When it comes to your important files, no software is quite as crucial to have as a reliable backup tool. Our PCs and Macs are already extremely advanced, however, there is still always a chance of something going wrong that can cause you to lose both business assets such as sensitive documents, or personal assets such as music or photos.
With backup tools, you can restore all your valuable data in the event of a cyberattack or hardware issue. As your data is duplicated, there will always be a copy of it elsewhere in the case of accidental deletion, file corruption, or other unexpected mishaps.
Although you can backup your data offsite using cloud providers, it’s important to also backup to a physical drive. Cloud-only backup tools may become bankrupt or face a technical problem that could lead to you losing your backups. External hard drives and USBs are affordable and well worth the investment. Once you have backed up your files, you should store your drive in a safe place.
We have set out a list of our top recommended best backup tools in 2022 so you can choose one that best suits your needs. This article focuses on tools that allow users to backup to physical drives, rather than cloud backup options. Whether you mainly utilize your computer for business or personal use, there’s a backup tool that’s perfect for you.
Our top recommended backup tools in 2022 quick guide
- EaseUS Todo Backup – The best overall choice
- Acronis True Image – Impressive anti-virus protection
- Paragon Backup & Recovery – Most user flexibility
Why do I need backup tools?
Hard drive crashes, ransomware, or even hackers can cause you to lose all your valued files and data. With a backup tool, you can select which files you want to copy and how often you want a backup to be performed so in the event of any unexpected disasters or virus attacks, you can have peace of mind knowing that you have duplicates stored elsewhere.
But how often is an event such as these likely to happen? If you use software such as a password manager or antivirus, your chance of falling victim to a cyberattack is significantly reduced. However, this doesn’t mean that you’re completely safe from hackers and malware. With a hack being performed on average every 39 seconds, and a ransomware attack occurring every 11 seconds, it’s wise to assume that your files are always at risk, even with an antivirus in place. Alternatively, hard drives and other devices can easily be damaged beyond repair, causing you to lose any stored data.
If you’re a Windows user, then you may already know that this operating system provides their own native backup tool. Although Window’s backup offers a few helpful features, premium backup tools are far more sophisticated. With better ransomware protection, more storage options, and a range of additional features, premium backup tools such as those mentioned in our list are much more reliable and efficient than native backup tools.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) recommends that users abide by the ‘3-2-1’ rule; at least 3 copies, on 2 devices, with 1 offsite (the cloud). This approach, although still fairly limited, can ensure that your data remains safe in worst-case scenarios and is a good place to start for those building a data protection system. Although the ‘3-2-1’ rule does not guarantee that your files will never be compromised, it still eliminates the most risk. If one device is damaged, or one copy lost, then you still have 2 other backups of your important data. Many backup software companies support this approach and agree that it’s a good practice for efficiently using their protects.
“Over nearly 20 years, 3-2-1 has been a great tool to evaluate data risk exposure. It started in an era of 30GB hard drives and CD backups and has scaled nicely to a world of 18TB drives and ubiquitous cloud storage. With so much of our life and livelihood stored in digital form, and with the threats of malware increasing, it’s important for everyone to have a framework for assessing vulnerabilities.“ – Peter Krogh, a photographer who coined the 3-2-1 rule
Of course, you can manually backup your data onto an external hard drive, USB, NAS (home server), or disc. However, this can be incredibly time-consuming and whenever you alter a file you’ll have to update the backup version too. A backup tool scans your devices and will automatically make changes for you on a regular time basis (perhaps weekly, daily, or even hourly). So in the event of either a human or software error, your backup tool will swiftly and safely restore all important files that you had chosen to be backed up. With reliable backup software, you can save plenty of time and effort when making copies of your valuable data.
Best Backup Tools in 2022
We understand that there are tons of backup tools to choose from, with all providers varying in price, performance, and features. So, we’ve narrowed down the list to just 3 of the best backup tools in 2022 –
1. EaseUS Todo Backup
Key features – Smart Backup, System Clone
EaseUS Todo is a very powerful backup tool that offers users plenty of advanced features, earning its spot at the top of our list. The software is clean, easy to navigate, and clearly shows the user’s available backup options.
Smart Backup is a scheduled backup option that is performed every 30 minutes when a file is being regularly changed within that time. This option is best used for files that are being regularly updated by either a singular user or multiple users. There is also a Backup Cleanup option that will delete old backups to clear space and clean up the system disc.
With EaseUS, users are provided with 5 schedule options; One-time, Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Upon Event. The Upon Event option, when selected, will automatically educate a backup whenever there is a system startup or shutdown, when a user logs on or off Windows, and when a USB device is plugged in. These backup options are extremely flexible and can also be easily customized by the user.
