Cobian Backup is a free backup software for Windows system, developed by CobianSoft. It’s a fairly popular backup software that has won some of the awards over the years. The latest version of 11, which was just released lately in beta, offers some nice new features that can be very helpful.
Once installed, it can be run as either Application mode or Service mode. If running in Service mode, a service account needs to be assigned, either Local Service Account or a regular account, either local or domain based. I particularly like the service mode because if I am about to use it primarily on my computer I want it out of my way while still doing the job. And an application running in service mode does that perfectly.
Cobian Backup is a task based backup. Each task performs a particular backup job for certain files and folders based on the schedule set up with the task. A particular priority can be set for each task and the task with higher priority runs first when two or more tasks are scheduled to run the same time.
Each backup job has 3 types, Full, Incremental, Differential, and Dummy as a bonus. The source of backup can be files, folders, FTP, or Manual where you can punch in the network location I believe. And the destination of backup can be a folder, a FTP location, or a manual location on the network.
The backed up data are stored either on the destination location with the same file structure as the source, or compressed. Because of this, the restore process is fairly straightforward. Just simply head over to the backup destination location and move the files from there if not compressed or extract the files from the zipped file if compressed.
You can choose the compression type from Archive section in the task properties, currently offered as Zip compression or 7Zip compression. From the same Archive section, you will also notice the “strong encryption” option there. Yes, one of the nice features in CobianBackup is that you can secure the backed up copy with strong encryption like AES. Once enabled, it encrypts every single file in the backup source list and saves them in the destination.
To restore an encrypted backup, you will need to use 7Zip to open it and punch in the password you used as passphrase in Encryption setup page.
Overall, Cobian Backup is a nice lightweight free backup system that when configured, works quietly and reliably at the back to safeguard your data with a fairly easy-to-use user interface.