Data backup is like health insurance. Both can make your life easier when trouble comes knocking on your door, provided you’re smart enough to make arrangements in advance.
Windows includes a utility called Backup and Restore that lets you backup your stuff, as we’ve explored recently, but it’s hardly the best option. It is slow, supports only full backups, and doesn’t let you customize things as per your requirements.
The last bit is important. Because you want the best Windows backup software there is.
Which begs the question:
Which is it?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, as different people have different needs. Precisely for this reason, I have reviewed different types of backup software — cloud, hybrid, local, and free. Whatever your backup needs might be, I’m sure you’ll find one (if not more) that’s just right for you.
So let’s dig in.
Makes full, differential, or incremental backups
Includes a very useful pre-OS feature
Automatic “smart” backups
No event-based scheduling
Established in 2004, EaseUS is a top name in the data backup and recovery niche, and many tout its free software to be the best in the business.
Well, we’ll have to see about that, won’t we?
Signing up for the free version hardly takes seconds — but installing it might take a couple of minutes, as the installer file is quite bulky (about 100 MB).
However, it was smooth sailing afterwards.
EaseUS Todo has the most user-friendly interface among all the free backup software I reviewed. Everything is neatly laid out, which makes navigation smooth and easy.
EaseUS Todo can backup your entire system, whole drives or partitions, and individual files and folders.
There’s also a “Smart Backup” option that monitors selected files for changes and automatically backs them up. It allows you to restore files up to two weeks in the past — and even lets you backup your files to the cloud.
The tool lets you select a backup schedule and backup type (full, differential, or incremental) according to your requirements. Differential and incremental backups are smaller than full backups — and hence faster to make — but take more time to restore.
EaseUS Todo can compress your data to save disk space. If you want, you can also password protect your data.
One of the most notable features of this free system backup software is Pre-OS. It allows you to run the software before Windows starts without having to use a flash drive or a disc to run it.
On the downside, EaseUS Todo doesn’t give you PC-to-PC transfer, command-line driven backups, and Outlook backups. Nor will you be able to schedule event-based backups. However, these features — while useful — are not something that most users will miss much.
EaseUS Todo is compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.
Free users enjoy email support, as well as access to the EaseUS knowledge base and forum.
I made several backups to check how EaseUS Todo impacts computer performance and am happy to report that the program runs peacefully in the background, without affecting other processes.
EaseUS Todo has got all the important bases covered and much to offer. It provides all the regular features and some more, like smart backups and pre-OS software. Its performance is up to the mark and email support satisfactory. You can safely give it a shot if you don’t want to go in for a paid backup software.
Unlimited cloud storage
Easy to use
No multiple-computer plans
Backblaze is one of the top names in the cloud backup niche. While there are many who offer better sets of features, few make backups as convenient and cost-effective as Backblaze.
Signing up for Backblaze was a breeze, and it took me all but one minute to install it.
The control panel window is minimalistic and shows only what’s important: backup progress report and buttons for restoring and changing settings.
Backblaze offers unlimited cloud storage, which is truly awesome. There aren’t many Windows 10 backup software out there that can make this claim.
However, it backs up only user files — not application or system files.
Also, it doesn’t do multiple computers. If you have more than one computer, you’ll need a separate plan for each machine.
However, the best thing is:
Backblaze takes the worry of scheduling backups off your shoulders by backing up non-stop by default.
That said, other backup-scheduling options are also available.
Backblaze uses AES 128 encryption to keep your data safe, but you can add a private encryption key for extra security. But remember – you lose the key, you lose the data forever.
The restoration process is simple and handled through a web interface. You can download data directly from the web or have Backblaze send it to you in a USB flash drive or USB drive.
You will have to bear the return shipping cost if you opt to receive your files via mail — provided you return the USB flash drive or USB drive within 30 days and make no more than five requests a year.
