Free Backup Solutions for Windows

backup

How often have you closed a browser window and then a few seconds later had a “****, why did i do that!” moment? Or what if your usb stick snaps in half or a hard drive fails or gets abducted by aliens? This is where backups and planning can come in handy…

Both Firefox and Chrome have addons that will recover closed tabs and you can also usually find what you had opened by looking in the browser history. So that’s not a big deal. Or is it? If i’m a novice user and find a website then close it, i’ll most likely not remember the site or know how to recover it… so that’s a problem for that user. The technology is out there to help them, but they don’t know it.

If you have to ask the question, “Why do i need to backup?” you’re probably 10 years of age and have never experienced failures, corruption, alien attacks etc.. the vast majority of us have lost a usb stick, deleted something we shouldn’t have, spent hours working on a document only for the power to shut off which results in all your work being lost…

Thankfully, these days we have technology called ‘auto save’ which saves our asses in the event of a PC shutting off for whatever reason. Text saves as you type, rather than when you finish typing, so if you’ve typed up a 10,000 word essay in microsoft word and are just about to press ‘save’ when there’s a power cut, no worries, it will all be saved for you. 10 years ago, that would have been hangman time.

St Denis, Réunion
Creative Commons License photo credit: Truffle Jam

These days however if you snap a usb stick in half and don’t have the data on it backed up, it’s still hangman time (depending on how much you value the data). Obviously if the data is VERY IMPORTANT (in capitals), it should be backed up on multiple devices, servers, on a hard drive floating in space in case of Armageddon… if data is important to you, back it up and stop clowning around. Murphy’s law will eventually hunt you down. (Murphy’s law being; “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”).

Now that we’ve established the importance of backing up data, i’ll introduce you to two free home backup solutions. The two pieces of software i’ve chosen are;

If you’re a ‘get to the point’ type of reader, here’s a quick summary of all the waffle below: both essentially do the same thing, only in my own tests, Comodo was slightly quicker at backing up so for that reason, it gets the nod over Cobian.

What they both look like

Here’s what Cobian looks like;

cobian backup

And here’s how Comodo looks;

comodo backup

Compatibility

You shouldn’t have any problems here, unless you’re on of those evil MAC users. This is PC only. Both pieces of software work with everything from XP onwards (32bit & 64bit).

Installation

Both are easy to install, really just a case of clicking the ‘next’ button. You know the drill at this stage.

Ease of use

Looks are important and so to is functionality. But you don’t care about the technical design jargon or man hours put in to designing an interface and neither do i. You and I just know when stuff is easy to use and when it’s not.

Comodo gets the nod here for me because of it’s idiot proof ’6 step’ guide. HOWEVER it gets a major tick against it for me because when backing up you have to give the backup file a name followed by a .cbu extension and it doesn’t make that very clear. In fact, i put money on it whoever installs this software and doesn’t read this bit, will leave a comment saying ‘it doesn’t work, it says ‘file name not specified’…

comodo backup cbu

Speed

Live fast, die young… if that’s the definition of speed, Comodo will be in it’s grave before Cobian. It’s just faster in all the tests i’ve done. This is where i insert my professional benchmarking test;

speed backup test

The difference in speed might be because Comodo uses a .cbu extension for backups which means the backup can only be restored with Comodo software.

Other Goodies

They both offer encryption, compression & scheduling which might be of interest to you if you’re paranoid, efficient or lazy :smile:

Conclusion

Comodo is better because it’s faster and easier to use. However, any backup is better than no backup at all, so if you want to use Cobian or any other backup software, i’m not stopping you :smile:

More Backup Resources

  • http://www.michkhoo.blogspot.com/ 1blog

    for important data use different backuing up soulitions like
    file catalog, keyboard logger, disk image, and other stuff like printing things out.

 

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