More Free Backup Software Recommendations & Reviews

Introduction

BackupThis is a companion article for the Best Free Hard Drive Backup Program. It serves as a location to review other backup programs that are not included in that list. (e.g. Advanced Backup Programs, Backup Programs with Unique Features, Reviews of Backup Software For or By Our Readers, etc.)

User reviews are welcome and would be greatly appreciated. If you wish to contribute a review of a free backup program to be listed here, please check out this page for more details. You can then contact us from that page or by clicking here. Please don't post long reviews in the comments. If you would like to submit a program to be reviewed, just post it in the comments section below.

 

General File Backup Programs

Areca Backup: A Free Delta Block Backup Program

Areca Backup is one of the few freeware backup programs that will do Delta Block Style backups. This means rather than just backing up an entire file every time it changes, it has the ability to backup just the part or parts of the file that has changed. This is especially useful for backing up very large files, but work just fine with small files as well. This style of backup is also known as a "block-level" backup. (Review)

 

DataSafe Backup - Average Backup Software with A Unique Twist

DataSafe Backup just a simple backup with an uncommon feature. It has the ability to create multiple hard links to individual files when creating successive mirror style backups. This is a very nice option when creating multiple full backups of the same set of files. Rather than having multiple copies of the same unchanged file in your backup, which waists valuable space, a second hard link is created to the original file. Basically the file exists in all the backups, but only takes up disk space once. (Review)

 

Syncrify - Back Up Huge Files In Seconds (But Not the First Time!)

Syncrify is a client/server style backup that works over HTTP. Using the very well known and robust rsync protocol, Syncrify allows you to configure backup jobs right in your browser and then backup your computers over the internet or local network. Because of the implementation of rsync, Syncrify is able to do block level backups which makes it very efficient when working with large files. (Review)

 

GFI Backup Home Edition

GFI Backup Home Edition offers a good set of features and functionality, and overall is a good choice for both beginners and advanced users. Although the backup features are quite reliable, it has several serious bugs with its scheduler. If you require a backup software with a reliable scheduler, you may want to look elsewhere. However, it is possible, and quite easy in fact, to use GFI with Window's built in Task Scheduler. (Download)

 

Specialized Backup Programs

 

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Comments

by Anonymous1 (not verified) on 10. May 2011 - 14:37  (71737)

I need a backup program that will File each daily backup into a folder with that date on it. which on of these can do that?

by DrRon on 12. April 2011 - 19:56  (70056)

I've been using SyncBack Free for years and love it:

http://www.2brightsparks.com/freeware/freeware-hub.html

It does everything you want it to, has a great Users Guide and support is terrific, including the Users Forum.

Check it out,
DrRon

by eclecticsol-uk (not verified) on 17. March 2011 - 8:30  (68058)

Free Email Backup programs? [Updated 27. April 2009 - 19:26]

The link to StaticBackup, Inc which "has free individual backup programs", now takes you to a page of evaluation copies which time out (according to that page). From my understanding of the ethos of the Gizmo site, this rules them out for consideration as 'free software'.

Jim Evans

by Ritho on 17. March 2011 - 10:37  (68073)

Thanks Jim for bringing this to our attention. The reference to StaticBackup is actually in an article from 2009 and has not been updated by the author since then. I will see what can be done.

by russell (not verified) on 16. February 2011 - 21:07  (66561)

which of the backup programs save in a non proprietory manner so that i can save to and browse to find my files on my portable hard drive

by Ritho on 16. February 2011 - 21:22  (66564)

Areca backup mentioned above, as well as Backup Maker and FBackup mentioned in the main review http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-backup-program all support compression to Zip. Zip of course is not proprietary so it can be easily mounted and browsed using any number of free tools. Backup Maker has its own utility built in to search for files and browse within the Zip archives.

Ritho
Editor

by Paul B. (not verified) on 7. February 2011 - 2:51  (65958)

Z-DBackup, free, is impressive. It is a bit crippled here and there, but nonetheless it is loaded with features.

