Macs are just as vulnerable as other computers when it comes to accidents and just like other computers, you should take precautions with your valuable data so you can recover quickly. Here's some advice specific to Macs for your backup and storage needs.
Mac Backups and Storage: What You'll Find Here
It can't be said enough. Keep backups of your data! Accidents happen. Having your files backed up lets you get right back to where you were with a minimum of pain. There are many options for Mac users, so here's some articles on storage and backups the Apple Way. There are also many fantastic third-party solutions available, and you can keep yourself informed on those options as well below. Finally, whether you choose first or third-party backup solutions, you're still going to have to store them somewhere. You can find out more by reading on. No matter your price range or needs, you'll find good information on protecting your important data in these articles.
Back Up and Restore Your Data the Apple Way...
The simplest, easiest way to keep your important data safe in the event of hardware failure or other accidental occurrence is to use Apple's Time Machine program, which is built-in to all versions of Mac OS X. It backs your whole computer up every hour. Certain directories can be excluded from this, if you're working on large files or just don't want to have some information backed up. It's a great option for most users, especially if you want it to "just work." Apple also happens to sell time capsules, which are Apple branded routers with an onboard external hard drive, designed to work with Time Machine. Like all Apple products, they can get expensive, but they do work exactly as advertised.
Check out these guides for using Time Machine, Time Capsule, and other Apple storage and backup solutions.
Please not that at the time of this writing iCloud, Apple's replacement for their discontinued MobileMe backup service, has not been released to the public. This article will be updated accordingly after it's release.
...Or Do Things Your Way
Of course, just because you can do something Apple's way, doesn't mean you have to or that it's even right for you. You may be an advanced computer user and like more control over how things on your system work. You may have to co-exist with a Windows network. You may only want certain files like photos or work documents backed up online, or shared on the cloud between multiple users. There's always the cost to think about as well. Apple products are reliable, but they can be very expensive compared to other options on the market. Burning out your data the old-fashioned way to multiple DVDs will keep it safe from hardware failure. You might even just want multiple redundant backups with different methods for peace of mind.
If that's the case, check out these guides on using third-party solutions for your Mac backing up and storage needs. They can work just as well as Apple solutions, and redundancy in backing up is never, ever a bad thing.
...But Where Will You Back It Up To?
One thing about computers is that you can never have too much storage space. You may think you have enough room for your music, videos, pictures, games and work files. You may be right... for now. But what if the day comes when your hard drive is full of things you can't bear to part with? And where are you going to back up all your files to, now that you've educated yourself on the different ways to back up your data? The cloud is awfully convenient, but you shouldn't rely on only one backup method. Some models of Macs can be upgraded far beyond their initial capacity. Others don't really have much room inside them, and must rely on the cloud or an external hard or flash drive. An external hard drive is always a good choice, and you can connect it to any computer you want, making large data transfers between systems as painless as can be.
Here are some guides for upgrading your existing storage on your computer, and some options on external hard disk drives.
Bright Hub, www.brighthub.com
- Author's own experience.