Backblaze has one interesting feature, called Locate My Computer, which tracks your computer’s location and can come in handy if you lose your laptop.
It is compatible with Windows 10, 8, 7, and XP.
Backblaze doesn’t offer technical support via phone. However, you can contact its team via email or chat.
Backblaze uploads files at a good speed. It uploaded 16 GB of photos, music, videos, and documents in about 2 hours 38 minutes.
I was also happy with its download speed. It took me about 9 minutes to restore 1 GB of video and photo files.
Computer speed was normal both during the initial and consequent backups.
Backblaze has a 15-day trial period, so you can try it out without a worry.
Its pricing is uncomplicated — and unlike most competitors, it offers monthly subscriptions.
The monthly price for individual and business plans is the same — S6 per computer. If you pay for 1 year in advance, the cost is $60. In contrast, a two-year plan costs $100 to individual user and $110 to companies.
Backblaze is the best set-it-forget-it backup solution. The fact that it is extremely cost-effective and offers unlimited cloud storage helps too. If what you want is a no-frills backup software, you should certainly give it a try.
Backs up entire hard drives to the cloud
Multiple backup options
Wide range of features
A little expensive
Acronis True Image is an old player in the backup game. It started as a disk imaging program — but now is the best all-in-one backup suite and comes loaded with several advanced features, like ransomware protection.
Sounds impressive — but how does it look under the hood? Let’s find out.
The signing up and installation process is easy, simple, and quick.
When you launch the software for the first time, a “Quick start guide” shows up. It tells you what the software can do and how to use it.
The user interface is clean and intuitive, featuring seven large tabs in the left pane that cover all the primary features and settings.
The best thing about Acronis True Image is that it backs up your entire drive on the cloud (but not an external or a locally networked drive).
It is also a complete Windows backup solution in the true sense, letting you make backups on the local drive, an external disk, and on the cloud.
It also offers more backup-scheduling options than most other tools, including a unique option called Upon Event. You can use it to create backups at special instances, like when you connect an external hard drive.
Another feature unique to Acronis is ransomware protection, which monitors your data for unusual file modifications.
Unlike Backblaze, this data backup software also offers Facebook and Instagram backups so that you never lose that content.
With Acronis, you can even remotely manage and modify your system using a mobile device. Cool, eh?
It has also got you covered if you want the added protection of a private encryption key. Just don’t lose the key.
To top all this off, there’s a Try and Decide tool that lets you make potentially dangerous changes to your system, like installing a new program, without any worry. In case a problem occurs, you can quickly roll back to your previous state.
The only downside is that the basic one-year plan offers 250 GB free cloud storage, which may not be enough in the long run if you have an extensive collection of videos and photos. But the good news is you can double the space by paying $10 extra.
Acronis True Image 2019 is compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, and XP.
Registered users enjoy access to 24-hour technical support via phone. If you’re in the trial period, head to Acronis Forum for help.
I uploaded different types of data to the Acronis’s servers and restored them to check its performance.
It uploaded my entire 110 GB SSD in 35 minutes, which is pretty good going. Its performance was equally impressive during restoration, downloading 1 GB of video and photo files in nine minutes.
You can try Acronis True Image 2019 free for 30 days. If you like it, you can purchase any of these three plans:
The Standard plan comes with a one-time fee of $49.99 — but there’s a 30% discount on it till July 18, 2019. Please note that this plan doesn’t offer cloud backups.
The Advanced plan is priced at $49.99/year — but currently it is marked down 50%. It includes 250 GB cloud storage, which can be raised to 500 GB.
The Premium plan (1 TB free cloud storage, max – 5 TB ) has a price tag of $79.99/year — but at present it’s available for 50% less.
Acronis True Image 2019 is the best backup software for users who want multiple backup options and a wide range of advanced features — and don’t mind paying extra for them.
