Federico Viticci writes for MacStories:

I’m not as anxious about backups as I used to be. With the move from local storage to cloud services, I feel comfortable knowing that my documents always exist somewhere.

His caveat is important: Viticci primarily works on small files that don’t require local storage and he uses a lot of cloud-based services (Gmail, Plex, iTunes in the Cloud, Rdio, Evernote). Still, I find the idea of only running a weekly SuperDuper back-up pretty chilling (along with his statement that his documents exist “somewhere”). I’ve been hit far too many times by hardware failure to rely on such a system, and so here’s my current set-up, which I’m just about happy with:

  • Current work in Dropbox.
  • Daily incremental bootable back-up to SuperDuper at about 1 a.m.
  • Additional weekly back-up to SuperDuper on a Friday night.
  • Important documents saved to CrashPlan.

I say ‘just about happy’, because I wanted to add Time Machine to this mix (for ongoing versioned back-up), but Time Machine just didn’t work with any of the hard drives I had to hand. (Subsequent Twitter-based discussions also suggested Time Machine currently has some pretty major bugs that can lock up OS X Mountain Lion in some circumstances, which happened to me a few times before I ditched the app.) I’d also be happier if everything was in CrashPlan, but until British broadband gets out of the stone age and offers decent upload speeds, I have to be a little more selective.

Still, my current system has the following advantages:

  • Dropbox for current work ensures it can be accessed from anywhere I have a web connection, including through iOS devices.
  • The daily clone is bootable, meaning if my Mac’s drive dies, I can get started very quickly by booting from the clone, ‘losing’ only whatever I’d so far done today on the local drive (mostly email, which I can easily enough get from CrashPlan).
  • The weekly clone enables me to go back and grab files if I accidentally delete something or mess up settings, or if I download and install an iOS app update that turns out to be a train-wreck.
  • CrashPlan is accessible online and updates as I work, providing an extra layer of security.

In addition, iOS devices are regularly backed up to the Mac, meaning their back-ups are regularly backed up.

I’m sure this all sounds mental to some people, but without my computer, I’m done for work-wise. I’m therefore ultra-careful about keeping my data safe; but so should you be, unless you wouldn’t be bothered one day if you tried to turn on your computer or a device and ended up faced with a dead screen.