08 August 2022  —  Acronis

How To Choose Your Secure File Backup Software?

Table of contents
What is a file backup software?
What are the different types of File Backup Software?
How secure are cloud backup services?
How Often Should Backups Be Performed?
What is the difference between paid vs free file backup software?
Acronis versus Windows file backup software.
What should I look for in a file backup software?
Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office
formerly Acronis True Image
Other languages available: Español (Spain)

You are an at-home PC or Mac user and use your computer to manage your personal or at-home small business; or, you use it for or leisure activities such as email correspondence, interacting with family and friends on social media, playing music, watching movies, etc. But what happens if something goes wrong with your computer and you lose your files and data? If you have not backed up your computer, your data may be forever lost. This is why you need file backup software.

What is a file backup software?

File backup software enables a user to make one or more exact copies — at a given point in time — of the data that resides on their computer, or exact copies of their PC / Mac's entire hard drive

File backup software enables a user to make one or more exact copies — at a given point in time — of the data that resides on their computer, or exact copies of their PC / Mac's entire hard drive. Anyone who uses a computer should be using file backup software to ensure their systems and/or data are protected from corruption or loss due to human error (e.g., accidentally deleting files), a cyberattack, hardware/software failure or natural disaster (e.g., fire or flood).

What are the different types of File Backup Software?

We will talk about three of the most widely used file backup solutions: cloud-based backup, on-premises backup, and, of course, hybrid backup. As we already mentioned, having a backup option is a must for every user and business organization. We are living in a world where thousands of cyberthreats are stalking us and our sensitive information while we are online. Also, there is a risk that our computers or data storage devices will experience a failure, and this can lead to the loss of valuable documents, information, or cherished memories. In this case, the only salvation is having a reliable backup service solution.

Thus, you will grant yourself peace knowing that no matter what happens, there won't be serious consequences for your data, and you will not lose a single file from the database. So let's get started and explore in detail these three types of backup services. In order to make the picture clearer, you can decide which one of them fits best according to your needs. Are you already curious and impatient? Let's take a closer look at these different backup solutions.

Cloud backup service

Cloud backup, also referred to as online backup or remote backup, is a strategy for sending a copy of a physical or virtual file or database to a secondary, off-site location for protection of this data in case of hardware failures, natural disasters or data deletion caused by a human error. Typically, a third-party cloud or SaaS provider hosts the server and data storage systems and charges customers recurring fees based on storage space used, data transmission bandwidth, number of users, servers, or data retrieval frequency.

Using backup and cloud storage services can enhance an organization's data protection measures, business continuity plans, and compliance efforts without overburdening IT staff. The labor-saving benefit can outweigh some of the expenses associated with cloud backups, like data storage and transmission costs.

Many cloud subscriptions are offered on a yearly basis. While initially popular among consumers and home offices, online backup services are now widely utilized by businesses for certain types of data backups. For corporations, cloud data backups can provide a layer of security for their critical information, and it could be a lifesaving option in case of unexpected disruptive events. This type of online backup service is the most widely used by individuals and organizations because of its ease of use, reliability, and security. All these features combined make it a perfect solution for every person, no matter if he needs it for his PC or for his business organization. Using this service gives you flexibility on your plan, and you can opt for the storage space that you want to use. It can be with a limit or unlimited storage space, so you are able to pay only for the amount of space you need to use, not more, not less. Some individuals would need less storage space, but power users may need even unlimited storage space for their large amounts of data.

Advantages of cloud backup solution:

  • Minimum expenses: Cloud backup services are considered an operational expense, because you don't need to invest in hardware devices in order to build your own physical infrastructure. The only expense that you will incur is the subscription plan you opt for.
  • No maintenance: All the maintenance operations will be secured by your service provider.
  • Flexible budgeting: You only pay for what you use, the amount of the storage space, can be changed according to your needs.
  • Accessibility: You will be able to process the backup wherever you are, the only thing needed is a internet connection. This makes this service extremely useful.
  • system resources full disk image backup file encryption continuous backup

Disadvantages of cloud backup solution:

  • Can be quite expensive: The scalability of cloud backup services is one of their biggest advantages. On the other hand, it can become a big disadvantage when the storage plan is not managed correctly. For instance, if you are paying for unlimited storage, despite the fact that you don't need so much storage, it could be a lot more costly than it could be, but of course you can optimize your spending by changing your subscription plan to one with less space to reduce your expenses.
  • An internet connection is essential: You are depending on the internet connection; if you don't have access to the internet, the backup won't be able to be processed. So this can be considered a disadvantage.