Backs up unlimited computers
Backs up mobile devices
Fast upload speeds
No unlimited storage option
No continuous backup option
Based in California, IDrive has been in the backup business since 1995. While its cloud backup plan for personal users is not the cheapest or most featured, it hits high marks across all important categories — pricing, advanced backup features, and performance.
Let’s find out more.
I was able to install the software in a jiffy, and the user interface is simple yet effective. There are six buttons in the left pane, which between themselves cover all the primary functions and features.
Want to backup multiple computers to the cloud?
IDrive has you covered. It lets you backup as many computers as you like, including external or locally networked drives.
However, you may want to go a little easy on it because the space offered is limited (2 TB in the Personal plan).
Like most cloud backup programs, IDrive backs up only user files — not system or application files.
That said, there’s a way — albeit a time-consuming one— to create full-disk-image cloud backups:
IDrive offers a courier service, IDrive Express, which lets you request a physical hard drive to perform an initial backup. Once you return the drive, the company will upload your files to its cloud servers. You can create one such backup a year for free.
Additionally, IDrive allows you to use this service once a year for free to restore large amounts of files from an existing backup.
However, if you want to create a local backup of your drive, that’s easy-peasy. Simply attach an external drive and click the Disk Image Backup button.
Unlike most file backup software, it supports endless versioning, keeping up to 10 older versions of deleted or updated files forever.
Just like Acronis, this tool backs up your Facebook and Instagram photos and videos.
However, unlike Acronis and Backblaze, IDrive makes continuous backups. This could be a huge bummer if you’re looking for a “set it and forget it” computer backup software.
But the good part is that it does offer some advanced features, like file Syncing. You can sync selected files across different computers with a single click.
Another useful but somewhat limited feature is File Sharing, which allows you to share files with other IDrive users.
Like Backblaze and Acronis, IDrive encrypts data at the client site but also supports a private encryption key. You can choose to use the default encryption or add private encryption when you set up your IDrive account.
IDrive is not only suitable for personal users — but also tailor-made for small businesses. It backs up MS SQL, MS Exchange, Oracle Servers, and MS SharePoint servers, besides offering Office 365 backups.
IDrive is compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, 8, and 7. Among Windows servers, it supports Windows Server 2016, 2012, 2008.
You can contact the Support team via phone Monday to Friday (6 am to 6 pm PST). IDrive also offers email and 24/7 chat support.
IDrive uploaded data faster than other cloud backup solutions for Windows I tested. It took 1 hr and 28 mins to complete my initial upload of 16 GB files.
However, its download speed is nothing to rave about. Restoring 1 GB of video and photo files took about 17 mins — that’s about 10 minutes more than what Acronis and Backblaze took.
IDrive offers a free basic plan — but it can work as an online-syncing solution at best since you get only 5 GB space.
There are two paid plans: IDrive Personal and IDrive Business.
IDrive Personal offers 2 TB space (which can be increased to 5 TB) and is priced at $69.50 for one year and $139 for two years. However, as of July 2019, the one-year plan is available for $52.12 and the two-yearly plan for $104.25
IDrive Business provides 250 TB cloud storage (which can be increased up to 12.5 TB) and has a price tag of $99.50 for one year and $199 for two years. That said, as of July 2019, the one-year plan is available for $74.62 and the two-yearly plan for $149.25.
IDrive offers great value for money to all those who want to backup multiple computers but don’t have massive storage needs. It is reasonably-priced, puts in a good performance, offers technical support via phone, and provides some advanced features like file synching.
Multiple backup options
Many advanced features
Supports many cloud providers
No attached storage space
CloudBerry is not your standard cloud backup solution. Instead, it is a backup control center.
In plain English this means:
It doesn’t provide cloud storage but rather allows you to store your stuff on one or more cloud solutions of your choice and lets you manage all your backups from one place.
I was able to download and install the software with ease. Its user interface is pleasing to the eye and nicely laid out. However, with a plethora of Windows backup programs, navigating through it might prove tough sledding for newbies.
