Five Best Windows Backup Tools

Five Best Windows Backup Tools

Your data is your life, and if you’re not backing it up regularly, you’re flirting with disaster. Read on for a closer look at the five best Windows backup tools as voted by Lifehacker readers.

MozyHome (Freeware and Shareware)

MozyHome does unlimited online backup for just $US5 a month. Mozy is a set-it-and-forget-it solution, and the setting up part is incredibly simple. If you’re just looking to give it a test run or you don’t need unlimited backup, sign up for MozyHome Free, which gives you 2GB of backup space for gratis.

Cobian Backup (Donationware)

Cobian Backup is free backup software that supports scheduled local and remote backups. Users love its rich feature set, as Cobian supports nearly every feature of its shareware alternatives. All current versions of Cobian are freeware, but the latest (version 9) is no longer open source. (original post)

SyncBack (Freeware and Shareware)

SyncBack is full-featured backup software available in both freeware and shareware versions. The freeware SyncBack has a few limitations that the shareware version doesn’t, like inability to backup open files, but both versions offer extensive features—including backup profiles and options for local and remote backups. The shareware version of SyncBack will set you back $US30. (original post)

Acronis True Image (Shareware)

Acronis True Image creates full live disk images of your PC so that when the time comes that you need to restore a backup, you’re not just restoring files—you’re restoring an exact copy of your PC as it was. The latest version of Acronis supports excluding individual files and folders from your image or you can set criteria for the data that you want to back up (in case you don’t actually want to include everything in your disk image). Acronis True Image costs $US50 and a 15 day trial version is available.

Carbonite (Shareware)

Carbonite is an online backup solution similar to MozyHome. For $59.95 a year, Carbonite provides unlimited online backup and is another set-it-and-forget-it solution which offers off-site backup to remote servers. Carbonite is also supported and sold locally in Australia, unlike Mozy. Carbonite does not offer a free version like MozyHome Free’s 2GBs, but there is a 15-day trial. For more user comparisons, check out our Carbonite vs. Mozy faceoff.

This week’s honorable mentions go out to DriveImage XML, Jungle Disk, SyncToy, and Windows built-in backup.

What’s your choice of backup tool for Windows? Cheer on your favourite in the comments.


  • I use and pay for Mozy and Acronis TI.

    I’m curious as to the (Shareware) label that’s applied here to what are clearly fully fledged commercial software apps that require payment to use thier functionality ???

    Also the Vista Complete PC Backup utility is very good. I’ve used this more than once on my laptop to save my bacon in real-world this-is-NOT-a-drill restore situations. Damn you Microsoft though for only including it in Ultimate. Most people end up with Home Premium and these are the people who NEED this simple, very effective, idiot-proof backup functionality built into Windows.

    Microsoft doesn’t get enough credit for this “app” IMO. Or they don’t promote it enough. It spanks TimeMachine to the curb.

  • My favourite is Windows home Server.. Sure it cost $250 or something but i put it on an old machine ai had and now it backs up all 5 of my machines. It has all sorts of add-ins to help boost WOL and other green capabilities. If i want to restore a file/folder, i just open up the console and then choose the file from the backup. The PC Restore disk allows me to boot from a CD, select a backup to restore and walk away to return to a PC ready to go…

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