Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Losing your valuable files as a result of a hard drive failure, virus attack or even accidental file deletion can be very devastating. Whether it’s your photos, giant music collection, important documents – data loss is always costly and stressful. Hard drives always crash, it’s just a matter of time, therefore DO regular backups. Especially when there are so many free backup software options that can run regular backups automatically. Just set it once to run scheduled backups every week or so and forget about them. Then when disaster happens you will be able to restore your files in no time.
Comodo Backup [No Longer Available] is an excellent backup utility from the creators of Comodo Firewall. It’s free, easy to use and have everything you might need. You can easily backup your local files and folders to anywhere on your computer, network, DVD / CD or even FTP server. Plus it can be set to run automatically on specified time intervals.
Comodo has different backup modes: copy, move and synchronization. So apart from simply copying/moving the files from one place to another you can set Comodo to keep source and backup copy synchronized. That is to say, whenever you make some changes to the original files the changes will be replicated on your backup copy.
There are plenty of other cool features including rule-based file filtering, incremental backups, backup scheduling, backup archiving and email notifications.
Hinx Backup Easy
doesn’t have that many features as the one above but if you’re looking for a simple automated backup tool it’s a worthy candidate. Similar to Comodo, Backup Easy also allows you to backup files to a local drive or FTP server. There is also a scheduler to run backups on a regular basis. Backup Easy can do both full and incremental backups. In the latter case, it runs full backup only once, every backup afterwards just changes the files that were modified since last backup.
The program can run on all Java-supported systems. If you’re on Windows, simply download the installer and run it. The installation is automatic. For OS’s other than Windows, download the file, unzip it, and run the executable jar file.
SyncBack – We have already covered the SyncBack backup tool earlier, but basically, it’s another backup software. Although the app has both free and paid versions, the free one has enough features for running local backups.
Free Online Backup Services : Mozy and DropBox
The above tools are handy for running hard drive backups to another partition, external drives or your own FTP server. However if you want to backup only a handful of files and store them on reliable third party servers then you can try a free online backup service called Mozy. It’s quick to configure, fully automated and available both for Mac and Windows PCs. The only problem is that the free account gives you only 2 GB of storage space. See all Mozy features here.
An even better alternative is DropBox, however since it’s still in beta, you will have to wait for the next round of invites before you can get in. With DropBox you’re also able to access your files from other PCs, keep them synchronized across multiple computers and even keep a detailed log of all changes made to the file and restore it to an earlier version. Quite useful for people who work from multiple locations.
That’s about it. If you’re interested here are some more backup related articles that we did in the past:
- Back Up Files To Email With Just One Click
- 4 Tools to Backup your Mobile Phone
- 5 Ways to Backup your Email
As usual, if you’re aware of some good free backup software that weren’t mentioned here please let us know in comments.