Free Backup Software Comparison

Software Review

Free Backup Software!

Backup software should be a top priority! Although a few free data recovery tools do exist (see Free Data Recovery Software) you don't want to ever be in a position of needing these in the first place. Start a backup plan early, and back up often. If your crucial data is stored in a single location, you will definitely lose your data - it's just a matter of time.

One note: These programs are free, and with freeware you usually get exactly what you "paid" for. If your data is very important to you, don't compromise, just get a real backup solution such as UltraBac or NovaStor.

Although not yet commonplace, the future of data backup definitely lies in online or remote data backup. Online backup is more or less the holy grail of backup services, since your data is safe even from fire and theft. Just a couple years ago, this used to cost $400/month, but lately it has come down to an affordable range.

Todo Backup Free
EaseUS Todo Backup Free backup tool
commercial grade backup - free

EaseUS Todo Backup Free is the free version of EaseUS's more robust backup tool. But don't let the lightweight (free) price tag scare you away.

This is a very robust little backup tool complete with goodies like one-click system backup and recovery as well as smooth, efficient differential backup to minimize required storage space.

  • Incremental Backups
  • Multiple Archived Backups
  • Works over a Network
  • Compression
  • Large-folder Compression
  • Unattended Operation
  • Standard ZIP Storage Format
  • Restore Management
  • Password Encryption
  • Idle-mode Processing

Commercial grade backup with a simple interface and a free price tag.

Briefcase Plus
Briefcase Plus backup tool
lightweight, free, innovative backup and restore

Briefcase Plus is not really a backup program, but it can be used as one. Briefcase Plus is similar to the Briefcase utility that comes with Windows, but much more powerful -- with automatic incremental copy features and compression. The briefcase contents are well compressed, so that they can hold up to 5 times as much data.

To use Briefcase Plus as backup software, set it up to do incremental synchronization to another folder on your computer or across a network. This effectively mirrors your folder (but with a compressed mirror). Note, however, that although it works across a network, it is not optimized to minimize network traffic (slows down).

  • Incremental Backups
  • Multiple Archived Backups
  • Works over a Network
  • Compression
  • Large-folder Compression
  • Unattended Operation
  • Standard ZIP Storage Format
  • Restore Management
  • Password Encryption
  • Idle-mode Processing

The best way to use Briefcase Plus is to make an "incremental" backup of one of your folders into another folder on the same computer.

Comparator
Comparator backup tool
lightweight, free, feature-packed backup software

Comparator provides folder mirroring and data synchronization (again, similar to Windows briefcase) optimized for use on a single computer (not across a slow network). Comparator has strong data backup and data restoration features, but it requires quite a bit of user interaction (which might be a good thing if you have complex backup tasks.)

Comparator uses a two-panel comparison display to allow you to quickly and easily see where changes to files have been made. This allows for quick custom backups in case you do not want to backup all files every time. You won't need to open two Explorer windows to make painstaking comparisons, but you'll still have the Windows system menu available to you by right-clicking a file.

This data-backup program is multilingual and even allows the user to create her own language set by editing an external file.

  • Incremental Backups
  • Multiple Archived Backups
  • Works over a Network
  • Compression
  • Large-folder Compression
  • Unattended Operation
  • Standard ZIP Storage Format
  • Restore Management
  • Idle-mode Processing

A Free Alternative to the Microsoft® Briefcase.

TaskZip
TaskZip backup tool
lightweight, free, simple backup software

TaskZip is a great little backup tool which runs as a system agent. It will automatically archive specified files and folders into a single ZIP file (although ZIP-64 is not supported, so don't try to backup huge folders).

TaskZIP works reasonably well over a network and also on removable media like ZIP and JAZZ drives and CDR (if you have CD file writing software). TaskZIP does not manage disk-spanning, so make sure your backup will fit onto the target media.

Backing up with TaskZIP is fairly easy if a bit kludgy (hey, it's free!). Just set up one or more "Backup Jobs" and let it run quietly in the background (although personally, not as quietly as I would have liked.) The program's scheduler can run backups at any time, and you can set recurring schedules for running daily, weekly, or monthly backups. For each backup job, you can even maintain up to 99 older backup copies of each zip archive file.

TaskZIP also allows you to password protect the ZIP file archives. And although TaskZIP has no restoration features, it stores archives as standard ZIP files. If you don't have a good ZIP tool, go ahead and get yourself a free ZIP program. TaskZIP also allows you to forego compression completely -- dramatically speeding things up when you are backing up over a network connection.

  • Incremental Backups
  • Multiple Archived Backups
  • Works over a Network
  • Compression
  • Large-folder Compression
  • Unattended Operation
  • Standard ZIP Storage Format
  • Restore Management
  • Idle-mode Processing

Runs as a convenient icon in the System Tray area of the Windows taskbar. Useful little backup software.

Autobackup
Autobackup backup tool
lightweight, free, simple backup software

AutoBackup is the ultimate no-frills backup software. Just create a list of paths to be checked, and a backup mirrored copy is created every day of all files found in those paths which have been modified since the last backup.

At the end (or start) of each day it looks in the list of directories you specify and makes a backup copy of any files modified in that week to a separate directory. Simple but effective!

  • Incremental Backups
  • Multiple Archived Backups
  • Works over a Network
  • Compression
  • Large-folder Compression
  • Unattended Operation
  • Standard ZIP Storage Format
  • Restore Management
  • Idle-mode Processing

Bare-bones simplicity without even compression but it works and if it allows you to restore just one deleted file it will be worth every dime you paid for it (plus a couple)!

Next post

Free Data Recovery Tools Roundup

Read More »