There are plenty of free Windows utilities that can automate and simplify your backup efforts. The question is, which one works best?
You know you’re supposed to make regular backups, yet you’re just not doing it. Why?
If it’s because you’re not wild about the idea of spending money on backup software, here’s good news: you don’t have to. There are plenty of full-featured backup utilities (for Windows, anyway) that don’t cost a dime.
Indeed, your only out-of-pocket expense should be a USB or network hard drive–a place to hold your precious data in case your primary drive goes belly-up.
Below I’ve rounded up five of the most popular and well-known backup programs for Windows, all of them capable, all of them free. Check the list.
For all the bells and whistles you get with this backup program, we were shocked to find that it’s free. Cobian Backup not only looks good, but it proved to be a very reliable and easy to use backup tool.
The user interface is straightforward, and the colorful command buttons are extremely intuitive. Creating a new backup task was easy, despite all of the configuration options. Basically, all we had to do was create a name, decide what files and folders to include, and create a schedule for the backup. We opted to save important files to our USB, which worked perfectly. We were impressed by the file compression and encryption options that aren’t found in many paid programs. The Options menu comes with tons of settings for more advanced file compression, password-protecting the user interface, and even changing the interface’s appearance. We were able perform random backups with the click of a button, and likewise, we were able to run multiple backup tasks all at once without any problems whatsoever.
Cobian Backup offers multiple help venues, including an index, a tutorial, and support forums. However, even the most novice users will be able to jump in with very little, if no, guidance. We highly recommend this program for all users.
DriveImage XML is an easy to use and reliable program for imaging and backing up partitions and logical drives. The program allows you to backup logical drives and partitions to image files, browse these images, view and extract files, restore these images to the same or a different drive, copy directly from drive to drive. Image creation uses Microsoft’s Volume Shadow Services (VSS), allowing you to create safe “hot images” even from drives currently in use. Images are stored in XML files, allowing you to process them with 3rd party tools, so you’ll never again be stuck with a useless backup. Restore images to drives without having to reboot. DriveImage XML also runs from a WinPE boot CD-ROM.
Good backup utilities that combine maximum user friendliness with excellent functionality and some helpful extras take the chore out of an essential duty. When all that comes for free, the excuse to blow off backups wears thin. Easeus Todo Backup is just such a free backup and restore utility. Like any good backup tool, it will back up your entire system’s current state, data, settings and all, or just what you want it to, including partitions or full disks, and restore your computer in the event of a hard-disk crash or other calamity. Its Disk Cloning feature will help you migrate your operating system and data to a new hard disk when it’s time to replace the old one. You can also use it to create bootable CD-ROMs using either Linux or the powerful Windows Pre-installation Environment (PE), which is a big improvement over MS-DOS.
Two things set Todo Backup apart from many other backup utilities (three things, if you count that it’s free): its easy-to-use interface and its wizard-based operation. Colorful, large, clearly labeled buttons and icons make it easy for even new computer owners to use, a big plus because they need protection the most yet are usually inexperienced at securing it. The program walks users through its operations and explains each step with detailed instructions, augmented by a good Help file for further assistance.
Todo Backup is freeware and is certified for Windows 7. It downloads as a compressed file but extracts, installs, and opens without fuss.
Backing up your computer shouldn’t be a tedious task. Macrium Reflect Free Edition makes file backup incredibly easy thanks to its intuitive user interface and helpful wizards.
Installing the program did confuse us a bit, because although it’s a free program, it refers to purchasing the program, and you’re given a confirmation number. On top of that, the program recommends that you view the online tutorials before getting started, but you might have some trouble deciphering them unless you speak Italian. Luckily, the built-in Help menu is more than adequate and written in English. The user interface is simple but professional in appearance. Intuitive commands line the top of the window, and tabs reveal options for disk images, partitions, XML definitions, and scheduled backups. A helpful wizard guides you through the process of setting up your backup. We were able to quickly select our backup location (local hard disk, network, CD/DVD). Before proceeding, it provides you with a summary of your backup so that you can see the backup type, destination, compression type, and password protection. Here is also where you can make advanced configurations to the compression levels and file sizes.
The program did slow our computer while it worked its magic, and we were unable to browse or work with other resource-intensive programs at the same time. However, we were able to watch the backup process, and the program successfully backed up our C Drive without a hitch. If you’re looking for a simple but reliable backup program, we highly recommend Macrium Reflect Free Edition to all users.
