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8 Programs You Can Use to Backup Your Computer

Data loss. It’s any computer user’s nightmare, and it can be devastating. Once upon a time, of course, computer backup was simple, but in a world where everything is done digitally, backing up your system can quickly become a nightmare. Here are 8 different programs and services, using a variety of storage options, which you can use to backup your system.

1. Your OS
Whether you’re a Mac or a PC user, your operating system comes with pre-installed backup software. For Windows it’s called Backup and Restore. On Mac OSX, it’s called Time Machine. The upside of these options is that they come with your computer. They’re both relatively easy to use, and you can get help through the Microsoft and Apple websites respectively. The downside is that they require you to purchase an external hard drive separately, which can get pricy.

2. Mozy.com
Probably the most popular remote backup system is Mozy.com. Mozy is a pay-to-use service that stores all your data on their servers. It costs $4.95 minimum per month, depending on which plan you purchase. The benefit of storing your files remotely is that, in the event that something happens to both your computer and your external HD (such as theft or a power surge), you can still access your files. It also can be cheaper than some hard drives.

3. SyncBackSE/SyncBackPro
SyncBack, from 2BrightSparks Software, is one of the best backup programs for PC, with recommendations from a number of tech reviewers. It costs $30 for the basic version. SyncBack does require you to purchase an external hard drive; however, it comes loaded with a variety of other functions, including synchronization between multiple PCs and automatic backup.

4. Dropbox
Technically, Dropbox is a program which allows you to transfer individual files between computers and access them from anywhere. However, many people use it as a remote backup program. It’s free to use (you can buy more storage space), fairly inobtrusive, and it’s easy to acquire more space by inviting friends. It’s not the best solution for mass storage, but if you have small-scale needs (3GB or less) it’s a great option.

5. SuperDuper!
SuperDuper is a Mac-only program designed to supplement Time Machine. You pay a one-time cost to download the program, and then have free access for as long as the program is installed. It doesn’t provide remote access — you need to purchase an external drive. But like SyncBack, it provides other options — such as automation and easy back-up installation — which you won’t get with the basic Time Machine program.

6. Carbonite
Carbonite is a remote backup subscription service. It’s designed to automatically back up files as they are added or changed; it functions by continually searching for files with a recent date stamp and then uploading them to the server. It’s comparable in cost to other remote backup programs, but rather than a monthly subscription you buy the service for a year.

7. Acronis True Image
True Image is a PC-only backup program with a one-time cost of $50. This is one of the most adaptable programs on the list. It facilitates both local and remote storage, with a user-friendly interface that allows you to pick and choose what you want to back up and where. It also has a spate of other features to help you automate and manage your system, as well as intuitively simple restore options.

8. CrashPlan
The free version of CrashPlan has two main features: it facilitates local backup to your external hard drive, and allows you to remotely backup your drive on a friend’s computer, if the friend also uses CrashPlan. It’s an interesting approach to remote storage. Of course, you have to have a friend who’s willing to host your files for you. The pay-to-use service is similar to the other remote backup programs on this list, in both functionality and cost.


  1. You can also use ZenOK Online Backup!. It comes with a free antivirus, and the files you upload are stored on ZenOK’s servers. You have plenty of storage space. Just add your important files to your online backup.

  2. You’ve missed so many good software in this top , i don’t know where to start with.
    Many of this softwares are lacking of features and 2 of them i don’t say their name they have errors when you tyr to recover the data.
    And i also don’t know why Dmailer Backup software isn’t in the top , it is so easy to use for both beginners and pro’s in computers.

  3. SuperDuper! isn’t designed to supplement Mac OS X’s Time Machine.
    Both SuperDuper! and Time Machine are standalone applications and both will automatically back up your system as scheduled.

    Either way, as you point out, data loss is a nightmare and however you get the job of backing up done, it needs to be done. Backing up is a necessity not a luxury. The cost of an external drive is well worth it.

  4. There are a number of local/online backup programs/services. For the sophisticated Home user or SME owner SOS Online Backup is one of the best, if not the best.

    * Unlimited versions of one file,
    * Unlimited number of computers on one account,
    * No archive deleted, ever.
    * Local and online backup,
    * Heavy duty encryption,

    * Data is also accessible worldwide via a web browser,
    * Continuous data protection with “Live Protect”,
    * Backup files even while they are in use,
    * Share files simply,

    * Great support when you have questions.

    See my website for details.

    I have looked at quite a few options and liked SOS more than the others for the specific purpose for which it was designed.(Plain and simple online data backup)

  5. You can also use the free Wuala!. It uses an interesting approach: The files you upload are stored on Wuala!’s servers. But, small encrypted parts of them are redundantly stored on other people’s computers who also use Wuala! (and if they agree to share). This saves Wuala! from overloading and higher bandwidth costs.

    When you sign-up, you get 1GB free (or 2GB, if you sign-up via a referral link from a current users, like me). You can get more space and become a Pro member by either:

    1. Buying space. Buy more space from Wuala!, and you also become a Pro member.

    2. Trade space. Offer a certain amount of space on your computer to be used by Wuala! and its file distribution system. The amount of online storage you get is the amount you trade times how long you are connected to the internet. You also become a Pro member by this.

    A Pro member has a little tag by his name, and can make a backup folder (that auto-syncs with your files). You can also go back in time and view older versions of your files.

    I placed a referral link in the website form on this comment, but I’m not sure people can see it. Techvorm has a mostly stupid rule against placing links in the comment.

  6. CrashPlan doesn’t necessarily require that you have an actual friend to use their free software. It will back up to any external hard drive or computer, onsite or offsite, so your “friend” can be an external HD on your desk, or one that you give to your friend to plug into their computer (so there’s no impact on their hard drive), or a work computer or another computer in your house. There are all kinds of options that don’t require the active participation of another person to be able to get free onsite and offsite backup through CrashPlan.


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