Backing up, and then testing your recovery files in case you ever do actually need them to backup, is of paramount importance to PC users today, but how many people actually do this?
Often, people become incredibly expert at backups and restorations of data once they have lost everything, and didn't have a full backup to fall back on, with the pain of data loss seared into their memories as a powerful teacher.
However, why let a bad experience be the only way to learn how to do the right thing when it comes to data? Thankfully, it is possible to learn from the experiences of others and become a backup expert well before backups are ever required.
The standard 3-2-1 rule is as follows: Have at least three copies of your data. Store the copies on two different media. Keep one backup copy offsite.
My additional rule in my 3-2-1-1 rule would be that one of those offsite locations should be online, not just offsite at a different physical location, just so that you truly have your data safely stored in case you ever need it.
Now, while it is possible to pay for backup software that comes with an online backup component, you may already be paying for online storage via a Google Drive subscription, or Dropbox, iCloud, backup space included with your Internet security software, or something else, and rather than pay even more money for yet more software with yet another online location, you might want to use what you've already got.
In this instance, which is probably one many people find themselves in, you can avoid yet another monthly payment obligation to yet another backup software company by uploading your important data to you existing online service, while taking advantage of Paragon's Backup & Recovery Free software to save to local drives, be they internal or external, for safekeeping on or offsite.
Or you might want to forego the option of online storage altogether and simply keep your data safe on multiple drives, but whichever you choose for whatever is your reason for doing so, having backing software is of crucial importance.
So, what's new in the latest version of Paragon's Backup & Recovery Free?
Well, we're told this new version of Paragon's free data protection software has "a revamped, intuitive UI packed with essential features".
"The software enables you to completely protect your PC data by creating backups of individual files, partitions, or the entire Windows system in a snap, as well as restore data in WinPE, if required. Once the user has taken a few easy steps to set up the backup, the tool can function in the automated mode."
Key features are listed as follows:
- Disk Backup – Save not only disk data but also system service structures
- Differential Backup – Save backup storage space by archiving only what’s changed since the last full sector-based image
- Incremental Backup – Back up modified data along with a full sector-based archive
- Flexible Restore (in WinPE) – Restore an entire disk, separate partitions, or only the files you need from previous backup images
- Recovery Media – Create a bootable USB Flash drive, CD, or DVD to recover your PC on demand
- Easy Recalibration – Restore contents of a 512-byte hard disk to a 4K hard disk with no additional input from your side
- WinPE-based Recovery Environment – Create a full-fledged Windows-based recovery environment stored on bootable media.
As a quality free product from a quality system and utility software maker, it's clearly better than the software provided within Windows by Microsoft itself, and is thus highly recommended, especially if you have no intention of backing up in any other way or with any other software.
For those that do require more advanced data management functionality, however, Paragon also offers its "Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Windows" solution, being "an all-in-one data management tool combining the backup, recovery, partition management, data migration and data wiping technologies".
In addition, Paragon Software also released APFS for Windows earlier this year, with this software a "driver for Windows users working with Mac volumes" formatted with Apple's new and more efficient APFS file system.
If you have Macs and want your PCs to be able to read APFS-formatted hard disk or solid state drives (HDDs or SSDs), or flash drives formatted in APFS, then only way to do this is with Paragon's APFS for Windows software, as it enables instant read/write access of those drives on Windows PCs.
That said, Paragon Backup & Recovery Free is available to home users at no cost, so it's a great starting point for people wanting better backups than is possible with built-in Windows software.
Last week, we also covered Paragon's release of its free APFS to HFS+ converter software for Macs, which you can read about here.
As Paragon reminds us, the company has been delivering reliable software products and technology solutions to help every day users, IT professionals, and businesses keep data healthy and safe for over two and a half decades, which is a very long time in the world of modern software companies!
As the company states, it offers "file systems and storage management, deployment, and migration of heterogeneous appliances and systems, data protection, business continuity, and disaster recovery for hybrid environments", with its global business partners including "AJA, Asus, QNAP, Western Digital, and many others".