What it is: Time Machine is just one of many options for backing up the data on a Macintosh.
Imagine if someone stole your Macintosh. Would you lose anything valuable? If not, then you don’t need to worry about backing up your data. However, chances are good you’d be missing a crucial e-mail address, a priceless photograph, or an important document of some kind. For most people, their Macintosh contains at least one file that they would never want to lose.
Perhaps the most crucial data on anyone’s Macintosh is their collection of photographs. Every time you sync your iPhone or iPad with a Macintosh, you can store any pictures from your iPhone/iPad to your Macintosh. Now you can delete those images on your iPhone/iPad to make room for more pictures.
Often times people capture vacation photos and store them on their Macintosh. Yet those pictures are now the only copy that exists in the whole world. If someone steals your Macintosh, your house or office catches fire and burns your Macintosh to a crisp, or your hard disk simply fails, there goes all your precious memories. If you’ve never backed up your photos, you could risk losing years of priceless photos.
That’s why you absolutely need to back up your data, especially important data like pictures. The simplest way to back up any Macintosh is to buy an external hard disk, connect it to your Macintosh with a USB cable, and then use Time Machine, OS X’s built-in backup program.
Once you set up Time Machine, it backs up your entire Macintosh every hour. Not only does this mean you can find data you may have accidentally erased, but you can also recover any programs you might have deleted by mistake as well. At the very least, you should use Time Machine and get an external hard disk that’s at least the same size as the hard disk in your Macintosh, preferably larger. The larger your external hard disk, the more backups you can save and you can never have too many backups of your data.
The biggest problem with Time Machine is that it requires an external hard disk that sits right next to your Macintosh, so if a disaster strikes your Macintosh, chances are good it will also strike and kill your external hard disk. So for photos and any other crucial data, you should also use iCloud or a similar online storage service like Microsoft’s OneDrive or DropBox.
The idea is that you save your crucial data like pictures on your Macintosh and also in iCloud. Now if something wipes out your Macintosh, your crucial files are still safe on iCloud. At the very least, use Time Machine, but for better protection, use Time Machine and iCloud or another online storage service.
You want a local backup (such as an external hard drive) and an online backup (such as iCloud). Now your data should be safe.
So if you’re the type of person who captures hundreds of baby pictures of your kids and never makes a backup to either Time Machine or iCloud, be careful. If losing years of irreplaceable photos is something you’d rather not imagine, then it’s time to make sure you backup everything on your Macintosh with Time Machine and iCloud today before disaster strikes. You can never have enough backups. Don’t tempt fate.