Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, the worst happens. Your hard drive crashes, or your computer gets infected with Ransomware, or something else happens that causes you to lose your data. What do you do?
Sadly, too few people make preparations in advance, and it comes back to haunt them. Don’t be that person. Plan now for the inevitable. Hardware doesn’t last forever, and sooner or later, yours is going to fail. Be prepared.
Fortunately, if you’re a Windows user, you’re in luck. There are a number of great software options for you, and we’ll outline the best of the best just below.
Pipemetrics Bvckup 2
This one is probably the industry standard. Originally written for Windows XP, the developers have had years to get all the kinks out of the system, and it shows. It’s simple, intuitive, and essentially a “set and forget” backup solution. If anything happens to your data, you just restore it from backup and can continue on your way without missing a beat.
Business users will have to pay $40 to use the data recovery software, but you can also get a personal license for half that. A true bargain by any reckoning.
Ease US Todo Backup Home
Another great backup utility, priced comparably to the Pipemetrics offering. Here, you’re getting a full-featured, intuitive backup solution that’s ideal for home use. The only drawback to the software is the fact that it does not include mobile file access or mobile sync, but you can schedule your backups on the front end, when you set the software up, so this is really a minor quibble.
Acronis True Image
Acronis is a bit more expensive than the other offerings ($49 for a license at the time this piece was written), but the people who use it, swear by it. There’s no easier backup solution on the market today. It was written with non-technical people in mind, and the interface is colorful and easy to understand, even for people who don’t know much about computers.
While ease of use is its main selling point, it should also be noted that Acronis does allow for mobile sync and file access. That’s not a feature everyone will want or need, but if it’s important to you, then this is probably the package you want.
We wanted to give an honorable mention to CrashPlan, specifically because it is the only backup and recovery software on this list that comes with a free version. Yes, you’ll have to put up with some advertisements as you use it, but if your budget just won’t allow the purchase of some other backup solution, then this one is certainly worth a look.
It has all the critical features you’d expect in a good backup and recovery package, including the option to back up to an external drive or to the cloud, a simple, but effective wizard to walk you through the process, and the ability to create a bootable backup if you need one. The best part? You can upgrade to the full version and get rid of the ads for around $40.
There are tons of perfectly acceptable backup and recovery programs on the market today, but the ones mentioned above are a cut above the rest. Whatever solution you ultimately choose to go with, the important thing is that you have one, and start putting it to use right away. Consider it cheap insurance for your important data.