Mac Backup Software Review

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Why Use Mac Backup Software?

It’s a dark moment and we’ve all come face to face with it, the moment your computer goes “bonk” and drops dead. Once the initial shock sets it, the panic begins. What about your files? What about your movies? What about your music? What do you do? While these moments are horrifying for anyone who’s used a computer for longer than a few months, there is a way to avoid these situations. While you can’t necessarily avoid the occasional crash or file loss, there is a way to protect yourself and your files should the worst happen. Enter, Mac backup software. Backing up your files, folders and even system doesn’t need to be a strenuous and tedious task.

While all Macs come with the Time Machine program preloaded, it’s not ideal for saving all your data, like your address book or internet bookmarks. We’ve compiled a lineup of Mac data backup software programs that will keep your data safe and provide relief should you find yourself face to face with the dreaded blue screen.

Mac Backup Software: What to Look For

It’s surprising how many shapes and sizes Mac backup software come in, considering they all do basically the same thing, which is take your data from your hard drive and copy it to a more secure location. When beginning the search for a great program, remember you will need a secure location to store your data. For this, you can either look into partitioning your current hard drive, which means setting aside a portion of space on your hard disc that is separate from the portion that your computer will use during its day to day processes, like a bank vault. If this sounds a little too complicated, you can always acquire an external memory device such as a flash drive or external hard drive. These connect to your computer, usually through a USB connection, and can store anywhere from a few gigs to a few terabytes of memory. The range of devices is wide enough that you can easily find one in your price range and that will be enough to store your sensitive data. Once you’ve got a place to store your data, then it’s time to decide on what you need in terms of Mac backup software. Here’s what to look for.

Backup Features
All the programs we reviewed will help you move your data to a secure location. What you need to decide is what you want to store and how you want to get it there. Most programs allow you to create customizable lists of folders and locations for the Mac backup software to watch and then save. Most programs will allow you to write “scripts” which means setting up a list of functions the program will perform once you hit the action button.

If you’re worried about keeping your data secure, look for a program that will protect your data with a password. Other programs track all the changes you make to files, even if you delete them; this is referred to as archiving. If you accidentally delete a file, some programs allow you to dip into the backup hard drive archive and retrieve it. Most programs that offer archiving will also allow you to compress this data so it doesn’t take up massive amounts of space in your destination drive. Most importantly, you need to choose a program that will facilitate the storage of your data onto your preferred device, ranging from flash drives and external hard drives to CDs and DVDS to online network servers.

Restore Features
Once you’ve safely secured your data on your backup hard drive, it’s no good if you can’t easily return it to your main hard drive. Most Mac backup software programs rely heavily on the Finder utility, allowing you to search your collection and simply drag and drop it back onto your hard drive. Others will walk you through a full system restore from a bootable copy. Some data will only work if it’s in the correct location, which some programs will even replace the data with their original file paths so no data is orphaned on your hard drive. Other programs will help you keep track of those changes you made in your files, and allow you to walk back through each step to restore your document before you accidentally saved over it.

Ease of Use
Above any flashy design or grouping of tools, you need a program that is easy to use. If a Mac backup software program has lots of features, but makes it difficult to use them, then chances are you won’t go through the necessary steps to keep your data safe. A program that makes it easy to use means you’ll use it more, meaning your data will be regularly up to date. Some programs can even be automated via a scheduling function to run when you aren’t at your computer. They’ll wake your computer up from its sleep and save your data. This is great because it won’t interrupt you from your work for backups in the middle of a deadline crunch. An easy to use program is a must.

Help & Support
While most of these programs are relatively straightforward in their execution, sometimes you’ll find yourself scratching your head. It’s important to choose Mac backup software that offers a variety of methods to find answers to your questions, whether that is through a direct email to the developers, or on a user forum thread, or nestled away in a user manual or FAQs. The more resources you have to answering your questions the better.

Keeping all these factors in mind, we assembled this lineup of Mac backup software, ranging from meager utilities to fully realize programs. Take a look and you’ll be sure to find a program that fits your needs, budget and hardware. For the best programs, be sure to check out ChronoSync, DataBackup, Tri-BACKUP, and others for the best we found in Mac data backup software. While you're at it, also feel free to check out our articles about articles about Mac Backup Software too.

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Software » Utilities » Data Backup Software Review » Mac Backup Software Review
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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
ChronoSync Data Backup Tri-BACKUP SuperDuper! Synk Standard Knox SmartBackup Synchronize! X Plus
ChronoSync Data Backup Tri-BACKUP SuperDuper! Synk Standard Knox SmartBackup Synchronize! X Plus
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Lowest Price
Visit ChronoSync 4.1
$40.00
Visit Data Backup 3.1.1
$34.99
Visit Tri-BACKUP 5.2.5
$69.00
Visit SuperDuper! 2.6.2
$27.95
Visit Synk Standard 6.5.5
$40.00
Visit Knox 1.6.4
$34.99
Visit SmartBackup 2.5.2
$13.99
Visit Synchronize! X Plus 3.7.1
$29.95
Ratings
9.07
8.45
8.45
8.13
6.88
6.57
6.25
3.13
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
8.75
10.00
7.50
10.00
10.00
7.50
10.00
6.25
10.00
8.75
7.50
7.50
6.25
7.50
10.00
8.75
7.50
6.25
10.00
3.75
5.00
3.75
10.00
7.50
5.00
7.50
10.00
2.50
5.00
2.50
2.50
2.50
 
Backup Features
Individual File Backup
 
Individual Folder Backup
 
Complete System Backup
Create Bootable Backup
  
 
One-Click Drive Backup
Backup Scheduling
Backup Password Protection
 
  
Data Compression
  
  
File Filtering
 
File Archiving
 
 
Backup Verification
 
     
Backup Scripting
 
Pre & Post Run Commands
  
Event Logs/Reports
 
Burning Software
     
Drive Spanning  
     
Address Book Backup  
  
  
Restore Features
Restore File Paths
   
Restore Individual Files/Folders
Restores Hard Drive Images
Restore to a Seperate Location
      
Rereplaces Older Files and Duplicates
  
 
 
Damaged Data Recovery         
Backup Output
Backup to Hard Drive
 
Backup to Removeable Media
Backup to Online Server
 
  
 
Help & Support
Download Updates
      
Email
 
  
FAQs
 
 
Online Form
   
 
Tutorials
    
  
Phone  
    
User Manual
    
User Forum