Published on: 2021-07-10
Before the worst happens, I decided to look at my data and how it is currently backed up against a catastrophe.
My minimal setup is:
- a computer with a 256GB drive.
- a phone with a 64GB capacity.
- my wife's computer with a 256GB and a 500GB drives.
- my wife's phone with a 32GB capacity.
- an iCloud account with 200GB capacity.
That's it. Nothing else.
Backed up data
Currently, we have about 65GB to back up.
- My music: 27GB
- Her music: 10GB
- My photos: 15GB
- Her photos: 10GB
- My documents: less than 0.5GB
- Her documents: less than 0.5GB
- Messages, emails and phone backups: 2GB
I have to note that nothing is critical, but photos are obviously highly valuable. My documents consist in ebooks, 7 previous years taxes, this website (also technically backed up online), receipes and few other documents.
First, wife setup
Her MacBook Pro from 2012 has the ability to backup itself on another drive located within in chassis, because the SuperDrive got replaced years ago by another old hard disk drive. Time Machine currently does it daily without any issue.
Then, both the phone and the computer back up in iCloud, considered as a third copy.
No issues here, but if we don't consider iCloud as a backup per se, another backup located outside my home would be a good idea, even if the data isn't copied over daily.
My MacBook Pro doesn't have a second drive and I just realized that I'm fully relying on iCloud to secure my data in case of fire, theft, etc.
So, currently, my data is only in 2 locations, and the second one isn't technically considered a backup.
Well, I need to do better.
Easy solution would be to:
- Have another cloud service to act as a backup: Kind of stupid to outsource the problem and have another software to run on the computer. Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive are all out of question anyway, Dropbox has a free service for 2GB only and the cheapest paid plan is $13/month for way to much space (2TB).
- Buy a $30 128GB USB drive to manually backup on a regular basis the data over: Could work, but am I going to do it myself each week? Unsure.
- Use the old MBP as a backup machine for my new MBP: Technically, it is still located within the same four walls, so possibily unsafe, but when you factor the iCloud aspect, it seems like a good solution, at no additional cost. Procedure is somewhat simple. The only downside is that the old Mac has to be awake so Time Machine on the new one backups data, otherwise it just fails.
Again, nothing is really critical in my data, but still, automated backups are better than having to rely on my memory to do it weekly, where data can be lost between 2 backups.
I also factor the point that iCloud is fairly reliable, secure and fast for the low amount of data I have.
Sometimes, looking to buy a solution isn't the way to go. Think different and find ways around your problem. Mine was having not enough copies of my data, but way to much unused disk space. Thus, using this wasted space to have more copies of my data is a real solution.
I still need to focus on the digital downsizing
to avoid hoarding pictures and whatnot.