It's main window layout is strictly barebones, but it performs that well. The options and execution windows are both feature-rich and attractive. Most impressive though is the coding. This thing flew through my test jobs, with virtually no time spent on pre-parsing of a differential job. 111MB to a local drive in 13 sec.

There is an inability to delete old jobs on one of the settings tabs. This would make for a lack of job control on the target end, so a fully automatic system could not be obtained. I think that's the biggest drawback here.

Very good program. Thanks Sabine for the reco.

by TW (not verified) on 21. April 2012 - 14:00  (92376)

I gave Z-DBackup a try and wanted to post this for anyone else thinking of using it/also to see what those who do use it have to say.

I ran a simple backup on my Documents folder and to verify afterwards I checked the size of the new file (and number of files and folders). It was a 1:1 copy, no compression or anything, just a simple backup. It ended up missing one of the main sub folders (all of my financial data in "Account History"), and then really strangely, it missed a really deep subfolder 4 levels down (Documents>School>2003-2008>2006>HST). All of the other subfolders were in that 2006 folder and all of their subfolders and files, but it skipped that HST folder for some strange reason. There are other very RANDOM folders missing as well, all other subfolders around them, just missing a random branch in the directory tree.

I ran the backup again and it noticed the files it already made and automatically went for an incremental backup (nice! :) ), but it decided there were no new files (so skipped all those random missing folders again!

Very strange and no sure why it would miss a branch here or there when it does everything around it. No files were in use and folders missing had multiple files in them. As a backup program I don't think I can trust this with my data as it misses files and doesn't catch its mistakes either, just keeps missing them for future backups too. This could be devastating, as when if you need to recover you don't even know what you're missing. I love the interface and speed, but cannot currently recommend this to others

by Ritho on 7. February 2011 - 9:29  (65969)

Paul,

Thanks for your mini review. I wish when some of you guys would register when you post such things would register so you could be contacted, but I understand the reasons why you may not want to.

Anyhow, If you do not mind, I would like to reproduce your comment, and put it in a review for Z-DBackup above. You will of course receive full credit. Hopefully you check back here in the next couple of days.

Ritho
Foundation Editor
Gizmo's Freeware Team.

by Sabine (not verified) on 6. January 2011 - 17:45  (63975)

@Gerald McCormack
This is completely WRONG what you say. I don't know what you did, maybe you have downloaded the paid version instead of the free version.
However, the free version DOES include incrementell and differential and everything else. The only limitation compared with the paid version is that the free version allows "only" up to 64 backup tasks at once and also that it may not be used commercially. No other limitation.
I am using the free version myself, and alsways use incrementell or differential without any problem.

by Gerald McCormack (not verified) on 5. January 2011 - 2:35  (63823)

After a day or two on free backups I have to say that FBackup after looking good was a big disappointment. I know you mentioned it, but I think it should not be listed as free if you have to get the paid version to do basic backups - namely, incremental and differential backups.

Of the free backup pgms variously listed as 'best', I think Cobian Backup 10 is way up there. Easy to set up with multiple scheduled tasks, task duplicator, Full-Incre-Diff (and mirror, if you wish), easy recovery from zip/7zip compression or no compression.

I cannot see any downside to Cobian but am happy to hear of any shortcomings.

by Waltz (not verified) on 15. December 2010 - 10:32  (62547)

**z-dbackup**

Hello.
I have been quickly testing z-dbackup as suggested by Sabine.
Really impressive piece of software.
Many nice features even in the free version.
Good wizard and the program works well with win scheduler even if needs some minor tricks.
Maybe too complex human inteface but worth to give it a try and test it mode deep.
/BR
Waltz

by Waltz (not verified) on 20. December 2010 - 8:59  (62979)

Hello.
Some more testing on z-dbackup free...
I
t's unfortunately missing some features that GFI home has, e.g. access to network drive, notification by email...
I have found a bug in file naming trying to restore a backup...

Surely works better with win scheduler tha GFI that is not working at all with anotehre scheduler.

