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5 Best Backups for Time Machine Users

If you’re a Mac user, it’s likely that you’ve come across Time Machine – Apple’s integrated backup program that automates backups of your data to an external hard drive. It’s a very highly praised system that does an excellent job of keeping your files safe – but is it enough?

If, like us, you subscribe to the 3-2-1 approach to backups, then you might want to think about keeping a few extra copies of the files you’re storing with Time Machine. After all, local storage isn’t infallible – an external drive can easily be damaged by a fall or spillage, and if you lose your computer to theft or environmental damage, there’s a good chance that you’ll lose your drive too. So what’s the solution?

An excellent place to start is with online backups. However, while Time Machine runs very well alongside them, trying to backup data directly from your Time Machine storage disk to the Cloud is fraught with difficulty. In the name of convenience, however, a few plucky online backup providers are attempting to make it possible to backup straight from your Time Machine account – so we’ve popped them into a list along with a few Cloud-based services that will complement your local backup perfectly. Keep scrolling for our guide to the 5 best backups for Time Machine users!

5 Best Backups for Time Machine Users Summary

Rank Company Score Price Link
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1

iDrive Logo
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$3.71 / monthVisit Site

2

iBackup Logo
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$9.95 / monthVisit Site

3

iCloud Logo
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$0.99 / monthVisit Site

4

CrashPlan Logo
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$5.00 / monthVisit Site

5

SpiderOak Logo
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$7.00 / monthVisit Site
Editors Choice Award

Winner

IDrive

5/5

Best Backups for Time Machine users

  • ProsPROS
  • Backup Time Machine data directly
    Low price
    Easy to use
    End-to-end encryption
  • ConsCONS
  • Time Machine must be mounted to backup

IDrive makes life nice and simple for Apple users, as it supports backups directly from your Time Machine drive. Using a process designed specifically for Time Machine users, IDrive creates a mirror of your saved content in the Cloud, so that every time a change is made to your drive, it’s updated online too.

One minor complication comes about as you’ll have to mount your external drive before IDrive can recognise it – although this process can be achieved relatively simply by using your Mac’s Disk Utility app. From there, backing up is just a matter of filling the check box next to ‘Time Machine backup’ in your account settings. By default, items stored this way will be available in a folder called ‘Backups.backupdb’ – so keep a lookout for this if you want to view or retrieve Time Machine data.

IDrive is a great backup provider no matter how you want to store your data, offering end-to-end encryption and a fairly simple interface that’s easy to master. Backing up 1TB of data from an unlimited number of devices (including your Time Machine drive) will set you back just $3.71 per month for your first year, increasing to $4.95 thereafter.

Interested? Give IDrive a try by following the link to sign up below!

Visit IDrive »

5GB free account

2nd place

IBackup

4.5/5

IBackup

  • ProsPROS
  • Backup directly from Time Machine
    No extra steps required
    Ideal for business users
    Good range of extra features
  • ConsCONS
  • High price
    Limited storage space

IBackup lets you backup data directly from your Time Machine account, in a process that’s as simple as it gets – all you need to do is enable Time Machine backups from your Settings, and IBackup will automate the rest.

One thing worth bearing in mind is that the files on your Time Machine will effectively be mirrored by IBackup – so anything that you remove from Time Machine will automatically be removed from your Cloud storage as well. This is to keep a lid on the amount of storage space it’s taking up, and also to ensure that original Time Machine files retain their integrity. While this might be an inconvenience for some, remember that you can always manually upload any files that you want to remove from your hard drive but keep archived online.

Primarily designed for business users, IBackup also offers lots of great features, including a disaster recovery plan and server backups. These do come at a premium, with 100GB available for a fairly hefty $99.95 per month, but IBackup run frequent discounts and offers that’ll help you get more for your money. Find out more by clicking the button below.

