Parachute: Professional Backups Made Easy

How many times have you wished you could easily backup your data on-site or onto a remote server? Parachute is a simplistic backup application that is designed to compliment Time Machine with features that allow you to back up locally and remotely. On top of this you can set the scheduling of the backups as well as ‘smart backups’ (similar system to Time Machine).

The most obvious reason for backing up to a remote location is if your computer/hard drive become damaged or stolen. However it’s always a good idea to have a ‘second backup’ – better to be safe than sorry right?

Backing Up Locally

Backing up to a local drive is a breeze. You simply create a new backup task, add the folders you wish to backup and choose the destination for the backup. It works much the same way as Time Machine where it calculates the changes and then copies the files across.

If you have ‘smart backups’ enabled, Parachute will only backup the changes that are made, or, you can instruct it to keep the last x amount of backups.

Local Backup

Local Backup

Backing Up Remotely

You can also set up remote backing-up. In a similar process to that of creating a local backup, you simply select the folders you wish to upload. From there instead of selecting a destination drive/folder, you input your server (or MobileMe) details. You can even test your connection to make sure it will work before relying on the backup being made.

Once you are sure it works, do a back-up, set-up a schedule and let it go. Knowing that your data is absolutely safe is priceless, and this is a great solution for your sensitive/must-have documents. Back them up!

iDisk Backup

iDisk Backup

Scheduling and Other Options

Parachute enables you to schedule your backups for a specified time and frequency. This has proven to work 100% so far. Every night at 8PM my backups ran, as scheduled. The cool thing is I didn’t even need to have the Parachute app open – it opened itself.

I would advise the use of schedules because I know most of us would forget to manually back up. Setting up schedules is easy, just choose a frequency and time. I would recommend one when you’re computer is always on (e.g. 8pm for me).

Setting Up a Schedule

Setting Up a Schedule

As previously stated, you have the option to enable ‘smart backups’ – so only the changes are backed up. You may also choose to keep the last x backups. You can also set the application to warn you before deleting remote files.

General Preferences

General Preferences

Future of Parachute

While backing up may seem like a straight-forward process, there are a few features that are planned to be implemented to fine-tune the process. Planned future developments include excluding hidden files, symbolic links, and files that match a given pattern.

As the application progresses I am sure more and more useful features will be implemented, but for now, it works fantastically as a clear-cut backup program.

Conclusion

Parachute is a great back-up application that is both simple to use and easy to customise. Within seconds you can have your most important files backing up to your server on a nightly basis.

Parachute is designed to work with Time Machine to give you that additional level of safety. For those of you who have files they would ‘die’ without – Parachute is a must have.


Summary

With Parachute you can select files individually, set your own schedule and backup to both local disks and remote servers. It's remarkably flexible, and makes a good addition to any backup process you have in place already.

8
  • http://www.adamrandall.com Adam Randall

    Synk by Decimus is the best backup software I’ve ever! http://www.decimus.net/synk_professional.php

    • fractalfrog

      I’m a fellow Synk user since a couple of years but since Synk lacks back-up over ftp you can hardly call it “the best”.
      In fact, it is this lack of ftp back-up which has made me look for other alternatives and so far Parachute is looking good.

      • http://www.adamrandall.com Adam Randall

        If you mount the FTP as a disk you can

  • Jeff

    I’ve recently switched from PC to Mac, and although I love the completeness of Time Machine, I like to make additional backups of a few particular files and folders. On the PC I had a series of specific backup tasks going to external drives and my server via FTP. I wanted to do something similar when I finally made the switch to Mac.

    I spent a few days researching various backup utilities and solutions that seem to work but none had what I eventually found in Parachute. Parachute was basic, attractive and had all the features I wanted in a backup app. $39 seemed a bit steep on some levels in comparison to other software at that price but I purchased it anyway.

    My experience has been kind of disappointing so far in my first week from the purchase date. I am going to first assume the blame and figure that it’s something I am not doing correctly based on only being a Mac user for 6 weeks now.

    #1 – It never completes a backup via FTP to my web server. I had to manually do it folder by folder. All I wanted to do was a weekly 1.5 GB upload. It’s also set as a smart backup. This has never been a problem before and I was able to send the files without issue via Transmit and also a similar transfer using my wife’s PC.

    #2 – I have two backups scheduled to an external drive that is connected to my Airport Extreme Base Station. They haven’t worked since their initial backups, which I want to say were pushed manually. Parachute opens at the correct time but nothing pops up in the activity box and the files aren’t modified, and haven’t been since the first backup. Time Machine works flawlessly though.

