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best Mac network backup approach?

by nearpost / October 10, 2005 2:10 PM PDT

OK, its time to upgrade from zip disks to something better for my backups. Options that have been suggested to me:
- Network drive (e.g., WD 160 GB NetCenter Network Hard Drive)
- Portable drive (e.g., LaCie d2 Hard Drive w/ USB & FireWire)

I need to connect two Macs (slot load iMac and an eMac), both running 10.2.8, currently connected via ethernet and a router, and would like to institute a simple, mostly unattended, incremental backup strategy.

Can both Macs see a network drive that is plugged in to the router? How so?
Can the other Mac see a portable drive attached via FireWire?
Are there other options?

Most people recommend off site storage of backups. So, would the portable drive be more practical?

My ignorance on these issues is causing inertia... please help!

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by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / October 10, 2005 9:59 PM PDT

A hard drive is NOT the medium to use for real backups. As Bob will tell you, they are just as prone to failure as the regular drive, you cannot lock the medium, difficult to make multiple copies, expensive to store one set off site while still backing up.
The preferred method would be with a tape drive, something like a DLT device, or DVD/CD's.
Network drives should be visible to any computer that is on the network, see the instructions that come with it. It will have it's own IP address and live on the network just like any other IP device.
If the computer, to which the Firewire device is attached, is configured for sharing, then the Firewire device will be seen when another machine connects to that computer.
You will also need Backup software, something like Retrospect (Network version) to create, and schedule, the backups.


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backup options
by nearpost / October 12, 2005 4:50 PM PDT
In reply to: Backups

Tape may be the preferred option, but at this point, it is well out of my price range. As I already have Retrospect, it seems like a portable, firewire device may be the most practical. But, I will consider your suggestion of using DVDs; is it possible to swap out the CD drive in my eMac for a DVD burner?

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Yes, it is possible
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / October 12, 2005 11:14 PM PDT
In reply to: backup options

but not recommended unless you know what you are doing.
You might consider a standalone, Firewire, DVD burner instead. Check out, as a start, for a Firewire enclosure and DVD 8X Dual Layer drive. They are remarkably cheap


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