To be fair, though, the software is designed for power users and IT professionals — so the geekiness is not out of place.
CloudBerry has two unique selling points that make it one of the best backup software in 2019.
One, it offers 65 storage destinations, including all the big names like Amazon S3, OneDrive, and Microsoft Azure.
Two, it covers just about every mixed storage scenario.
Want to backup your stuff on Google Drive to OneDrive? CloudBerry has you covered. Need to backup a business presentation to a USB flash drive and Google Drive? Easy-peasy. From your documents folder to Amazon S3, as well as a network storage device? No problem.
CloudBerry’s scope is truly mind-boggling.
And in case you’re wondering if it can backup images of an entire hard disk, the answer is yes.
With CloudBerry, you get real-time backups, as well as a number of scheduling options, like hourly, daily, and weekly. If you want, you can set up your own schedule, too.
It encrypts backups with up to 256-bit AES Encryption on the client side and uses the TLS protocol to protect data while it is in transit. On top of this, it also provides ransomware protection to keep your data safe from bad guys.
CloudBerry can restore server images to VMware, Hyper-V, and cloud-based virtual machines. This means that, if you are using this backup solution, you can have your servers up and running in no time at all in case of a crash.
It is compatible with Windows 10, 8, 7, and Windows Server 2019, 2016, 2012, 2012 R2, 2008, 2008 R2.
If there’s one gripe I have with CloudBerry, it is the lack of phone support. On the brighter side, though, there email support is top-notch.
I contacted them twice with questions, and both times they responded within 20 minutes, with step-by-step solutions to my problems. So you can count on their speedy and efficient reply when you need help.
Additionally, you can post a query on their forum, which is well-maintained by their moderators.
Since CloudBerry doesn’t offer cloud storage, your upload and download speeds will depend on the performance of the partner service, among other things — your internet speed and proximity to the cloud server.
I uploaded and downloaded 1 GB of documents, photos, and music files on Google Drive.
CloudBerry was able to upload the data in about 23 minutes on average, which is a strong result. The download speed was even more impressive, taking all but two minutes to restore data.
These were the best results among all cloud backup solutions I researched — so kudos to CloudBerry.
CloudBerry offers a free version, Windows Free, but you can use only 200 GB of cloud storage with it.
The Windows Desktop version, on the other hand, manages 5 TB of cloud storage and costs $49.9 for one machine.
There are various server versions also, which offer 1 TB of space and allow up to 5 machines. And, finally, there’s an Ultimate version, with which you get unlimited space and machines.
Mind you, the final cost of backup will be higher, as you’ll be paying for cloud storage as well.
CloudBerry is a powerful backup solution that offers many advanced features. It is ideal for power Windows users who want more control over how and where they backup data.
It is also a good choice for small businesses, thanks to its strong data security features and ability to restore servers in a jiffy.
But if you are an average user, you might find it more than a handful and perhaps a tad bit expensive.
Easy to use
Supports multiple types of backups
One-click backup option
Supports for virtual and network disks
No chat support
O&O DiskImage 14 is one of the most popular local best pc backup software, so I was eager to test it. And I must say it impressed me with its sensible workflow. What other aces does it have up its sleeve? Let’s find out.
The installation process is simple and straightforward, since there are no meaningful decisions to make. The user interface uses text along with some images to show various backup options that are easy to follow and use.
O&O DiskImage 14 offers all the bread-and-butter features and some more.
You can create disk-wise and file-wise backups, select or deselect sections of a local drive, create differential and incremental backups, and use virtual and network-based storage devices.
Additionally, you can split large files into smaller ones and protect your files with a password.
In addition to these standard features, O&O includes special features like One-click imaging. You can use it to make an image with default options with just a click. That said, if you want, you can customize the settings as well.
Another useful feature is Disk Image to Go, which takes the worry of creating boot media off your shoulders. It automatically creates new boot media on an external hard drive or a USB flash drive.