The System Clone option allows users to clone their entire system without needing to reinstall any applications, provided that your drive has enough allocated space available. With this option, users can quickly migrate to a new hard drive with just one click, or can just safely store a clone of their entire hard drive to serve as a backup. With System Clone you can quickly restore your entire system without having to reinstall any software, manually copy data, or experience any downtime whatsoever, making the entire process much more straightforward and efficient.
EaseUS also takes its users’ security very seriously and has confirmed that no user data is ever stored on their servers. The software aims to quickly and securely copy data to ensure that it is never compromised or at risk of being damaged. Users also have certain security options in place such as the ability to protect their copied data using a password. EaseUS has adopted 256-bit SSL encryption, making it one of the most secure backup tools available in the current market.
Overall, EaseUS is our top recommended backup tool in 2021 as it provides users with an impressive range of features on top of highly flexible backup and recovery options. Whether you’re new to backup tools, or you’re just looking for software that is easy to navigate and reliable, then EaseUS ToDo backup is the best option for you.
2. Acronis True Image
Key features – Antivirus Protection, Try & Decide
Acronis True Image is a robust and intuitive backup tool that offers plenty of useful features, including impressive anti-malware protection. Although scans are slightly slower than with EaseUS, Acronis still performs very well and is another great choice for backing up valuable files and data.
Acronis is among the most secure backup tools as this software uses AES-256 encryption to protect its users’ data and also gives users the option to set up a local encryption key (which cannot be retrieved if forgotten). This tool will only collect user data that is necessary for the company to effectively provide its service to users and is incredibly transparent about which data it is storing and processing.
Acronis offers an interesting Try & Decide option which lets users safely test new software, system updates, or drivers that they may be unsure about. If they wish to revert back to their previous configuration then Acronis makes the process extremely easy and hassle-free. This tool also allows users to clone and migrate their entire Windows or Mac system across to a new hard drive without the need to reboot.
Users can choose to have continuous backups running so that all copied files will quickly be altered whenever changes are made to the original versions. Users can choose between backing up files to a cloud drive or an external hard drive or disc.
With Acronis, users can opt to perform either a full or quick antivirus scan that will check all available data to identify any malicious files or potential ransomware attacks. This tool also performs daily vulnerability scans that will automatically check a user’s system for any security holes and then informs them of the severity of the issue. The tool then prompts users to update or reinstall the affected programs or apps so that any issue or security risk is patched up.
All in all, Ancornis’s protection against viruses is highly effective, however, we would like to see some improvements to its anti-phishing protection as the software failed to identify most phishing frauds.
Acronis is the perfect backup tool for small companies that need powerful software, however, it can be considered on the pricier side for standard users who may want to opt for a cheaper backup tool. Despite this, Acronis True Image is still a fantastic backup tool that offers top-notch cybersecurity features in a versatile and easy-to-use interface.
3. Paragon Backup & Recovery
Key Features – Emergency rescue, Migrate OS
For advanced backup features packed into a clean interface, Paragon is the way to go. This tool lets users easily customize backup parameters based on their specific needs. Users can also create and manage their own schedule to backup anything from an individual file, to an entire disc.
With Paragon, users can clone their hard drives to migrate to a new one without needing to make any tweaks or rebooting the system. This tool supports full, incremental, and differential backup methods and ensures that under no circumstances is any user data lost or unrecoverable. Although Paragon’s speeds aren’t quite as fast as other backup tools, it doesn’t put much strain on users’ devices and won’t impact their overall performance when a backup is in progress.
There is an included Emergency Rescue feature that allows users to access their hard drives to rescue data and restore their PC even if Windows won’t boot up. There are additional features included in Paragon’s Recovery Media Builder that corrects boot problems inflicted by hardware malfunctions. If a user’s system becomes corrupted by malware or other disasters, they can quickly restore full use of their PC with minimal data loss.
It’s clear that with its range of features and customization options, Paragon Backup & Recovery is aimed at advanced users. However, new users can still make use of Paragon’s expert backup technology as the company provides plenty of informative support resources and user manuals that offer general tips and advice regarding the software. Overall, Paragon is another great backup tool that can reliably save and restore sensitive user files and other important data.
We recommend EaseUS ToDo backup as this tool is efficient, fast, and offers plenty of additional features that make backing up data an easy and simple process. EaseUS is highly reliable and affordable, making it an ideal choice for first-time users who are unfamiliar with backup tools.
Backup tools help users to safely and effectively backup important data so in the event of hackers, virus attacks, or damage to your device, you’ll still be able to restore all necessary files. Without a backup tool, your data could be gone forever if your device becomes lost, stolen, or corrupted.
The best backup tool will be user-friendly, reliable, and secure. Ideally, the tool will give users plenty of flexibility when it comes to backup options and will also not slow down their device when performing scheduled backups. Some helpful bonuses included in certain backup tools are anti-virus protection, file cleanup, and hard drive cloning.