Archived - Backup 3.0 Help: Deciding where to back up your files
You can back up files to the following locations via Backup:
- Recordable CDs or DVDs
Backing up your information to discs is a great option for large amounts of data, such as your iPhoto or iTunes libraries. Before you start a backup, Backup lets you know you how many discs you'll need. If a backup is too big to fit on one disc, you can use more than one (you can also use a combination of CD and DVD discs). To maximize space on your discs, Backup may split some files; to restore split files, you need to use Backup.Many third-party CD and DVD burners are compatible with Mac OS X and Backup. DVD-RAM disk drives (used in some older Apple computers) are not supported by Backup.
- A folder or partition on your hard disk
You can back up files to a specific folder or partition on a hard disk. Backing up files on the same hard disk, however, won't protect you from a loss if the hard disk stops working.
- An external FireWire hard disk (such as your iPod)
For more information about backing up to your iPod, see Using your iPod as a backup disk.
- A server (computer) on your network
You can back up to any disk that's available in the Finder which you have write access to, for example, if you wish to back up to a Network File Storage system or another computer on your network. If you are using Mac OS X 10.5 or later and you want to back up to a network device or another computer, see this article.
- Removable solid-state memory devices (such as USB keychains)
These devices include memory sticks, compact flash cards, smart media cards, secure digital devices, and USB keychains. These devices come in different formats. Backup supports all formats, but some have limitations, such as which characters you can use in filenames, and the length of filenames. The best format to use with Backup is HFS+ (also known as Mac OS Extended). Make sure you store these devices in a different location from your computer.
- Your iDisk
As long as you have a Mobileme membership and a Mac with a broadband Internet connection, you can back up files to your iDisk and then access them from any computer connected to the Internet. You can buy more backup space for your iDisk by choosing Backup > Buy More iDisk Storage. Note: You should not create or employ Backup Plans containing more than 90 MB of data with iDisk. Smaller backups, such as the default Personal Data & Settings Plan are ideal for iDisk. Larger backup plans may prove more restrictive and more of a challenge to troubleshoot when you attempt to create or restore them over the Internet, especially when considering unknown factors such as connection speed.
The primary considerations for deciding where to back up your files are how much data you want to back up and how often the data changes. For smaller files, the best options are (in order, from most to least secure):
- Your iDisk
- A server on your network
- A removable solid-state memory device
- A different partition on your hard disk or an external hard disk
For larger files, the best options are:
- A server
- CDs or DVDs
- An external hard disk
You may want to back up important files to more than one location.
See also Developing a backup strategy.