Third-party software offers additional layers of protection. You gain detailed control of what is backed up and when, and what happens afterwards (perhaps you will want the software to eject the external device or shut down). You can also find software that backups operating systems and settings too. This could prove useful if your Mac gets stolen or damaged. You will be able to move to another device and quickly get all your data and applications configured as they were.

Another alternative for enhanced backup is the cloud. Time Machine and third-party software solutions require a local device to hold the backup. But if your computer is stolen, the thief is likely to have taken your backup too. Or, if your laptop is damaged in a flood or fire, the backup is probably also destroyed.

You are also at risk of ransomware with Time Machine and third-party software. If malicious software compromises a device (yes, Macs are vulnerable too), it is going to spread to connected or networked devices. So, the USB backup drive or NAS is as susceptible to encryption as the main Mac device.

Cloud backup provides a solution that helps avoid all these issues. Your backup data is stored in a data center that the thief, fire, flood, or ransomware cannot touch. Most cloud backup providers boast rigorous security protocols.

Eventually, all hard drives will fail. Backing up important data to one device leaves you at risk of a single point of failure. Cloud backup removes the fear that the one backup drive is not going to be working when you need it.