Full backup

Full backup is the starting point for all other backups and contains all the data in the folders and files that are selected to be backed up. Because the full backup stores all files and folders, frequent full backups result in faster and simpler restore operations. Remember that when you choose other backup types, restore jobs may take longer.

It would be ideal to make full backups all the time, because they are the most comprehensive and are self-contained. However, the amount of time it takes to run full backups often prevents us from using this backup type. Full backups are often restricted to a weekly or monthly schedule, although the increasing speed and capacity of backup media is making overnight full backups a more realistic proposition.

Full backups offer the best solution in data protection and given that you can schedule a backup to run automatically, it requires little intervention compared to the benefits. A single full backup provides the ability to completely restore all backed-up files and folders, as exemplified in the image below:

    • full backup

However, you should be aware of a significant security issue: each full backup contains an entire copy of the data. If the backup media were to be illegally accessed, stolen or lost, the entire copy of your data could be in the hands of unauthorized persons. This is why when deciding to use a backup program to make full backups, make sure it supports encryption to protect the backed-up data.

Advantages:

  1. Restore is the fastest
  2. The entire backed-up data is stored in a single file (better storage management)

Disadvantages:

  1. Backing up is the slowest compared to other backup types
  2. The storage space requirements are the highest (compared to incremental backup or differential backup). Considering how cheap storage devices are now, this is a low impact disadvantage.

As a recommendation, even if full backup offers the most protection, it's good to have a backup strategy in place where full backups are performed weekly, and faster backup types (such as incremental) are executed daily. You can watch a video that presents a complex but optimal backup strategy here: Scheduled backups combined with cleanup operations.


Backup4all supports the full backup type and offers a solution for the storage space requirement and security issues. You can use the "Limit number of stored backups" option to reduce the backup size. Regarding security, since the output of a full backup is a single container file created with zip compression, you can use AES encryption to protect the stored data. To download Backup4all and start creating full backups of your data, use the link below:

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