Computers & Electronics

What free solutions do you use for backups?

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  • Mar 21st, 2018 10:33 am
[OP]
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Aug 15, 2003
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What free solutions do you use for backups?

I really ought to back up my files more often. But it's just such an obnoxious business, trying to decide what should be saved and on what schedule.

I used Paragon for a while, but that resulted in huge archives that were slightly difficult to manage.

Does anyone here use any particular strategies?
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Jan 15, 2010
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Toronto
Veeam has a free software that works really well. I use it on all of my computers and have them all backup overnight nightly. It consolidates the backups on a weekly basis. It actually is better than I expected for a free software.
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Jul 3, 2017
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Macrium Reflect Free is probably the best of the free packages, even though it doesn't support encryption or incremental backup (only differential).

I've tried Veeam, Acronis True Image, Easus Todo Backup Free, Aomei Backer Upper Pro, Paragon etc.. Some have better features in their free versions, including encryption and incremental backups, but there are problems that I just can't put up with in any of these packages:

1. Unreliable restore. This is the absolute worst - a backup package that lets you down when you really need it.

2. Unreliable backup. I hate backup packages that fail at random for obscure reasons, esp. with incremental backups.

3. Slow. Life is too short to wait 8 hours for a backup to finish.
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Sep 29, 2005
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I'm with Exp315. I also use Macrium Reflect Free.

I also have tried the other ones in his post and they were also good but I just find Macrium to work the best for me.
Phils
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Jorpho wrote:
Mar 12th, 2018 1:54 pm
I really ought to back up my files more often. But it's just such an obnoxious business, trying to decide what should be saved and on what schedule.

I used Paragon for a while, but that resulted in huge archives that were slightly difficult to manage.

Does anyone here use any particular strategies?
Make that x3 with the above two posters. Macrium Reflect all the way.
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Jan 15, 2010
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Exp315 wrote:
Mar 12th, 2018 6:54 pm
Macrium Reflect Free is probably the best of the free packages, even though it doesn't support encryption or incremental backup (only differential).

I've tried Veeam, Acronis True Image, Easus Todo Backup Free, Aomei Backer Upper Pro, Paragon etc.. Some have better features in their free versions, including encryption and incremental backups, but there are problems that I just can't put up with in any of these packages:
Macrium looks good. I may check it out.

Just curious though what issues you may have found with Veeam? I've been using it for a number of months with no issues at all. Even a restore helped me out without issues. Is there something I should look out for?
Member
Aug 19, 2002
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Batch scripts are free.

Code: Select all

robocopy <folder to copy>  <destination path>   /e /mir /xa:h /xj /xo /fft /z /np /tee /mt /dcopy:T /r:15 /w:10 /log+:backup-log.txt
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GavinCampbell wrote:
Mar 12th, 2018 10:08 pm
Just curious though what issues you may have found with Veeam? I've been using it for a number of months with no issues at all. Even a restore helped me out without issues. Is there something I should look out for?
It was a while ago now, but as I recall the issue was that the free version seemed over-simplified and limited in too many ways, e.g., it could only back up an entire drive and not an individual partition. And a sales guy from Veeam kept calling to see if we wanted to buy a company-wide solution.
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Exp315 wrote:
Mar 12th, 2018 10:50 pm
It was a while ago now, but as I recall the issue was that the free version seemed over-simplified and limited in too many ways, e.g., it could only back up an entire drive and not an individual partition. And a sales guy from Veeam kept calling to see if we wanted to buy a company-wide solution.
Ya that would be annoying. I backup my entire drive anyways. But its good to know that Macrium has that flexability. I always like to know what options are out there.
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I found the same limitations with Veeam as well.
It was only useful at a full image level. There was no easy way to get granular.
Phils
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Feb 4, 2018
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Exp315 wrote:
Mar 12th, 2018 6:54 pm
Macrium Reflect Free is probably the best of the free packages, even though it doesn't support encryption or incremental backup (only differential).

I've tried Veeam, Acronis True Image, Easus Todo Backup Free, Aomei Backer Upper Pro, Paragon etc.. Some have better features in their free versions, including encryption and incremental backups, but there are problems that I just can't put up with in any of these packages:

1. Unreliable restore. This is the absolute worst - a backup package that lets you down when you really need it.

2. Unreliable backup. I hate backup packages that fail at random for obscure reasons, esp. with incremental backups.

3. Slow. Life is too short to wait 8 hours for a backup to finish.
This is why I don't even bother with dedicated backup software.

Instead I like to use a combination of programs:

1. Teracopy
2. Allway Sync
3. WinRAR

I have a NAS which is my main storage unit, and I have that sync'd with an old Dell R310 rack with 4 SATA Drives in RAID1.

And then I made a 3rd copy of everything to a couple of very large SATA HDD's which I keep stored offline.

Critical data I also copied to 3 separate laptops, so even if one fails, I still have everything else.

I don't bother with any complex stuff: Windows NTFS partitions, and SMB/CIFS shares to the NAS appliance, and that's it.

This setup has saved my ass more than a few times.


Robocopy is good, but no verify (via Hash compare like TeraCopy) or any other type.

Macrium Reflect is an EXCELLENT tool, but I just use it to clone disks, and not as a backup solution.
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Jul 3, 2017
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A tiered approach s a very good idea if you need reliable backups for a business.

For our office we use SecondCopy to automatically back up new/changed files from the server to backup drive. It keeps multiple versions of each file, so changes don't immediately overwrite the previous copy. Once a day all the changes are archived to another drive, and from there they get backed up to offsite storage once per week (copies saved for years).

But at home I just do Macrium Reflect backups to an offline backup drive once a week, and encrypted incremental backups to a portable drive that I keep offsite alternate weeks.

A few times I've had a drive failure and lost a few days of file changes at home, but nothing critical. I just restore the most recent backup, recover email and what files I can from other sources, and the rest just isn't critical.
[OP]
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I'm surprised so many people are using Macrium. Doesn't backing up an entire partition take a very long time, as well as a lot of space? And isn't so much of that data redundant anyway? (In the event of data loss, I'd much rather re-download 50 GB of Steam games rather than spend my life making copies of it every week.)

Also, do you only keep one backup, or multiple backups? If you do multiple backups, do you store them on different drives?
Member
Jan 15, 2010
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Toronto
Jorpho wrote:
Mar 13th, 2018 2:41 pm
I'm surprised so many people are using Macrium. Doesn't backing up an entire partition take a very long time, as well as a lot of space? And isn't so much of that data redundant anyway? (In the event of data loss, I'd much rather re-download 50 GB of Steam games rather than spend my life making copies of it every week.)

Also, do you only keep one backup, or multiple backups? If you do multiple backups, do you store them on different drives?
Most of these products (if not all) will make incremental or differential backups. The first backup will include everything, after that its just the changes and runs much faster. If my computer dies I can actually do a full restore. Came in helpful with hard drive swaps too.. I would just run a backup to get the latest and then do a full restore to the new hard drive.

My backups are all to a local NAS so speed is not an issue.

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