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GarryP

Can anyone recommend some good backup software for Windows 10?

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This might not, at first, seem to have much in relation to Affinity but there is a point to me asking the question (see below).

I have a WD external USB drive for my backups but the software that came with the drive didn’t work very well (I couldn’t tell it exactly what to backup and the restore process took a very long time). I then looked at using the basic Windows backup function instead but I just can’t get it working the way I want it to (faffing around with libraries and it doesn’t seem to do anything most of the time). So I’m stuck with not having a reliable automatic backup.

My general requirements are:
* Windows-only – Windows 10-only if necessary;
* Easy to select what to backup – e.g. click on a folder and press the “keep backups of everything in this folder” button;
* East to select what not to backup – e.g. click on a sub-folder and press the “don’t bother backing this sub-folder up” button;
* Easy to restore previous version of file – e.g. browse to the backup I want and press the “restore this version” button;
* Easy to set when to backup what – e.g. Backup <this> folder once a day at dinnertime, and <that> folder every hour;
* Lets me set exactly which folders and files I want to backup, not just the ones it thinks I might need (very important as most of my stuff isn’t in the Documents folder);
* Keeps multiple versions of each file, up to a limit which I can set individually by folder – e.g. keep the last <X> versions of the files in this folder;
* Low system overhead – e.g. I don’t want my system slowing down noticeably while the backup is happening;
* Low cost – e.g. less than £50 and no subscription (like the Affinity apps).

I have no current use for: Cloud storage; Encryption; Backup to multiple drives/RAID; Anti-ransomware; Email backup; Drive cloning; Multiple licences; Removable storage backups; Transfer between machines.

Since the Affinity Apps – especially Publisher - can produce rather large files it would be great to be able to set different backup schedules for different folders so, for example, my important files are backed up often, but my experiments are only backed up every now and again. The Affinity apps use and produce large files so it would be nice to have something that can handle these without much fuss. I’ve noticed a few discussions about backups on this forum recently so I thought it might be useful to pick peoples’ brains and see what’s being used out there.

So, does anyone have any recommendations?
What are you using and why do you like it?
What were you using and why did you switch to something else?

I’m currently looking at EaseUS Todo Backup Free, which looks okay, but doesn’t seem – as far as I can see at the moment - to give me as much control as I want.

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Thanks carl123, I’d never heard of that one before but it seems to have lots of nice features for a very nice price – only £26.
I’ve bookmarked that page and will have a read of some of the manual soon.
I think I might also try the trial – at the very least - as it surely can’t be worse than what I have at the moment.

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I'm using SyncBack for a long time now. I started with the free SyncBack SE version but have bouth the pro version after some time:
https://www.2brightsparks.com/

It gives a lot of control if needed but can also be set to a simple mode. It might be a little bit too much of what you are looking for but for sure I can recommend it :)

d.


Affinity Designer 1.7.0.367 (beta 1.7.1.390) - Affinity Photo 1.7.0.367 (beta 1.7.1.390) - Affinity Designer for iPad 1.7.0.7 - Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.8.77    ...    Affinity Publisher beta 1.7.0.399

Windows 10 (1809) 64-bit - Core i7 - 16GB - Intel HD Graphics 4600 & NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
iPad pro 9.7" + Apple Pencil

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On windows I also use SyncBack (the free version), only for backup personal documents, a really good software.

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I also use SyncBack Free. Easy to use. Can schedule backups to execute at regular times. It uses Windows Task Scheduler so SyncBack doesn't need to run in the background.

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Thanks to everyone who suggested SyncBack.
That seems like an interesting product too.
The free version doesn’t seem to have File Versioning, which is useful but not absolutely necessary.
If I buy V8 now it looks like I would get a free upgrade to V9 in June, which is nice, and only £38 for the SE version which seems more than capable of doing what I need of it.
I’ll see if I get other suggestions before I start my experiments.

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I use Genie Timeline on 3 PC here (2 Win7 and 1 Win10).

It does the job well for me as I was looking for something I could set up and forget about. I get emailed weekly reports, so soon know if backups are being missed.

On my family PCs I backup the whole disk, filtered by file type (documents, images etc).

On my PC I designate specific folders to be backed up.

Have successfully restored files on numerous occasions.

It is always on sale! Never pay full price, a bit of Googling will find you a coupon or a sale page.

I once found that URLs for SummerSale, WinterSale, XmasSale, EasterSale etc were permanent features of their website which could be accessed just by typing into the address bar. One of those gave an 80% discount!!


Win7 Ultimate x64   |   i5-3570K @ 3.4GHz   |   16 GB RAM   |   120 GB SSD   |   nVidia GTX 660 Ti   |   Huion 1060 Plus

How I make GIFs >>> ScreenToGIF (Windows only, Open Source, Portable, ~600kB)

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Another good suggestion, thanks.
I like the idea of getting an email telling me the status of my backups.
I also like the way it seems to be pretty-well integrated into Windows.
It seems to have only one backup schedule, which might be limiting, but that could be fine.
Only £30 with 30% off at the moment.
Added to my list of things to look into properly at some point soon.

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@GarryP

Can I add one more app to your thinking?  Paragon Hard Disk Manager Advanced 16.

I've run various versions of the Paragon back-up software over several years; current version allows me to schedule back-ups (to run automatically), with ability to select either complete drives or specific files or folders etc within drives.  Automatic verification of created archives is also user-selectable.  It's rather more expensive than other software you've been recommended but I recently had to reload a back-up of my mains system drive (always a "worrying" time) and it worked flawlessly.  It also includes facilities to create, resize, delete, merge etc. partitions and to create bootable CD Recovery Media for that time when the system just will not boot (I needed to use this for the reload mentioned above).