In case something terrible happens to your computer, you can use the boot media to restore the backup with a single click.
It is compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, 8, and 7.
O&O doesn’t offer phone or live chat support. They don’t have a dedicated forum or a knowledge base, either. The only way you can get help is through the request form on their site.
However, the good part is that they reply fairly quickly. I got a response within 2 business days both times I submitted a query.
The performance of O&O DiskImage falls somewhere in the middle — not too bad, but not that great, either. It made disk, partition, and file backups at a somewhat languid pace. However, the good part is that, since its lightweight, it doesn’t affect your system’s performance.
O&O DiskImage 14 comes with a 30-day trial period, after which you will have to pay a one-time fee of $49.95 for one PC and $69.95 for five PCs.
O&O DiskImage 14 is a great Windows backup software, giving you plenty of options to backup data. It also offers some intelligent features, like One-click Imaging and Disk Imaging to Go. Another plus is the price, which is very reasonable. You might want to give it a try if you are looking for a solid disk imaging tool.
Supports full, differential, and incremental backups
Powerful and easy to use
Includes file synching
No event based scheduling
Slow folder backups
This pc backup software claims over 93 million people have used their product, which is pretty impressive. They also assert their tool provides the most reliable way to keep data secure.
Is that so? Let’s dig deep into it to find the truth.
Aomei Backupper has a fairly large installer (104 MB). Regardless of this, it took me less than 5 minutes to download and install it.
The user interface, with its retro look, didn’t impress me much. Thankfully, the layout and workflow are intuitive, so even beginners will find it easy to use.
Aomei Backupper Pro allows you to backup your entire system, hard disks, partitions, and individual files and folders.
You can backup data to a local drive, an external drive, and a network storage device — and have a choice of making full, differential, or incremental backups.
The tool supports file synching, which ensure you don’t lose important files.
Various options for scheduling backups are available, like hourly and daily. However, there’s no provision to schedule event-based backups. Also missing is the option to password protect your data.
Features like Compression and Splitting (which splits large files into smaller ones) make it easier for you to save disk space or upload files to a portable device.
Included in the Pro version are various useful tools that allow you to create a bootable USB or CD drive, check backups for errors, open image files, and merge multiple image files into one.
There’s a free version, too, but it lacks the aforementioned tools and certain other features, like System Clone and Differential backup.
Aomei Backupper Pro is compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, 8, Vista, and XP.
Aomei doesn’t offer phone support, nor does it have a support forum. That said, the rich Knowledge Base and Help Documents archive pretty much make up for the lack of a community forum — and its email support team is helpful and efficient. I contacted it a couple of times and received a satisfactory reply within 24 hours each time.
Aomei Backupper Pro performance was a mixed bag. While it made disk and partition backups faster than any other local backup tool I reviewed, it was the slowest in backing up individual files. However, since it runs in the background and has a light CPU usage, the lack of speed doesn’t really matter.
Aomei Backupper Pro has a 30-day trial period. So play around with it as much as you want. If you like it enough, you will have to shell out $49.95. One license is for 2 PCs.
Aomei Backupper Pro is a decent local backup tool. It offers some useful features, like file synching, and comes with an affordable price tag.
That said, the free version covers almost all the important bases. So you might want to first give it a try — unless, of course, you really need those exclusive features of the Pro version.
Offers incremental and differential backups
Includes event-based scheduling
Supports data encryption
Easy to use
Doesn’t backup to the cloud
Paragon has a good reputation and a long standing in the field of data backup and recovery. According to the company, over 6 million users have downloaded its free backup, too, which is quite impressive.
But is the software really that good? Let’s check.
Installing the Paragon backup tool is easy and simple. However, you’ll have to create a MyParagon account when you first launch the software. Once that’s out of the way, you can go ahead and create your first backup.
