In some sense this is somewhat off-topic, but I want to remark on the sticky forum item
[url]11 Stupid Backup Strategies] on the top of this list, which discusses the article “11 Stupid Backup Strategies”. That thread is unfortunately locked, so we have to take the wisdom in that article for granted.
Generally, I like the article, and most things are correct, but I completely disagree with point 4 (and Bill already makes similar points):
I agree that this is not a good a idea to do this only sporadically. But if this is done with discipline, it is in my view the single most reliable and safest method there is. Telling us
“Having backups run automatically is a far superior idea” is wrong. The problem with automated backups is that those disks MUST ALWAYS be turned on, with all the consequences such as premature wear-out, electrical issues, corruptions when systems crash etc.
This is what I consider safe and prudent: Have at least two or better three backup disks on which you make periodic (weekly) complete system backups. I use 2.5" disks that do not need their own power supply. Make the backup and then immediately remove the disk and store it in a safe place. Have the two disks (preferably from different disk manufacturers, so that you don’t run afoul of the “Death Star” effect) in different places (and I also use two different, but well-respected backup programs). Use additional, automated systems to cover the (relatively short) time spans between these manual backups.
A disk that’s always running is just subject to too many things that can go wrong: Several times I postponed manual backups when there was a thunderstorm in the area. Wear-out: None of my manual, stowed-away, backup disks has ever failed, but I cannot say the same of my time-machine disks. They’re always on, they always have to do work, and they wear out.
To me, manual backups are the long-term backbone, and automated systems can cover the rest.
A funny, but insightful look at backups (on the blog, you seem to have to press “previous” to get to the next principle):