28 March 2023  —  Acronis

How to choose easy and simple backup software?

Acronis True Image
formerly Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office
Other languages available: Deutsch

Every computer fails at some point. It's not a question of "if" but instead of "when." Whether its demise comes from human error, such as a dropped laptop or a virus, or a natural disaster, such as an electricity surge or flood, every computer system is liable to corruption. This is true for both home systems and business networks.

This is why backup is critical. With critical business data, priceless photos, costly music collections, and sensitive financial information at stake, it can be devastating to lose your data. Especially if you don't have a reliable backup to restore it from.

Some people think they don't have the time to research and install the best system backup. (the same goes for many SMBs) Some are intimidated by the technology and worry they will mess things up. Others worry about the added costs and needed maintenance. But the fact is, PC and Mac backup can be fast, easy, and complete when you rely on a simple backup tool.

What is simple backup software?

Reliable backup software copies critical data from your devices and stores them securely on-site or offsite. You can copy files and folders or initiate full system backups to ensure all backup data is updated and available for disaster recovery.

A robust backup tool can create full, incremental, and differential backups, encrypt data at rest and in transit, allow scheduled backups, and present users with an array of advanced features. Simple backup software doesn't lack comprehensive features - the "simple" stands for a simplified backup process.

A simple backup tool allows users to initiate manual backups, automate the process, and restore data within just a few clicks, even if they don't consider themselves tech-savvy.

How does simple backup software work?

Individual users and companies will typically install simple backup software onto devices and networks. After successful automation configuration, the software will follow a backup schedule to create full or incremental backups at set intervals. Depending on your preferences and available storage space, you can create weekly, daily, or even hourly backups of important data.

Modern backup programs encrypt the data before sending it to local or cloud storage to ensure data integrity and availability. If the solution offers file versioning, you will be able to browse backed-up files and folders to only restore specific data.

In case of accidental deletion, a natural disaster, or a cyberattack, you can restore data quickly and efficiently, minimizing downtime while reducing efforts and costs.

Benefits of simple backup software

Data loss is unpleasant and can hinder business processes, compromise revenue, and invoke customer dissatisfaction. A dedicated backup program can ensure your data is secured and readily available for recovery whenever needed.

Below, we will review the primary benefits of a robust backup and recovery tool.

Data security

Data security is a critical aspect of sensible data backup strategies. Advanced encryption, endpoint protection, and data management tools help protect your company's project, management, and compliance data.

Implementing dependable backup software protects your data against natural disasters, human error, and pesky malware.

Data replication and recovery

Data replication creates real-time copies of company project data and backs them up to secure storage. In a data loss scenario, you can restore replicated project data almost instantaneously, avoiding downtime and ensuring no day-to-day process is negatively impacted.

Easier data management

Manual data backup and recovery is a cumbersome process. Even automation, if misconfigured, can turn data management exceptionally challenging.

Nonetheless, relying on a properly configured data backup program eases recovery management. As robust recovery software can restore data from all sources (local backup, offsite data center, cloud backup), it will ensure restoring files is done quickly and efficiently.

Moreover, most backup software solutions can create a customized backup strategy for specific project management platforms. This way, they ensure data protection without requiring extensive efforts and resources - you can recover a data backup at any point in time to negate the effects of a data-loss event.

Data loss protection (DLP)

Typically, users perceive their backup program as a tool to... well, create backups. However, robust solutions focus on backup, recovery, and data protection for all digital assets on the target system or network. This means that a comprehensive backup tool also provides advanced cybersecurity features. It safeguards your data at rest and in transit to mitigate potential threats and remediate malicious attacks.

With the proper tool, you might not need to restore backups as it will protect critical information while in the source network. However, even if a data-loss scenario occurs, you will quickly initiate recovery to get your systems up and running.

Reduced costs

Data protection and integrity can make or break a business. Losing or compromising critical company data can affect project progress, productivity, and customer trust and lead to financial losses.

When you weigh data compromise costs, manual recovery efforts, and an unstable revenue stream, an affordable backup solution can be perceived as an investment in your data's future, not an added expense.

Unhindered business processes

Manual data backup is a highly resource-intensive process. Company servers often experience difficulties handling extensive amounts of data, which can negatively impact network performance.

