Backing up your computer is important. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten requests from friends, family, co-workers, homeless people, etc., to get their stuff off of their dead drive. Unfortunately short of spending thousands of dollars on some data recovery services there’s nothing I can do. Look over each of these choices, pick the one you like the best and use it!
MozyHome (Freeware and Shareware)
MozyHome does unlimited online backup for just $5 a month. Mozy is a set-it-and-forget-it solution, and the setting up part is incredibly simple. If you’re just looking to give it a test run or you don’t need unlimited backup, sign up for MozyHome Free, which gives you 2GB of backup space for gratis.
Cobian Backup (Donationware)
Cobian Backup is free backup software that supports scheduled local and remote backups. Users love its rich feature set, as Cobian supports nearly every feature of its shareware alternatives. All current versions of Cobian are freeware, but the latest (version 9) is no longer open source.
SyncBack (Freeware and Shareware)
SyncBack is full-featured backup software available in both freeware and shareware versions. The freeware SyncBack has a few limitations that the shareware version doesn’t, like inability to backup open files, but both versions offer extensive features—including backup profiles and options for local and remote backups. The shareware version of SyncBack will set you back $30.
Acronis True Image (Shareware)
Acronis True Image creates full live disk images of your PC so that when the time comes that you need to restore a backup, you’re not just restoring files—you’re restoring an exact copy of your PC as it was. The latest version of Acronis supports excluding individual files and folders from your image or you can set criteria for the data that you want to back up (in case you don’t actually want to include everything in your disk image). Acronis True Image costs $50 and a 15 day trial version is available.
Carbonite is an online backup solution similar to MozyHome. For $50 a year, Carbonite provides unlimited online backup and is another set-it-and-forget-it solution which offers off-site backup to remote servers. The biggest difference between Carbonite and Mozy is the price: Carbonite is $50 per year upfront compared to MozyHome’s $5 per month, which adds up to $60 a year but doesn’t lock you into a year. Carbonite does not offer a free version like MozyHome Free’s 2GBs, but there is a 15-day trial. For more user comparisons, check out the Carbonite vs. Mozy faceoff.