Anyone else has feedbacks ?

/BR

WAltz

by Sabine (not verified) on 1. December 2010 - 18:05  (61900)

New info, I have asked the support at Z-Backup and they told me, the English version for the freeware Z-backup will be online for download in 1 to 2 days. So, just be patient :)

by Waltz (not verified) on 9. December 2010 - 10:09  (62241)

Just downloaded the english version of z-backup.
Looks promising.
Anybody tried it ?
Feedbacks ?
Cheers.
WAltz

by Sabine (not verified) on 30. November 2010 - 18:56  (61835)

Hi Ritho,

Where do you see this? Can't find it, actually if you go to
http://www.z-dbackup.com/
(the link I've posted) the entire site is in English.

The German site are all with a ".de" extension, the .com sites are fully in English. The software is multilanguage, so in English. I'm using the German versions, so I know, from installation, that you can chose the language on installation.
(I checked very carefully that I have the English site links for this post).

by Ritho on 1. December 2010 - 6:52  (61861)

On the download page http://www.z-dbackup.com/download.html

I also downloaded it and installed it, but the installation and software were all in german. I understand enough german to get along with it, but I could find no place to switch it to the english language. Apparently only the Professional version has been translated so far.

by Sabine (not verified) on 1. December 2010 - 13:44  (61887)

Oh, I did not see that. As it looks it does not have to do with the professional version, seems, Z-Backup is the only program not translated yet. Didn't know that, as I have all the Z-Programs listed in my post and they all have the language selection during install. I didn't pay attention that it wasn't in Z-Backup and thought they are all in English, the more, since the website is in English. But on the download page now the little flags show, they are all in English too, except the backup tool :(
Hopefully then the developer will provide the translation soon, as its really worth to be known much more.

by Sabine (not verified) on 30. November 2010 - 14:05  (61821)

Hi and thanks for this wonderful site and your reviews.
I have a suggestion for another great backup application, but first I want to mention, that I would not Comodo Backup. Apart from many people experiencing problems with all Comodo software, my experience is unpleasant as well.
During a file to file backup Comodo got stuck after 60% and also pulled my whole system down, so I could only power off and on. Comodo had created countless new folders, one folder each in every folder on the partition, and each of these subfolders containing links to the files in the parent folder. Obviously thats how Comodo's synchronization works. My system partition now had over 70.000 new folders! Uninstalling Comodo left half of its stuff, like 7000 of these folders, its virtual disk drive which appeared as unknown hardware in device manager now. Very crappy.

I'm also using GFI and never saw any bug in its scheduler. Only downside, it is unable to do uncompressed backups if the path/filename is too long and instead just to jump over it, it does not execute the entire task at all. I would prefer it not to backup the path, but simply backup the files. Apart from that it works great.

But the best is missing here. Its actually a modular system, so can be combined with full control. The backup program is Z-DBackup
http://www.z-dbackup.com/
It can do all kind of backups (mirroring, differential, incremental, versioning) and works either with Windows scheduler or, better, with Z-Cron
http://www.z-cron.com/index.html
which is a powerful cron application that does much more than simply scheduling (freeware version lets you create up to 14 tasks simultaneously) and can run as service.
Another optional module is FTP-Copy, which can transfer files on scheduled basis to any webserver
http://www.z-dbackup.com/ftp-copy.html
Another powerful module is Z-DataDVD, with it you can use the scheduler to burn your backup (or anyway files) on DVD automatically.
http://www.z-dbackup.com/burn-backup.html

If you use Z-Cron, you can implement Z-DBackup, FTP-Copy and Z-DataDVD in Z-Cron and manage them all from there.
But the modules can all be used as stand alone, using Windows scheduler.
Each has a freeware version of course. Very easy to use, powerful and fully controllable.

by Ritho on 30. November 2010 - 15:43  (61826)

Thanks for the heads up. I see on the Z-DBackup website they say it will be in english soon. So I am assuming you have been using it in German. Is that correct, or is that an old message that they have forgotten to update?

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