Comparison of PC Backup Software for Small Businesses
October 12, 2020

Comparison of PC Backup Software for Small Businesses

In this post I'd like to share my research & experience ensuring that my clients have a proper backup strategy in place.

Read my dedicated post on Backing up a Headless Ubuntu Web Server (to Cloud & QNAP NAS) if you're a web dev without a plan B!

If you're in a hurry, just check out my top pics, which are:

Macrium Reflect for backing up PC-s

The free edition is fine but I recommend forking over a few bucks and upgrading to paid. It's a perpetual license and in this day of corporate greed lead by Adobe we should appreciate companies that still offer perpetually licensed products. I personally got the workstation edition which comes with a free! central management console. I've also deployed it at all of my clients where we are backing up dozens of computers and it works mostly great. Well, there are issues sometime but nothing's perfect.

Duplicati for backing up Linux boxes to Cloud (or most other destinations)

Read my other post where I detail all the software I checked out! It's free and it's absolutely fantastic! It comes with a web-based UI, it's super fast, the recovery process is painless, and it has a lot of options such as email notifications/http ping/pre- post-exec scripts and so on.

Backblaze as your cloud backup destination

because it's cheap, the pricing is simple & transparent, and it's easy to use.

QNAP NAS for backing up locally on your LAN

but why stop there, set up some VM-s on it and have a home server, upgrade your home lab to 2,5 gigabit (they have 5 gigabit as well but trust me it just doesn't work...we're just not there yet). QNAP also comes with some free backup software you could to back up your PC-s doesn't compare to Macrium. Their Sync software is not bad however.

GoodSync, Syncovery, or FreeFileSync for manual, scheduled, or quasi-continuout syncing of files

across laptops, or between your home NAS and your laptops. These programs can sync files on a schedule or watch your filesystem for changes and sync on-the-fly.

Syncthing or Resilio Sync for continuous sync

much like google "Backup and Sync" except between your own devices. These work differently than the aforementioned manual and scheduled sync programs and are built on fundamentally different algorithms.

Some other tools that I've tried...

(but did not end up using):




CloudBerry Backup


And even more tools that looked good

but I didn't try:

SpiderOak One



Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows FREE

Some Background

My main business is software development, however as an "added bonus" we also provide basic services for our clients (which are small businesses). So, I am not an MSP with hundreds of clients & matching experience. Still, in this post I'd like to share my research & experience ensuring that my clients have a proper backup strategy in place. Of course, haters will argue that a business should pay a "proper" MSP to handle IT infrastructure and I won't argue with that. But small businesses can't always afford such top-tier services...and MSP-s often don't even wish to deal with clients where there are only a few machines. In any case, I'm not trying to give anyone advice, but perhaps writing this post will help someone else in a similar situation.

If you speak Hungarian, I also have a more general overview post about backup strategies here: Tudatosan a biztonsági mentésről

Also, please read The 3-2-1 Backup Strategy if you are unfamiliar with the term.

My other posts in this topic:

Why not just Google Drive/OneDrive/DropBox?

I will quote from an email I wrote:

With regards to online services, again we have to differentiate between cloud storage and online backup. Cloud storage is like Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive or DropBox business. Online backup is if you actually create a backup of the machine itself.

Really we should consider what risks we are aiming to mitigate.

Ransomware viruses are a pain because they encrypt all files on the machine, and any files on the network that the machine has access to. Google drive isn't a good solution to this because the computer will synchronize the encrypted files to google drive, thus overwriting the originals there. You can see "previous versions" of files with google drive but it becomes very cumbersome to manually sort through all files and see what was encrypted and what wasn't.

DropBox for Business seems to be a better option because they have some features specifically for this, called "DropBox Rewind". You can read about it here, the faq here, and a how-to here. So if we are considering using cloud storage to mitigate a possible ransomware attack, then DropBox seems to be a good solution. The cost is $15/user/month for DropBox Business Advanced. This plan includes the rewind feature as well as the ability to sign in as another user, so you could get access to the files of any of your employees if you wanted.

So, cloud storage is a great strategy for sharing files & having some level of protection against ransomware. But it has its limitations, and data loss often occurs due to a human error, or even thanks to a disgruntled employee.

A diary of software I tried or just considered...

IDrive (SAAS) 👎

IDrive: it seemed like a great solution at first. Very attractive pricing & the software has a good balance of features and ease of use. Right now it's $52 for 5TB for the first year for unlimited computers! There are lots of good reviews out there, but I suspect many of these are paid. I also read many negative reviews where customers complain about being charged extra for using "extra" space. So, basically, they offer great deals on storage, and then when your backup fills up, instead of deleting old backups (or doing some version of incrementals forever), they start charging you extra. Also, the offers are for the first year only! Now I'm sure IDrive works great for many customers but tactics like this really put me off so I continued my search.


VEEAM is more geared towards enterprise customers but the have several free backup solutions, as well as an affordable package for SMB-s.

Here's an excellent comparison of VEEAM and Macrium: Macrium Free vs Veeam Agent Free Review

To be continued...

Comparison of PC Backup Software for Small Businesses
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