The number one rule which is drilled into your brain as an IT professional is “Backup Your Data!”  As part of a theme in the coming weeks The Geek and I are going over several different processes to backup data on your PC.  In a recent Lifehacker poll readers were asked what is the best Windows backup tool.  I was a bit surprised SyncBack did not make a better showing in the poll as it is an incredibly simple and powerful free backup utility.  In this first part of the SyncBack series I am going to demonstrate a straight forward simple and easy backup to an external drive.

When you first start up SyncBack you will be prompted to create a backup profile.  I would recommend this as you can both synchronize and backup files.

You can have separate profiles for various backup and synchronization profiles based on your needs.  For this demonstration I am going to create a backup profile.

Next, simply come up with a name for the backup profile you are creating.

Now comes the detailed part.  We have several options to choose the directory to backup, to include or not include sub directories, ignore certain files, etc.  For this demonstration and I am assuming most home use, the easier the better.  Simply enter in the source directory and where you want to store the data.


After you have made all of your adjustments, you have the option to create a simulated run.  This does not actually backup any data but does create a report on the simulation.  If this is the first time running this profile it would not be a bad idea to simulate first.  Here you can see a successful simulation run.  You will have the same type of message when you perform an actual backup.

A very cool thing is the ability to schedule backups without having to buy a license or use a Scheduled Tasks work around.  Simply click on the Schedule button and choose how and when to perform backups.

Again this shows a basic backup.  To be honest, there are so many features and settings that I cannot possibly show them all in one article.  There is also an “expert” mode which increases the choices even more.  In expert mode you can choose to store files on an FTP site, create different network connections, and manipulate backup log files to different parameters.  For a free utility, this really has a lot of professional functions power users and IT pros alike will appreciate.

In the next installment I will go over more of the advanced features, file synchronization, and also cover SyncBackSE.

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