For planned (personal) system backups to external USB drives I use Back4Sure by Ulrich Krebs
- UK's Homepage - Back4Sure
It has both x32 and x64 bit flavors, comes in a portable version, and is rock-solid based on my experience. Mr. Krebs keeps it regularly updated.
For synchronizing specific folders with those on my collection of USB flash drives and “service” USB HDD’s I had been using DSYNCHRONIZE by Dimio but found that some files were not actually getting copied over for some reason. Not sure why.
So I switched to FreeFileSync instead. It is also regularly updated and super-fast. I also like that I can more easily review what will/did/didn’t get actually sync’ed. It is available in an installed and portable version. It is so easy and reliable to use, I recommended it to my non-techie daughter Alvis who now uses it for system backups of her own. As a college student, data/homework/assignment backups are critical!
- FreeFileSync - Free backup software to synchronize files and synchronize folders on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X
I recently saw mention of Beanland: AutoVer that can handle automatic/real-tie backup and versioning as well. (I’m not sure where I found it so I can’t hat-tip anyone but I’m sure it was from one of my favorite technical bloggers…) I’ve been wanting to try it out but have been reluctant due to one critical requirement, you need to leave your backup storage location online and accessible! Duh! Well, from a security standpoint, if I’ve got an external USB drive attached to my system and am running live updates to it, and malicious code hits my system and does “bad things” to my files/storage, then it might be possible it could find/overwrite my “live” backup stores as well.
I’m sure there is a way to work around that with additional options (maybe store them in a container/way that would avoid being “crypto-locked”). But for now, I’m sticking with non-quite-live regular updates of my systems using Back4Sure and attaching an external media (I rotate between two) USB HDD for just the backup run, then removal when done. Hopefully the extra work (and drive rotation) will isolate the backup data from any infection damage were that to occur.