The user interface is simple but not very intuitive. For instance, it took me a minute to figure out how to create recovery media. (You have to click the settings icon in the extreme left pane.)
Making backups with Paragon is a cinch. However, before you set up your first backup, you might want to create recovery media — since you will need it for restoring files.
You can backup your entire computer, individual disks and volumes, and specific files and folders. While Paragon doesn’t provide cloud storage, it does offer you multiple options for storing:
It also offers you all regular backup scheduling options — daily, weekly, monthly, and on event.
If you are backing up a lot of data into a portable storage device, you can compress the files or split them into smaller pieces.
You can also change the backup type from full backup only to include differential and incremental jobs to reduce space requirement. But mind you, this might increase recovery time.
By default, the backups are kept forever, but other options are also available.
Even though this is a free software, it allows you to encrypt the backed up data. In fact, you can even select the type of encryption you want!
Paragon Backup & Recovery 17 is compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.
You can submit a service request by logging into your MyParagon account. Paragon promises to resolve customers’ queries within 3 business days. Alternately, you can head to the Paragon forum — which is well-maintained — and submit your question.
Paragon’s performance was a pleasant surprise. Lightweight and nimble, it completed different types of backups faster than other reviewed freeware.
Paragon Backup & Recovery is a perfect choice for all those who want to backup their Windows computer for free and don’t mind missing out on cloud storage option or advanced features, like outlook backup.
Easy to use
Backs up to the cloud
Incremental and differential backups missing
Doesn’t encrypt data
FBackup is developed by Softland, as old a name as Paragon or EaseUS but not as famous. But how does its freeware stacks up against theirs?
Well, let’s find out.
One thing is clear:
FBackup will not win awards for its looks. Its interface is unattractive and awkward.
That said, don’t let its insipid exterior put you off — because underneath it lies a competent file backup software.
FBackup allows you to backup your important files with just a few clicks. All you have to do is select the relevant files and the backup location, and if needed, create a backup schedule. You can protect your files using a password and compress them to save disk space.
FBackup performs full and mirror backups (a backup type in which files are not compressed) and can save your files to local or networked drives, removal disks, and the cloud (Google Drive and Dropbox).
However, it doesn’t make differential or incremental backups or encrypted data. Also, you’ll have to put up with in-program ads of Backup4all Professional (paid software from the same company) — which show up every now and then.
FBackup is compatible with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, and 2000.
As a free user, you’ll have to rely on forum support, which, thankfully, is well-maintained and active. Company representatives regularly check the forum and usually respond to requests in a timely manner.
On the performance front, FBackup is as good as other free backup tools I reviewed. It runs quietly in the background and doesn’t affect your computer’s performance.
Despite unwanted in-program ads and a clumsy interface, FBackup has something to offer. It makes basic backup jobs easy and even allows you to save files to the cloud. You might want to give it a go if you need something to backup files.
Now that you know the top 9 best Windows backup software, go ahead and pick the option that’s best for you. With these tools, you can keep your data safe and secure and overcome any unfortunate incident of data loss.
Windows 10 features two backup programs — File History and Windows Backup and Restore.
File History, as the name suggests, lets you restore previous versions of files. It is a handy tool for files that you change frequently, like a Word document or PPT presentation.
Once you enable File History, simply connect an external drive, and it will automatically backup the selected files. You can even set up a backup schedule of your choice — but remember, the external drive must be connected for a backup to happen.
File History can backup different versions of a file, giving you the freedom to pick and choose the version you want to restore.
In contrast, Windows Backup and Restore backs up the latest version of selected files. It can also create a system image — a snapshot of your entire system — which can save the day for you in case of a hard drive failure or some other terrible event.
Well, it depends. An external drive allows you to backup files even when you don’t have an internet connection. On the other hand, backing up to the cloud gives you the freedom to download your stuff on-the-go, often using a mobile device.
What’s this — you’re reading my post backwards?
Start from the top to find out the best Windows backup software for different situations.