Getting the most from your local network
If you have Internet access and own more than one computer, your devices also form a "local area network" or "LAN". I frequently meet Mac users who are surprised to discover they can actually shift data from one machine directly to another without using email or any other Internet system. It surprises me how many people transfer data from one machine to another by copying the data to an external hard drive, then walking it across the room to the other machine and copying it once again! Apple makes it very easy to build simple secure networks connecting all your machines and devices. We can help you broaden the abilities of your machines and to understand greater possibilities beyond that.
Network Storage and Backing Up
"Time Machine" backup software has been included with OS X since Leopard and makes process of backing up your system and files easier than simple. Despite this I still visit people who have not taken advantage of this benefit, even after years of owning a Mac! On the first occasion you connect an external hard drive to your Mac you'll be immediately asked if you would like to use it for backing up. All you do is say "yes" and Time Machine kicks in and does the rest. A 2Tb USB external hard drive will cost you £80 at PC World at the time of this writing (7/10/2013) - if you don't have one, buy one tomorrow.
If you are compelled to only buy Apple products, "Time Capsule" is Apple's own recommended backup hardware. It is a basic single disk NAS drive combined with a dual channel wireless router. It sits at the top of your network and provides a central point for all your machines to backup to. I am not at all convinced that the Time Capsule is the best choice for backup as there are many other more robust NAS systems that do the job as well or better, whilst boasting many other useful features and, dare I say, for a competitive price
If you think you need a more serious storage plan, please read my article about NAS