    #3 – The help files are limited to only what is common sense. It tells you how to do the basics and that’s it. Nothing more. Troubleshooting is even more limited and the FAQs section of the website caters to all of their other software but Parachute. So I finally emailed them yesterday (Sunday) and have not heard anything so far today (Monday).

    Again, it’s probably me so I will be patient but I figured I should share my experience because there isn’t too much info out there. I will post any solutions or feedback from CreativeBe once I receive it, or figure out the issue.

    • Jeff

      Still no word for me from CreativeBe. I ran several other tests last night and this morning. Still no luck. It will only backup if I do it manually. I checked the log and it always starts the app but it fails due to incorrect settings. I’ve checked the settings over and over but everything is set exactly as recommended by the help files. Besides, there aren’t that many settings to set incorrectly. You name the backup, assign a location and set the schedule. Easy Peasy.

      • http://www.theronburger.com/ Theron Burger

        Seems like allot of people are having scheduling issues with this one?
        I have been using Chronosync for a few weeks now, but I must admit that I never thought to use my ftp server for backups, and I’m not sure that Chronosync supports ftp (sans mounting it as a disk).

        Parachute seems like an ideal backup tool, especially for the less technically inclined.
        Please keep us posted on the scheduling issues! Backups without reliable scheduling might as well not be there at all!

  • http://anothermatt.com Matt

    Nice article!

    I’ve just started using Parachute and am finding it to be the best backup utility that I’ve tried so far.

  • sebastianf

    looks like a nice gui for rsync

  • Thibaut Ninove

    Parachute simply fails on each backup to MobileMe, it’s a lame. The default Apple “Backup” utility does it perfectly, the same way and completely for free.

    Why would Parachute be better ?

  • http://buero.stoltenhoff.de stoltenberg

    yep, nice frontend. but it starts with an error message and crashes while writing to a webdav-server … (mac mini, 10.6.3)

  • brad

    has not worked one time for me. i am using the ftp settings and the test works but when i try to backup it starts and then it finally quits and says it timed out.

    clicking the delete button on this one…….any other mac auto backup to ftp’s anyone likes?

  • Pingback: Friday Morning News | MacTalk Australia

  • http://www.feliublog.com Feliu Quetglas

    I’m on evaluation period of this software and i found a litle BUG on smart backups and folders with none standard chars name, in my case the spanish “ñ”, first backup made ok, if i update content of this folder backups ok too but if i create a new file or folder inside it, it crashes. So smart backup is no working for me.

    I think is nice backup software, quickly and simple and if CreativeBe solves this problem and other you explained above it will be a nice backup alternative on mac.

    Regards,

  • http://www.mozy.com/mac mac backup software

    This seems like a good online back up software. Does anyone have any personal experience with this??? I want to get feedback.

  • Jeff

    Continued from my posts above…

    I never did receive a response from the company. That disappointed me quite a bit. I enjoy touting and spreading the word on great software with great support. They could have had a loyal customer willing to tell everyone about Parachute.

    Also, like a couple of other users above, the ftp backups never really worked for me. It always timed out. I could copy and paste in every other ftp program I had without issue though. Even checked and confirmed that it wasn’t the server side.

    Smart Backups work inconsistently. I generally have to hit the ‘Backup Now’ button to get it to actually work correctly. It always pops up at the scheduled times but it only backs up once or twice a week on a daily backup. I purchased this somewhat pricey software to avoid manually backing up my files.

    I DO NOT recommend this software. It offers no support and little consistency despite having a pretty face.

    I might try out MacKeeper next. Any opinions? Seems to get good reviews.

  • Alexei

    A nice alternative is Deja Vu (http://propagandaprod.com/dejavu.html). It’s a preference pane making unattended backups. Just wish you could choose single files instead of folders only.

    Working fine with DropBox.

  • http://www.pauladalesio.com.ar Paula Dalesio

    Maybe not extremely ‘clean’ default iPhone interface, but that’s a welcome change

  • http://wooconcept.com Thibaut Ninove

    Parachute has been discontinued.

  • Jeff

    Well, that’s a bummer. I finally checked back on this app due to some spring cleaning. Sucks they took my $40 and disappeared without ever resolving anything or even responding to any of my emails.

    • http://www.twitter.com/PatLEstes Pat Estes

      Ya, no crap. I bought this app in a bundle a year ago and multiple apps in that bundle are discontinued and no longer available for download

theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow