Information Technology Reference
Time Capsule. And woe betide the person whose Time Capsule
malfunctions—repairing or replacing that disk is a pain and a half.
Time Machine has an awful lot of troubleshooting issues—judging
by not only personal experience and anecdotal reports but also,
for example, Apple's Time Machine: Troubleshooting backup issues
and OS X Mountain Lion: Time Machine problems pages, the long
list of failures on James Pond's Time machine—Troubleshooting
page, and the thousands of posts to the Time Machine category on
Despite these issues, I use Time Machine myself because it offers the
fastest and most convenient way to restore individual files. But I also
use other software for versioned backups to make up for some of Time
Machine's shortcomings and provide additional flexibility.
So, should you use Time Machine? The biggest question to ask is
whether the underlying philosophy of Time Machine works for you.
If the fundamental design of Time Machine is incompatible with
your needs, then you need to choose a different solution for creating
Whether or not you ever encounter the issues I listed previously, Time
Machine makes a poor match for these backup needs:
Unsupported operating systems: If you have a Mac that runs
a version of Mac OS X before Leopard, or if you have a Windows
or Linux PC, you'll need other software to back it up. Of course,
you can still use Time Machine on Macs that support it, but in some
environments it's important to use the same backup software for
High-volume backups: Because Time Machine lacks file
compression, deduplication, and delta encoding features (read
Explore Backup Software Features , just ahead), your backups may
require much more storage space than with other software. If you
back up more than about 2.5 TB of data, the cost of external drives
may become painful.