Best dating software uk free backup

best dating software uk free backup

EaseUS Todo Backup, the best free backup software for PCs or laptops protects everything against harmful threats. It’s a great practice to back up your files on a daily basis and prevent data from destructive disasters. Disaster Recovery Plan Should Be Your Priority. EaseUS Todo Backup backs up your data regularly to protect data from crisis and restores files, photos, music, video, audio and more directly from backups soon Like any good backup tool, EaseUS Todo Backup Free will back up your entire system's current state, data, settings and what you want it to. The Best Free Backup Tool in Existence. Back up partitions, restore partitions & individual files with highly useful backup program. You get an easy to use solution that covers the needs of most users.

best dating software uk free backup

Data Backup Is Basic for Data Protection Did your important files get lost? Had your system crashed and failed to start again? Were you attacked by virus or malware? Was your device stolen unexpectedly?

Natural disasters occured suddenly? Data disasters spread any where to risk the safety of crucial files. EaseUS Todo Backup, the best free backup software for PCs or laptops protects everything against harmful threats. It’s a great practice to back up your files on a daily basis and prevent data from destructive disasters. The Best Disk Clone Utility for Windows system Hard drive needs to be upgraded or replaced? Have troubles for transfering OS or data to another disk, like migrating OS to SSD?

The clone feature in EaseUS Todo Backup offers a free and reliable way for disk upgrade, hard drive replacement and data transfer • Clone HDD to SSD, MBR disk to GPT disk or GPT disk to MBR disk from an old hard to a new one or small-size disk to large-size disk.

• Specially Windows 10 Clone Effectively migrate OS to SSD for Windows 10 without re-installing anything. And it fast clones Windows 10 to SSD free and transfers OS from one SSD to another. • Clone partitions or volumes with all data included to another place. An efficient way to transfer data and make double-protection for crucial data. (For Business) • Hard drive capacity • 16TB • 16TB • 16TB • File/disk/partition/system backup & recovery IMPROVED • • • • Complete backup modes Full/incremental/differential/schedule backup • • • • Support backup to cloud • • • • Windows compatibility Support Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP • • • • Disk clone, migrate OS to SSD/HDD • • • • Support MBR & GPT disk, hardware RAID, UEFI boot, WinPE bootable disk,NAS • • • • License type • • single license • single license • Transfer system to different PC • • • • Email notification, pre/post-command, offsite copy, file exclusion • • • • Outlook email backup & recovery • • • • Event-based schedule backup • • • • For business usage • • • • Command line backup • • • • Centralized backup management Available for central management by Backup Center • • • • Simplify to View Main Difference Only • • • Tech Reference Protect all important files with advanced disk-imaging technology and make fast disaster recovery at critical time Operating System • Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP Devices Supported • Parallel ATA (IDE) HDD • Serial ATA (SATA) HDD • External SATA (eSATA) HDD • SCSI HDD • All levels of SCSI, IDE and SATA RAID controllers • USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 HDD • IEEE 1394 (FireWire) HDD • Full support of RAIDed configurations (hardware RAIDs) • Support large capacity hard disk (MBR and GPT hard disk, EaseUS Todo Backup can support up to 16TB hard disk and 32 disks at most.) File System Supported • NTFS • FAT32 • FAT16 • FAT12 Hardware Requirements • CPU: at least with X86 or compatible CPU with main frequency 500 MHz • RAM: 1GB at least • A standard PC system with mouse, keyboard and color monitor.

• CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW,DVD+R/RW or DVD+R DL drive for bootable media creation.


best dating software uk free backup

best dating software uk free backup - 11 Best Free Backup Software for 2018


best dating software uk free backup

To many of us, means setting up and forgetting about it until we need to recover data. But, while Time Machine is a great resource, it's not perfect, and relying on it alone to keep your data safe is a mistake that could have disastrous consequences.

An ideal strategy consists of at least two separate backup schedules, with at least one of those backing up to a drive that's stored offsite. At the very least, if you use Time Machine to back up to an external hard drive or network device, you should also have another tool running regular backups to a different drive.

