Recommendations for Windows PC backup solutions

I'm obsessed about having good backups. I keep three levels of full backups to external media, updated about once every six months, and keep one set in a fireproof safe at home, and one in a lockbox offsite.

For more real-time backups, I've been a Carbonite customer since 2007, and it has been a pretty good ride. I've had as much as 12TB backed up there. But they are not as trustworthy as they used to be. They now define "unlimited" to mean only one internal drive. Period. So if you have an SSD drive for booting/system/frequently used data directories then that's all you get for "unlimited". Even their second tier plan at high cost is limited to one internal and one external.

I've experimented with Backblaze and didn't much care for it. I might look at Idrive. I might prefer a local (to external or network drive) that can do automatic incremental or daily backups. Windows Backup (deprecated) just fails and doesn't tell me why. File History seems overly complicated and isn't very transparent about what's going on.

What do you use that has flexible options, and "just works" in the background, and where I can clearly see what is and isn't being backed up?

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I use Synology active backup now, but prior to that I was using cloudberry backup. Online Backup Solution for Small Business

I was very happy with it. It lets you backup to the destination of your choice or the cloud of your choice. It also supports client side encryption. :sunglasses:

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Our household uses Backblaze B2 via different backup software apps. You can use native Backblaze format and Backblaze also can store in Amazon AWS S3 format. We are a Mac family so use Arq for the computers. Also some stuff gets backed up directly from the Synology NAS.


same here

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I was looking at Idrive and there are things about it that appeal to me, such as keeping a local replica of the backup, and the first year of service is $8 total.

But I don’t like that they keep the encryption key, so it isn’t really an encrypted backup.

Macrium Reflect. There is a free version and a paid version. I'm using the free version for almost 2 years and it's great for my use. I also have an 8 drive drobo(12TB?) with some crazy raid setup, where I can hot swap bad drives on the fly, without losing data. That feature cuts into the total capacity, but it's fine for me.


I use for a lot of different computers syncback free. It works as expected and you can do some basic extras like creating automatically a different folder name (%month). You can create various profiles to accomodate various backups needs and merge them in a single task.

I regularly backup my NAS and multiple computers on a set of hard drives placed in an enclosure: when the backup is done, the enclosure stops automatically after 5 minutes => this set is connected to my system just the time needed for the backup and physically shut down after.

If you need more advanced features, the paid version offers more.

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I use Synology Active Backup for Business. Easy to set up and runs without issue.


2nd recommendation for macrium reflect to 2nd drive or nas.

It is a bare metal type of backup ie entire partitions necessary for windows . Also run the option to install its manager at boot time so you can restore in case windows will not boot. Or you will need an flash drive or cd ready when your machine will not.boot.
Critical machines like mail server run a backup nightly others like.laptops every so often.


I'm also looking for a solid backup solution for several Windows PCs, so thanks @HAL9000 for kicking off this thread.

I like the interface that something like File History offers with the ability to view and restore prior versions of files (a copycat of MacOS's Time Machine). But I've also found File History a chore to work with, particularly when using a network share as the backup location.

I know @rlithgow1 uses Veeam. So Rick, I'm curious, what do you like about it?

Semi-related question. Does anyone run Hyper-V VMs on their Windows PC, and if so, what's your backup/restore solution for those?

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Another vote here for Macrium Reflect. Every machine here does an overnight full backup every other day, to a NAS.

Saved my bacon a couple of times when hardware died, and generated infinite WAF those couple of times she deleted an important file by mistake. :grin:

Just checked the directory - we've been using MR since 2014. Zero problems.


MR is ok, but having to do a full backup every time in the free version instead of incremental is a non starter for me. I back up over 25 TB, and am not doing a full every other day.

And if you pay for MR, it isn't any cheaper than Acronis or other widely used brands that have better support and are tested on a much wider range of hardware.

I use the free veeam backup where I can, and Acronis on a few machines where veeam just won't work right (for unknown reasons).

I use duplicacy for my Nas local replication and cloud backup.

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That doesn't suit my use case well either. I take full backups of everything once every 6-8 months to spare hard drives, and keep two generations of those in different places. What I'm looking to do is incremental backups either "continuously" or daily to an external drive that stays attached.

My total volume to be backed up is close 20 TB, but on a daily basis probably average just 25 GB or less. External drive is either 10 or 14 TB.

No right or wrong on this - other than having no backups at all. :slight_smile:

I have 2 NAS at home, one replicates to the other, then "important" folders are encrypted and synced to the cloud (Duplicacy, encrypted backups to Google Drive). Hasn't failed me yet.

Since doing "important" backups to the cloud, I don't bother with local offline backups (external hard drive, etc) any more. I can live with the cloud restore time if I have to resort to that.

Veeam with free Community lic (meaning free). Backs up anything and everything including to cloud (I use backblaze for cloud storage only). Everything that is backed up to my 16TB nas is backed up to a backblaze bucket simultaneously.

I have several desktop systems, several laptops, and several Android tablets all connected to the same LAN. My gaming computer has multiple NVME SSDs and hard drives. Trying to keep full backups of each drive would be a nightmare. If I purchase a new computer, with Windows installed, I can install all my software in fewer than 8 hours since nearly everything can be downloaded over a high-speed Internet connection. Thus, I am not concerned about losing the software as long as I have my software keys and logins saved securely.

Personal data files cannot be easily replaced. I have a Dropbox account that I use to backup all my personal data. When I create a new file or change an existing one, that data is initially stored in a local folder on the computer I am using. However, that file is then synchronized with the Dropbox cloud and then replicated back down to any of my other computers that are online at that time. If a computer is offline, the next time it is turned on, any waiting updates are replicated to that computer.

Thus, if one of my hard drives crashes, I can always retrieve data from one of my other computers. In the event that my home were to burn to the ground and all my computers were lost, I could still retrieve the data from the Dropbox cloud. I realize that Dropbox servers could one day fail, but as long as I have copies of my critical data stored on multiple hard drives at home, the likelihood of losing my data is quite small.

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Forgot to say instead of local machine file level backups. (The only ine that does that is my mail server actual mail directory).

For other important files they are kept on a nas with raid 5 and a hot spare which is also duplicated to a second nas via the already recommended syncback so everything is always backed up redundantly . 99% of times I've had to restore was not a a file level type of restore anyway. It was the windows is hosed or will not boot due to a bad upgrade/patch or hardware failure for which windows recovery is total shite.

Glad to see I am not the only one doing this as well. I use a combination of Dropbox/OneDrive for personal files. All family members have their own accounts with desktop and documents folder backup enabled. Since I already have amazon prime, all photos are backed up on the unlimited photo storage included. Would like to eventually replace a single hard drive connected to a server with a proper NAS with some sort of raid setup for large data file storage.

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Run Synology Active Backup for Business. ABB does image based backup with a great "file history" recovery portal. You can also load the recovery image in a VM, or clone to different hardware (about to do one this week).

I do not currently backup any, but ABB does cover VMs. Limited Linux distros, and no Mac support (as of yet).


I run a total of 13 VM's locally and backup about another 25 remotely. (Hyper-V, VM-Ware, windows on vmware and linux)

As to what I like it's easily configured, very powerful (I use a paid version but for years personally I used the community license) Community will backup shares, servers, VM's.

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