What’s the best online backup service for Mac users?

Apple Online Store“One area in which I think Apple could really benefit its customers is by offering a backup solution in the cloud, perhaps as part of a MobileMe membership,” Scott Rose blogs for ScottWorld Blog.

“While Time Machine might be an excellent backup solution if you are physically near your Time Capsule, it doesn’t help at all once you’ve stepped out of your home and you begin traveling with your MacBook Pro. You could go hours, days, or even weeks without any backups at all… depending on how long you’re away from your home! If you go on a vacation for 2 weeks with your laptop, you just went 2 weeks without any backup at all! This is obviously not acceptable for anybody who cares about keeping their data safe,” Rose writes. “Sure, you could travel with a portable hard drive to backup onto, but (a) that will weigh you down a little bit more, and I like to travel as lightly as possible; and (b) that may not protect you in case of a theft.”

Rose writes, “Therefore, I have now turned to an online backup service in the cloud (in addition to my Time Machine backups), because this online backup service keeps my MacBook Pro backed up at ALL TIMES, even when I’m away from home. All I need is an Internet connection, and my data is backed up. Online backup services are wonderful because they are INEXPENSIVE (only $5 per month!) and they provide an UNLIMITED AMOUNT OF STORAGE SPACE (unlimited!) for your online backups. They even keep files that you’ve deleted off your Mac for up to 30 days, so you can still retrieve files that you accidentally deleted off your Mac.”

Rose reports, “I compared the 5 leading online backup services, and my #1 favorite online backup service is now backblaze.com, because it is totally Mac-like in its simplicity and ease-of-use.”

Read more about why Rose chose backblaze and which other services he looked at in the full article – recommended – here.


  1. The best online backup would integrate with time capsule, letting one back up over the internet back to their time capsule. For this to work, BackToMyMac need to work better over a larger variety of routers.

    Any other independent solution would have to scale somehow; I don’t even want to try to back up 500GB over the internet, that would take forever.

  2. What’s a “vacation?” And a two-week “vacation”? And if I could afford a two week vacation, would I really be taking my laptop? And if I did take my laptop “somewhere” for two weeks, couldn’t I just back up the two weeks of changes on a flash drive? Or on Dropbox or Mobile Me?

    For me, the best online backup is an external hardrive. Two, actually, in different locations. Full scale, bootable backups. And yeah, I can recover incremental changes between backups from Dropbox, MobileMe and the flash drive that’s always in my accessory bag.

  3. ” If you go on a vacation for 2 weeks with your laptop, you just went 2 weeks without any backup at all! This is obviously not acceptable for anybody who cares about keeping their data safe,” Rose writes.

    So what’s wrong with this concept? Rose is suggesting that an online backup service is a good way to keep your data safe for one thing. Think about it. You are trusting someone to take care of your data that does not know you i.e., is not your mother or your best friend, but might find your data interesting to have a look at.

    You are also on a 2-week vacation. What kind of a vacation is it that brings all of your work with it? Well, that’s your business I guess.

    At any rate, you are leaving your valuable computer data laying around who knows where for anyone with the right cleverness to pick through and harvest whatever they might like. Don’t confuse that with “safe”. It is not.

  4. Uh, Apple already offers this, and it’s been a core feature of MobileMe/.mac for eons! It’s called Backup. I’m kinda dumbfounded that this guy wrote an article whose premise is “Apple should really offer this thing that they already offer and have for years.” Research much? Apple hasn’t done anything with it in a generation, but it’s still there, and it still works.

    Yes, tying it in with Time Machine in System Preferences would be a good idea. And yeah, it’s only 20 GB (last time I checked), but like NCIceman pointed, backing up more than that would take an eternity.

  5. Portable hard drives really aren’t that weighty — Iomega’s eGo is only 8 oz. and holds up to 500GB of data. I use one to store my photos when on vacation, then I can transfer them easily to my desktop system where I do my Photoshop work.

    @Mapping — A lot of people take their laptops on vacation, and not for work either; a laptop comes in very handy to look up information on activities (museum hours and such), check out restaurants (both menus and local reviews), or just to keep in touch with the family back home. And if you’re in a hotel room and nothing good’s on TV, you can always download a movie from iTunes.

  6. @skeeter — Plus, if you’re backing up regularly at home, you don’t need to backup your entire HD, just the stuff that’s changed; things like photos you’ve downloaded from your camera, poems and stories you’ve written that you want to keep, etc. Unless you’re going on a world cruise, not likely you’ll hit that 20GB limit before you get home and can clear stuff out, and if you’re not in an area with good Internet access, you can bring along a portable HD as well.

  7. This article may be helpful to some people, but the idea that any traveler who cares about backing up their data would feel “weighed down” by a 6 oz. bus-powered portable hard drive is ridiculous.

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