That means buying a backup application and using it, before you lose data. There are a number of different options when it comes to choosing backup software. Some apps are focused on creating clones of your hard drive and offer incremental backup as an extra feature. Others are focused solely on making backing up your Mac regularly as easy as as possible. A third category, represented in our round-up by , allows you to synchronise folders on your Mac with another drive or computer on a regular basis.

Some FTP management applications also allow you to synchronise folders with FTP or WebDAV servers. Finally, there are online services that will store your data on their servers, providing a secure offsite backup. When you initially sign up for an online service, the first backup will take a while, possibly several days. But once you've completed that, each subsequent run only copies files that have changes and so will take much less time and bandwidth. Most of these services also allow you to control how much bandwidth they use so you should never find that they get in the way of you working.

Of the apps and services we look at here, is a simple and inexpensive backup tool, while , and allow you to run incremental backups, through they're each focused on other tasks.

The three online backup tools, , and all have merits and of those three, Backblaze edges it. However, overall, for a combination of ease of use, features and the ability to combine local backups with backup to the cloud, the outstanding choice is 1.

Acronis True Image 2018 • Acronis is a name well known in the Windows world, but less so to Mac users. True Image 18 is its personal backup solution and it supports backing up your data to a local disk, Acronis' own cloud-based service, or a network-attached storage device.

The latter makes it good option for anyone with a NAS that doesn't support Apple's Time Machine. You'll need to set up an account with Acronis to use the cloud service, but if you'd rather give True image a spin without creating an account, you can use the free trial to back up to a local drive or network disk.

True Image 2018 supports APFS drives, so if you're running High Sierra you won't run into difficulties. There is a caveat that may rule out True Image for some: It doesn't allow you to back up Bootcamp partitions, or indeed specify any partition on your drive to back up.

True Image creates images in a proprietary format when you back up to a local drive, so you'll need to use its restore tools to access your data. Cloud backups are saved on a per file basis.

Acronis True Image is very straightforward to use. The first time you open it, your Mac is selected as the source. Click the Destination button to choose whether to back up to Acronis Cloud, a local drive or a NAS box. If you don't want to create an image of your entire Mac, click on the source box to choose files and folders to back up. From here, you can also back up external disks, a mobile device to your Mac or your social media accounts to Acronis Cloud.

Click on the settings icon and you can schedule regular backups, exclude files, encrypt backups or delete old backups. Pricing starts at £34.99, which puts it in the middle of the tools tested here. But if you want to use Acronis Cloud, you'll pay a yearly subscription ranging from £34.99 for 250GB to £69.99 for 1TB. Yearly plans include the cost of the software. Acronis True Image combines the best of local and online backup tools and while there are cheaper options in both categories, that flexibility means it is worth the extra cost.

2. Get Backup Pro • Get Backup Pro's main attraction is its flexibility. It can back up your entire hard drive or only the folders you specify. You use it to create bootable clones of your Mac's startup drive, and to synchronise files and folders on different drives.

Backups can be compressed to save space and you can choose whether to back up to a disk image or on a per file basis. Scheduled backups take place in the background and Get Backup Pro shuts itself down once it's finished. And if the worst happens and you can't restart your Mac after a crash, you can restore to any Mac, even if it doesn't have Get Backup Pro installed.

Get Backup Pro doesn't have its own cloud service, so if you want to backup online as well as locally, you'll need to do that with a third-party tool. It will, however, back up to network volumes and even DVD media. You can choose to automatically mount network volumes when a backup schedule starts, but you can't specify files and folders to back up to a network disk: you must back up everything.

You can choose to encrypt backups and even the level of encryption, from AES-128, AES-256, Blowfish, or Triple DES. And, if you want to back up data from specific apps, Get Backup Pro allows you to create scheduled backups using templates for apps like iTunes, Mail, Photos and Contacts. There's also a template for the Documents folder. Get Backup Pro's interface splits the application into four sections: Backup; Archive; Clone; and Synchronise.

