Potential Drawbacks to Consider When Using Time Machine

Is Time Machine the ultimate backup solution for Mac? The question must have crossed your mind. If it did, you’re at the right place.

Time Machine is a great backup solution for Mac, but there might be other solutions. Let’s explore why.

How to set up Time Machine on Mac?

Time Machine is a solid choice because it is user-friendly and reliable. You can use this app to keep your Mac backed up on a routine schedule. Knowing how to use Time Machine means setting up Time Machine on Mac. To do this, click the Apple logo in the menu bar > System Preferences > Time Machine > Automatic Backups > select the disk you want to store your backups.

Once you have completed all the mentioned steps, the app will start creating a backup to the designated disk on a schedule. Unfortunately, you cannot manage this schedule yourself.

Although Time Machine backs up your Mac on a routine schedule, the app doesn’t fully cut it for some users. The drawbacks of the backup app are mentioned below.

The drawbacks of using Time Machine

  • There’s no cloud storage

The biggest drawback is that the app doesn’t store backups to the cloud. This may lead to several problems. For instance, if your backups are not uploaded to the cloud, you can lose your data if the drive is damaged or something goes wrong.

Cloud storage services offer redundancy since your essential data is not stored on a single physical drive. If you want to get this feature on Time Machine, you must purchase a storage device supporting RAID.

  • Not as secure as cloud storage

Storing your backups locally is not as safe as storing them on the cloud. Time Machine doesn’t have multiple encryption levels and robust cybersecurity measures like cloud storage platforms.

Time Machine backups are not encrypted by default, and anyone can have access to your drive. They can view all the backed-up folders and files. You can lose your data if your drive is stolen or gets damaged.

However, if you don’t believe in storing your confidential data on the cloud and think you can better protect your data when stored locally, Time Machine is an excellent backup solution.

  • Slows down Mac’s performance

Time Machine is known for slowing down your Mac’s performance when it is backing up data. Even after the backup process is complete, this slowdown may persist. This is because Time Machine runs in the background and consumes system resources.

  • The options for network backup are limited

Network-based backups are only supported by Time Machine via Apple’s Time Capsule. This limitation means that if you wish to use a non-Apple network drive, you have to purchase Apple’s Time Capsule or use third-party software.

  • The app cannot be controlled

Although some level of control is offered by Time Machine, it is not possible to schedule different backup intervals for different folders. You cannot even choose specific files to back them up.

If you seek more control, this limitation can be frustrating.

  • Data storage limitations

Time Machine is also limited by the storage capacity of the backup destination. If the backup destination is full, the app will start removing old backups so there’s enough space for new backups. This results in data loss.

Although these are the drawbacks you must consider, there are also some pros to using Time Machine. The advantages are:

1. Very easy to use

Time Machine is a simple, user-friendly software. There’s no complicated configuration to get the software working. Simply choose a location where you want to store the backups, and the system will automatically start backing up your essential data.

You can choose to have your backups created weekly, daily, or hourly. You can even switch off automatic backups and set them to manual. Then, you’ll have to create them yourself.

The software backs up all folders and files, but if you are storing on a drive with limited storage, you can exclude some files from the backups.

2. The app is free

The biggest advantage of this software is that it is a free backup solution, and it comes pre-installed on Mac. You don’t need to purchase a subscription to activate the software. All you need is enough storage on your drive, and you will not run into problems storing your backups.

3. Backups can be previewed before restoring them

When using Time Machine, you can preview the backed-up files and folder before restoring them. This helps you go back to any particular time and see what your folders and files looked like before you recover them. Hence, you can quickly restore the version you need.

The Bottom Line

So, before you declare Time Machine to be your ultimate backup solution, think of the potential drawbacks of the software. You can consider third-party backup solutions and iCloud if the drawbacks are too much.