The number of ransomware attacks is growing at an alarming rate. And so is the cost to businesses. The estimated cost of the Wannacry ransomware that hit between 200,000 and 300,000 computers in 150 countries in May this year is estimated to climb past $5 billion. That is an incredible amount of damage from just one attack.
The damage from ransomware attacks can take the form of data theft, corrupted files, and extended downtime while systems are cleaned and secured. But the damage can also extend to costs that cannot be easily quantified in financial terms, like dampened consumer confidence. And don’t think that it’s only the large pharmaceuticals and banks that are a target. Everyone is at risk.
Needless to say, the damage from a ransomware attack like Wannacry for smaller, not very well resourced businesses can be catastrophic. That your entire computer systems must be securely backed up is, thus, absolutely important. The Paragon Backup & Recovery 16 Free is designed as just the solution for your backup needs.
This tool isn’t revolutionary, which isn’t surprising for this free version. But it will do a decent job backing up your files and folders. Once downloaded, a wizard will prompt you to choose the drive or files you would like to backup. You will have a choice to save your files to a local destination, another computer on the network, or an external storage device.
The one major drag with the Paragon Backup & Recovery 16 Free is its inability to backup your files to the cloud. It also seems to be a downgrade on its 2014 edition, which gave options for assigning passwords to your backup files and allowed users to set up burn options for CD, DVD, and Blu-ray disc.
The tool, however, comes with a convenient scheduler that allows your backup to run almost on autopilot – when you log on or startup your computer. You can also set it to run the backup sequence every week, fortnight, or monthly. Another welcome feature is the File Transfer Module that enables you to migrate files from another location on the same network to your computer.
Perhaps the one feature that will nudge you towards the commercial version of the tool is the differential backup. You won’t find that feature with the free version. With this functionality, you won’t have to backup files that you have already backed up. Ideally, only new and files updated since the last backup should be backed up. Otherwise, the backup will take longer every time you back up.
To restore your files all you will need is to reload your old drive or file folders with your backup file. If for some reason you can’t access these, the tool will create a recovery disc that you can use to boot your computer and restore your old files.
If some of the features you need while backing-up or recovering are locked, you can always buy the product for a “full-throttle experience”. The paid version costs $39.95 and it comes with a permanent license. You can download the free version or buy it from Paragon’s official website.
2018 Update: Paragon Backup&Recovery 16 was replaced with Backup&Recovery Advanced. This is a better backup utility from Paragon and it comes at a better price than the previous with a bunch of new features. It also comes at a better price: $29.95, what means $10 cheaper than Paragon Backup&Recovery 16. It also has a free version that you can download from the official website and test it on your PC.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2017 and has been since revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.