Backup Options.


After using a Mac for five years I am now using a Windows machine  can anyone suggest a good incremental backup program or will the one built into Windows 10 can be suitable.

Comments (8)

8 responses to “Backup Options.”

  1. 5615

    File History and the built-in system image capability** might be adequate if you have basic backup needs. It's certainly better than no backup at all, and is probably good enough for most non-business users. Each has it's quirks, though.

    File History works a bit better in Windows 10 than it did in Windows 8, but you've got to pay attention to the storage settings. I believe the default is to check for changes every hour and to keep files forever, so it's possible you could unintentionally quickly fill up your allotted storage. This was a frequent complaint when File History first came out.

    The built-in system image capability** in Windows 10 only creates whole disk images; it doesn't do differential or incremental images. In addition, although you can schedule regular backups, it doesn't version images; a new image will over-write an existing image. If you want to maintain several historic images, you'll need to set up a separate process to copy images to a different location before they get over-written.

    These limitations prompted me to use 3rd party software for my backup needs. I use NTI Shadow to make real-time backups of selected directories (not periodic backups, but real-time backups) and I use Terabyte Image for Windows for system imaging purposes. Neither are free.

    NTI Shadow isn't the most modern-looking app (actually, it looks kind of chintzy), but I've used it for more than a decade (I believe I originally bought it during a sale for $5) and it has worked well-enough. I used to use a different app, which worked great, but it got bought by IBM in the early 2000s and got added to its Tivoli enterprise product line. I've tried lots of similar apps, but I haven't found anything else since that has worked as easily and reliably as NTI Shadow. I haven't looked recently, so there might be something better (or free) available today.

    Likewise, I've used Image for Windows for more than a decade. It has always worked reliably for me. I've had many occasions to restore backups and they've all worked flawlessly. I've tried many of the freemium backup apps (including EaseUS Todo), but for one reason or another I've always stuck with IFW.

    ** In Windows 10, the system imaging capability is called "Backup and Restore (Windows 7)," so it's basically legacy capability (it was actually deprecated in Windows 8 and "hidden" in Windows 8.1), and Microsoft says it's there for backwards compatibility purposes; so, this implies that it could disappear without notice in an update/upgrade. These days, Microsoft seems to prefer the use of File History rather than making system images.

  2. 6852

    File History may work well enough for your needs. I also used to use a Mac, and I think that File History is basically comparable to Time Machine if that's what you have been used to using. 

    If you're not familiar with it, File History is just the built-in backup utility in Windows.

  3. 5501

    I use File History to back up to an external hard drive that I keep plugged in 24/7, and it's always worked well for me.  Has come in handy a few times.  Personally I think it's okay, but it's only part of my entire backup solution.  Once a month I do an image backup as well of my OS drive, and also to an additional external hard drive that I keep up on a shelf.

    EDIT: The third-party backup/imaging utility I use is called EaseUS Todo.  I think it's very good.

  4. 180

    For most people's needs, I think File History is sufficient. If you want a more robust image based backup, take a look at Veeam's free offering. It's basically a freebie to get people to look at the enterprise software, but pretty solid stuff:

  5. 5615

    One thing to keep in mind when deciding on a backup strategy is the ability to access archived and backed up data down the road. I've run into the situation in the past where I needed to access data I had backed up 5 years or more in the past and couldn't do it easily because either the application didn't exist anymore or the current version of the application wasn't backwards compatible.

    This is an argument in favor of sticking as close to Windows' built-in backup applications as possible, or at the least, going with something you are confident will still be around long into the future (or where an old version can be installed and run on current or older hardware/OSes). Make sure you keep not only copies of the backed up data, but also copies of the version of the software used to create the backup.

  6. 3229

    Windows Server Essentials comes with a differential backup feature for itself and clients, but I doubt that is a realistic option for you. (Though FWIW, it has already saved my bacon once)

  7. 10721

    Thanks for sharing this informations.this informations is useful for me.i have to submit file.i can not get the back up this informations is very helpful.thanks a lot for sharing this fee payment