This study was originally on a Living Room discussion:
What Happened to Genie Backup Manager?http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=27713.0
Agree on Backup4All, they make FBackup too, which I think is their other-branded free version, last I checked. Good solid company. The difference is here: http://www.fbackup.com/compare/
FBackup is only servicable, you will probably want to go to a Backup4All version if you like in the long run. They also have Backup2all.
Agree on Cobian. If I remember, he does one thing on incremental backups a bit differently, so read up in that case. Issues may involve stuff like empty folders. (Which may not apply as much if you define full backup sets).
And don't ferget Easeus. A Chinese company, yet surprisingly visible at times and now in the backup realm, with free versions, Giveawayoftheday, etc. For straight file backup I would give them a try. This one may have originally been image oriented, but it looks sensible on file-by-file sets.
If I remember, Syncback can work very well as a backup as well as synchronization, so it may be up there also.
Some of these even have active forums, and generally the free version is going to be quite hefty (Cobian is all free).
Caution, generally either do these backups in native format or easy-read like .zip. If they are real proprietary, without a native alternative, I would avoid the company. When you have a terabyte backup disk, you can do your own occasional delete and compression is far less a need.
And I remember some other Chinese company was doing something with Genie's Backup software, I think that was Titan. It was all vague and mysterious a couple of years back, I would consider it a non-issue. (CORRECTION: this may be the GFI-Titan situation, and may be unrelated to Genie)
Since we have at least three-four excellent alternatives out there. Plus a dozen or two more for consideration, mostly shareware, yet I have tried to give the ones with the best "sense" above, all the companies but Easeus were given above by other posters.
Remember too, that some software that you think of as image (ugh, I consider a disk crash a warning to reinstall that Op System from scratch and only do images from shortly after Op Sys install) may also have decent file-by-file modes. Paragon and Macrium (oops, these have file and folder mode only in paid) etc. Or they may allow viewing and file-by-file restore from the image. However I think generally you will get a crisper feel from a program that was designed for backup sets.
File-by-file set backup (not image, cloud possibilities not examined)
Easeus - http://www.todo-back...-backup-software.htm
(free is hefty, webforum)
Cobian - http://www.educ.umu....ian/cobianbackup.htm
(100% free - webforum)
Free Version is not as strong.
Backup4ALL - http://www.backup4all.com/
(forum) - FBackup - http://www.fbackup.com/
Syncback - http://www.2brightsp...re/freeware-hub.html
(free lacks many features)
Add-ons: looking at reviews. All basically free.
Personal Backup - http://personal-back...home.de/index-e.html
(free, nice look, no forum)
Backup Maker - http://tinyurl.com/44ytevg
(free version= no comm use, forum)
ZDBackup - http://www.z-dbackup.com/backup.html
(free=no comm use, no forum, confirm if translated)
Ace Backup - http://www.acebackup.com/
(fully free, web forum) (proprietary or "as is" native)
Comodo - http://www.backup.comodo.com/
(beware of toolbars, gimmicks - has webforum)
If you are not already happy with a paid version, probably one of the 4 to 6x fully free are going to be fine, but which one ?
Backup4all, especially on a special, however, should always be considered. Keep in mind that there are a number of competent $50 programs (not listed here). Backup4all is simply friendly and well-known in our neck of the woods, working with the shareware and freeware folks , and with specials and various pricing products.
These have not all been checked on issues like :
proprietary format (and super-large zip files)
compression and non-compression alternative
VSS - copying open files
system file capabilities
warning messages, logs
Proprietary format, VSS, stability and validation are the most intrinsic to the safe backup process.
Do your due diligence on the features and program on which you focus. You find something special, or a deal-breaker, share here.
On free programs that are limited you have to check also about file size limitations. e.g. DFIncBackup Home, a decent program not included, has a 8 Gig zip file size limit (formerly 2 Gigs). Also single huge zip files have sometimes caused headaches, (report: Comodo). Nicest is the alternative to do native format or a zip-type that does not do huge files.
Open Source - Areca gets by far the most mention with the group above
Areca - http://www.areca-backup.org/
JaBack - http://www.hiteksoft...e.com/jaba/index.htm
backupPC - http://backuppc.sourceforge.net/
Bonkey - http://sites.google....ite/thebackupmonkey/
Delta Copy - http://www.aboutmyip...MyXApp/DeltaCopy.jsp
(Windows front end to rsync)
Open Source - Enterprise oriented
zmanda - http://amanda.zmanda.com/
bacula - http://www.bacula.org/en/
NasBackup - http://www.nasbackup...om/wiki/Introduction
Toucan - http://portableapps....pps/utilities/toucan
Forums for main group + Areca
Backup4all - http://www.backup4all.com/forum/
FBackup =- http://www.fbackup.com/forum/
Easeus - http://forum.easeus....m/viewforum.php?f=14
Cobian - http://www.cobiansoft.com/forum/
Syncback - http://2brightsparks.com/bb/
Ace Backup - http://www.acebit.co...um/viewforum.php?f=8
Backup Maker - https://www.ascomp.d...ndex.php?showforum=2
Comodo - https://forums.comod...modo-backup-cb-b5.0/
Areca - http://sourceforge.n...rojects/areca/forums
Here is a suggestion.
A comparative review of Backup4All-FBackup .. Cobian .. Easeus .. Syncback.
(Maybe there is a good review out there, or at least a nice help, like from Gizmo.)
Or some similar list.
Best Free Backup Program (2008-2011) - excellent commentshttp://www.techsuppo...-free-backup-program
More free backup softwarehttp://www.techsuppo...ndations-reviews.htm
Ghacks - Free Backup Software – Best Windows Backup Software Programs (2009)http://www.ghacks.ne...p-software-programs/
Free Data Backup & Restore Software Programs Reviewshttp://www.isoftware...re-programs-reviews/
FreewareGenius and DonationCoder I have not find any one super-spot yet.
My summary view :
Cobian - good yet unusual, almost quirky reputation, many really happy users, some give up
Easeus - worthy of a try at file-by-file, may be a bit feature slim on file-by-file
Areca - good techie try
The four German companies are little known, and seem to be generally high-quality and free.
Backup4all - reliable, friendly, $ version with specials, many of us may have licenses
Skipping the other $50 paid programs, since they probably generally do not beat Backup4all.
One worthy paid competitor is Syncback Pro.
FBackup - slim on free
Syncback - slim on free
Comodo - pass (not so much because of this software, but the Comodo tude)