Backing Up Your Mac on the Go

If you’re traveling with your Mac, it’s probably because you’re working on the road, or you’re taking a bunch of photos and videos and want to offload them from your camera to the laptop.

The scary thing is what happens if something goes wrong? Or if someone steals your computer while you’re out and about. It would suck to have to replace the device, but most of us would be more upset about losing the contents of that device.

Today’s post is how to keep your data safe on the Mac. Looking to keep your iPhone photos safe? Look here.

Mac Backup On-The-Go

We always want two forms of backup for our devices, whether you travel with your Mac or not. Physical, in the form of an external drive you have quick access to, and a cloud backup.

If your system crashes, it will take an hour or two to restore your data from a physical drive you have on hand.

A cloud backup can take days or weeks depending on your internet speed. To me, cloud backups are for worst case scenarios. To me, it’s worth $50/year to have a cloud backup in case of a disaster that puts my computer and backup drive out of commission at the same time.

External Drive: If you don’t have one, get one!

This Seagate is usually what I recommend my clients buy. It’s cheap and will get the job done. More expensive ones like LaCie or G-Drive fail just as often as these in my experience. Save yourself some money and get a cheap one.

If you want fast and reliable and are willing to spend more, buy a Samsung T3 SSD. I just bought one last week and LOVE IT! It’s super fast, small, and unlikely to fail any time soon like a standard hard drive. Curious about SSDs? I wrote an article here about it if you want to learn more.

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Now that we have the physical device, we need to decide how to back up your computer.

  • Time Machine: This is by far the most popular and easy way to back up. Get an external drive, plug it in, and when it asks if you want to backup you hit, yes. Each time you plug it in, it updates! This is what I use for convenience.
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  • Carbon Copy Cloner: If you work on your computer and it is critical to be up and running as fast as possible when the worst happens, this is the way to go. You plug the drive in and it makes a perfect copy of your drive. You can plug that drive into any just about any other Mac holding the Option key and boom, all your stuff appears! If you go this route I suggest you use an SSD like the Samsung T3. Super Duper is another option along this route, but I prefer Carbon Copy Cloner.
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  • Drag and Drop: When it comes down to it, you really don’t need a fancy app to get your stuff on an external drive. All you have to do is drag the files you want to the external drive. I do recommend at least creating folders to organize everything. The downside is you constantly have to update the drive manually. My opinion? Use Time Machine is you want easy and free. Carbon Copy Cloner if you want more control and don’t mind spending $40.
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Cloud Backup

  • BackblazeThis is the app I use to back up my and my clients’ computers. You can change the settings to throttle your speed, or leave it wide open. The faster your connection, the faster you can back up. This option is a really big deal. When you need to restore 40 GB worth of stuff, having your speed throttled means days of trying to restore your files rather than a few hours. In addition, you can skip trying to restore over the internet and pay to have them send you a drive.
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  • Crashplan: This is what I used to use before switching to Backblaze and what the rest of my clients are on who haven’t switched over. It’s still great, but they don’t give you unrestricted speed access to their servers. They also will not send you a drive to restore from. Your only option is through the internet. 12647532.gif

 

There are other online backup services out there but, I believe these are the best options for your Mac. I hear Carbonite for Windows is excellent. Do not use it for your Mac. It will slow you down and has not been reliable for my clients when they actually needed it.

What about iCloud?

Most Apple users out there are under the impression iCloud is backing up their whole computer like their iPhone. This IS NOT the case. There are several different things iCloud will back up for you at an additional cost. Not only do they cost more, you have to opt into the service.

The caveats of iCloud are numerous and deserve their own posts. In fact, I’ve written about them if you want to learn more.

If you’ve upgraded to the newest operating system, macOS Sierra, iCloud will also give you the option to back up your Desktop and Documents folders to iCloud Drive so you have access to those files on your iOS devices and at iCloud.com. Remember, if you’re going to do this, you’ll likely need to upgrade your storage space on iCloud.

In summary…

There are a TON of options out there but if you stick with the suggestion below, you’re in good shape.

Bring an external drive with you to backup your photos and other important documents and make sure to sign up for Backblaze or Crashplan. Use iCloud Photo Library to back up your photos and videos, especially if you decide to skip out on another cloud solution like Backblaze.

Questions? Give me a call or shoot me an email! Comments below are welcome as well!

If you’ve found this helpful, would you share it with someone you think could benefit from this? Thank you!

How to Manage Photos While Traveling, iOS Edition

“What do you do with your photos and videos while traveling?”

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I get this question a lot. We spend lots of money to go somewhere beautiful and make memories so naturally, we’ll want to keep snapshots and videos safe.

With SO many options out there, it’s easy to get confused.

I’ve kept this pretty concise so you only have a couple of options, cost effective or the best.

Working Remotely from an Airstream

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Big things are happening and I can’t wait to share what I’ve been learning!

A quick update: Madeline and I bought an Airstream and are working remotely while traveling around the country! For the past few months, I’ve been transitioning Lemon Consulting to operate remotely and as of 3 weeks ago, it’s official—I’m working from the road!

What does this mean for you?

  • More availability for appointments. Since I’ve eliminated the need for driving from appointment to appointment, a good portion of my schedule has cleared. I’ll be doing all remote work from wherever I am traveling. Bonus: You get to work with me remotely too—feel free to leave the house messy, wear your athletic pants, and get comfy.
  • Extra on-site support. While I’m gone, I have some very talented colleagues I used to work with at Apple going on-site to your homes and businesses if some one needs to be there to physically do something. You will love these guys. I feel incredibly lucky to have them working for me.

I know you’ll find that working remotely will be an incredibly easy transition. I can almost guarantee once you work with me this way, you won’t want to go back to the old way of doing things.

The tools I’m using to work remotely:

If you live in Nashville, Comcast has a surprise for you…

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This photo shows speeds you can get from Comcast if you call them and ask for this secret deal. At least it’s a secret for the moment.

You see that 257 number? You can get that for $70/month with a 2 year contract with Comcast if you call and ask for it. For a little perspective, I’m paying $52/month for 25. So for $20 more a month I can get 10x the speed.

Why is Comcast doing this? Google Fiber is coming to Nashville and it’s rumored they’re going to be making their service available soon. When is soon though? Google Fiber speeds are 1000 Mbps. 4x this new speed Comcast is making available.

Comcast is trying to get the jump on Google and tempt you into signing a 2 year contract with them so Google doesn’t steal you away. For some, a bird in the hand is better than one in the bush.

I know a number of people who are flocking to it now. Who knows when Google will make their new plans available and they want faster speeds now.

Personally, I hate Comcast. They make my job so much harder than it has to be and I can’t wait for Google Fiber.

The 25 Mbps is fine for me for now. I’d rather not be locked up in a 2 year contract with a company with one of the worst reputations of customer service in the country.

Either way, I wanted to let you guys know what’s available if you want to jump on this. It’s really not a bad deal. Until Google is up and running….

What You’ve Been Waiting for Since the First iPhone

UntitledAndrea is one of those people that if something happened to her iPhone, the only thing she would care about are the photos. She’s in the prime of her career in a broadway musical touring all over the world in a leading role.

You can imagine the memories she’s capturing are some of the sweetest she’ll look back on.

Andrea isn’t the best at backing up her phone to her computer, though. She’s busy with other things that keep her from religiously grabbing her computer and plugging in her phone to sync and back up.

Unfortunately, that made for a mess when things went wrong with her phone and she had a couple nightmare experiences at the Apple Store. I won’t go into detail, but we got it all sorted out and she’s a happy camper. Especially once we got her set up with iCloud Photo Library.