On premise backup software

Storing data locally on devices like drives, disks, tape drives, or servers is what on-premise or on-site backup entails.

Many companies opt for on-premise backup solutions because they are viewed as secure, efficient, and quick. This is mainly due to their ability to achieve disk image backup and recovery speeds supported by network connections.

Businesses that require regular backup and recovery often choose on-premise solutions. It's worth mentioning that in organizations on premises, backup is sometimes centralized. While this approach can offer cost savings and management benefits, it may diminish the file upload speed typically associated with on-premise backup and recovery.

The advantages of the on-premises backup are:

  • Low cost: Because there is no monthly paid subscription.
  • Offline: One of the key advantages of an on-premise backup is that you don't need an internet connection to access your data; the recovery drive will always be next to you.

Disadvantages :

  • Maintenance: Hiring new staff to take care over the hardware responsible for the backup service can be quite expensive.
  • Investment in the infrastructure: The devices like hard drives where you store files and the backup itself need replacement after some period of usage because, as we know, they tend to fail at some point.

Hybrid backup service:

A hybrid backup is usually used when business organizations are using both on-premises storage and cloud storage as data backup solutions, depending on specific requirements and use cases. Hybrid backup service is usually preferred by business organizations, where they want to secure themselves with at least two backup options in case of emergency situations. For a reason to be able to react in every scenario that may occur, like deleted files, natural disasters, cyber attacks, etc. In those cases, business owners have two backup solutions; if one of them is not able to process the backup, then they will use the second method. Thus, they guarantee their business continuity and uninterrupted processes.

Advantages of hybrid backup services:

  • Data protection: Cloud backup services provide you with comprehensive protection against cyber attacks and ransomware. On the other hand, short-term data stored on a NAS might be locked during such an attack.
  • Disaster recovery: DR capabilities are much better when you have two options, because if local storage can't be processed and completed, You can recover your information from the cloud, thus guaranteeing your business continuity in any circumstances.
  • Scalability: Users can have increased scalability with hybrid arrangements while also keeping costs under control. Shifting some data to the cloud and keeping other critical data on premises provides savings on expenses because it reduces the amount of on-premises storage equipment, floor space, and possibly staff members needed in the data center.
  • Workload management: Shifting work tasks, such as those in containers, can be smoothly transferred between cloud setups by utilizing a mix of private methods tailored to specific operational needs.

Disadvantages of hybrid backup services:

  • Cost: Managing a hybrid backup arrangement can incur costs both upfront and over time, as management is an ongoing effort.
  • Scalability: Business organizations will have to implement additional tools as part of their hybrid backup strategy that allow scalability. Otherwise, it will prove difficult to grow in the long run.
  • Ease of migration: Cloud service providers offer different tools with features that aren't always compatible with other vendors' tools. This can make migration challenging.
  • Recovery time objectives: Companies need to establish their Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) that they must adhere to when recovering their backup system following a disturbance or downtime. It can prove to be quite a challenge to meet these RTOs.
  • Storage data capacity: The amount of storage capacity that you need must be determined upfront so that your organization doesn't run out of storage.

How secure are cloud backup services?

The best cloud backup services provide every customer with advanced security features, where reliable cloud vendors have implemented secure-by-design infrastructure and layered security that is built directly into the cloud server platform. This protection is capable of safeguarding your data from everything: ransomware, malware, viruses, etc. This is accomplished by implementing some advanced security tools like two-factor authentication, encryption, and continuous logging and monitoring in order to have peace of mind for your data in any situation.

