The need for continuous data backup software – otherwise known as continuous data protection or CDP software – has until recently been only a question for systems administrators. As we move into an era of larger hard drives with vast media libraries, games and important documents, it is time to start asking about your own backup needs.
Why you need a stand-alone continuous data protection or CDP backup software is a question you might be asking. Many software brands provide some form of continuous data protection as part of their backup software or service along with a suite of other tools. The answer is simple: continuous data protection is not always continuous.
Continuous data protection is achieved by backup software that backs up your data every time new information is saved. More common is near-continuous backup software that takes periodic system snapshots to create restore points. The difference between the two is that while the former allows you to restore any file to any particular point in time, the latter only has restore points relative to its set intervals. This could be the difference of losing an hour's worth of work or just the last 20 minutes'.
There is a lot to learn about CDP. For more information you can read our articles on continuous data protection. You can also check out what each type of backup has to offer. Be sure to read our top three picks – Acronis True Image, Backup Now and Memeo Premium Backup – to see why we thought they were better than the rest.
Near-continuous and continuous data protection software both provide an invaluable service, and the best one for you will depend on your need. Both should run in the background without causing significant changes in your computer’s performance, but they restore your data in different ways.
How your data is backed up is almost as important as your ability to recover it. Time is of the essence in a recovery operation, so you need software that is fast and reliable. Knowing the difference between continuous and near-continuous is important as is the difference between file-level, block-level and hot backups.
Being able to perform a full system restore that includes your data is the point behind backup software, and how recent and complete your data recovery can be is paramount. Near-continuous software will provide you with restore points, but continuous software provides you with the most recent save and several versions of the same document.
Backup, storage and recovery are never easy decisions. Few of us have patience for backup software during write operations, especially when they affect our system’s performance. Combine write functions with file encryption and compression, and the task could become problematic for your computer. It's important that your software give you the option to throttle its performance instead of taking up all your processing power at once.
Help & Support
If you have questions about installation or any of the data backup system steps, it is vital that you seek help from the manufacturer. To guarantee that all your data is safe in case of an emergency, the backup must be performed correctly. This is why we tested all the customer-service features offered by the manufacturer.
Continuous data backup software might just be the software that you never knew you needed. It’s made to work quietly in the background while keeping your most recent changes available to be restored.