If you rely on online backup, you might not want to spend $50 for computer backup software. You’re in luck, because there’s some pretty good software out there for free! This is a list of the best computer backup freeware that will help you prepare local backups.
Windows Backup and Restore
Windows Backup and Restore comes standard on all Windows machines, so not only is it free, you don’t need to spend any time to install it either. It’s a very simple program, but it’s better than nothing, so take advantage of it.
The main features include scheduling a backup to run whenever you want and backing up your files to an external hard drive.
Apple Time Machine
Time Machine is the very nice backup software that comes pre-installed on your Mac. It allows you to schedule backups and more. It will backup to an external hard drive or a network drive (such as a Time Capsule.)
Backups are stored by date.
EaseUS Todo Backup Free
EaseUS Todo Backup Free is a potent piece of software capable of scheduled backups as well as incremental backups. You can even clone a hard disk or do a one-click system backup (all system settings, files, etc.) and be done in no time.
For most users, the free version of Todo Backup is all you will need. Most of the features on the paid version are only needed by advanced users running servers.
The interface is great, colorful, and easy to understand. The software includes a wizard, so even if you have never done a backup before, this will guide you through the entire process.
SyncBack is freeware for backing up your computer or even syncing files locally. It’s particularly cool because you can run it without installation.
With SyncBack Free, you can back up your files to a separate partition, an external drive, blank CDs or DVDs, or network storage. You can even connect to a remote server via FTP.
Don’t forget, you can backup to a Zip archive, then easily store that Zip archive in a remote location or in cloud storage.
BackUp Maker professional software with a wide array of functions, but it’s completely free for personal use.
With it you can back up to an external drive or span your backup across blank CDs or DVDs. Everything is fully automated once you set it up initially.
Your data will be backed up with Zip compression to save space, and it will be secure thanks to 256-bit encryption.
Genie Timeline Free
Genie Timeline Free is the scaled-down version of Genie Timeline Home ($39.95.)
The goal of Timeline is to be a very simple and easy program, and that’s especially true for the free version. You can configure your entire backup in two steps, and after that, everything runs automatically. When the time comes, there’s a step-by-step restore function.
Handy Backup Free
Handy Backup Free is billed as “easy backup software” with a user-friendly interface that will make it easy to back up your data.
With the automatic backup scheduler, you’ll be able to back up virtually any file on your computer to an external drive (though you must upgrade to be able to back up to blank CDs or DVDs.)
FBackup is backup software with great reviews from the likes of LifeHacker, cNET, and more. Surprisingly, this feature-packed software is free for both commercial and personal use.
It does the standard functions, such as automatic backups, compressed backups to save space, and backing up to an external hard drive, but it also backs up open files as well as MS Outlook. Those features aren’t generally found in the free software. There are even free plugins for the software that add more features, like the ability to backup Mozilla Firefox profiles.
All it lacks is the ability to do a full system (disk image) backup.
Toucan is a custom built portable app (e.g. it runs off a thumb drive on any Windows machine) for advanced users to synchronize, backup, and encrypt their data, wherever they are.
The files can be secured with AES-256 encryption and compressed with Zip, 7-Zip, and GZip standards to save space.
I recommend keeping this on a flash drive along with your free file recovery software.
While this was not a “Top 10” list (it only had 9 programs listed,) it makes up for it in quality! You can get some quality, efficient backups out of this free software. But if you try out a program such as Acronis True Image Home, then try going back to these programs, you’ll probably quit using them (especially if you want to do disc image backups.)
Acronis True Image simply has more features that can’t be found in any free software, so it gets a high recommendation from me. However, if you do online backup and are happy with CrashPlan or SpiderOak, there’s no need to spend money on even more backup software, as those two services are capable of doing local backups on top of their online backup.