Backups are called projects. So, to start, you select the action you want from the tabs at the top of the left sidebar and create a new projects. From there, depending on the action you've chosen, you'll have different options to choose from. Clicking the cog at the bottom of the sidebar reveals the configuration settings from where you can specify the destination, any files that are to be excluded and how and when the backup routine should run. Perhaps Get Backup Pro's greatest strength is its simplicity.

Press the '+' in the sidebar to create a new project, then as soon as you've named it the settings window opens. Once you chosen options from there and confirmed them, all that's left to do is add files. You can do that by dragging folders into the application's main window, by pressing a button labelled 'files+', or by choosing a template. It's all very intuitive. If you need to start a backup manually, there's a big playhead button at the bottom of the main window; click it and the selected backup will start.

Add to that the fact that it's only $19.99 in the US and just over £18 in the UK, and Get Backup Pro is a very good choice indeed. 3. ChronoSync • Don't be fooled by its name. While ChronoSync has its roots in file synchronisation and still focuses on that, it's a robust, feature-filled and highly configurable backup tool too.

As you'd expect, you can manually run backups or schedule them and you can back up to a local hard drive or NAS box.

ChronoSync also supports backing up to Google Cloud and Amazon S3 storage. You can use it to back up one remote location to another using SFTP and even set the location to be an iPhone or iPad using the optional InterConneX app.

If you want to back up files and folders to another Mac, you can do that too. Backups are incremental, but ChronoSync doesn't just check the contents of a file for changes. If metadata has altered since the last backup, that will be reflected too. And backed-up files are copied to a temporary file and checked for integrity before the file on the destination volume is replaced with the new version. ChronoSync can create two types of bootable clone: standard and mirrored.

The former creates a bootable system on the destination volume, leaving other files on the volume intact. Mirror replaces the entire contents of the destination volume with files from the source. Each time ChronoSync runs a backup, it moves the previous one to an archive folder - meaning if you need to restore a file from a version other than the most recent, you can. You configure how many archives are kept on a number of files or length of time basis, or a combination on the two.

And archives can be compressed to save space. Restoring from an archive doesn't have the same visual pizzazz as it does in Time Machine, but thanks to the Archive panel, it's relatively painless.

ChronoSync's interface is chock-full of options and that in itself may be enough to put you off if all you want it is a simple backup tool: Get Backup Pro or Acronis True Image are more straightforward options. However, if you need both synchronisation across multiple Macs and backup, it's worth persevering. 4. Backblaze • Backblaze is an online service that allows you to back up your Mac to its servers automatically or according to a schedule you set.

Once you create an account and select your plan (there's a 30-day free trial, too), you download the Mac app and get started. Backblaze is focused on simplicity, so it automatically chooses what to back up.

That includes the contents of your Documents, Pictures, Movies and Music folders, but excludes your Applications folder. Backblaze also excludes some file types from being backed up, including .dmg disk images - that restriction can be switched off, however. Backups are kept for 30 days, so you can restore from any that ran during that time.

And, as you would expect, backups are incremental so only files that have changed since it last ran are copied. Data is encrypted and you can optionally add a six-digit passcode to provide an additional layer of security.

Be prepared to be patient the first time you run Backblaze - it has to copy everything to its servers, which can take several days.

But after that, it's relatively speedy and runs in the background. Bandwidth is throttled automatically when necessary, but you can intervene and set a limit if you want. There's no limit to the size of a single file, but you can set one if you'd prefer. And backups can include USB sticks and external hard drives, as long as they're plugged in at least once a month. There's not an overall limit on the data you can back up to your account. When it comes to restoring your data, you have three options: you can restore via Backblaze's web interface or you can have files sent to you on a USB stick or hard drive for an additional fee.

And there's a 100% refund if you return the USB stick or hard drive within 30 days, though you'll have to pay shipping and taxes. You can view individual files and choose which ones to download. And you can view and share backed up files on an iPhone or iPad with the .

