Stuart Breckenridge

My Backup Strategy

Roughly three years ago I lost all the data on my MacBook due to a hardware failure. I had no backup and I lost the source code to Lucky Dip, Amazing Flag Quiz, and Live@Troon. (For reasons that escape me, I hadn’t committed any of the code to GitHub.) These days, I’m not quite as careless.

Local Backups

My iMac stores everything. Photos, documents, source code, you name it.

It is backed up locally, using Time Machine, to a Synology DS216+. Time Machine keeps hourly backups for the last 24 hours, daily backups for the last months, and weekly backups for all previous months. The first backup will take a very long time, so I’d recommend using ethernet or USB, instead of WiFi.

My Synology contains two 3TB hard drives in a Synology Hybrid Raid (SHR) configuration, which allows one of the two hard drives to fail without experiencing data loss. Two Time Machine backups for the price of one.

Remote Backups

My remote backups take multiple forms.

Everything is continuously backed up from both my iMac and MacBook to BackBlaze. BackBlaze will backup everything, except items on the default exclusion list, or file types you exclude manually.

Photos and videos, with the introduction of iCloud Photo Library, are also stored in iCloud.1

Source code — including this website — is also committed to GitHub.

I feel as though my data is relatively well protected with these failsafes. Having experienced data loss in the past, I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them to you.

  1. My photos are backed up to my Synology, to BackBlaze, and to iCloud. You can never be too careful. ↩︎


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