Cobian Backup is popular free backup software that has been around for years. Despite being 13 years old, it continues to evolve and change with the times. In this review I’ll take a look at the latest version, Cobian Backup 11 (Gravity).
- Free for personal or commercial use
- Easily backs up files and folders
- Many options to customize
- Remote management capabilities
- VSS problems in Windows 8
- No built-in restore
The Bottom Line
Cobian Backup is free, has a ton of features, and is just plain awesome.
Installation and Setup
The installation was a bit complicated. I confusingly had to choose whether to start Cobian Backup as an application or a service, and if a service then whether to use a regular account or a system account.
Regardless, I chose to start it as an application. The installation gave me an error that the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) couldn’t be started. I imagine this is due to Windows 8 not being a supported OS. Oh well, I just won’t backup open files.
Creating a new backup task is fairly easy. You can specify things such as:
- A name for the task
- Backup type (full, incremental, etc.)
- CPU priority
- Pre/post commands
- and more…
You can backup files, directories, and files on a FTP server. Possible destinations are the same: either a local directory or FTP server.
My backups completed without any issues.
Restoring files in Cobian Backup is done by navigating to the backup destination, and copying/pasting files you wish to restore.
If the files are compressed or encrypted, you can use the built-in decompressor tool or decryptor tool to extract them in bulk.
Unfortunately, this manual restore process can get a bit messy, especially if you have many incremental folders you have to dig through. Consider that your files might be scattered among multiple folders.
Cobian Backup has a lot of options to customize. It can email you log files. You can limit the speed of FTP transfers, choose .zip or .7z compression, and remotely manage your application (or even multiple applications).
Cobian Backup has a forum where users can ask questions. It is fairly active at the time of this review.
What I Liked
I liked how many options there were to customize. Everything about your backup task can be suited to your needs.
All the options are easy to understand and well explained with tooltips; just hover over anything for a more detailed explanation.
What I Didn’t Like
Windows 8 support sucks. Also, the installation is way too complicated for the average user. A built-in restore feature would be nice, too.
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