The Locate your Computer service tracks your Mac's location to help you find it if it's stolen and, if it's still running backups, tell you its current IP address and show you recently backed-up data. Backblaze's user interface comprises a menu bar item and a System Preferences pane. However, that pane is more like a fully fledged application, with options to exclude files, add folders and disks to the backup, and throttle bandwidth.

It's simple and very Mac-like. If you only need to back up one Mac, and particularly if you want to back up external disks, Backblaze's simplicity and price give it the edge over Carbonite and IDrive.

5. iDrive • IDrive is another online backup service. However, it differs from both Backblaze and Carbonite in a number of ways. Firstly, it has a free tier - you can back up 5GB without paying anything. After that, though, it's more expensive than either of its competitors featured here. Currently, the annual charge for the Personal tier is $52.12 for the first year and $70/year after that, but that only allows you to backup 2TB of data, while Backblaze and Carbonite allow unlimited data.

However, that 2TB can be spread across multiple computers, whereas Backblaze and Carbonite limit you to one computer. Also, if you prefer to restore by having data physically shipped to you, IDrive provides that for free for the first restore each year - though if you're outside the US you'll have to pay for the shipping.

Like Backblaze, IDrive also allows you to back up external hard drives. Even with external drives backing up, it's unlikely most people will breach the 2TB limit - bearing in mind that you're not backing up applications or system files. However, IDrive doesn't delete files when it runs a new backup. That means you can roll back as far as you want when you come to restore, but it also means you'll fill up that 2TB more quickly.

Features like Rewind and Snapshots allow you to restore from earlier versions of files or snapshots of the complete data set. And all data is encrypted, with the option to set your own private encryption key. The IDrive mobile app allows you not just to view and download files to a mobile device but to back up images, calendar events and contacts from your iPhone or iPad as well - though that may be redundant if you use iCloud Photos.

IDrive's user interface makes using it very straightforward. Your Desktop, Documents, Music and Pictures folders are automatically selected for backup, along with the contents of ~/Library/Mail.

To add other folders, click 'Change' at the bottom of the window - that's not exactly intuitive. You can add videos to the backup, but locating them in IDrive's interface takes a great deal of doing. Both scheduling and restoring are straightforward, however. As is choosing a local drive as the destination for a backup in place of IDrive's servers. IDrive's free tier and the ability to spread your data allocation in the paid tiers across multiple computers makes it attractive.

Overall, though, it's expensive for a single machine. 6. Carbon Copy Cloner 5 • Carbon Copy Cloner is primarily a tool for creating bootable clones of your Mac's startup drive, hence its name. However, it has evolved to become a great deal more than that and now offers features that are a match for the best backup tools.

You can back up your Mac, or files and folders on it, to a local drive or one on a network. Backups can be scheduled to run at set times or triggered by events, such as plugging in a drive. And, as you would expect, backups are incremental, replacing only the files on the destination that have changed on the source since the last time.

Backup sets are managed using what Carbon Copy Cloner calls 'Tasks'. A task could be cloning your entire hard drive or, for example, backing up your iTunes library or Documents folder. Tasks can be scheduled individually or grouped and run simultaneously. You can even easy chain tasks to create a sophisticated backup routine.

Tasks can be viewed in the Task History window and you can filter by task name, source, destination or run date. The SafetyNet feature keeps copies of previous backups when files are overwritten, allowing you to access older versions. And if you run out of room, CCC is smart enough to delete the oldest files and continue the backup.

Carbon Copy Cloner's interface is very well laid out. Its main window focuses on three things: source volume, destination volume, and schedule. Tips, in the form of yellow 'sticky notes' can be switched on or off and allow you to see what every element in the interface does. The Cloning Coach guides you step by step through the process of creating backups and alerts you to potential problems with your strategy.

And the guided restore does the same when you come to restore data from a backup. Carbon Copy Cloner is, for the most part, very easy to use, and if the hand holding becomes an irritant, you can switch off the tips feature.

When it comes to restoring individual files and folders, however, it's less obvious than some of its competitors. The quickest way to restore is to mount the cloned volume and drag and drop files in the Finder. You can also create a task to copy files. As a tool for both cloning disks and backing up data, Carbon Copy Cloner is first rate.