Unlike manual backups that drain bandwidth and storage space, simple backup software can often improve network speed and ease the load on backup storage. With carefully scheduled automated backups, your company can focus on day-to-day processes and critical projects without compromising network performance. The proper configuration allows multiple backups to be created daily without hindering your essential tasks and processes.

Easier compliance maintenance

Nowadays, companies must store organization data appropriately to satisfy data privacy legislation. Failure to comply might result in added expenses and legal ramifications.

Dedicated data backup software will help with data management and store data regarding finished and ongoing projects to ease auditing.

Enhanced competitive advantage

As your company grows, it will rely on increasing data volumes, so efficient data management often brings a competitive advantage. The proper solution lets you access client data anytime, anywhere, via online backup and recovery features. Moreover, your company will benefit from advanced cybersecurity features to protect both business and customer data.

Data backup types

A data backup solution is the first step to safeguarding your digital assets. However, "backup" is a broad term involving decision-making, storage management, and adequately automated scheduled backups.

Below, we will review the primary backup types to help you build an impeccable backup and recovery strategy.

Full backup

The most basic, complete backup type is a full backup. It can create backups of all data on a target system and store them in different storage devices - disk, tape, mass storage device, cloud storage, and more. Its most significant advantage is creating a complete data copy available within a single media set. This enables quick recovery related to a shorter recovery time objective (RTO). Nonetheless, full backups take more time to create and require extensive storage space.

You'd usually run a full backup periodically. Large companies handling vast volumes of data may quickly experience storage issues when initiating daily full backups. However, small data centers (e.g., tending only to critical applications) may run a daily full backup (or multiple backups daily) to ensure critical data integrity and availability.

Typically, a full backup is best paired with an incremental or differential backup.

Incremental backup

Incremental backups copy only changed data since the last backup, regardless of its type. For example, an incremental file backup will rely on track-and-record data to monitor when backup operations occur and which files have been modified since the last initiated backups.

As incremental backups only copy changed data since the last backup, companies can run it as frequently as needed to update storage data. Incremental backups take less time to complete compared to full backups and also require less storage space.

Differential backup

Differential backups are similar to incremental ones. However, differentials will only copy changed data since the last full backup. You can create a full backup and follow up with several incremental - the differential backup will still determine backup files and folders according to the full backup.

As expected, differential copies take more time to complete and take up more storage space compared to incremental but still less than a full one.

Mirror backup

Mirror backups are similar to full backups. A mirror backup creates an exact copy of a specific source data set; however, it only stores the latest data version in the backup files, so you won't be able to browse and restore different file versions.

The created backup is a mirror copy of the source system and stores files and folders separately, just like in the primary system. It enables quick recovery times as you can access individual files and folders. This means you can restore single files without recovering the entire backup.

Mirror backups have one significant drawback - they require large amounts of storage space. Additionally, if the source data set experiences issues (corruption, deletion), the backup will "mirror" the problems. This is why relying on mirror backups for all company data is not recommended. Instead, it's best to employ different backup types to satisfy the 3-2-1 Rule of Backup.

The rule is simple - it requires three copies of data stored on two different media types, with one copy residing offsite. For example, you can have a local disk backup, a personal cloud storage backup, and offsite data centers to ensure you can restore your data in all scenarios.

Disk mirroring

Disk mirroring (also known as "RAID 1") is used to replicate data to two (or more) disks. It's a reliable option for data that requires high availability because of its fast recovery time. It offers comprehensive data security but requires extensive storage space.

Additionally, disk mirroring is useful in disaster recovery scenarios as it provides immediate failover capability. The approach relies on at least two physical storage drives; if one fails, your company can use its mirror copy.

Image backups

Image backups create a copy of a target operating system (OS) and all associated data. This includes system settings, application data, patches, and files. The backup is saved and stored as a single image file.

A significant advantage of image-based backups is collecting all required data in a single pass, which enables an up-to-date bare-metal restore to any compatible machine.

Image backup software can create online backups, restore data to dissimilar hardware, allow file-level recovery, and restore servers remotely across local area networks (LAN) or wide-area networks (WAN).

Image backups can be encrypted and stored in various storage media.

An image-level backup uses snapshots to back up all available data, including disk blocks and deleted files. This leads to larger backup files, so some vendors implement data deduplication to optimize storage space usage.

How to optimize your company's backup schedule?

Sensible backup is one of the tactics to ensure you can protect essential data on the company network. Most backup types aim to create a reliable data copy to recover critical files and apps following a data-loss event, accidental deletion, or corruption.

