The SSD on my 2015 era macbook died, but once I got a new machine, I was pretty impressed how well the MacOS restore from time machine worked.  It was dog slow, and took over 24hrs, but I got back all my work, and most of the MacOS configuration too.

The new macbook has ONLY usb-C ports.  Luckily, I had the foresight to order a thunderbolt-2 to USB-C adapter with the new macbook for the monitors, so I was able to use one of my monitors as a USB hub to access my old time machine drive.  The time machine backups on my old macbook, with the drive plugged in directly, never seemed that slow, so I think that some of the slow restore was due to this indirect connection.  However, some of that must also have been due to the older magnetic drive too.

Having just gone through a harddrive failure scenerio, backup and restore speed seemed worth spending some additional resources on, so I went ahead and splurged on a new ASUS NVM SSD enclosure:

This direct connects USB-C to USB-C, and is currently equipped with a 2Tb SSD.  It is also really pretty.

I went ahead and enabled time machine encryption on this drive, and was able to do a full (0.7Tb) backup in about 4hrs, even with encryption enabled!  The big 2Tb NVM drive wasn’t cheap, but has lots of space for incremental backups of the macbook’s 1Tb drive.

It is easy to swap out the SSD, so I can use this enclosure to backup my windows machine too (provided I buy an additional drive.)