Paragon Backup & Recovery 2012 Free – a disaster recovery tool for stand-alone Windows-based PCs. Combining all the existing backup techniques and exclusive recovery environments, this latest edition satisfies the needs of even the most demanding user and is simply the most powerful free backup tool available today. Paragon Backup & Recovery 2012 Free allows you to take complete control of your PC’s safety. Based on solid commercial backup and recovery software from Paragon, it has a rich set of features that you can trust. Simple to install and easy to use.
What’s new in this version: Version 2012 includes new program engine, full Windows 8 and Storage Spaces support.
Thanks for reading. hope it might helped you.
The best way to recover from unexpected data loss is to be properly prepared. With one of the following tools on hand, you’ll always be ready to save your data from the Reaper.
While the best defense against data loss is redundant and real-time backup, we understand that sometimes data loss sneaks right up on you. Whether your vacation pictures didn’t make it safely from your camera to your computer or a bumbling roommate deleted the paper you’ve been working all week on, having emergency data recovery tools handy is crucial to getting your data back before it’s gone forever. Earlier this week we asked you to share your favorite data recovery tools with us. We tallied up your favorites and now we’re back with the nominees for best free data recovery tool.
TestDisk is a powerful open-source tool for recovering your data. Not only can TestDisk perform basic file recovery like undeleting accidentally deleted files from FAT, NTFS, and ext2 file systems, but it comes with a host of additional functionality. With TestDisk you can recover your boot sector from a backup, rebuild your boot sector, fix FAT tables, fix your MFT, locate the ext2/ext3 backup SuperBlock, copy deleted files from partitions to recovery media, and find lost partitions in dozens of formats to help you locate your lost data. It’s a command line tool, so there’s no GUI, but the menus and the documentation in the wiki should get you started without much trouble.
Recuva is a user-friendly Windows-based tool. When you run Recuva, you can resurrect missing files using either the file-recovery wizard or the application’s manual mode. The file-recovery wizard is handy when you’re sure your data is gone but you’re not quite sure where it went or how to get it back. The wizard lets you narrow your search type to pictures, music, documents, video, or all files, and you can set the search location to everywhere on your computer, removable media only, in My Documents, the Recycle Bin, or a specified location. If you don’t need the wizard you can jump right into manual mode and get to work searching where you know the file should be. Recuva uses a green/yellow/red light system to indicate how probable the recovery of your files will be, and when available, it can provide previews image files available for recovery. Recuva also includes a tool to securely wipe files you find, handy if you’re attempting a file recovery just to ensure the files are actually dead and gone.
PhotoRec is a companion program to TestDisk, also included in this Hive Five. Like TestDisk, this app is also devoid of a GUI, but likewise is quite powerful at file recovery. We’re including PhotoRec independently of TestDisk because many users distinctly prefer PhotoRec as a safer alternative when deep disk recovery isn’t necessary. This recovery tool won’t mess with your partitions or help you rebuild your master boot record; it will, however, dive into your disks in a safe, read-only mode and ignore partitions and file systems in an effort to seek out your missing files. PhotoRec focuses on file types, is operating-system agnostic, and despite its name, isn’t relegated to just photos. Overall, PhotoRec is a powerful tool for quickly and safely copying your deleted files to another disk.
Restoration is a tiny, no-frills, portable recovery tool. You can use it in all versions of Windows and Windows file systems. It lacks some of the advanced functionality of other nominees but does have basic file-name search and the ability to sort by file parameters such as size and filename. Despite its tiny size, it performed just as well as the other nominees when tasked with restoring files from our test disks. Restoration weighs in at a mere 406k and would make a great addition to any Windows-based USB toolkit.
5.Undelete Plus (Windows)
Undelete Plus used to be commercial software but has gone on a lengthy “limited time offer” freeware run. This file recovery app works on all versions of Windows and incarnations of the FAT and NTFS file systems. Like Recuva, Undelete Plus assigns a recovery probability to files it finds based on how damaged the file is. You can sort files by type, set filters based on time and size to avoid sifting through every deleted file on your disk, and keep folder structures intact when you perform your recovery.
Thanks for reading. hope it might helped you.