This is why cloud backup services are preferred by millions of customers around the globe, not only for preventing data loss by using scheduled backups but also because they are reliable, secure, and effective against any type of cyber threat.

How Often Should Backups Be Performed?

There is no universal answer to this question. Why is that? Because every business organization works differently. There are companies that deal with tons of data every day, and there are others that operate with less information on a daily basis. So it is up to every business to schedule how often to perform backups in order to have the latest file sync from their operating systems. Some may need to process backups every 24 hours, and larger companies using multiple computers may need to do it every eight or twelve hours. This will give the opportunity to restoring data in case of emergency with the latest version of the database.

What is the difference between paid vs free file backup software?

There are many file backup software applications available to home users, some of which are providing you with free version and others which are available as a subscription service. Free software is typically available as part of another application. For example, Microsoft Windows supports two native Windows backup features:

File History, which automatically maintains incremental backups of files stored in frequently used folders. You can choose the external destination backup drive as well and customize the folders that will be included or excluded. However, only the specified folders will be backed up. For end-to-end file backups, it's best to use a third-party backup tool.

Backup and Restore, which not only backs up data files to a user-designated local or external drive, it also creates a system image.

File History allows you to restore individual files, while Windows Backup and Restore supports only full restores. Likewise, your Mac comes with Time Machine, which is the official backup software of macOS that is built into the Operating System.

While the native Windows and Mac file backup software is free, there are limitations. If you use the free version of the software, you will get limited free storage space to store your data, and there won't be additional security or backup advanced tools. Furthermore, the upload speed of your data will be limited. This is perfectly normal because every single free backup software is provided to the users only with limited features. If they want to be equipped with all the advanced technologies and tools, they will have to subscribe to the paid version. Having free backup software is like owning a car with two wheels instead of four, so you will have a car, but she won't be able to meet your expectations and use it. It is the same with the free backup software.

On the other hand, there is a huge difference when using paid backup software, and luckily, we will talk about the best one on the market, which has been an industry leader and favorite option for millions of users around the world for so many years.

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office is the best choice you can make. Why is that? Because you will be provided with everything needed to secure your data in any unexpected scenarios. Our product equips you with robust antivirus tools that will constantly monitor and scan your PC 24/7 and will act as a barrier for every cyberattack and prevent it, thus protecting you from the unexpected. Using Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office will make you immune from cyberattacks and identity theft.

Furthermore, you will benefit from our reliable and extremely fast cloud backup service, where you will be able to store all your information with peace of mind, knowing that whatever happens, you will be able to restore this data in a blink of an eye. Additionally, you will be provided with scalability, where you can opt for the storage capacity that you need according to your database size. Thus, you will not overpay for cloud storage space that you won't use. Our products include options for local, cloud, and full-image backups. Making it a real game changer in the uncertain digital world we are living in.

Another fundamental aspect that you will benefit from is the ease of use of our product, making every action and process as simple as a game. Having easy-to-use and manage software is a critical aspect for every user around the globe because, as we know, there are different software's that are really hard to understand and operate, which would make it a real pain to work with them, our product is not one of them.

All these benefits make our product the perfect choice for every home user and business organization. because you receive everything needed for ensuring the wholeness of your database, protection, backup and recovery, and, of course, ease of use. There is a reason for us to be industry leaders in cybersecurity for so many years, and our reward for this is the millions of satisfied users around the world. So if you want to do everything possible to safeguard your digital data and have peace of mind knowing that you will be protected from the unexpected, you definitely must choose Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office.

Acronis versus Windows file backup software.

While Windows native backup is a good solution, there are shortcomings.

No Cloud Backup

With Windows native backup which is Microsoft users primary feature, there is no option to back up your system, files and folders to the cloud. While OneDrive synchronizes your local files to the cloud, it is not a true backup. For example, if you were to inadvertently delete a file on OneDrive, that file will also be deleted in the Google cloud.

This limitation can be significant. Backups shouldn't be stored in the same location as your computer. If a fire or flood destroys your computer, it's more than likely your local backups will also be destroyed. This is why the 3-2-1 backup rule is important to follow: maintain three copies of your data across two types of media with one backup stored off-site.

