Backup Software Buying Guide
Backup software is a special application that can copy and create file and system duplicates. These duplicates are called backup files or systems which can be transferred to another media, hard drive, or online storage.
Computer files, databases, and server systems are not indestructible and you can lose important electronic data in a single computer crash. That is why you need backup software to prevent data loss and complete disaster.
Types of Backup Software
There are two main types of backup software. The first type performs simple file backup. You just have to choose which files you need to backup and the backup software will create a duplicate copy of your files.
The other type performs full image backup. Such backup software can copy the entire image of your computer system in one operation. Your files, settings, and operating system can be copied through full image backup.
Almost all backup software used by home users fall into the first category. Business users which perform full server and database backup operations normally use image backup software.
PC backup software on the other hand would be compatible only on Windows systems. If your home computer is running on Windows, then it is better to use PC backup software. This is also true for servers that run on Windows operating system. The PC backup software will be able to capture entire systems without danger of corrupting your electronic data.
How to Choose the Right Backup Software
Your choice of backup software will depend primarily on compatibility. If you are on a Mac platform, then you better choose an application that will run on Mac OSX. The same goes with PC systems which will definitely need PC backup software.
If you are an open source aficionado, then there are lots of free backup applications that would be compatible on any computer platform. However, stability of the software is a big issue when using non-proprietary applications.
Features You Need to Look For
Most backup applications for home users have straightforward features. This means they are easy to use and you need not have in-depth tech knowledge to perform backup operations. Ease of use therefore should be your top consideration when buying backup software.
If you are a PC user, it is best if your PC backup software has a wizard that can guide your through the entire operation. A wizard on PC backup software can also speed up your backup and restore operation.
It is also best if you can buy backup software with compression feature. This will allow you to minimize the size of file backups. Compression capability is useful if you are going to transfer your data in optical media, tape drives or stick drives.
If you are going to stream your data to an online storage service, it would be best to choose a backup application with encryption capability. Such feature will bulletproof your electronic data from malicious hacks and eavesdropping.
Lastly, your backup software should have incremental backup capability. This is useful for enterprise users that regularly backup their server files and databases.