THIS. For years I was (and sadly, continue to be) the tech support dude for a colleague who is a very good academic, but the classic absent-minded professor. He would travel the world, with laptop bag slung over his shoulder, unzipped, and only once in some four decades did he have a laptop snatched (and even then, it was while brunching somewhere and someone slid his laptop bag from under his chair). Still, he was accident-prone. A glass of wine into his keyboard while on an international flight to deliver a keynote presentation (and of course, no backup to memory stick nor cloud). Liquid-related damage was the most frequent cause of laptop death. He averaged a year per laptop before some disaster struck. And I was the guy who had to save his bacon. Twice I had him purchase an external usb-powered backup drive. Either he'd forget it; or the cable to connect it; or he'd forget he had it; or it was left behind in one of his offices around the world.......People will not remember to plug in an external drive to back up. I see it over and over. .....
Maybe you should teach them and/or point out some of the features of Apple's OS such as Calendars and appointments and Reminders etc. Then you wouldn't have to see it happening all the time or "over and over"... 😏When it comes to backing up a laptop I recommend that my customers use something like crash plan, iDrive, etc. People will not remember to plug in an external drive to back up. I see it over and over.
According to this Google Search, connecting to a USB port on a router should be possible but I would be surprised if it would work with Time Machine:Is it possible to attach a usb drive to a router and use it with time machine?
Routers that support this feature are generally designed with Windows-based networking in mind. Fortunately, Apple's Mac OS X operating system supports networking with Windows networks. You can access the USB drive connected to the router by mounting it as a network volume with the Mac OS X Finder application.