Q:  Do I need cloud backup AND an external hard drive for my new computer, or will I be OK with just cloud back up or just an external hard drive back up? I have an iMac.

A:  Cloud backup is the best choice.  The difference between cloud backup and external hard drive backup is the difference between the virtual and the physical. With a cloud backup, your important files, music and images will be backed up via the Internet at a secure offsite location—safe from fire, viruses, hard drive failures and other potential issues. Although an external hard drive is a nice way to backup your files onsite, if something were to happen to your hard drive…say you dropped it, it stopped working or there was a flood or fire, your files would be lost. Because of this we recommend cloud backup (or “online backup”) to protect your files. You could use both online backup AND an external hard drive, but we don’t feel it’s necessary as online back is safe and secure.

There are some great online backup solutions for the Mac available, including Carbonite and Mozy.  Or if you’re not sure exactly what you need, try out our Online Backup Chooser, which will make recommendations based on your requirements.