Businesses must design and implement a comprehensive backup strategy to create and test backups to satisfy company budgets, network performance, and data availability requirements.

For SMBs, daily full backups might provide high enough protection without requiring additional storage space costs.

Large companies and enterprises may benefit from weekly full backups paired with a daily differential or incremental backup. An incremental backup will take less storage space but take longer to restore than a differential one. This is why many companies combine weekly full backups with daily differentials to ensure optimal recovery speed.

Regardless of common practices, your company has unique RTO specifications and data availability needs. Creating a backup plan that ensures the most optimized recovery conditions while keeping resource spending as low as possible is imperative.

Creating such a strategy may seem challenging at first. However, a simple backup solution may help a great deal with outlining your company's needs and goals.

Below, we will examine the structure of free backup software solutions before we go on to the benefits of paid backup services.

Free backup software solutions

When discussing free backup software, most users would probably think of Google Drive, iCloud, and OneDrive. However, these services aren't what we would call "true backup" but plain file syncing. This means that your "backup" is dependent on the contents of the target device(s) - if you delete a file from your PC, for example, the next OneDrive sync cycle will delete the file copy from storage.

As true backup requires indefinitely retaining the data regardless of the data-loss scenario, free online storage is rarely considered a viable option. You can use Google Drive as backup storage, but you'd need to create manual backups of your directories. However, Google Drive is not a good fit for full backups as you will quickly run out of storage space.

On the other hand, many backup vendors offer users a free version of their software. (e.g., Paragon Backup Recovery, Iperius backup)

The free version typically offers limited storage space (enough to hold only essential data) or lacks advanced features required by companies and IT specialists. Free backup software can be convenient for casual users as it reduces time compared to manual backups. However, long-term backup strategies only rely on free versions of dedicated software to test and pick the most convenient paid solution.

Is the best free backup software enough?

Even the best free backup software has limitations - capped storage space, fewer advanced features, the lack of customer support, etc.

If you're using free software developed by a dedicated backup vendor, the product is probably available for download to showcase the capabilities of the paid solution. This means you will miss out on potentially important automation options and added data security. Moreover, the limited storage space can quickly fill up, even for casual users.

When discussing business-level backup, free software has more significant downsides. Aside from insufficient storage space and limited backup options, free backup software rarely offers dedicated cloud or remote backup features.

On the other hand, paid backup software often provides a full array of backup and data protection tools:

  • More comprehensive backup options - system, network, and file backup
  • Extensive storage options - disk backup, cloud backup software, network-attached storage (NAS), etc.
  • User-friendly web interface (or a desktop agent), hard disk manager
  • FTP server maintenance for FTP backups
  • A more customizable backup schedule
  • Multiple backup jobs options
  • Data safety features - end-to-end encryption, backup validation

In summary, the best free backup software can be enough for casual users handling small amounts of data. For SMBs, larger companies, and backup pros, a paid backup program will benefit process efficiency and cost management and keep data secure and available for recovery at all times.

How to choose a simple backup software?

Whether you prefer local or cloud backup, backing up a home system or an entire office full of machines, relying on a robust backup tool is critical. Although each backup program offers varying features, below are the seven primary ones to look for.

Let's explore them to enable an educated decision.


Simple backup software must be easy enough to pilot by any user. Whether you're an old-school home user or a large company, an intuitive interface is crucial for an efficient backup process.

In a data-loss scenario, you must be able to follow a simple, straightforward approach to restore data and business processes quickly.

Backup features

Ongoing project data, customer information, sales data, supply chain management information, inventory specifics, and productivity reports are just several of the data types your company potentially handles. Your organization should pick a solution capable of backing up all essential business data.

While doing your due diligence, such information should be readily available on a vendor's website or platform. However, if it's not, don't hesitate to request it.

Comprehensive scheduled backups

Scheduling flexibility is a critical aspect of your automatic data backup and recovery strategy.

Large companies handling vast volumes of data daily would require continuous backups, and sometimes, their backup schedule will change depending on the data output and ongoing projects. Your chosen backup program should allow highly customizable scheduled backups, so you can back your data up exactly when needed.

In addition to automated backups, some organizations might need to initiate manual backups on specific occasions. Even if such cases occur rarely, it's best to have the option if needed.

