3 Types of Backups & Which One Should You Use

It is important to create regular backups of your important files to prevent data loss. There are three different types of backup and it is important to know the difference between all three so you can decide which suit your needs most.

DataNumen Backup

While data recovery software can help prevent data loss, one of the best ways to ensure your data is protected is to create regular backups of the important files and folders on your hard drive.

There are basically three main types of backups and in this post, we are going to take a closer look at all three.

1. Full backup

A full backup is when your important data is copied and stored on another location other than your hard drive. This could be to an external storage device, such as an external hard drive or DVD, or on the internet, such as cloud storage.

While it is important to occasionally create a full backup of your files, this can take a long time. Because of that, it is advisable to schedule full backups for a time when you will not need to use your computer.

2. Incremental backup

When you create an incremental backup, what is copied is only the changes that were made since the last backup was made. Making an incremental backup is a much quicker process than making a full backup.

If you initially made a full backup, the next backups you can make will build off of that. Say that you made a full backup of your entire system on Saturday, you can schedule an incremental backup for Wednesday. What will be copied onto the incremental backup will only be the files and folders that you created or changed between Sunday and Wednesday.

3. Differential Backup

A differential backup and an incremental backup are similar in the sense that it only copies new files and folders. The difference is that a differential backup copies all the files that were created from the last full backup.

An incremental backup can be created after another incremental backup. Following our above example, we created an incremental backup on Wednesday, we can create another incremental backup on Friday that will save all the new files created between Wednesday and Friday. If, however, we create a differential backup, the information that will be copied and saved will be everything that was created and changed between Sunday, when we created a full backup, and Friday.

As there is more data to be copied and saved when creating a differential backup, it takes longer and the process is slower than the process to create an incremental backup.

What type of backups do you need?

You can and probably should create all three types of backups; you just need to schedule them smartly.

For example, you should schedule a full backup once a month. In between that period, you should create an incremental backup every time you a file that is particularly important. Then you can schedule a differential backup every week.

After you have a full backup of your files, you can create several copies and store them in a safe place and get rid of the incremental and differential backups.

You can easily and quickly schedule regular backups by installing a backup program such as DataNumen Backup.

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