You backup your Mac, right? If not, one day you’ll wish you had because Murphy’s Law. Fortunately, there are many ways to backup Mac files; they range from simple clones to Time Machine to merely copying important files to another Mac or an external storage device. Mac users can choose from a few dozen very good backup utilities. Here’s one of the best.
Color me jaded and paranoid, but I backup everything, on many devices, some not even in my home office. I’ve used ChronoSync since way back in the day, and other than SuperDuper! and Carbon Copy Cloner, it’s the one backup utility I often hesitated to recommend to new Mac users. Why? Both SuperDuper! and CCC make a full cloned backup with ease. A few clicks and you’re done. Chronosync can do a clone but the steps are more complex, and the options for other kinds of backups can be daunting to new Mac users. This is a solid, dependable Mac backup app that is remarkably robust.
Enter ChronoSync Express, a simpler, lighter, entry-level version of ChronoSync that’s available from the Mac App Store. It looks and feels like the big brother, but it’s a bit simpler to get up and running, yet it contains more features which are easier to use than the popular backup cloning apps.
For example, ChronoSync Express performs backups and file syncs in multiple directions. Unidirectional, Unidirectional ‘blind’, Unidirectional Mirror (not quite the standard ‘clone’ which has become such a popular backup), and Bidirectional Sync.
The user interface looks complicated because, compared to other backup utilities, it is; even on ChronoSync Express there are plenty of options.
As a backup or file sync utility ChronoSync Express uses the time honored Left Target, Right Target, also known as Source and Destination. But there’s much more. This utility can connect to external hard drives, SSDs, USB thumb drives, other Macs, file servers, NAS drives, and there’s even an option to connect to iPhones and iPads.
There’s no limit on the number of backups and syncs, and each one can be grouped into a container which performs multiple syncs and backups in order, and according to a scheduler (also built-in).
Everything copied gets logged, so you’ll know exactly which files went where and when, plus there’s an option to exclude specific files from a backup or sync, and you can run a trial without actually copying anything.
All that flexibility and capability comes at a price. No, it’s not the price tag. That’s competitive with the two best cloning utilities, SuperDuper! and Carbon Copy Cloner. ChronoSync Express does so much more, especially the features to backup and sync files and folders between devices, that the user interface can appear a bit daunting; just like the full featured big brother.
Regardless, if you have files and folders that need to be backed up, synchronized with other Macs, remote computers on a network, or other devices, ChronoSync (and Express) is the one that offers the most options a capabilities. It can be cumbersome to setup, but once set up appropriately, it just works.