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The differential backup contains all files that have changed since the last FULL backup. The advantage of a differential backup is that it shortens restore time compared to a full backup or an incremental backup. However, if you perform the differential backup too many times, the size of the differential backup might grow to be larger than the baseline full backup.
There is a significant, but sometimes confusing, distinction between differential backup and incremental backup. Whereas incremental backs up all the files modified since the last full backup, differential or incremental backup, differential backup offers a middle ground by backing up all the files that have changed since the last full backup.
That is where it gets its name: it backs up everything that's different from the last full backup.
In the image below you can see an example of how a differential backup would look like for a backup job that runs four times:
Restoring a differential backup is a faster process than restoring an incremental backup because only two backup container files are needed: the latest full backup and the latest differential.
Backup4all uses the information it has recorded in its catalog file (.bkc) to determine whether each file has changed since the last full backup.
Use differential backup if you have a reasonable amount of time to perform backups. The upside is that only two backup container files are needed to perform a complete restore. The downside is if you run multiple differential backups after your full backup, you're probably including some files in each differential backup that were already included in earlier differential backups but haven't been recently modified.
Backing-up is a crucial process that everyone should do in order to have a fail-safe, for when the inevitable happens. The principle is to make copies of particular data in order to use those copies for restoring the information if a failure occurs (a data loss event due to deletion, corruption, theft, viruses, etc.)
Incremental backup stores all files changed since the last FULL, DIFFERENTIAL OR INCREMENTAL backup. The advantage of an incremental backup is that it takes the least time to finish. The disadvantage is that during a restore operation, each increment is processed and this could result in a lengthy restore job.
This article shows how to create a differential backup of the given sources to a specified destination using Backup4all. The current method can be extended to other sources and destinations supported by Backup4all.
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.
The Backup list is the section visible in the middle column of the main window. It contains all the backup jobs defined that can be grouped into tags for easy handling. You can drag and drop backups in the list to re-order them.