Data security

Advanced data protection is a must for any modern backup solution. Unlike free backup software, paid services offer the latest data encryption software. Be it a cloud, remote offsite storage, or local disk backups, you can rest assured every data copy is fortified against malicious actors.

Nevertheless, exploring how a specific solution protects sensitive data and where that data is stored is important. As modern privacy legislation is strict on where such data is kept, it is your responsibility to ensure that a third-party backup program complies with all requirements.

Monthly costs

Top-tier online backup services are typically subscription-based software-as-a-service (SaaS). This means that your company will pay a monthly fee for the services you require.

The good thing here is that modern payment models allow for customization. Your company can examine all available services and features, determine which are needed to satisfy your unique backup strategy, and only pay for those.

Keep in mind, some solutions may be more affordable on paper, but if they lack critical backup features, you may end up paying more in the long run. After all, sensible backup is all about business continuity and a steady revenue flow.

Storage options and costs

Your company may keep disk backups on-premises, an image file army on the cloud, and historical project data in remote (offsite) storage. Regardless of your backup storage model, you must ensure your chosen solution supports all required storage options.

Moreover, your data backup output will play a role in your monthly fees. If you're processing larger than usual amounts of data, your designated storage space can fill quicker than expected, leading to increased storage costs. You must ensure that your chosen service fits your budget and offers upfront information about additional storage, should you ever need it.


In times when you expect bigger backup volumes, preparation is key. As your company grows and handles more and more data, a scalable backup solution is mandatory to protect all essential information. You must ensure that your chosen service offers enhanced scalability options and can even automate the scaling process if needed.

Acronis as the ultimate Backup System

Various backup software packages provide different functionality. Here is a checklist of features to look for when choosing a backup system:

  • The product backs up your entire computer, not just your files. For a complete PC and Mac backup and restore, you need a program that captures applications, data, drivers, patches, ZIP files, etc. — essentially taking a snapshot of your entire system at a given point in time. This is called "full-image backup".
  • The backup software runs in the background while you continue working on files, browsing the Internet, and doing whatever else you do on your computer. It would be best if you did not have to close applications or suffer sluggish performance while a backup is in progress.
  • It protects your backup files by encrypting them with government-grade security tools.
  • It allows storing backup files in numerous ways: a protected partition on your laptop, USB drive, external hard drive, CD or DVD, or in secure cloud backup storage.
  • Compare features, such as customizable schedules, data compression, and incremental backup functionality. Incremental backup only backs up changes since the last backup, allowing faster backups that take up less storage space.

Acronis True Image (formerly Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office) is a fast, easy, and complete solution offering these and more features. For example, back up your entire PC or Mac in just two clicks. Recover your entire computer — including the operating system — in minutes. Back up to local external USB drives, Network Attached Storage (NAS), and secure Acronis Cloud Storage.

"Set it and Forget it" ease-of-use

With the right backup product, you configure it once, and system backups are performed automatically. You can also elect whether and how often to schedule a complete backup with disk imaging or to initiate partial backups - individual files, folders, or file categories.

Acronis True Image offers a powerful scheduler to run backups at a preset time or after a designated period has elapsed. You can schedule backups when the user is idle, on user log-in or log-out, on system start-up or shut-down, and more. You can also suspend and enable tasks and specify dates to run certain tasks.

Restore your system backup fast

If a disaster strikes, you must restore your entire system as quickly as possible to minimize downtime.

Simple backup for peace of mind

With complete PC and Mac backup and restore offered by Acronis True Image, you can rest easy knowing your computer will be backed up and running as fast or faster when compared to any other product on the market. It saves even more time when compared to solutions that merely back up data files and folders. With Acronis True Image, you won't need to reinstall your operating system, individual applications, drivers, and other components — all of which take time and effort. Instead, the solution captures all those elements and restores your computer to its pre-disaster state with the click of a mouse.

Best of all, you can restore your data anywhere. Has your laptop been stolen, or is your desktop fried? No problem. Acronis True Image restores your systems and data to a PC or Mac you choose without searching for original hardware and software.

You get all of this, plus mobile phone and tablet backups, Facebook backups, and other easy-to-use but powerful features, such as file synchronization and the ability to back up a computer remotely.

If you have been guilty of putting off implementing a backup system for your PC or Mac, don't delay it further. By taking a few minutes now to set up your computer backup, you can save hours or even weeks of lost productivity if your computer fails, gets corrupted, or suffers a cyberattack.

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.