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Backup Types


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Mar 22, 2022
Backup4all 9.x
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Backup4all implements the fundamental backup types: Smart, Full, Differential, Incremental, and Mirror. With the exception of the Mirror type, the first time any job is executed, it will run as a Full Backup, irrespective of the job's type. Below you can find an overview of all backup types.

Smart Backup
Smart backup is the default backup type. When executed, Backup4all will decide which backup type should be performed: full, differential or incremental. It will also decide whether to merge or delete older backup versions, all in order to efficiently use the destination free space and accommodate other user options. It will try to keep as many backup versions as possible in the available destination space.

Full Backup
The Full Backup creates an archive out of all the folders and files that were selected to be backed up. Because the Full Backup stores all files and folders, backing up frequently will allow faster and simpler restore operations. When you choose other backup types, restore jobs may take longer.

Differential Backup
A Differential Backup contains all the files that have been added or changed since the last Full Backup. The advantage of the Differential Backup is that it has a shorter backup time. However, if you perform the differential backup too many times, eventually the size of a backup archive might grow to be larger than the reference Full Backup archive.

Incremental Backup
An Incremental Backup stores all the files that have been added or changed since the last full, differential or incremental backup. Since this method doesn't back up the same exact files multiple times, an Incremental Backup takes the least time to complete. However, during a restore operation, each Incremental Backup must be processed, which could result in a lengthy restore job.

Mirror Backup
A Mirror Backup is identical to a Full Backup, with the exception that the files are not compressed into a single zip file. A Mirror Backup is most frequently used to create an exact copy of the backup data. It has the benefit that the backup files can be readily accessed using tools like File Explorer. Using the Mirror Backup type, you can also choose to archive each individual file, preserving the folder structure, which also allows you to use the zip compression and encryption features.
Using the mirror backup type, you can also choose to zip each file individually, preserving the folder structure. This allows you to use the zip compression and encryption features.

Block backup
You can use block backup option to copy only the modified parts of the source files. This is useful for large files (such as.PST or database files), as only the modified part of the file will be backed up instead of the entire file. You can use an automatic block size or you can set the block size manually. You also have a checkbox to use block backup only for files larger than a given size.
Note: The block backup option must be enabled from the first backup execution, otherwise you won't be able to use it on that backup job. If you already have a backup job and want to use block backup, you'll have to create a new backup job.

Save storage space
In Backup4all you have two options for saving storage space. To reduce the overall backup size, you can either limit the number of file versions to be stored or limit the number of backups. When you limit the number of backups, you can also opt to Merge backups in order to avoid exceeding the set limit. These options can only be used for Full, Differential, and Incremental backup types.
Backup4all stores a summary snapshot of the file information into a backup catalog file (".bkc") each time a backup is executed. For every file backed up, the snapshot contains the file name, size and attributes as well as the date and time of creation, latest modification and latest access.
Legacy backup applications inspect each file's archive flag to identify which files have been changed. Backup4all will not interfere with any other backup software, because it does not need to read or change the archive flags, instead it uses the catalog file to decide which files have to be backed up and which do not.