The new MAC operating system, Snow Leopard, as well as older Leopard and Tiger Operating systems support reading NFTS natively, but do not support writing to NTFS drives. Using FAT32 is a good alternative, as you can both read and write to FAT32 on snow Leopard or Tiger Machines. But the file size is limited to 4GB which makes it useless for backups. Also, the disk access time is slower.
Fortunatley, there is a simple and free solution available for MAC users. NTFS-3G lets your Mac write to an NTFS formatted hard drive as well as read it.
Installation is pretty much easy. Download NTFS-3G (6.5 MB) and install it. It’ll ask to install NTFSProgs. Download it and install it too. Both the packages are in standard Mac installation format. After installation, you’ll have to restart your Mac to let it use the new NTFS drivers. Using NTFS-3G, you can also backup/restore images using Disk Utilities.
NTFS-3G is free software and does its job well. However, the file transfer speeds are pathetic. 13 GB file on the test machine took around 45 minutes to copy from HFS+ partition to NTFS partition. However, there is a paid version available which claims to increase the speed.