You’re backing up your Mac system every day, right? I mean, sure they’re reliable, but what if you lost it? What if there was a system glitch and the hard drive was wiped? What if someone stole your system entirely?
That’s why you should already have a backup system in place. If you’re a mobile worker like me, however, you aren’t always in the office. In fact you might not even have an office.
Which is why MegaBackup is a really interesting solution with its simple user interface, cloud-based storage and unlimited space for your critical photos, video, documents, files and more.
Let’s be candid. Backing up your system is a chore, a hassle. If you’re old school, you have to plug in a DVD burner and explicitly run software, or perhaps you’re slightly more modern and use an external hard drive for the job. Sure, there are solutions like Time Machine on the Mac, and I’m a fan, but it’s still local storage and is only backing up when you’re connected to the drive, whether it’s a NAS (network accessible storage) drive or part of your office infrastructure.
Oh, and it’s local. Which means you can’t easily access it while on the road. Bummer.
There are solutions like Dropbox and iCloud for Web-based “cloud” storage, but they aren’t designed to be pure backup systems, so they focused more on sharing, on photo streams, etc. For most users, though, digital nirvana is that everything you create, save or manipulate is instantly, magically saved in the cloud to protect against anything dire occurring, like a house fire, catastrophic event at work or even your kid spilling a Coke on the motherboard and frying everything. ZZzaaapp!
Enter MegaBackup with its simple, elegant Mac cloud backup solution. Once you have it configured — and go through the pain of the first, typically really big backup, it’ll do just what you want, continuously backing up everything on your Mac system whenever you’re on the Internet.
That means if you’re at a Starbucks in Hoboken it’s chugging away, backing up your precious data, just like it would be if you were parked in your cubicle at corporate HQ. Better yet, the program incorporates some other features that make it nice to work with too, including a very Dropbox-like file and folder sharing system and even easily uploaded screen captures.
It starts out wanting to back up every important file and folder on your Mac system, which, for me, is rather a lot of data:
Add up all the candidates for backup and that’s a lotta storage, about 230GB. To pay for that much space in iCloud is going to be a pretty penny, and since so many cloud storage systems are sold in blocks, me bumping up above 250GB could cause me to hit the “out of space on the server” error and take a whole lotta fairy dust out of that backup magic.
That’s why one of the interesting differentiators with MegaBackup is that when you sign up for a paid account, you’re being allocated unlimited space on the cloud server. And it’s powered by Amazon Web Services so you know it’s going to be, well, mega-reliable.
To start, I’ll click on “Enable Cloud Backup” and then be able to select specific files and folders:
Turns out that I have a triple-redundant backup system, so some things, like Music, really don’t need to also be duplicated on the MegaBackup AWS server. Your choices will obviously vary, and it is very nice not having to worry about using up the allocated space on the cloud server!
Meanwhile, here’s the selection window for fine tuning what to back up:
I like the colorful icons — and notice that both Photos and Music have images extracted from the file’s dataset.
Now it’s time to sign up…
Unfortunately, if you’re going to back up any meaningful amount of data, it’s not going to turn out to be free after all, as explained in this signup options screen:
As you can see, MegaBackup for Mac includes the unlimited storage, automatic backup, file sharing, screenshot editing and a file sync feature that lets you keep a folder in sync across machines (think work and home systems, for example). Useful, for sure. And the pricing, well, it’s not free, but if you sign up for a year or longer, the price goes down pretty quickly, and if once a year you recover one file and retrieve a single presentation from the server while on the road, that can save you an easy ten hours of stress. And how much is your time worth?
Finish the signup process and it’ll start whirring away. And the first backup is always a doozy with a cloud backup system, so here’s my tip: Let your system run overnight, kill it when you’re ready to start working in the morning, then restart it when you’re done with your day’s tasks and let it run, again, overnight. It’ll take 3-4 nights to fully backup your 10’s or 100’s of gigabytes of data, but once it’s done, you can easily leave it running 24×7 without any meaningful impact on your computer or network performance.
And did I mention there’s a handy menubar icon that lets you access everything easily?
So let’s take that first menu option and “View my backups…”
This actually goes to the megabackup.com site — encrypted, of course — and offers up a very simple Web interface to your data. Here’s what I have on the server at this moment:
Cool, but it’s when you “View Backups” (the button on the right side) that you start to really see how simple this all is to work with.
Here’s what I mean:
That’s a very nice way to display the information from my backup files, making it really easy to even dig into a specific folder and see what files are within:
Notice the weird “<” like icon on the right of each entry? That’s the share link, and you can see that instead of fiddling with worrying about which version is uploaded to something like Dropbox, MegaBackup makes it really easy to share files or folders with your colleagues, friends, family, whomever right from the backup view.
If you’ve ever tried to dig into a Time Machine backup to extract a specific file, you should be saying “ooohhhh, nice” right about now.
We get to try out a lot of backup services here at AskDaveTaylor and I have to say that if you’re looking for something that’s a “set and forget” configuration that still gives you the benefit of cloud storage and access, then MegaBackup for Mac is definitely one to check out. The fact that it includes additional features like sharing, screen captures and folder syncing is a nice bonus, but it’s really all about a no-brainer backup solution. And that’s worth a lot. Particularly just after you delete that important file…
MegaBackup for Mac. Learn more at megabackup.com — subscription prices vary.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. MegaBackup paid a small fee to have us analyze the product and write up this review. We stand by our opinion of the product, however, but you should know nonetheless.