What's the easiest way to use Time Machine?

what is the easiest way to use time machine ?

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#1 just

just plug in a external hard drive, go to system preferences, timemachine, select the drive as your backup disk, and make sure automaticaly backup is checked. Hth

#2 Depends on what do you mean

Depends on what do you mean easiest.
If setup wise, see the first comment.
if usage wise, if you have a nas, then most of them can be converted into time machine servers as well.
So once thats set up, you only would have to be in the same network and your computer backs up automatically. No cables or forgetting to connect the drive.