Full vs Incremental vs Differential Backup: Which One Is Best for You?

There are 3 types of data backup methods – full, incremental and differential data backup. Some users are confused about which is best for them. Thus, this article will guide you to choose a right one for yourself.

Full vs Incremental vs Differential Backup: Which One Is Best for You?

Nowadays, various data is created whenever and wherever. And meanwhile data loss is occurring as well. Thus, in order to avoid miserable data loss, data backups become increasingly important. For example, when your PST file proves corrupt, if you have already made a current backup, you can easily recover PST data from the backup.

More and more users have realized the significance of data backups and hope to create a bulletproof data backup plan for their valuable data. In this case, users will need to make a choice on the type of backup – full, incremental or differential backup. Now, in the followings, we will provide some suggestions for you.

Full Backup

Full data backup is frequently used for backing up system files. This kind of data backup will copy all data from the source disk to another storage device, namely making a copy of the whole system and all data. So it is the most time-consuming backup process. For example, if size of the source storage drives is pretty large, it can take multiple hours. Therefore, it’s only advisable to use this backup for extremely important files. In general, it is used in combination with the following two backup methods.

Incremental Backup

Incremental data backup is copying all files changed since the day on which last incremental data backup run. In this backup process, the modified time label on files is especially important and will be compared to the time of last backup. Only the changed file will be backed up. Due to its special characteristic, it will run as often as your wish. Its advantage is that it copies a smaller amount of data than full backup, thus costing less time.

Differential Backup

Differential backup is quite similar to incremental backup in the first time. More specifically, in the first time, it’ll copy all data changed since the previous backup. However, afterwards, every time when it runs, it will still copy all data changed since the previous full backup. It is unlike copying the changed file since the last incremental backup. Thereby, it’ll back up and store more data than incremental backup, but still less than full backup. Accordingly, it will take more storage space and time than incremental one, but less than full backups.

Based on all mentioned above, you can select the most suitable one as per your own needs. Of course, you can combine them as well.

Author Introduction:

Shirley Zhang is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including damaged mdf and outlook repair software products. For more information visit www.datanumen.com

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