Mac OS X is considered to be one of the most stable operating systems in the market. Rarely do you hear of people ‘formatting’ their Macs or reinstalling their operating system on a Mac, but this is fairly common in the world of Windows.
Even though Mac OS X is stable, failures do occur, be it hardware or system related, and when they do, they come at the cost of loss of data. When a system crashes, it takes down with it lots of important data, which can cause loss of personal and valuable photos, important documents, or just be a nuisance because of all the lost settings. The best solution to being safe in such a scenario is to take regular backups.
iBackup is a freeware for Mac OS X that takes care of all your backup needs.
The basic feature of iBackup that separates it from other backup utilities that are available for Mac OS X, is its ability to backup settings for selective applications, and to restore their setting to previous state by utilizing those backups. Apart from this, iBackup obviously backs up your files and folders, and also has the ability to automate the backups according to a preset schedule (which is configurable).
How to use iBackup
Using iBackup to backup your data is as simple as it gets. The default window in iBackup has 2 panes – the left pane represents Category, while the right pane represents the contents of the category. If you want to backup a complete category, you can tick the check box to left of the category name, if you want to backup only selective items, click on the category and check the items you want to backup.
When you’re done, click ‘Backup Now’. By default, the data is backed up to a folder on your desktop. You can change this location by clicking the ‘Set’ button on the top right corner of the interface.
After you’ve selected all the items that you want to backup in the main interface, you can schedule a backup to be performed automatically by going to the Profiles tab in the preferences.
The ‘Automation’ tab contains settings for scheduling. You can select 2 predefined backup frequencies – Daily or Weekly. You can also set the behavior of the system after the backup.
Apart from this, you can have multiple backup profiles to divide certain types of data based on importance, or to differentiate the backup frequency of certain data items.
Application and System Backup Plugins
iBackup comes with a lot of plugins which you can use to backup system and application settings. Around 250 of them are currently available, with new plugins being updated regularly. You can use the ‘Check for new plugins’ button to see if any new plugins are available online, on the iBackup server. To enable backup for an application, all you have to do is check the corresponding plugin in the preferences.
Overall, iBackup is a great way to manage your backups. iBackup provides you support for backing up data and settings for individual applications, something that Time Machine cannot do, and thus it is very useful for people who have limited disk space on their backup device.