For pure backup, however, Acronis True Image is a better bet. 7. Carbonite Safe • Carbonite is very similar to Backblaze in that it allows you to back up your Mac to remote servers and recover files when you need to. Like Backblaze, you sign up for an account and download a Mac application, and it automatically selects files to download. Also like Backblaze, Carbonite doesn't back up applications or system files. One key difference is that Carbonite's basic plan doesn't automatically back up the contents of your Movies folder either - although you can select videos manually to be backed up.

Neither does Carbonite back up the contents of external drives. Files are protected with 128-bit encryption, but there's no option to add your own password. Restoring data is done online, using the Carbonite application - the option to ship media containing your data is only available within the US. And you can restore from any backup run within the last 30 days, allowing you to roll back to earlier versions of files.

The allows you to view and download files to an iPhone or iPad. Carbonite is very simple to use. In fact, it almost feels too simple. Download the app, install it and launch it, and Carbonite starts backing up your Documents and Pictures folders straight away.

In the lefthand sidebar, there's a list of volumes and the main user folders (Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Movies and Music). By clicking on those you can select files to be backed up or excluded. Carbonite's welcome email warns that your initial backup could take several days. But that's the norm for online backup services, and as it runs in the background and is careful not to occupy too much bandwidth or computer resource, it's barely noticeable.

Subsequent backups are much quicker. We did notice that Carbonite's user interface hadn't been optimised for , which is odd, five years after their introduction. Restoring files is just as easy. If you want to restore a complete backup, click the Restore option in the sidebar and choose whether to download files to a folder or put them back where they were originally.

To restore individual files and folders, navigate to them using the folders in the sidebar and choose the download option.

Carbonite starts at $71.99 per year for a single computer, but if you want to back up external drives and back up videos automatically, that jumps to $111.99. That makes it expensive compared to its nearest competitors. 8. SuperDuper! • Like Carbon Copy Cloner, SuperDuper allows you to make bootable clones of your Mac's hard drive to an external disk or disk image.

What makes SuperDuper useful as a backup tool, however, is the Smart Updates feature. This updates the clone at a frequency you specify on an incremental basis: that is, it only copies files that have changes since the last time you backed up. That allows you to keep the clone updated with the minimum of fuss or interruption to your work. If you use Time Machine for regular backups, SuperDuper can clone and Smart Update Time Machine backups. You can't easily choose which files and folders to back up - the available choices in SuperDuper's menus are 'all files' or all 'user files'.

However, you can dig deeper into its options and build your own backup scripts by pointing and clicking. The latest version of SuperDuper adds support for snapshots on APFS drives. Snapshots are automatically created by macOS High Sierra to save the state of the drive before you install a software update - that way, if something goes wrong with the update, you can roll back to the snapshot.

SuperDuper's Restore section allows you to access those snapshots at the click of a menu and recover your Mac to whichever recent snapshot you choose. And if you use an APFS volume as the destination for your clone, you can use snapshots on the clone, too.

That means, for example, if you install an update then Smart Update runs and updates the clone to reflect the software install, you can roll the clone back to just before it updated, if something goes wrong. SuperDuper is a good option if you already use Time Machine to run regular backups.

If you run SuperDuper alongside it, you have a 'belt and braces' backup strategy. If you need to recover individual files, you can use Time Machine, but if disaster strikes and your hard drive is unusable, you have an up-to-date clone ready to boot from, thanks to SuperDuper. In use, SuperDuper isn't as user-friendly as CarbonCopyCloner - it doesn't, for example, guide you step by step.

However, it makes keeping an up-to-date clone of your system reasonably straightforward and does a good job. If you like the idea of the snapshots feature and are comfortable with its interface, this is a good choice.

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best dating software uk free backup

Show More Finding a good free backup solution is easier than you'd think. A host of companies would love to give you free online backup or free backup software—and perhaps surprisingly, nearly all of them are quite competent. Of course these companies aren’t really in it for the satisfaction of knowing your data is safe. Their free versions usually only provide enough storage for essential data, or are lacking some advance features that pros would employ.

