With all the cloud storage services out there, wouldn’t it be great if there was a program that could backup to all of them? Duplicati just that type of tool.
Duplicati is a free backup utility that can store your data on many of the most popular cloud storage services. As open source software, it works just about any operating system including Windows, Mac, and Linux.
- Backup to S3, Google Drive, SkyDrive, or Rackspace
- Can also backup to SFTP, SSH, WebDAV, Tahoe-LAFS, and local drives
- Encrypted backups
- No Dropbox support
- Didn’t backup locked/open files
The Bottom Line
Duplicati supercharges your backups to the cloud, and is in my opinion one of the best free backup programs out there.
Creating Your First Backup
When you first install Duplicati, it will launch a setup wizard that will guide you through the process of creating your first backup. The basic steps to complete this are:
- Name your backup
- Select files to backup
- Set a password to encrypt the backup (optional)
- Select where to store the backup
- Enter your cloud login information
I liked that Duplicati warns users to write down and save their password – since files cannot be recovered without it.
All backups are incremental by default, which will perform a full backup at first (to get all your files backed up). Each additional backup will only backup the changes since the last backup, which saves cloud storage space (and time). A full backup will be performed once per month, although you can customize this to each day, each week, etc.
My backup wasn’t without problems. Duplicati gave me warnings that it couldn’t process locked/open files, even though it claims to support these types of files.
Aside from these the locked/open files issue, Duplicati performed remarkably well. I was able to backup all my files to Google Drive with ease.
Although the defaults will work fine for most backup jobs, Duplicati includes some fairly advanced settings to customize your backups. The most important is scheduling, to set when and how often your backup will run.
Other advanced settings include:
- When to remove old backups
- Bandwidth and file size limits
- File filters (to exclude files from your backups)
- How many full backups to keep
By default, Duplicati will also backup your current settings and setup files, which I thought was pretty cool.
One feature I really liked was the ability to pause backups. Say you’re downloading a file and you don’t want Duplicati interfering with your bandwidth. You can pause Duplicati for up to an hour, at which point your backups will resume.
It’s not a huge feature, but it’s the small things like this that make Duplicati such a great, free backup program.
Getting all your files backed up to the cloud is great. But what if you need to restore them? Luckily, restoring files in Duplicati is easy.
Duplicati uses the same setup wizard to restore backups that it uses to create them. It’s as simple as selecting the backup you want to restore and choosing a folder to restore the files to. You can also choose to restore entire backups or individual files.
I had no problems restoring my files.
Duplicati is a great, free backup utility. With the ability to backup to some of the most popular cloud storage services, as well as to local hard drives and network locations, it’s a complete (online and offline) backup solution.
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