Backups 2

Backup Options for Your Mac

  • external hard drive connected to computer
  • wireless hard drive
  • online backup service

With an external hard drive connected to your Mac there are 2 options

Time Machine. This is Apple’s software that come with the OS.  Just set it up and it can be scheduled for automatic backups. The good thing is that it is behind the scenes. It saves files that you might have deleted months ago. It should be an external hard drive that is bigger than the internal hard driven your Mac. Another important consideration is a hard drive with a power cord or one that is bus powered. That means the computer provides the power through the connecting cables.

How It Connects to Your Mac

If you have an older Mac it might have a Firewire cable. There are 2 kinds:Firewire 400 and 800. Macs in the last 5 or 6 years have Firewire 800. Then Apple switched to Thunderbolt as it is even faster. See chart

Then there is USB. Two flavors: USB 2 and USB 3. This is the kind of cable used by printers scanners, etc. USB 3 is faster than USB 2. 

Speed Transfer Comparison With Various Cables


Probably all macs in the past 2 or 3 years have Thunderbolt connections. Firewire is discontinued. Of course there is USB 3.

Drives that support USB are cheaper and readily available.  Thunderbolt cable prices and devices are more expensive. If you have an older hard drive and want to still use it there is a Firewire to Thunderbolt adapter available at the Apple store. Amazon has a Firewire 400 to Thundebolt adapter. There are also USB to Thunderbolt adapters.

thunderbolt adapter
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