Backing up your Mac is crucial in protecting your files and data. Whatever digital disaster happens, you have something to fall back on instead of starting from scratch. So, even if you’ve accidentally deleted your hard drive or your Mac suddenly went kaput, you don’t have to worry about losing your important data.
Mac has a built-in backup tool, called Time Machine, that works by creating copies of your files in the background. However, some Mac users find Time Machine a hassle because you have to keep the external hard drive you’re using for backup always connected and turned on. Plus, you’ll need a hard drive with an HFS+ filesystem for the backup.
Others, on the other hand, don’t like the fact that the Time Machine backup is not bootable. If your boot volume gets in trouble, you’ll need to reinstall macOS and restore the Time Machine backup.
Mac users have also encountered various Time Machine issues, such as backups not being completed, backup files disappearing all of a sudden, and backup process not being initiated on schedule.
Because of these issues, Mac users have been looking for Time Machine alternatives for backing up files. There are many backup options in the market today, but finding the best alternative for Time Machine on Mac requires careful research and a bit of trial and error. We understand that different users have different backup needs and what might be useful for you might not be worth the same to the next person.
Types of Backup Software for Mac
Before you look at the list of Time Machine alternatives for Mac, you must first understand the different kinds of backup and what they do.
- Local backup – This type of backup requires the storage drive to be kept close and plugged into the computer at all times, just like Time Machine. This is a good way of quickly restoring large files from the backup drive. However, this backup is also vulnerable to calamities, such as fire and flood. If any of this happen s, your backup will be destroyed along with your computer.
- Cloud storage – This backup is like Dropbox and Google Drive. Your files are stored in the cloud, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally deleting them. However, this type of backup is not ideal for large files and you need an internet connection every time you need to save or retrieve a file.
- Bootable clone – This works like a local backup, except that you’re saving a copy of the whole operating system. So, if your computer suddenly drops dead or your hard drive gets damaged, you can boot directly from your backup drive.
- Cloud backup – This type of backup is similar to a cloud storage, except for the fact that you can save large files here. Restoring large files from a cloud backup can be time-consuming, though.
So, if you’re looking for alternatives for Time Machine, check out the list we’ve compiled below of backup software you can use on Mac. This will save you the trouble of looking up and trying out each of these backup options. Some of these alternatives are free, while some require a small subscription fee.
Time Machine Alternatives for Backup
Dropbox may not be like your traditional backup software, but it is a great place to save your important files, nonetheless. You can also continue working on your files after you have uploaded them to Drorpbox.
All you need to do is sign up for a Dropbox account and you get to enjoy 2GB of free storage. This is more than enough to save your important files and data. But if you need more storage, you can upgrade to the paid version, which costs $9.99 per month, to get 1TB of space.
The only downside to using Dropbox is that you need to upload your files and documents manually. Alternatively, you can drag the files to the Dropbox folder for automatic syncing.
2. Google One
Formerly known as Google Drive, Google One works exactly the same way Dropbox does. It may not be as powerful as your traditional backup programs for Mac, but it offers a safe way of storing your files online and making them accessible wherever and whenever you need them.
The only difference with Dropbox is the pricing. You get 15GB storage for the free account, 100GB for $1.99 per month, 200GB for $2.99 per month, 2TB for $9.99 per month, and so on. Compared to Dropbox, Google One offers more storage and more pricing options.
Backblaze is a cloud backup solution that keeps all your important files totally safe. All of the important data on your computer will get uploaded to Backblaze’s servers. If you need a copy of your files, you can just download them directly from the website.
Uploading large files to the Backblaze server might slow down your network, but you can set an upload limit or schedule your backups when you’re asleep, so that it doesn’t affect your computer use.
Instead of downloading an entire computer worth of data, you can order a 128GB USB drive or a 4TB external drive with all of your data on it. Backblaze costs $5 per month for each computer that you want to back up.
This backup works the same way as Backblaze. It costs $6 per month for each computer, billed annually. You can back up an unlimited amount of data to their servers and restore them through their website. However, if you need to upload videos, you need to subscribe to the $111.99/year Plus plan. And if you want your data delivered to you, you’ll have to be subscribed to the $149.99/year Prime plan.
This backup tool is one of the most popular cloning apps for Mac. You can use it like a regular backup tool to copy files and folders to another drive. What makes SuperDuper! really cool is its capability to create bootable clones of your computer. So, even if your hard drive fails, you can easily get your computer up and running again with this backup.
SuperDuper! Has a free version that provides features that most users need. But its paid version offers other useful features, such as a scheduler and a Smart Update feature that updates your existing backups.
6. Carbon Copy Cloner
Carbon Copy Cloner is also a flexible backup utility that allows users to create regular and bootable backups. But with Carbon Copy Cloner, you get to choose which files are backed up. This is an important feature for those who don’t want to back up every single file on their computer.
Carbon Copy Cloner also lets users create a bootable clone, plus a regular backup of select files and folders. The user interface is also better and easier to navigate compared to other backup tools.
Carbon Copy Cloner costs $39.99, but you get to enjoy a free 30-day trial to check out its features first.
7. Acronis True Image
Acronis True Image is an all-in-one backup solution for Mac. You can choose to back up your files to a local hard drive or save them in network attached storage drives. You can also use the software’s own cloud backup service.
The app costs $49.99 and it has pretty much all that you need, except for a cloud backup service. If you want to save your files to the cloud, you need to subscribe to either the Advanced plan for $49.99 a year or the Premium plan for $99.99 a year. These plans also come with other useful features, such as phone support and social media backup.
Time Machine is a good backup tool for Mac, but it’s not for everybody. If you’re looking for more powerful features or other backup methods aside from what the built-in backup tool provides, check out our list above of great alternatives for Time Machine and choose one that fits your needs and your budget.
Here’s a tip: To speed up the backup creation process, make sure to regularly delete junk files from your computer using Mac repair app. Your upload rate will be faster and you can save your storage space for your important data.