Suggestions for backup/sync software

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Suggestions for backup/sync software

Postposted on Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:00 pm

Yo gerbils. My situation is this. I've a router with a USB drive plugged in acting as a cheap NAS solution. I also have 3 PCs currently on the network. I was wondering if you folks could suggest reliable file backup/sync solutions so that I can create a backup to the NAS?

Top 3 use cases are such:
1. I would like to copy important documents, photos, records, etc from our PCs to designated directories on the NAS. If local files are modified, or new ones added, I'd like for them to be copied over too (at the next regular backup, etc).

2. Along those lines, I'm currently going through and ripping our CD collection to mp3 and lossless formats. I'd like to rip a bunch of CDs every few days, check that they came out ok, include album art and drop them in local "Done" directory. Again, every week, I'd like it if new files could be copied over to an online mirror.

3. Need to keep track of savegames. :D Man were the old days annoying, manually backing up saved-games to a CD, then not knowing which CD or version I wanted. :D. I'd like to tell the software which directories to watch, and have them copied to a savegames directory on the NAS.

...

I realize I'm using copy, backup, and sync all over the place. Basically, what I'd most need is good software capable of automatically performing a 1-way sync. 2-way sync capability is fine, as long as I can set the parameters (in no scenario do I automatically want to over-write from the NAS back to local). Also, I'd like to be able to browse the files on the NAS, and copy them over individually, at my choosing. The sort of software that does a whole-system-backup and writes it as a compressed image to storage isn't really what I'm gunning for.

That being said, any suggestions?
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Re: Suggestions for backup/sync software

Postposted on Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:22 pm

I like Cobian Backup myself.
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Re: Suggestions for backup/sync software

Postposted on Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:24 pm

I am a big fan of Allway sync. Free for low use, but worth paying the $20 for.

Acronis for images.

I also use explorer2 as a two pane explorer replacement. Was free, now I think it's low fee.


(There have nee prior posts on both, people have different favorites.) Good luck!
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Re: Suggestions for backup/sync software

Postposted on Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:36 pm

I have cobian, which I generally like, although it is dead slow on doing backups.
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Re: Suggestions for backup/sync software

Postposted on Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:38 pm

Windows Home Server (V1)?
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Re: Suggestions for backup/sync software

Postposted on Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:58 pm

If you want enterprise class backup capability, Retrospect for Windows includes 2 client licenses for $120 (you can also buy additional client licenses).
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Re: Suggestions for backup/sync software

Postposted on Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:51 am

Thanks for the suggestions, gerbils! I'm going to check these out as I can. If anyone else has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them, even if it's a +1 vote for something, someone already said. Free is always good. Cheap isn't bad either.

At this point, I'm not going to need an enterprise class solution, though that may be useful to others. :)

Also, on another forum I frequent I got these answers:

    Synctoy (seems dated)
    Comodo Backup
    Free File Sync
    Acronis (believe that makes it +1)
    All Way Sync (also +1)

Any thoughts on any of those? Thanks again :)
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Re: Suggestions for backup/sync software

Postposted on Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:19 am

There's EaseUs ToDo backup. It's free. Does file backups and image backups. It does and fantastic job but has one glaring flaw in that it does not automatically delete or overwrite old backups. You have to do that manually. It allows you to browse the contents of disk images with is darn handy.

There's r-drive image - http://www.drive-image.com/ - which is $44. It is quite excellent. I don't know if it does file backup but it certainly does disk images. One terrific aspect of this is that it is compatible with Windows 2003 and Windows 2008 and it's rare to find drive image programs for those server OSes that don't cost several hundred dollars.

Also, if it's a NAS, you should be able to mount its shares as drives in Windows and just use Windows Backup or schedule XCOPY to run. XCOPY will write over the network so no need for a mounted drive.
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Re: Suggestions for backup/sync software

Postposted on Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:30 am

I have Acronis True Home 2011, and it's good for images but I didn't really enjoy restoring just a backed up directory. It gave me random errors, though retrying on those files seemed to fix it. Just too much babysitting. And that was on a USB drive directly connected to the machine. I've also restored an image, though, and it went very well. No complaints there - the system was just like it was when the image was made.

Retrospect on the Mac was amazing in pre-Leopard days, and if their Windows software is of similar quality, I can assure you it's worth the money.
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Re: Suggestions for backup/sync software

Postposted on Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:42 am

synctoy 2.1 from Microsoft is free and offers one and two way syncs. Also it can be setup to run as a scheduled task.

Also if you are using windows 7 and vista, you can mount volumes as offline volumes to keep a local copy and then redirect your libraries to point to those mounted drives. You backup the nas from there.
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Re: Suggestions for backup/sync software

Postposted on Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:53 am

GFI Home Backup is Good and Free.

http://www.gfi.com/backup-hm
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Re: Suggestions for backup/sync software

Postposted on Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:03 am

I'd like to chime in with FBackup. Extremely easy to set up and has scheduling. I use it both at home and work.
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Re: Suggestions for backup/sync software

Postposted on Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:09 pm

I've used Second Copy, Allway Sync, Pure Sync and lastly Free File Sync over the years.