They hope you’ll love the program or service so much, or find it so useful that you'll eventually fork over some cash for additional storage or those advance features. But wait, you say: I have free online storage through Apple’s iCloud or Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive.

Then there are services like Dropbox, with 5GB for free. The issue with all those services is that they’re not necessarily true backup, but syncing. That is, when you delete a file from any device or online, it’s deleted from every device.

Lord help you if you make a mistake and don’t realize it in time. True backup means retaining data indefinitely no matter what’s happening with the data elsewhere. Read on for our top picks in free online backup and free backup software, and of course the reasons why we picked them. You can get the skinny on paid and by clicking those links.

Best free online backup: iDrive on iDrive iDrive has you covered six ways to Sunday when it comes to backup. Online, local, sync, snapshots, shipping hard drives to you for quicker recovery... You name, the company does it. Not the cheapest service, but easily the most comprehensive. There’s no more complete online backup storage service than The free “basic” plan with 5GB of storage retains the features of the pay plans. is the only close competitor we've reviewed so far, and worth an honorable mention.

The iDrive service comes with backup clients for nearly every PC and device, including Windows Phone—a rarity these days. The company provides additional storage for syncing all your devices and PCs, allows sharing of files with anyone, and has the ability to back up to a local drive.

The company also has several affordable pay plans. For all the details, read our . Best free backup software: Backupper Standard 4 With faster backups and a glitch-free interface, this free imaging and backup program would've garnered another half-star. Still, with real-time syncing and all the features most users need, it came darn close. Among the free programs we tested, Aomei wins primarily because it has the most features, including imaging, file backup, disk cloning, and plain file syncing, plus multiple scheduling options (see our ).

Sure, its bitmapped interface may be retro, but the layout and workflow are intuitive. And though it’s on the slower side for backing up sets of files, it’s the fastest software we’ve tested so far for backing up full disks and partitions. Its CPU usage during backup is also commendably light. There are plenty of honorable mentions, one of which may fit your needs or style better: , , , and . At the bottom of this article you’ll find links to our reviews of all the mentioned services and software.

How we test free backup software and services Backup software: We run each program through the various types of backups it’s capable of. This is largely to test reliability and hardware compatibility, but we time two: an approximately 115GB system image (two partitions), and a roughly 50GB image created from a set of smaller files and folders.

We then mount the images and test their integrity via the program’s restore functions. We also test the USB boot drives created by the programs.

Online services: As noted above, the performance of online backup services will vary according to their location and the network equipment between you and the data depository. We installed the software and backed up the same 2GB data set to check for any major issues or glitches in the client software.

These are noted in the reviews. What to look for in free backup products Online storage and backup services Capacity: Obviously, you’ll need as much storage as you have data, plus a little or possibly a lot more if you want to track changes and save previous versions of files. Some services keep multiple versions of files, some don’t. In many cases there’s a time limit. Cost: Nearly all online services charge for a maximum allowable amount of data, and generally uploads are free.

Aside from the free tiers available from a service like Dropbox, pricing is fairly consistent across services, though you definitely get more capacity for your money from some vendors, notably Backblaze. However, there may be additional charges or limitations on downloads. For instance, Amazon’s Glacier is intended solely for backup and archiving. It’s very cheap per GB and uploads are free, but you’re charged for downloading—a service you hopefully will never need.

Features: In addition to backup, you may want to share your files with others, work with them from mobile devices, or even edit them with office applications such as those available with Dropbox, Google, and OneDrive.

If you do intend to work online, we recommend that you maintain a local copy as backup, and a hedge against Internet downtime. OS and device support: Most services provide client backup software for the major operating systems (Linux, OS X, and Windows) and both Android and iOS. Make sure the service you sign up for supports all of your platforms.

Note: iDrive even supports Windows Phone. Privacy: If you’re concerned about the privacy of your data, make sure you use a service that allows the use of a personal encryption key that you define. Do NOT lose it, as it is absolutely required to restore your data. Sadly, using your own key often limits the types of services (e.g., no mobile backup) available.

