Ashley and I have been getting acquainted with our new MacBook Pro’s over the last few weeks, and things are going pretty well. I really wanted to get an external hard drive so that I could do Time Machine backups, but I didn’t want to fork out an arm and a leg for one. A few days ago I managed to “come across” a clearanced 300GB external drive at a local store for $27, and I just couldn’t pass up the deal.

Unfortunately they didn’t have another one so that both Ashley and myself could utilize the Time Machine backups, and from what I had heard previously the only way to to wirelessly do backups was with (of course) an Apple Time Capsule. As it turns out you can do backups wirelessly as long as the target hard drive is hooked up to another Mac computer.

The first thing I had to do was pull up Finder and navigate to the external Time Machine hard drive on the remote computer:

time machine finder.png

I knew that the Time Machine hard drive was mounted and ready once it showed the little “eject” symbol next to its name. Then I jumped over to the Time Machine preferences where I could select the drive I wanted to use to perform the backups. Since the remote drive was mounted I was able to see it in the list, and it had the remote computer’s name in parenthesis after it:

time machine remote drive.png

I selected that drive and the backup was off and running. What I ended up doing, however, was connecting the external drive directly to both computers for the initial backup because it can take awhile the first time through. After that, however, the backups are performed hourly and only the changes are synchronized which is much more suitable for a wireless connection. So this actually works out pretty well.

And no, you don’t have to go manually mount the Time Machine drive in order for your backups to run. I thought that you might have to do that, but once you’ve established the remote drive you want to use it will automatically make the connection whenever necessary. Neat, huh?

I’m still not a huge fan of the whole “spacey” interface for browsing your Time Machine backups, but that’s okay because they can still be browsed through Finder.