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14 Free Backup and Disk Imaging Alternatives that could save your life


Carbon Copy Cloner. Donation-ware Mac disk cloner, lets you image, backup and restore your Mac on demand. Supports incremental and scheduled backups and allows for sector by sector cloning to replicate your computer drive on an external. From the reviews it appears to do the job.


Cobian Backup. One man band freeware (earlier versions open source) which provides very basic file and folder backup facilities. How basic? No automatic restore for one. And the UI, while easy to use, is not what you’d call rich. There are, however, some fascinatingly useful features included in this little program. For one it supports strong encryption. It also supports simultaneous upload to FTP drives, which is something products like Paragon do, but at a price.

This one feature is actually worth installing the software for, if only to set up a regular backups (yes scheduling is also included) of your most important files to your family or business web server. And properly encrypted against prying eyes. You can set up incremental and differential backups and set multiple archives for extra safety. It may not be a real serious safety net for your machine, but it’s definitely worth thinking about for those really important files in your life.


Freebyte Backup. Simple file and folder backup, with a useful set of options for backup settings. You can do incremental as well as, interestingly, date governed backups, which could be quite helpful if you’re running a lot of date ordered data. There’s also a handy Simulate button, which means you can test your backup criteria before committing to the real thing.


Areca Backup. Cross platform (Linux/Windows) open source program which features the most impenetrable user interface ever created by man. I hate ragging on Open Source, because it’s actually someone’s back breaking hard work, given of their own free will, but in this case I have to say it needs work. A lot. A simple Create a Backup wizard would help. As would a change of terminology. A target and repository? Oh, you mean a Source and Destination. Ahh… Give this one a few more months on the pot to simmer perhaps?

Conclusion. The bottom line is there’s now choice, and not just commercial choice. The range of free imaging and backup programs is really surprising, but also encouraging. The fact is that people will upgrade for better features if they like a program enough, and in this regard freeware is a big win for both companies and users.

My vote definitely goes to the Paragon Backup & Recovery Free Edition. Not only does it work well and work fast, but it also offers a solid sweep of features which cover just about everything you need to keep your machine safe and secure against mishap. I also like the upgrade path to more features like FTP upload, and the fact that this is a company which is going to maintain their development and support.  

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1 Comment

  • Is “easy backup wizard” also a scam and is there any software out there that does backup and copy your games?

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