I’m changing one of the backup tools in my “bag”


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Depending upon the situation, I’ve been using either Microsoft’s SyncToy, 2BrightSparks’s SyncBack, or Cobian Backup. However, I’ve encountered what I consider a serious deficiency in SyncToy. If anything changes with the backup drive (e.g. the drive letter changes), you cannot change it within SyncToy. Instead, you must create a new folder pair.

I generally preferred SyncToy over the free version of SyncBack as it wouldn’t spontaneously add new folders which were under a folder tree not being backed up. SyncBack would usually be my alternate in the event SyncToy wouldn’t install for some reason (usually this would be on computers which I was going to be reformatting and needed to extract the existing data). However, SyncBackSE (currently $34.95 as of this writing) is extremely configurable with a great amount of flexibility in the backup set. It’s probably the only backup software I’d buy for most entry-level uses.

Cobian is an awesome backup for people who have a desktop computer with a permanently attached backup drive. It’s nearly commercial in its capabilities and interface.

So, I went on a search for a replacement for SyncToy and came across FreeFileSync┬áby way of AlternativeTo.net. It’s a little quirky (but what software isn’t?), but so far seems to be a much more workable replacement for SyncToy than SyncBack was. Some things to consider, if you’re trying to configure a consistent backup routine, make sure to right-click on an object (either a file or directory) and select “Exclude via filter” so that object is not backed up in the future.

So, it looks like my repertoire will consist of FreeFileSync, SyncBack, and Cobian Backup, depending upon the situation at hand.

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