Backup Preference

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Today’s Question: Would you briefly describe why you favor GoodSync over Time Machine [for Macintosh] or other software such as Carbon Copy Cloner?

Tim’s Quick Answer: I favor GoodSync (http://timgrey.me/greybackup) over Time Machine because GoodSync creates an exact backup copy of the source hard drive. Carbon Copy Cloner provides the same basic features, but in testing I simply found that I preferred the workflow and interface in GoodSync.

More Detail: GoodSync and Carbon Copy Cloner provide very similar features that enable you to maintain a backup that is an exact copy of the source data. This approach makes it very easy to recover from a hard drive failure, since your backup is essentially an exact copy of the source drive (at least up to the time of your last backup).

Both GoodSync and Carbon Copy Cloner could be used in a similar workflow, and I think both are very good products. Based on my testing I simply found that I prefer the workflow and interface in GoodSync. Ultimately I would have been happy using either product.

Time Machine is a bit different, in that it creates an incremental backup. One of the special features of Time Machine compared to a more typical incremental backup is that Time Machine maintains different backup versions over time. So, for example, let’s assume you had a file on your desktop that you accidentally deleted. In Time Machine you could move back in time to a date when that file still existed, and recover the file based on a backup from that date.

Of course, Time Machine is limited in how far back in time it can go with the backups, based on the amount of storage space available on the hard drive you’re using as a Time Machine backup.

My preference is to use a product such as GoodSync for backing up my primary storage, especially on external hard drives. I use Time Machine as something of a supplemental backup for the internal hard drive on my computer, but not for the external hard drives. In other words, I see Time Machine as a valuable tool for certain backup scenarios, and I find software like GoodSync to be invaluable for the primary backup of my most important data (such as photos).

You can learn more about GoodSync here:

http://timgrey.me/greybackup

And don’t forget I have a video course that teaches my workflow in GoodSync, which you can find in the GreyLearning library here:

https://www.greylearning.com/courses/goodsync