If private encryption keys aren’t available, read the privacy policy, especially with the free services—there are significant differences. Reliability: Generally speaking, data centers are backed up to the hilt. Some of the larger ones even back up to different geographical locations.

Availability (hopefully 24/7) can also be important. Check for news of outages and the vendor’s own service blogs. If there are too many outages in service, buy accordingly.

In truth, all the services we’re aware of are near-100-percent reliable. Speed: Speed, in many cases, is far more dependent upon your broadband connection than that of the online service, though the geographical location of the storage and the equipment in between can make a significant difference. Check the location of the data servers if speed is important to you. Or, just give the trial a whirl and see if you can live with it.

Backup software As with most things, don’t over-buy backup software. Features you don’t need add complexity and may slow down your system. Additionally, if you intend to back up to a newly purchased external hard drive, check out the software that ships with it.

Seagate, WD, and others provide backup utilities that are adequate for the average user. And of course, while we describe the features to look for, you’re going to find fewer of them in free software. That’s life in the cheap lane.

File backup: If you want to back up only your data (operating systems and programs can be reinstalled, though it’s mildly time- and effort-consuming), a program that backs up just the files you select is a major time-saver.

Some programs automatically select the appropriate files if you use the Windows library folders (Documents, Photos, Videos, etc.). Image backup/Imaging: Images are byte-for-byte snapshots of your entire hard drive (normally without the empty sectors) or partition, and can be used to restore both the operating system and data. Imaging is the most convenient to restore in case of a system crash, and also ensures you don’t miss anything important.

Boot media: Should your system crash completely, you need an alternate way to boot and run the recovery software. Any backup program should be able to create a bootable optical disc or USB thumb drive. Some will also create a restore partition on your hard drive, which can be used instead if the hard drive is still operational.

Scheduling: If you’re going to back up effectively, you need to do it on a regular basis. Any backup program worth its salt allows you to schedule backups. Versioning: If you’re overwriting previous files, that’s not backup, it’s one-way syncing or mirroring. Any backup program you use should allow you to retain several previous backups, or with file backup, previous versions of the file.

The better software will retain and cull older backups according to criteria you establish. Optical support: Every backup program supports hard drives, but as obsolescent as they may seem, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs are great archive media.

If you’re worried about optical media’s reliability, claims its discs are reliable for a thousand years, backed up by Department of Defense testing.

Online support: An offsite copy of your data is a hedge against physical disasters such as flood, fire, and power surges. Online storage services are a great way to maintain an offsite copy of your data.

Backup to Dropbox and the like is a nice feature to have. FTP and SMB/AFP: Backing up to other computers or NAS boxes on your network or in remote locations (say, your parent’s house) is another way of physically safeguarding your data with an offsite, or at least physically discrete copy.

FTP can be used for offsite, while SMB (Windows and most OS’s) and AFP (Apple) are good for other PCs or NAS on your local network. Real time: Real-time backup means that files are backed up whenever they change, usually upon creation or save. It’s also called mirroring and is handy for keeping an immediately available copy of rapidly changing data sets. For less volatile data sets, the payoff doesn’t compensate for the drain on system resources. Instead, scheduling should be used. Continuous backup: In this case, ‘continuous’ simply means backing up on a tight schedule, generally every 5 to 15 minutes, instead of every day or weekly.

Use continuous backup for rapidly changing data sets where transfer rates are too slow, or computing power is too precious for real-time backup. Performance: Most backups proceed in the background or during dead time, so performance isn’t a huge issue in the consumer space.

However, if you’re backing up multiple machines or to multiple destinations, or dealing with very large data sets, speed is a consideration. Any backup is better than no backup Free or paid, we highly recommend that you back up at least your essential data against theft, malware or ransomware, and natural disasters, not to mention user error. Even if you work online, a local backup is a lot quicker to restore.

And this goes beyond PCs: We get a lot of emails asking how to get data back from a stolen phone—the users generally don’t like the answer.


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