Best backup software: 06 DriveImage XML
Another piece of software that is only free for personal use, DriveImage is a simple alternative to some of the more advanced tools out there.
Backup is a simple process – all you need to do is choose a source drive, a destination and, if you like, a compression level. When you need to restore your data, it’s just as easy. You’ll also be given the option to copy directly from one drive to another.
There’s no direct scheduler – if you click “Task Scheduler”, you’ll be presented with instructions on how to manually set up Windows Task Scheduler, but, if you’re looking for a simple piece of software, this is a good option.
Best backup software: 07 FBackup
This tool is free for both personal and commercial work. It’s got a simple interface and it’s got lots of features that you don’t always see elsewhere.
You can add plug-ins which allows you to backup individual programs with a click, you can include or exclude filters, and you can also run “mirror” backups which allow you to copy everything without zipping it first – this makes restoring your files easy.
Compression isn’t as good though with this program, and the scheduler – while it does exist – is more basic than some other programs.
Best backup software: 08 Backup Maker
Here you’ll find something which offers backups (full and incremental), scheduling, compression, encryption and other common tools you often get elsewhere.
But what makes this a little bit different is support for online backups to FTP servers, as well as the ability to run backups automatically when a USB device is connected to your computer.
Data is stored as zip files, which makes them easy to access when you need to restore data.
Best backup software: 09 Clonezilla
Another program that’s not actually installed on your system, it’s a bootable tool which can launch from a CD or flash drive.
This one is pretty powerful, you can create an image of a drive, restore an image (to one drive, or to many at the same time), and you can also clone a drive – there’s a good level of control over how this works, too.
Again, if you’re new to backups and clones, this might not be the tool for you as there are lots of advanced options on offer here.
Best backup software: 10 Paragon Backup and Recovery 2013 Free
This one’s another one that’s free for personal use, but it has a good set of basic functions, albeit with some restrictions.
There’s the ability to create image backups, compress and encrypt them, use filters to define what’s included in the backup, schedule backups and also restore specific files or folders.
Some extras here include the capsule, a separate partition to help keep backups safe, and there’s a good set of partition tools included too.
If you’re looking for negatives, you don’t get incremental backup, you can’t make clones of disks, and the interface suffers from a little unnecessary complexity at times.
Best backup software: 11 Duplicati
A versatile tool for online file backups, this gives you support for backing up to SkyDrive, GoogleDocs, FTP Servers and so on.
You can also use the program to save to local and network drives, and there are lots of other useful options available including the ability to password protect, and restrict upload and download speeds to keep your system running smoothly.
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