Best backup software 2014: 13 best file- and system backup utilities of 2014
The 13 best backup software you can buy in the UK today
By Matt Egan | PC Advisor | 01 July 14
Despite its professional look, Paragon Backup & Recovery 12 Home lacks much of the sophistication of Acronis True Image, its main competitor. It handles both sector and file-based copies and can back up to a variety of media, though it has no dedicated online storage. It handles like a cut-down version of Paragon Hard Disk Manager, although the interface isn’t ideally suited to back up and restore. As a single-PC application, £30 isn’t that cheap.
O&O DiskImage Professional 8 handles the basics of system and file backup well, though it's not the easiest program to use, thanks to its unconventional design. We were surprised how long it took to save a compressed backup and a little disappointed at the size reduction offered by its default compression.
£50 for a 3-PC licence, under £17 per machine, is a good price, though an inability to use online storage and an over-simplification of options make Rebit 5 a mixed bag. Its slow initial backup and high local storage requirements (1-3x the total capacity of the drives being backed up) may rankle against rival products, like Acronis True Image.
O&O DiskRecovery 9 Professional does what it says it will. For the three main types of data recovery: from file deletion, partition removal and disk reformatting, it will resurrect the majority of files, via it's very easy-to-use, wizard-driven interface. The only query is whether the occasional use most people will give a program of this type is worth the £65 asking price.
For anyone who wants to simply insert a drive, back up and remove it, it works well… but it's a one-trick pony that won't cover everyone's needs. O&O AutoBackup is free during January 2012, but £29 after a 30-day free trial beginning in February.
If you can put up with the adverts, the ‘free’ version of CrashPlan has all you need for regular backups to a variety of media, including the unique hosting of your personal backup on a friend’s computer. Or pay around £43 for a cleaner and more secure CrashPlan+ version. And the paid-for subscription, at around £33+VAT/year, is actually one of the cheapest online services currently available, with its promise of unlimited offsite data storage.
R-Drive Image is a lightweight, but feature-rich, drive imaging program with very reliable performance and an improved boot disc.
When you are looking at a business backup solution you need many things, not least of which is security, reliability, speed and ease of use. The security issue is answered in part by ISO 27001 certification to ensure the company is safeguarding your data. The speed of transfer was at least as fast as our fibre-optic connection. And after the initial setup, we found creating and scheduling backups to be a breeze.
If you're more than a version or two back on True Image, the 2014 version is well worth a look. If you're new to backup products, simply know that it really doesn't get any better than Acronis True Image for the average user, though I recommend R-Drive Image for pros.
EaseUS Todo Backup Home is a pretty comprehensive backup tool which covers all the essentials for file and system backup, with good scheduling and support for all the typical copy destinations. It's inexpensive, too, at under £20 per PC. It doesn't include sync or mobile file access like Acronis True Image 2013, but for mainstream PC data security, it does the job.
Acronis True Image is still the back-up utility to beat and the 2014 Premium product adds online storage to its arsenal of data security utilities. While we were a bit disappointed with the default level of compression, backups are created quickly and there's plenty of flexibility in how you set them up and schedule them. The single PC product feels a bit dear; the 3-PC version is better value.
I called Easeus ToDo Backup Free 1.0 the best free backup program in existence. Despite some exceedingly minor usability issues, that's still true. It will be a rare user who needs more than it provides.
Bvckup 2 is one of those applications that you don't need to think about after it's set up: it just works. It's fast and reliable with well-thought out features to help along the way. Delta copying speeds up the backups when compared to full file copies, and greater reliability comes from intelligent error handling and detailed logging. Bvckup represents great value at $20 for home users.