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Best free backup software and services | PCWorld.31 Best Free Backup Software Tools (December )
Create Bootable Rescue Media. It offers hosting and sharing services to a wide range of audiences around the world. You can compress a backup image, split it into custom sizes, and even check a hard drive for errors using a free hard drive testing tool before creating an image. The destination drive will be completely overwritten with the backed up data. HP Recovery Manager is a tool that helps you retrieve your digital information and secure your backups on any Windows 7-running HP laptop.
You may backup files, volumes and disks entirely or pick one at a time. Select the OS partition and you get all the necessary boot partitions. If your operating system crashes, you can recover it easily. Browse them like a normal disk on the computer, recovering separate files.
We offer Features System requirements Resources. Community Edition is available completely free for the non-commercial purpose only. Set up automated backups quickly. Adjust backup scenarios. Explore your copies. Mount archives by setting a drive letter. Recovery in WinPE. Select the menu option RMB.
You may get access to share folders from WinPE by setting corresponding options. Restore from file and point. Spelling error report The following text will be sent to our editors:. Your comment optional :. Send Cancel. Community edition. Hard Disk Manager for Business. Backup files, folders, disks, OS. Included all functionality CE and much more. Hardware Requirements. Additional Requirements.
A host of companies offer free online backup or free backup software—and perhaps surprisingly, nearly all of them are quite competent. Of course these companies have ulterior motives. Their free versions usually provide only enough storage for essential data, or lack some advanced features that pros would want.
Then there are services like Dropbox, with 2GB for free. Read on for our top picks in free online backup and free backup software, and of course the reasons we picked them. If you find yourself needing more features, more storage, or less ads and nags, see our roundups of paid options for best Windows backup software and best cloud backup services. Read our review below for more info on our new pick. In addition to that, the layout and workflow are intuitive and easy enough for even a backup newb to understand.
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. Windows File History is one of the easiest and cheapest free continuous data protection software for Windows.
It makes backing up your data a no-brainer with its set-it-and-forget-it way of storing data and keeping automated backups. While Microsoft has made some dubious decisions recently in regards to updates of the File History software, it still remains one of the best around. It was only narrowly edged out of our number one pick for best free Windows backup because Perfect Backup has slightly easier to use data selection tools. This is largely to test reliability and hardware compatibility, but we time two: an approximately GB system image two partitions , and a roughly 50GB image created from a set of smaller files and folders.
We also test the USB boot drives created by the programs. Online services: 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. 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. 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. Make sure the service you sign up for supports all of your platforms. Note: iDrive even supports Windows Phone. 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. Reliability: Generally speaking, data centers are backed up to the hilt. Some of the larger ones even back up to different geographical locations.
If there are too many outages in service, buy accordingly. 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. 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. Some programs automatically select the appropriate files if you use the Windows library folders Documents, Photos, Videos, etc.
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.
Any backup program worth its salt allows you to schedule backups. 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 obsolete as they may seem, DVDs and Blu-ray discs are great archive media.
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. Real time: Real-time backup means that files are backed up whenever they change, usually upon creation or save. Instead, scheduling should be used.
Use continuous backup for rapidly changing data sets where transfer rates are too slow, or computing power is too precious for real-time 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.
Backupper 6 Standard — Best free backup software. Pros Top-notch, easy interface File backup and sync, plus imaging in one program Free version that covers the basics. Pros Online and local backup in the same job Supports multiple PCs and devices on the same account. Cons One of the pricier services, beyond the free version, though justifiably so. Perfect Backup — Best free Windows backup.
Pros Familiar and easy interface Friendlier data selection than Windows File History Backs up to local media, network locations, and online services Logging, notifications, FTP support, and lots of other options.
Cons No image backups Must be loaded for scheduled backups. Windows File History — Best free Windows backup runner-up. Pros Excellent continuous data protection with versioning Easy, timeline browsing of backed-up files Integrated into Windows Backs up user-created libraries.
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