The State of Backup & Recovery

Use what you got!
Apple already has built-in backup capabilities in Address Book and iCal. Check the File Menu and get security for free.

Apple Backup
You can only get this software if you are a .Mac subscriber - then it is a free benefit. Backup is a good consumer backup tool although in some cases it is almost too simplified. Good only for your local machine.

Mike Bombich's Carbon Copy Cloner
It is free and it does one thing and one thing only --and it does it very well. Let's face it. Mike Bombich is so fantastic that Apple had to hire him to redo their netbooting infrastucture.

LaCie SilverKeeper
Is there anything wrong with free? Well only if you can't understand how the thing works. But after puzzling out its strange interface this utility does a credible job. Doesn't have the sophistication and polish of Apple's Backup, but the price is right.

ProSoft Engineering Data Backup
Here we find a more fully fleshed out consumer product than most. ProSoft has earned my respect for their rock solid Data Rescue software.

EMC Retrospect
This software has bounced around manufacturer's and remains the most common mid-to-high end solution and can do network backup. It has the flexibiity but is notoriously complicated to operate and also quite finicky.

Shirt Pocket SuperDuper!
SuperDuper! has two claims to fame. First, its excellent documentation explains the complex things it can do in very easy to understand language and second, the author has built a superset of all the best UNIX copy tools --thus SuperDuper! If you are looking for bootable backups, this may be one of the best explications of the subject.

Tolis BRU
BRU (Backup Recovery Utility) is something much in the minds of system admins these days as they look to a sophisticated and up-to-date replacement for the withering Retrospect. It seems to have the goods for reliable network backup and we are testing it here at Precursor. Not necessarily consumer friendly though.


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