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Backup software review


#1

If your computer has a meltdown, you’re at risk of losing your files unless you backup your system. Backup software can help you with the task, and we can help you find right software with the most useful features, such as disk imaging, encryption, network backup and file/folder specific backup.

Read our free buying guide to back-up software and check out @SteveDuncombe’s back-up software reviews (member content) to discover the best backup software for your needs.


#2

We use two.

The in built windows 10 backup software and the free version of AOMEI.

The windows 10 backup is used to create a copy on another internal drive…just in case the ssd gets corrupted and AOMEI to do a manual regular selected file backup onto a external drive…which is removed and stored elsewherebetween backups.

Just find the Windows 10 version not as user friendly as it should be.

Also don’t worry about encription as the files are personal ones (mainly photos, music, videos, word documents, spreadsheets etc. We however do encrypt our financial files through the accounting software…which would be the only file encrypted in the backup.


#3

I find Acronis very good (if you are willing to pay) but Easeus Todo Free I have found is very good as well and allows scheduling and full differential or incremental backups of your data with encryption if needed. Please create the Boot Disk/USB as soon as possible if using these Back up programs.

Certainly the Win 10 backup software can be a little hard to find but when you look for it in Control Panel it is listed as “Back up and Restore (Windows 7)” as it was removed in Win 8.1 and then put back in with Win 10. Once you have found it drag a shortcut of it onto your desktop to make finding it easier in the future. It will also allow scheduling and saving to an external drive. You should also create the Emergency Boot Disk/USB (system repair disk) as soon as possible if using this Back up option.

File History is an adjunct to the back up programs in that it uses a disk drive (external or internal) to save alterations to files so that if a file is changed and you need to revert it you can easily do so.

Always make at least 2 preferably 3 backups of your computer to cover any failures/damage to your backup media and try to keep one away from your home/business in case of fires and other physical disasters.


#4

Did they fix the problems with that for imaging? I gave up fighting Windows 10 and bought Macrium Reflect after auditioning a few backup packages. It suits my techie nature and has been very reliable. I had to restore twice and the restore works brilliantly whether you have a clean disc or a corrupted one where it has an option to only restore “broken” sectors and hence do it quickly.


#5

With a Mac, the Time Machine backup app is integrated and continually updates your backup in the background, so you always have a valid backup that can be restored as a whole, or you can simply retrieve any files which may have been accidentally deleted. It is the best backup option I have seen on any platform, is completely free, and works like a charm with very little setup and no intervention.


#6

Please note: the Windows 10 version of backup will is not designed to give you a stand alone snap-shot image to restore from, like the Windows 7 backup software. Rather it is designed to create and maintain a file history by dynamically backing up your files to another drive as you use the computer.
If you remove the backup drive, Windows 10 complains. So if you want a snap-shot backup to store away from the computer, use the Windows 7 backup option.

Beware that there are glitches where sometimes the Windows 7 backup option disappears from Windows 10. This happened to me, and there was lots of discussion about this on the www.support.microsoft.com site, as well as other support sites.

By the way, at the support site Microsoft staff responses to the disappearing Windows 7 backup problem were useless. I eventually restored it by reinstalling Windows 10 using a recovery USB (the equivalent of an installation disk).


#7

Just for that one? :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:


#8

:smile: Generally.

I suspect that the Microsoft staff that answer are often L1 Help Desk equivalent, and consequently not knowledgeable.

They are like politicians. They don’t answer the question, but answer what they have been told to say This is generally to deny there is any problem with their s/w, even when the same problem has been reported over a couple of years by many, many people. They follow this up with some trite answers on how to solve some irrelevant & unrelated problem.

Does this accord with your experience Phil?


#9

Hi Tamás, Pretty close except I don’t agree they are all up to L1. Maybe L0 in training, and recycling the inane scripted non-answers and often repetitively irrelevant responses to us could be their OJT.

A mate from the 1980’s is a Very Senior technical executive at Redmond. I have not seen him in near 20 years. During the 1990’s his role was variously “selling” Microsoft capability to do seismic processing using java on a Windows cluster (laughable!) and lobbying governments over regulatory issues that impacted Microsoft’s markets and I presume, taxes. He is a Very Very smart person, gifted in technology, business, people, name it. Still, he went about it with a straight face as good as any pollie who does not remember :wink:

It comes with the territory, top to bottom.


#10

I think the last backups I actually trusted I did on RSTS/E v7 … yeah OK, that’s a while ago now …

Life was so much simpler … :wink:


#11

As an addendum to the Windows 10 file history backup.

I went to recover some files that were accidentally deleted and not in the recylce bin using Windows 10 file recovery.

Bluh! It didn’t have the files because it wasn’t working. Somehow it forgot about the next HDD I had inserted and been using, and instead was looking for the previous HDD even though it had been backing up to the new one. (I rotate through a number of HDDs so I have previous versions to fall back on if something happens.)

Don’t know why Windows 10 Backup spat the dummy. I had to re-introduce the newer HDD that was still connected, even though using Windows Explorer I could see the backups it had been doing.


#12

w10 file history backup seems rather fickle. I’ve played with setting directories to back up but see no evidence it is complying. I run the Seagate software, basic but seems to work, as another backup solution …


#13

I have long suspected Microsoft purposefully make some of their software a bit buggy so the 3rd parties can sell their products more easily, eg they “share the wealth”.


#14

I’ve been using Acronis True Image Home for about 8 years, which I recommend. I’m loathe to pay for anything other than the operating system if I can get away with it but backup software should be considered essential. How much will it cost you if you lose all your data? How much is your time worth to try and recover it?

Also factor in the cost of one and preferably two portable hard drives to alternate off site backups.


#15

Unlikely at best. In the ‘good’ old days, Microsoft either bought any third party provider, or wrote free software to put them out of business. No company needs to “purposefully” write buggy software, it just happens naturally!


#16

An excellent alternative is Time Machine which is included with every Apple Mac. It allows you to restore individual files, directories, or even the entire computer. Yet another of many examples where Mac has made my life so much easier since I made the switch in 2006. For Windows diehards, Acronis has been the best option I have found.


#17

I absolutely agree. Mac’s Time Machine is brilliant and doesn’t keep making repeat copies of files it already has. Once set up it basically sits in the background and backs up without needing attention. What I also find good is that you can have more than one back-up by using a second hard disk. The only problem is that if the computer and the back-up are together that they could both be stolen or destroyed. There are ways around this. I would say that it is the best back-up software around and it has saved my bacon a number of times.


#18

My ‘tongue in cheek’ was obviously not sufficiently ‘in cheek’ :wink:

I was in IT for 40 years from engineering and OS development through senior management and am connected with reality pretty well. Microsoft is just great fodder for bad as well as good jokes…


#19

Hopefully it will happen less in the future with Windows. As Windows 10 will be the last generation of the operating system…and this version will be updated regularly, software manufacturers are less likely to cause conflicts with the underlying operating system.


#20

Really? Why do you say that?