Top Small Business Backup Options

2 min read · 9 years ago


Everywhere you go there’s talk about the cloud…and for good reason. The hype has even drawn in the Department of Defense. But for those who still unsure of the security and reliability know that the cloud is not the only way to backup data. Granted, in the event of another Sandy, and with proper internet, it might be the best way to retrieve data.

But it’s not the only way.

So in this post I wanted to outline all the small business backup options available to the small business owner who’s not ready for the cloud.



But before we get “there” let’s back up a little 🙂

There are three basic types of backup:

  1. Full
  2. Differential
  3. Incremental


Full Backups

Full Backups allow you to make a copy of all the data files on your computer in one fell swoop. They’re for the average home computer user and should be performed weekly.

Sometimes a full backup is done after a major change, such as an operating system upgrade or software install. The long intervals between backups mean that if something goes wrong, a lot of data is going to be lost. This makes full backups a precarious small business backup option. 

Advantages of Full Backup

  • All files from the selected drives and folders are backed up to one backup set.
  • In the event you need to restore files, they are easily restored from the single backup set.

Disadvantages of Full Backup

  • A full backup is more time consuming than other backup options.
  • Full backups require more disk, tape, or network drive space.

The other two: differential and incremental, are typically done several times a week (if not daily) for maximum protection against data-loss.


Differential Backups

Differential Backups back up only the files that changed since the last full small business backup.

Advantages of Differential Backup

  • Differential backups require even less disk, tape, or network drive space than incremental backups.
  • Backup time is faster than full or incremental backups.

Disadvantages of Differential Backup

  • Restoring all your files may take considerably longer since you may have to restore both the last differential and full backup.
  • Restoring an individual file may take longer since you have to locate the file on either the differential or full backup.


Incremental backups

Incremental backups also back up only the changed data, but they only back up the data that has changed since the last small business backup — be it a full or incremental backup.

Advantages of Incremental Backup

  • Backup time is faster than full backups.
  • Incremental backups require less disk, tape, or network drive space.
  • You can keep several versions of the same files on different backup sets.

Disadvantages of Incremental Backup

  • In order to restore all the files, you must have all of the incremental backups available.
  • It may take longer to restore a specific file since you must search more than one backup set to find the latest version of a file.

Now you can get to impress your IT person or company with your new found knowledge!

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