Free File Sync is my current choice, which I'm happy with is Free File Sync. Its fast, and more importantly, it seems to work just fine and its quite easy to setup.
Second Copy started getting dated and there was also some other trouble with file limits that it couldnt plow throw, but it was long ago since i stopped using it.
Allway Sync has artifical limits on the amount of files. Over something like 100K, you are considered to be enterprise and it stops copying for you.
Pure Sync has something similar, but I would think its actually a bug. Looked at some files and for some reason it had missed files. Tracked it down and found out it couldnt take more then 60K or something / job. So I had to split everything into different jobs.


So to sum it up
+1 on Free File Sync
-1 on Allway sync

Also heard good things about both Cobian and Acronis, but havent tried em, but those are probably more backup solutions than filesync solutions, and between those, theres quite a difference.
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Re: Suggestions for backup/sync software

Postposted on Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:49 pm

I use SyncBack, it's free and easy.
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Re: Suggestions for backup/sync software

Postposted on Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:40 am

Posting to mark the thread since I haven't solved my own backup problem yet. I've asked this question before myself, with varying answers including some of the above, but more are always welcome!
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Re: Suggestions for backup/sync software

Postposted on Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:47 am

Yeah, more suggestions always welcome. I ran through a couple of programs last night. Unfortunately, it seems each program does something well I like, but could use a little bit more of what some other program does :D


For anyone interested, here are my first day/mess with it for 30 minutes impressions:

All Way Sync - works well, I've no problems setting sync conditions, or scheduling the events. Syncing one to many is a cool feature that I dont have a current use for :). Too bad its ugly as sin, with a poor UX design. A list of Scrolling windows inside a larger scrolling window? Doesn't make me want to put it on the fiancee's laptop (she could figure it out, she'll just bitch about it every time, and rightly so). Also, the 40k transfers per month? Not hitting that limit yet, but kind of absurd.

GFI backup - Much cleaner. More user-friendly, if not as robust in features. Alas it insists on 2-way sync. Seems the only way I can get it to sync 1 way, is by using "Backup, no compression" instead of the Sync option. Fine, I can sort of understand the nuances of the design. Too bad it can't seem to write to the NAS when I try backup. Bah.

FBackup - Slow as heck to load up. Also had trouble backing up to the NAS directory for some reason. Wish I could give it a fair eval, but it made me give up faster than any of the programs.

FreeFileSync - Also works (almost). I'm having the best luck with the syncing tools. Unfortunately, this too is also ugly as sin, but in different ways. Where as AWS is overly cluttered, FFS feels ugly from lack of effort. They're going for simple, functional, and un-cluttered, but end up feeling like "the simplest thing that we can code to provide functionality"...not usability. Really? I dont want to see a table with every one of the 6000 files I want to sync in it. And I dont want to see a table with blank lines if I have nothing selected! I know you dont want big icon forests, but small icons are useless if I have to guess what they mean, and if shifting 10 pixels over to one side changes the function!

Totally awesome, though, is that it's easy to drop a batch file on the desktop and just double click on it to force a manual sync at any time. Now if only I could launch it correctly in Windows task scheduler. AWS has a button that helps you set up a task quickly. FFS says "add it to your scheduler, pass the batch file as an argument", which I think im doing right, but am probably screwing up with my Task Scheduler Newbness. :S
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Re: Suggestions for backup/sync software

Postposted on Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:17 am

I use SyncBack as well. It does what I want, and quite easy to set up.
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Re: Suggestions for backup/sync software

Postposted on Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:31 am

LoL - thread necro by commercial bot. Which posts an admin now deleted. Then I posted after deletion.

So, how did everything work out for you guys. I'm still happily running freefilesync in automated fashion with task schedular at some, and manual at home. Still happy with the sync it gets me.



gbcrush wrote:Totally awesome, though, is that it's easy to drop a batch file on the desktop and just double click on it to force a manual sync at any time. Now if only I could launch it correctly in Windows task scheduler. AWS has a button that helps you set up a task quickly. FFS says "add it to your scheduler, pass the batch file as an argument", which I think im doing right, but am probably screwing up with my Task Scheduler Newbness. :S

I use it manually at home, because I just havent gotten around to implement it in task scheduler, but I've done it with the 2003r2 and 2008r2 task schedulers at my work server and it works fine.

Basically it just this...
Run
"C:\Program Files\FreeFileSync\FreeFileSync.exe" "C:\[path]\Jobname.ffs_batch"
Run In
"C:\Program Files\FreeFileSync\"
Run As
"Designated user"

Then if you need any specials triggers(time, event, etc) and you have to set the rights correctly so the user you are running as have the rights to do what you want unless you run as an admin. Thats probably only applicable in a work stituation where you might have a dedicated account for backups etc.
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Re: Suggestions for backup/sync software

Postposted on Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:48 am

Everyone is leaving out Robocopy. It's my go-to application for one-way sync between Windows computers.

For two-way sync, I like SyncBack. It has a built in scheduler, and it's quick.

I'm using Cobian Backup for backups. It uses VSS to copy locked files, which a lot of free backup programs don't do. Overall it's okay, but I haven't found any backup software that is really awesome just yet.
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