Visit IBackup »


3rd place

iCloud

4.2/5

iCloud

  • ProsPROS
  • Designed for Mac OS
    Runs perfectly alongside Time Machine
    Very low price
    Easy to use
  • ConsCONS
  • Software known to be buggy
    File sync is unreliable

Although iCloud doesn’t backup directly from Time Machine, Apple’s native Cloud storage service works seamlessly alongside your local backups. It’s a popular choice with Mac users as it’s configured to work perfectly with OS file types and applications. It also complements Time Machine perfectly – with the latter working perfectly as bulk storage for data you want to archive, and iCloud giving you quick and easy access to the most up to date versions of your files whenever you want to share or restore them.

Apple users get 5GB of space free of charge, with larger plans ranging from 50GB – costing just $0.99 per month – to 1TB for a monthly fee of $9.99. As well as storing documents, iCloud will also sync with your music library and app data, so that you can access everything you might need in just one place.

Learn more about iCloud by following the link below.

Visit iCloud »


4th place

CrashPlan

3.9/5

CrashPlan

  • ProsPROS
  • Runs well alongside Time Machine
    Low price
    Excellent security
    Lots of strong features
  • ConsCONS
  • Doesn’t backup directly from Time Machine
    No file sharing

When it comes to storing your files online, CrashPlan is one of the best providers out there. Strong features, a reasonable monthly price and excellent security all make it a smart choice for anyone looking for a simple online backup solution.

You won’t find any file sharing here, and you’ll need to pay extra if you want to store files from more than one device, but CrashPlan runs seamlessly alongside Time Machine, and is simple and unobtrusive to use. If you really want to use your Time Machine disk as a starting point for online backup, you can try mounting its associated external hard drive as a drive on your computer, and then selecting it as a backup location – although be aware that this isn’t a solution recommended by Apple or CrashPlan themselves.

If you’re happy to opt for a provider that will keep your data secure online with the minimum of hassle while Time Machine handles things locally, then you can’t go wrong with CrashPlan. Click the button below to find out more today.

Visit CrashPlan »


5th place

SpiderOak

3.6/5

SpiderOak

  • ProsPROS
  • Excellent security
    Complements Time Machine well
    Backup from unlimited devices
  • ConsCONS
  • Doesn’t backup directly from Time Machine
    Software can be hard to use

SpiderOak is best known for its zero-knowledge security policy and that famous endorsement by Edward Snowden, but it’s also excellent when it comes to compatibility. It’ll run perfectly alongside Time Machine, and also allows you to backup from an unlimited number of devices, including external drives.

As well as top of the range security features, SpiderOak also offers automatic and scheduled uploads, file sharing and unlimited file versioning, and although its software isn’t always the easiest to master, you’ll get the benefit of an excellent all-round backup service, which will take the pressure off of your Time Machine backup and perform beautifully in its own right.

With subscriptions starting at $7 per month for 30GB of storage space, SpiderOak is well worth the money. Click below to learn more.

Visit SpiderOak »


Other ways to backup your Mac

If you’re not too worried about Time Machine and just want a great backup for your Mac, take a look at our list of the 5 Best Online Backups for Mac 2016.

Alternatively, if you want to store data from multiple devices, or are looking for a backup for your small business, you could also consider network attached storage (NAS). This technique allows you to create a kind of personal Cloud where you can store and share files between all networked devices, as well as introducing redundancy settings and lots more.

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking for an online backup service that stores files directly from your Time Machine storage device or one that will run smoothly alongside it, these five providers will help you along the way to super-secure data. Check out our reviews for more detailed information, or head over to their sites to learn more and sign up today!

5 Best Backups for Time Machine Users Summary

Rank Company Score Price Link
* hide.me Sponsored
Read Review
$5.42 / month Visit Site

1

iDrive Logo
Read Review
$3.71 / monthVisit Site

2

iBackup Logo
Read Review
$9.95 / monthVisit Site

3

iCloud Logo
Read Review
$0.99 / monthVisit Site

4

CrashPlan Logo
Read Review
$5.00 / monthVisit Site

5

SpiderOak Logo
Read Review
$7.00 / monthVisit Site

Published 2016-04-01
Miranda Overett Written by Miranda Overett

Miranda has been chasing the writing dream for several years from London, Thailand and now Budapest. She loves to travel, and is a self-confessed film buff.

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