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Cobian Backup - Free tool to backup your data

Updated on June 4, 2012

Backup Solution

I've been searching for a good and free backup solution to use with my laptop, my home pc, the pc's in my company and at my clients. That's how I find out about Cobian Backup Software.

There were a few specifications it had to have:

  • Totally free (not free for 30 days or something like that...)
  • Light Process (that doesn't overloads to much the CPU)
  • Easy setup
  • The possibility to program different backups for different folders/users
  • Incremental backups
  • Original files - it couldn't use some special format to store the files
  • Allows some encryption
  • Can be programmed to run by itself (this is essencial, specially for my clients who always forget to backup)
  • Backup to a network or external drive

Cobian Backup
Cobian Backup

Cobian Backup

I've tried different programs and options, including the ones that come built in on Windows XP and Windows Vista. I've also tried some software that camed with Lacie's external hard drives or WD Backup, from Western Digital. But I found a problems in each one of them...

Now I'm currently using the combination of Cobian Backup and Drobo to keep my data safe at the office and at home. I can tell you that it has been working silently and smoothly!

Cobian it's just great! It has all the features I needed and mentioned before, and a lot more!

At Cobian's website you can find two versions of it:

  • Version 8, code name "Black Moon", is a opensource one! So you can download it and change it as you like. The code is licenced under the Mozilla Public Licence 1.1
  • Version 9, code name "Amanita", that will not be published as Open Source

I have version 9 installed. Choose the one that best suits your needs!

Cobian Backup is a multi-threaded program that can be used to schedule and backup your files and directories from their original location to other directories/drives in the same computer or other computer in your network. FTP backup is also supported in both directions (download and upload).

Cobian Backup exists in two different versions: application and service. The program uses very few resources and can be running on the background on your system, checking your backup schedule and executing your backups when necessary.

Cobian Backup is not an usual backup application: it only copies your files and folders in original or compressed mode to other destination, creating a security copy as a result. So Cobian Backup can be better described as a "Scheduler for security copies". Cobian Backup supports several methods of compression and strong encryption.

I've heard that if you need to recover your files you may encounter some dificulties, specially if you used some kind of data encryption. And by saying "some dificulties" I mean it isn't straigth forward but all the tools are there to do it, you just need to spend a little more time finding out how they work!

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