No protection for Microsoft 365 and other environments

Windows native backup doesn't offer an option to back up your Microsoft 365 account. While many believe that Microsoft's servers are completely protected and secure, we have seen outages, security breaches and attacks over the last few years targeting even the largest global organizations, including Facebook, Amazon and Google.

No protection of backups from cyberattacks

Native Windows backup does not protect the security of your backups. If your backups are stored locally and you suffer a cyberattack, it's more than likely your local backup is also infected. This is why you want to consider a third-party backup solution that not only stores your backups in the cloud but also scans your system, files and folders for infections.

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office - the ultimate file backup software

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office provides you with all the things that Windows file backup software doesn't. Because by choosing to equip yourself with our advanced and super-effective backup service, you will benefit from complete cyber protection that will keep your data safe from all the unexpected events that you may face on a daily basis. Cyberattacks, hardware failures, natural disasters, and identity theft won't be an issue for you anymore. Our robust security software is not the only thing that you will benefit from, you will also be able to store all your data on our cloud servers, where your information will be recoverable from anywhere you are located.

The recovery process itself will be completed in a blink of an eye if you face any disruptive events. Another crucial benefit is our easy-to-process data migration in case of emergency, which is really a lifesaving option in some specific situations. And this will be as easy as playing a game, due to our easy-to-use interface.

Additionally, you will be equipped with Microsoft 365 and other environment protection. With simple words, you will be protected from the unexpected. This is why our product is so valuable and effective in cases of data loss, natural disasters, or cyberattacks. Our engineers have thought of everything and materialized it into the product we offer. In order to receive everything that you will ever need.

Another fundamental aspect to consider is professional customer support. If you have questions or difficulties to understand the processes, we will be right next to you, just one click away. This is why our customers are so highly satisfied with our services. We basically provide them with everything that they have missed when working with other vendors. Our product speaks for itself with its actions, reliability, and effectiveness.

What should I look for in a file backup software?

When looking to purchase file backup software, look for these important attributes.

  • Ease of use, so you can focus on the task at hand and not on computer maintenance
  • Automation, so that once you configure your software and backups, you can “set it and forget it.”
  • Speed to eliminate bottlenecks and computer performance problems when your system is backing up or when recovering from a backup.
  • Versatility and a variety of features such as the ability to restore individual files or folders, cloud and local storage, and more.
  • Breadth of the offering because different backup solutions offer different features and “free” software may not have all the features you need.
  • Reliability, so you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your systems and data are protected and safe.

What are best practices for using a secure file backup software?

Nowadays, ensuring the protection of our digital data is critical due to the increased risks of hardware failures or cyber attacks that can be a reason for losing our valuable digital information. One of the most effective ways to protect your data is by utilizing secure file backup software. However, simply having and using backup software is not enough; it's crucial to implement the best practices that exist to maximize its reliability and effectiveness. We will mention some key strategies for using secure file backup software in order to achieve the best results.

Regular Backups: Consistency is key when it comes to file backups. Set up a regular schedule for backing up all your important files, whether it's daily, weekly, or monthly, according to what your business organization needs. This will ensure that your data is continuously protected and minimize the risk of data loss in unexpected scenarios.

Multiple Backup Locations: For better protection of your data, it is a good idea to store your backups in multiple locations in order to mitigate the risk of data loss due to hardware failure, theft, or natural disasters. Consider utilizing both local backup drives and online storage services for added redundancy.

Encryption: Ensure that your backup software offers encryption capabilities to protect your data from unauthorized access, because it is a fundamental aspect of your peace of mind. Encrypting your backups definitely adds an extra layer of security and guarantees that your important documents and media files remain confidential only for your eyes or those of other authorized users.

Test Restores: Practice is the key to success. So you need to regularly test the restoration process to verify that your backups are functioning correctly and without any errors. This involves restoring data from your backups to ensure that it is intact and accessible when needed. Testing restores helps identify any issues early on and allows you to restore data quickly.

