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.


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.


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.