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Backup software

13/07/13

Backup software

Permalink 07:22:00 pm by Eugene Gardner, Categories: General, Articles

I reckon some 80% of my clients never take a backup copy of impotant files (photos, music, tax papers...) but all value my salvaging such files after their disk fails. Sometimes I am unable to recover files though, and those clients are often the ones that ask which software to choose for backups.

After years of experementation and more recently weeks of research I am settling on recommending Cobian Backup as can be downloaded free fromhttp://www.cobiansoft.com/cobianbackup.htm

Like all programs it is not faultless, but it offers the best balance of what I know to be available in the backup space including

  • This product is free (although future updates may not be)
  • It has a long history of refinement so most bugs have been ironed out over the last 12 years.
  • Although the site support is abysmal there is a forum where questions can be raised
  • Cobian has all the basic features and a few bells too e.g. optional error reports by email, encryption, compression, service or application, FTP support, shadow copies of open files?
  • The interface is relatively simple
  • Restoration of files does not depend on this or any other program being available in the future
  • Space management is rudimentary but capable of being left for years without intervention
  • NAS devices are supported
  • Files are not held in a proprietary format

As with every backup procedure things can go wrong so I recommend occasional testing by restoring a file or two as this confirms that backups are working on the intended folders and keeps the method of recovery fresh in one?s mind.

Finally, remember that your backup plan is not necessarily a disaster recovery plan. One day your computer (router, TV, toaster?) WILL fail ? probably with little or no notice at the most inopportune time. If your life would not be worth living if you were without your computer for a few days consider planning for this now ? perhaps by arranging access to a second computer (router, TV, toaster?) I do usually have loaners available but perhaps not with the programs and data you need already loaded.

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