Chances are, you have a lot of valuable content on your Mac. Your family photos. Your music collection. Not to mention documents, movies and more. So what happens if your hard drive fails?

The bad news is that the average cost of recovering your data is well over $1,000 – if you don’t have a backup system. The good news is that setting up automatic backups is easier than ever. There are two basic options – online backups and external hard drives. Today, we’ll talk about external hard drives.

With an external hard drive, you just plug the drive into your Mac (using the USB or Firewire port), and backup your data onto the drive.

Pros: Fast and easy, with no monthly or yearly costs. All you need to do is buy the external hard drive. Plus, if your computer hard drive fails, you simply plug the external hard drive into a new computer to import all of your saved data.

Cons: It’s best to store your external hard drive in a separate place, which isn’t always practical. For example, if there’s a flood in your home office – and that’s where you keep your computer and your external hard drive – they could both be ruined.

At MacSolutions Plus, we recommend Time Machine – an application that comes on your Mac, and automatically saves copies of all your photos, music, videos, documents, settings, etc. Since it’s from Apple, it’s extremely easy to use – in this case, just click to go back in time and recover whatever you need.

While you can use almost any external hard drive with Time Machine, we recommend Apple’s Time Capsule, which offers a ton (1or 2TB) of storage space, and works wirelessly, so you don’t even have to remember to plug it in. You can also set it up to back up more than one Mac on your wireless network. (Mention this Blog Post for $50 off a Time Capsule, Good Till close April 3, 2011)

Want to learn more? Just stop in our Eastern Hills Mall  store and we’ll be happy to show you how easy it is to use Time Machine and Time Capsule, and start backing up your data today… before it’s too late.