How I backup my computer

View my backup diagram on Scribd

I can’t value backups enough. They’re the protection that just sits in the background, and like insurance, you essentially forget about it until that tragic point when you need it. I know many people that have been burned by their lack of backed-up content and I never want to go through that (knock on wood).

My biggest fear is the loss of my MacBook Air as it’s my only computer. Everything lives on it; both my personal and professional data are stored on it. So, instead of spending a lot of time describing exactly what I’ve come up with over the years, I’ve put together a diagram.

Some highlights:

  • Having two physical drives means I can lose both the computer and one backup drive. The odds of losing the machine are slim, luckily. The odds of losing the machine and two drives is catastrophic and very unlikely.
  • Having a snapshot (using SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner) means if my machine was lost, I could easily plug the bootable device into another machine and be right back up and running in no time. Time Machine, while providing helpful incremental backups (OMG did I really delete that file last week?!) takes a lot of downtime to restore.
  • Using the cloud (internet storage) is easy. I feel fairly safe putting my timeless items (like years and years of photos) up in the cloud as providers like Rackspace and Amazon allow for tons of cheap, easy data storage which they, too, are backing up (though no guarantees usually).

Do you have any suggestions or thoughts on backing up your personal and work data? Is this overkill? Not enough?