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Please Recommend a Backup Drive

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I've been backing up to a 1Tb WD Passport. It's usb. I keep it on a desk and every now and then I connect my laptop and run a backup using Carbon Copy Cloner. I used to leave it hard-wired to my Airport Extreme (old, flat style), but some how that system got screwed up and I was advised this drive didn't work well off the Extreme.


I've now got too much data, so I'm hoping to get a reasonably priced 3tb drive. (I'll probably make a second copy of my media files (about 300gb) onto this WD and store it off-site.) The best option would be something that connects to my Extreme to backup wirelessly. The lap top moves around a lot, so a permanent hard-wire to the external drive wouldn't be possible.


Am I correct that a 3T Time Capsule would fully take over for the Extreme and hold the backups?


Also -- is there a difference between a Time Machine back up and a CCC backup? Or are they equivalent?



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For me Time Machine works fine to ensure a consistent bsckup of my productive data. It does the back-up to a local USB drive. A Time Capsule with 3TB like you have mentioned will work fine for your tasks as it stores all backup data on its built-in drive.


However if you have important/critical data you may consider another (msnual?) backup.


My music library is about 8TB and I keep it on local Firewire drives and a Synology NAS plus another NAS mirror in a remote location. All backup of media files I strictly handle manually on a weekend's basis.

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I rotate three 2TB USB drives (one off site, two at home, constant rotation...when I back up, I back up the two at home and rotate one off site so I always have a current backup at home and off site). I figure since I always have redundancy I'm not worried about brand.

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Another question -- What's the life-cycle of these? For example, the cost difference between a 3T and 4T La Cie isn't much. I'd go for the 4T, just to be safe in the future. But by the time I need 4T of storage, it's likely that this technology will be superseded. (For example, when the iPad came out, I bought 64Gb. Complete waste of storage space.) Should I stick with 3T and save a little money? Other than about 330 gb of media/photos, I don't know what's on my computer. It's not a work machine, just handles media and surfs the Interwebz.

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To me, time machine backups and a CCC copy serve different purposes. I use the time machine backup (to a permanently USB connected drive) mainly to have something that works 24/7, and is useful especially for user errors (e.g. Deleting the wrong file by mistake).


On top of that, I keep off-site backups (another USB drive) done with CCC, one for the imac main disc, one for the music library (external drive). The advantage of a CCC vs time machine are twofold: 1) if you make the drive bootable (CCC can do that, you can use your computer immediately again if your main hard drive crashes. 2) if your external music drive crashes, as mine did recently, it is much easier just to clone the entire drive back via CCC than having to extract it from a TM backup, and you can use the backup drive in the meantime. The moment I got my replacement drive from WD (it was still under warranty) all I has to do was to CCC everything back to the new drive.


so in a nutshell: have 2 backups, one time machine and one offsite by CCC, and you should be covered for pretty much every situation.

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I backup using Carbonite and I've been really pleased. The initial backup takes forever because they throttle your upload speed once your backup exceeds 100 gigs (on a home account) but once that is done the whole thing is automatic, speedy (enough) and I don't have to worry about replacing drives as they age nor loss of data due to fire, flood, etc. at the home. You might have to pay a bit more because you are backing up an external drive.

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Can someone recommend a good backup application that will will work with a USB drive on the Extreme?

Carbon Copy Cloner is a good option.



...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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As for a recommendation on a USB Toaster and drive, I humbly submit the following, I realize you may no longer need a recommendation. I do have both and can attest to their ease of use, though I use mine for connection to a Macbook, Mac Mini, and Synology NAS. Have not tested with an Apple Extreme.




Plugable USB 3.0/2.0 docking station. I can attest it works with drives up to at least 4 terabytes. $25.


Amazon.com: Plugable USB 3.0/2.0 SATA Hard Drive Docking Station (ASMedia Chipset; UASP and 3TB+ Support): Computers & Accessories


Hard Drive:


Western Digital Red 4 Terabyte Drive (note I also have 6 of their 3 Terabyte Red drives.) $175. The 3 terabyte model is $122.


Amazon.com: Western Digital WD40EFRX 4 TB WD Red, 3.5 inch, SATA III 5400 RPM 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM NAS Hard Drive: Computers & Accessories

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So -- I'm told that the old, flat version of the Airport Extreme does not support Time Machine backups to a USB drive.



It is working perfectly fine in my hands, with three external hard drives and backups from five or six computers.

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