-1266.

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