How to Backup Your Software Effectively

“Computer Backup – To spend or not to spend?”

A while back I asked the same question and ended up recommending ‘Comodo Backup’ as a free backup solution.  While free, it had a fair amount of flaws – most noticeably the lack of CRC checking to ensure the file integrity of your backups.

With that in mind, here is another head to head comparison of commercial vs freeware backup software – both of which - in my mind, is a better deal than Comodo Backup. 

Backup4All (Commercial Product)

backup4all How to Backup Your Software Effectively

Key Features:

  • This backup software allows defining multiple backups and saving them for future use.
  • send custom emails after a finished backup with success, error, warning notifications.
  • Backup on FTP and removable media (USB/CD/DVD etc)
  • High security encryption
  • Supports multi-threading to execute a whole group of backups at once, and show the progress of each backup.
  • Scheduler using the available scheduler configurations to make unattended backups.
  • Allows testing of backups (using CRC32). This ensures that the files have been backed up properly and the backup is safe
  • Many other powerful features

Pricing:

Benchmarked against other commercial grade backup products (Backup Platinum for example) is pretty affordable.   By offering multiple tiers (from USD$20-$50), it caters to everything from the simple guy who just wants to keep himself safe… all the way down to the system admin who wants to ensure his network of computers are well protected. 

Drawback: It’s not free

Cobian Backup (Freeware)

cobian How to Backup Your Software Effectively

This is an excellent program which does almost everything Backup4all does, incremental backups, high security compression, email of log files etc.  In fact I wish I had found this earlier as it is much lighter on the resources than ‘Comodo Backup’ and even provides CRC error validation for backed up files.

While an exceptional piece of freeware…The key drawbacks of Cobian Backup, are:

  1. It does not allow backup to CD/DVD
  2. It has no professional support.  This program has since gone open source – normally a good thing, but in the case of backing up and restoring critical data, this is a serious problem when used in a commercial environment.
  3. Cannot copy locked & open files – which means you cannot backup your backup your email without closing Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express or other email clients. 
  4. Slightly less intuitive interface

 Verdict:  

I am of the opinion, the program you choose would depend on the environment you are in.  I don’t need DVD backups, professional support, and do not use Outlook in my home setting, so there I would use Cobian backup.

I can however see the real need for Backup4All in a commercial setting as it offers up a more complete set of features and support.  Multiple price tiers also mean that while not completely free,  it is still relatively affordable. 

Download Backup4all
Download Corbian Backup

Bonus Tip: If you’re looking for mobile phone backups, check out Zyb.com

Disclaimer: Backup4all has paid me to review this product, and to give an honest opinion.  Please note that all opinions expressed in this post are completely my own, and have not been influenced by the manufacturer.

[tags]backup, backup software, corbian backup, backup4all [/tags]