File Syncing: Utilize file syncing features to keep your important files synchronized across multiple devices. This ensures that you always have access to the latest versions of your files, regardless of where you are.

Versioning: Choose backup software that supports versioning, allowing you to retain multiple previous versions of your files. In the event of accidental modifications or deletions, versioning enables you to restore previous file versions and retrieve data.

Monitoring and Alerts: Choose backup software that provides monitoring and alerting capabilities in real time. Thus, you will receive notifications about backup status, errors, or failures promptly, allowing you to take immediate action to resolve any issues and maintain system performance 24/7.

Online Service: Consider using an online service for storing files and backing up data. Online storage services offer secure and convenient access to your files from anywhere with an internet connection, providing you with the option to restore your data from any location.Select the best backup software that meets your specific needs and requirements and also fits your budget. Look for features such as a user-friendly interface, efficient backup task management, reliable data restoration capabilities, and scalability.

Future Trends in Secure File Backup Software

The landscape of security and data backup is swiftly changing in 2024, driven by advances in technology and the evolving requirements of businesses. This shift is reflected in the implementation of security protocols and approaches to address the growing challenges posed by cyber threats within cloud infrastructures. As per one of the latest research studies, 66% of businesses worldwide are already using cloud-based backups because of the importance of protecting their data in unexpected scenarios. But what can we expect in the following years to be a game-changer in the world of file backup services?

Let's dive deeper into the expected future improvements in this priceless service that so many businesses and users are starting to use.

Artificial Intelligence in Backup Solutions: Since AI technologies appeared, they have been constantly upgraded and will have a huge impact on all aspects of our lives. Even now, AI has started its design and integration of smart backup in order to make it almost fully automated and a lot easier to manage. Overall Backup services will also benefit from this technology, and backup tasks will become even more effective, fast, and secure than ever.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS): DRaaS will gain popularity, leading to a collaborative effort between cloud service managers and disaster recovery specialists. They will focus on implementing DRaaS solutions for rapid data recovery and minimal downtime in the event of a disaster.

Automation in Backup Processes: Automation will become a fundamental aspect of cloud backups. Systems administrators and DevOps engineers will work on automating backup processes to ensure regular, error-free, reliable data backups.

Multi-Cloud Backup Solutions: In light of the increasing use of cloud setups, consultants specializing in cloud strategies and decision-makers in IT will consider backup options that work seamlessly across various cloud platforms to maintain adaptability and prevent reliance on a single vendor.

Increased Focus on Cybersecurity: With the constant rise of cyber risks, the importance of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and cybersecurity teams is heightened. They will focus on implementing security features in systems, such as comprehensive encryption and routine security assessments, to protect against data breaches and ransomware incidents.

The future of file backup services seems bright, and there is a lot more to achieve and improve. In the next few years, this service will become even more advanced and fundamental for every home user and business owner.

Acronis offers file backup software and more!

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office, formerly Acronis True Image, is a software product that provides cyber protection — a unique integration of reliable backup and cutting-edge anti-malware technologies that safeguard data against all of today's threats — disk failure, accidental deletion, loss, and theft, as well as cybercriminal attacks. PCMag described it as “an all-encompassing tragedy prevention solution” in their editor's choice review.

With Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office, individuals and small businesses alike can back up their data — including their operating system, applications, settings, files and Microsoft 365 accounts to local drives, external hard drives, NAS and the Acronis cloud. In addition, Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office stops cyberattacks, including zero-day vulnerabilities, from harming both backup and device data with real-time protection, vulnerability assessment, on-demand antivirus scans, web-filtering, ransomware protection, and cryptomining blockers. In the event of a disaster, data can be easily recovered. So don't hesitate, even for a second, and choose our product in order to provide yourself with the best backup services and cyber security. We can promise you won't regret it!

Get Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office today!

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About Acronis

A Swiss company founded in Singapore in 2003, Acronis has 15 offices worldwide and employees in 50+ countries. Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud is available in 26 languages in 150 countries and is used by over 20,000 service providers to protect over 750,000 businesses.