Backing up your important files, or perhaps your entire hard drive, is one of the most valuable maintenance tasks you could possibly do on your computer. With your data backed up, a hard drive crash or accidental deletion won't be nearly as painful.
Backup software makes backing up your data automatic - a must-have feature of any successful backup plan. Here is a list of some of the most popular commercial backup software titles available:
Important: Be sure to look at my Free Backup Software list before paying for any of the backup tools listed below. Better yet, check out my Online Backup Services list for cloud backup solutions, an arguably better way to back up your important data.
Note: I use the term commercial to indicate that the backup program costs something, not that it's necessarily a better choice than free backup programs in a business setting.
Acronis True Image 2014, like the other popular backup software programs profiled here, is a complete backup solution for your home computer.
The backup configuration process isn't quite as user friendly in Acronis True Image 2014 as it is in some other programs but it has a huge number of advanced, unique features including email notification of completed backups, a hard drive eraser tool, a pc cloning utility, and much more.
Acronis True Image 2014 is currently priced at $74.99 USD and is available for all major Windows versions.
AOMEI Backupper Professional is a full-featured backup program that can backup various types of data. Simple file/folder backup is supported as well as disk cloning, partition backup, and whole disk backup.
An easy restore wizard is included in AOMEI Backupper Professional, in addition to the ability to compress a backup, split a backup into smaller pieces, and even backup files that are currently being used, among other features.
AOMEI Backupper Professional is currently priced at $39.00 and is compatible with Windows 8 down to Windows XP.
There's also a free version of this software called AOMEI Backupper Standard that can also be used in a commercial setting, though it lacks some of the features of the professional version.
EaseUS Todo Backup Home is a nice choice for a backup program. It not only backs up files and folders, like documents and mail, but also entire disks, partitions, and even Android devices.
It's easy to use because of the built-in wizard that walks you through the steps of creating a backup job. It also supports standard features like compression and email notifications, among others, which aren't included in the free version.
EaseUS Todo Backup Home is currently priced at $29.00 USD and works with Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP.
Genie Backup Manager Home 9.0 is yet another excellent choice for your home backup needs. Like other backup programs, you can backup your entire system, certain files and folders, or even certain types of files like music, pictures, etc. - whatever is important to you.
Backup and restore wizards make it easy to keep your data safe and restore it after an emergency. Compression capabilities, email notifications, online backup options, and preconfigured backup sets make Genie Backup Manager Home 9.0 an excellent value-priced choice for advanced users.
Genie Backup Manager Home 9.0 is currently priced at $49.95 USD and works with Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP.
O&O DiskImage 8 Professional makes it easy to backup everything from single files to whole hard drives, even the one that Windows is installed on.
Among other features is support for encryption, the ability to restore data to hardware that differs from the source, and an easy to use wizard that compacts the O&O DiskImage 8 Professional program window to allow for extremely simple backup and restore functions.
O&O DiskImage 8 Professional currently costs $29.95 and can be installed to Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP.
Like some of these other backup programs, NovaBACKUP Professional can serve as disaster recovery software and backup hard drives, system partitions, and specific files and folders like movies and music.
A simple wizard is used to encrypt backups and choose the source/destination folder.
In addition to other features, NovaBACKUP Professional can enable virus scanning, send email notifications, and restore backup images to dissimilar hardware types and drive sizes.
NovaBACKUP Professional is currently priced at $44.95 and works with all versions of Windows, from Windows 8 to XP.
Symantec System Recovery Desktop Edition is a business-class disaster recovery tool but the price is competitive enough with other home-focused backup programs to be a solid choice.
If you want the complete backup package in one easy to use program, Symantec System Recovery Desktop Edition is an excellent choice.
Symantec System Recovery Desktop Edition is currently priced at $84.87 USD and is available for all Windows versions, from Windows XP to Windows 8.