12Gadgets: Smart Apps for Windows!
 Full and Incremental Backup
Don't we all need a simpler backup?
  • works fully automatic!
  • Daily changes...
  • ...Full Backup...
  • ...or ALL VERSIONS!
  • all your files go into a zip file, easy to copy
  • watch it happen with clear feedback!
  • exclude files to save time!
  • filter by folder, filename, or extension
  • choose folders to backup
  • each folder stored in a separate zip file
  • zip compatible with Windows - unzip like a folder!
  • custom compression level (or none)
  • hourly or every x hours
 Which backup should I use?
A backup can do multiple things:
  1. Copy everything at regular intervals. Automatically, set it and forget it.
  2. Keep a consistent duplicate of your folder structure, aka synchronized.
  3. Store all changes in one place for easy backup to a flash drive, daily.
  4. And finally, keep ALL versions: create a new backup EVERY time you save a file.
There are pros and cons to each approach, it all depends on your goals:
  1. FULL BACKUP: just create a copy of your folder, e.g. Documents. This can be done hourly or every few hours, depending on how much space you have. It can be compressed - may take some time but you save space. At some point, though, you'll have to flick through all those backups and delete old ones.
  2. SYNCHRONIZE: If this is your only approach you'll only have one backup. Worse, files are deleted if you delete them in the original folder. Not exactly what a backup is for... At least it's fast and you don't need much space.
  3. CHANGED FILES: You still need to copy the zip file manually to a USB thumb stick or external drive but, hey, it's only the stuff you've been working on recently: small, sorted by date, easy-peasy. Everything else should already be in other backups. The big advantage: you can have like 10 thumb drives (~$10 each), rotate them daily or weekly, and do this really fast every evening.
  4. ALL VERSIONS: This is called "Time Machine" on Macs because you can basically travel back in time to any previous version. This can create a ton-load of files and fill up your disk quickly. A good remedy is to keep the most recent versions, and delete everything that's older than 30 days. You'll probably forget in two weeks that you saved a particular version of a file. But you really want to go back to a version of a file that you saved yesterday - before you deleted that one important paragraph. And you can!
What we actually do:
  1. This. For a human this is the easiest to handle. Gives you full ease of mind. Everything is backed-up several times. You choose how often this happens, from hourly to a few times a day, or manually click 'Full' (backup now). Keep an eye on your remaining disk space and delete older backups--once you've made additional copies to external drives!
  2. Not this. Deleting files from a backup is counter-productive. Trying to keep everything in-sync over a long period of time is just asking for failure.
  3. Click on 'Daily' at the end of a work-day. Includes everything that's changed today. (Btw, you can include previous days as well if you missed one.) Changed files are stored in a zip file. Copy that zip file to an external drive to have the smallest possible daily backup.
  4. Exactly! Copy everything all the time. Be on the safe side. Prepare for the worst. Just enable 'ALL VERSIONS' in backup settings. To help you thin-out older backups, files are kept together per day. If you use other forms of backups you can aggressively delete everything older than a month.

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