HTH

Jeff

EDIT:  I see from the Paragon site that version 17 has recently been released.


Win 10 Pro, i7 6700K, 32Gb RAM, AMD Radeon R7 360 and Intel HD530 Graphics

 

Long-time user of Serif products, chiefly PagePlus and PhotoPlus, but also WebPlus, CraftArtistProfessional and DrawPlus.  Delighted to be using Affinity Designer, Photo, and now Publisher.

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Thanks for the suggestion Jeff.
Paragon HMD is a bit more pricey than the ones already suggested as you say but, from a quick skim through the user manual, it does look to be a bit more comprehensive than some other backup applications. Maybe a bit more than I need but you often don’t know what you actually need until you realise you didn’t have it.
It looks like it uses WPF for the UI – and not WinForms - which suggests to me that they are keeping up with new(ish) technology rather than sticking with old ways of doing things, which is also a plus for me.
I’ve added it to my list for further inspection.

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Thanks for the suggestion Sam Neil.
Copiaris seems to be a little fiddly compared to what I want – scripts/tasks/variables - and the Lite version looks a bit limited – only one source directory allowed – but it’s worth keeping in mind. Sometimes the option that looks least likely at first can actually be the best option.

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Syncovery (used to be called Super Flexible File Syncronizer)
https://www.syncovery.com/
Been using it for years.
Set it up and forget it.
Can do all you request and more.
Good with huge files because it can update just blocks that have changed.
Runs in background.
Usually I don't even notice when it is doing my main daily back-up at 5pm.
You can schedule multiple times per day.
Can also have it watch folders and backup when it sees changes.

I also use it for one-off transfers because it is much faster than Windows copy/move.
For example last Thursday I transferred ~20GB to a friend's very sloooooow USB stick.
Set it up in Syncovery in about a minute, set it loose, and went back to work.

When I got a couple new WD 4GB USB drives I used Syncovery to move everything.
Set it up, start it, and go back to what you were doing.
If it gets interrupted, or you pause it, it starts up again where it left off.

More expensive, but highly recommended.

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Another good suggestion LibreTraining, thanks.
Just under £30 for the Standard Edition isn’t a bad price.
It also seems to have lots of useful features.
It doesn’t look to be updated very often – four years between version 7 and 8 – but that isn’t always a bad thing – if it’s not broke then don’t fix it.
The Block Level Copying feature – not available in the Standard Edition – sounds interesting but I don’t think it will be useful for Affinity documents because of how they are probably organised. Should be okay for things like databases but for documents where things are regularly inserted and removed - everything else being moved forwards or backwards in the stream - it maybe isn’t going to help much.
I’ve added it to my list for further consideration none-the-less.

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Another easy (KISS) to use one is Duplicati, though more for online storage and transfers here. - There are a bunch of (so many) backup tools thus you have to delimit your choice to individual needs here and try out what comes close to what you are looking after.


☛ Affinity Designer 1.7.0 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.7.0 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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Another interesting suggestion, thanks v_kyr.
Like you say, it’s optimised for online storage - not something I need or want at the moment - but it seems to do local storage too so it’s a possible option - and I like the fact that it’s open source.
One issue I might have is that you can’t access files directly from the backup but I don’t know how much of an actual problem that would be for me. (In an emergency I think I would like to be able to simply access the backup file rather than go through some ‘reintegration’ procedure.)
Anyway, I’m still taking suggestions before I start doing the real work so I’ll add it to my list.

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You can restore individual files, as you can using most reasonable backup software, but you can’t simply copy the backed-up file from the backup location or load it into the relevant application directly from the backup media. You have to restore the file via the backup software first because of the way the software backs up ‘blocks’ from the files rather than the files themselves.
To put it another way, the software stores pieces of the ‘jigsaw’ rather than the whole picture and the ‘jigsaw’ needs to be put back together in order for the picture to be seen.
I’m not sure I would want to be reliant on this kind of restore process in an emergency and would, instead, prefer to be able to simply copy/access a fully-intact version of the file from the backup media without having to go through a ‘restoration’ phase.
Of course, when restoring from any kind of backup you’re reliant on the backup software working properly but I just don’t think this sort of process is right for me with my current requirements.

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39 minutes ago, GarryP said:

instead, prefer to be able to simply copy/access a fully-intact version of the file from the backup media without having to go through a ‘restoration’ phase.

BTW, this is one of the advantages of Syncback. You can set it to simply copy the files to its backup location and you can use any filemanager to access the files there and retrieve them from there. (Note: zipping up the files individually is an option).

I assume some other backup software offer this, too.

d.


Affinity Designer 1.7.0.367 (beta 1.7.1.390) - Affinity Photo 1.7.0.367 (beta 1.7.1.390) - Affinity Designer for iPad 1.7.0.7 - Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.8.77    ...    Affinity Publisher beta 1.7.0.399

Windows 10 (1809) 64-bit - Core i7 - 16GB - Intel HD Graphics 4600 & NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
iPad pro 9.7" + Apple Pencil

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The full data restore process - e.g. after a hard drive failure - for Duplicati seems a little more complicated than I would like it to be.
It seems like every time I change things - not exactly sure what - to do with the backup configuration I also need to manually export that configuration to a separate place - not sure where - in case anything goes wrong so I can use that in the restore process (or somehow remember various details, sometimes difficult in an emergency).
I might be getting this all wrong - difficult to know unless you’ve actually been through the process yourself - but I would much prefer to simply copy/paste the files from the backup location and just get going again without needing to install anything (including the backup software as I might not have internet access at that point). That’s just my personal preference though.

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