In this article, we are going to look at the 5 best backup software by Microsoft. The one thing to note here is that they are all different, so what you want to use will very much depend on what you want to do.
Windows 10 Backup
If you are looking for the simplest solution to backup your files, Windows 10 Backup is the right one for you. It’s also the easiest to set up.
To find it, click on the Windows icon in the lower left hand corner of your PC, click ‘Settings’, and then type ‘Backup’ in the search. Select the external drive that you want to use, click more options to make sure you are backing up the files and folders you want, and then click the backup now button.
One of the most obvious advantages of using this is that it is completely free. All you need is an external hard drive or even a USB thumb drive, and you are ready to go.
Please note that like OneDrive below, this option will not allow you to restore your entire hard drive. For that, you will need a more robust backup software with extra features such as Paragon Backup & Recovery, which I talk about below.
OneDrive is probably the best-known backup software by Microsoft. This solution may be the best for you if you want to share files and folders, which Windows 10 Backup above can’t do.
OneDrive allows you to store all your files and folders in one location. As with many cloud storage solutions, it also allows you to work on individual files wherever you are. This means that the old days of having to email yourself a document, and remember which document is the most recent, are long gone.
You can work on a file no matter where you are, and with apps for iOS, Android and Windows, you can work on the go using any mobile device you own.
You can also use OneDrive to collaborate with other people. This means that multiple users can work on the same document, allowing everyone to see instant updates, and to comment on those updates as and when necessary.
As with Windows 10 Backup, OneDrive is a free service if you only need 5 GB of storage. If you need more, you will have to pay.
It is worth noting that OneDrive is not the solution you want if you are looking to backup everything all on your computer. If you are looking for software that will backup your entire hard drive, you can read the article below.
Acording to Microsoft, “Microsoft Azure is an ever-expanding set of cloud services to help your organization meet your business challenges. It’s the freedom to build, manage, and deploy applications on a massive, global network using your favorite tools and frameworks.”
Microsoft Azure is our first option that you can use to backup everything. In fact, as Microsoft Azure provides virtualised computing over the internet (IaaS or Infrastructure-as-a-Service), everything you are doing: storage, hosting, compute, networking, is on the cloud and, to a certain extent, already backed up.
That’s not to say you don’t need to make your own backups when using Microsoft Azure. To guard against accidentally deleting everything, the ever-more-popular ransomware, and the corruption of your data, you still need to make backups of your own.
Microsoft Azure is a natural next step if your organisation is already using Microsoft products as it is a fairly seamless transition to go from onsite or server-based computing to cloud computing using Azure.
With IaaS and PaaS capabilities, and a huge range of services and features, Microsoft Azure is probably not for you if you are a one-man show or a small company.
If you need something less complex and far less costly, check out this article for a range of software that will meet your needs.
System Center Data Protection Manager
Data Protection Manager (DPM) is an extremely versatile method of backing up your date. It can be used to backup Windows servers including Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint, virtualization (Microsoft Hyper-V) and file servers.
However, which may be important for readers working alone or in small organisations, DPM can also be used to backup Windows desktops and laptops.
Before deciding that DPM is a good choice for you, it is worth noting that it only runs on Windows Server 2012 or 2016. You also need to decide if you want to use a dedicated physical server or a virtual machine. Both have pros and cons so taking into account your organisation’s needs is important.
Using DPM is not a matter of simply downloading a bit of software, clicking a few buttons, and watching the software do its thing.
You need to make sure that you have the setup prerequisites, make sure everything is compatible, set up an SQL server, and then finally set up DPM. As this is not a simple operation, I recommend you read Microsoft’s own install instructions.
Paragon Backup & Recovery
While all the above have their advantages and disadvantages, when it comes to fully protect your data, there is no easy-to-use option that covers everything you need. If that is what you are looking for, Paragon Backup & Recovery is worth considering. Paragon is not developed by Microsoft but it’s perhaps the best backup tool to use on Windows 10.
Paragon Backup & Recovery will protect your data and PC safe from the mundane, hard drive failures and system errors after program updates, to even more worrying threats such as viruses and ransomware. On top of all that, the tools are available as a free trial!
All you need to do with Paragon Backup & Recovery is download the software, and then follow the instructions. You can backup hard drives, partitions, and folders and files with a few clicks of a button.
But even better, you can backup your entire Windows system, which will allow you to recover everything, even in the event that your OS will not work. There are a couple of extra things you need to do to back up your Windows system, but it is still not difficult to do.
Summing Up Backup Software by Microsoft
In my opinion, for the average user looking to backup folders and files, the first two options are the probably the best. If you are looking for something more, Paragon Backup & Recovery is probably the way to go as it requires no special tech skills or knowledge.
Consider what you need, not what the software necessarily does. There is little point in setting up a system with a hundred different features when all you really want to do is back up your family photos and household bills spreadsheets.
As with all software, what is best for you is entirely subjective. Think about what you can use easily and quickly, with little to no training required, and that is probably the best option for you.
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Editor’s Note: this post was originally published in November 9, 2018 and has been recently updated for freshness and accuracy.