Cobian Backup - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Cobian Backup

CNET Editors' review

For all the bells and whistles you get with this backup program, we were shocked to find that it's free. Cobian Backup not only looks good, but it proved to be a very reliable and easy to use backup tool.

The user interface is straightforward, and the colorful command buttons are extremely intuitive. Creating a new backup task was easy, despite all of the configuration options. Basically, all we had to do was create a name, decide what files and folders to include, and create a schedule for the backup. We opted to save important files to our USB, which worked perfectly. We were impressed by the file compression and encryption options that aren't found in many paid programs. The Options menu comes with tons of settings for more advanced file compression, password-protecting the user interface, and even changing the interface's appearance. We were able perform random backups with the click of a button, and likewise, we were able to run multiple backup tasks all at once without any problems whatsoever.

Cobian Backup offers multiple help venues, including an index, a tutorial, and support forums. However, even the most novice users will be able to jump in with very little, if no, guidance. We highly recommend this program for all users.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    4.0 stars

    out of 141 votes

    • 5 star: 71
    • 4 star: 33
    • 3 star: 12
    • 2 star: 13
    • 1 star: 12
  • Current version:

    3.3 stars

    out of 10 votes

    • 5 star: 3
    • 4 star: 3
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 2
    • 1 star: 2
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 10

  • 4.0 stars

    "Works with Windows Home Server 2011! WHS"

    January 5, 2014  |   By salazarjohn

    Version: Cobian Backup 11.2.0.582

    Pros

    backs up large 3tb drives which WHS 2011 does not
    very easy to use just add tasks for each backup you want
    allows you to selected the type of backup you want ie: full, differential etc..

    Cons

    none its free what more do you want?

    Summary

    great solution for WHS

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Very Good. One of the best I've found."

    October 24, 2013  |   By xcopy

    Version: Cobian Backup 11.2.0.582

    Pros

    The latest version, 11.2.x, provides full, incremental, and differential backups, and can even use the volume shadow copy so you can backup while your actively working in Outlook, Word, etc.

    In windows 7, it's as easy as selecting the folders you want to back up, pointing the program to the right disk/folder where you want the files stored, and starting the process. You can backup to an different internal drive on a PC, an external, or as I'm told, a NAS drive, though I haven't tried the later myself.

    The program is fast, copying at least 100GB per hour when doing a full backup to an external USB 3.0 drive.

    Cons

    The documentation isn't always clear, and you may have to consult the online forum if you have questions, but I've been able to resolve all questions successfully - so far.

    A caveat I'd offer is that you need to make sure that you - as owner of the original files and destination files/folders - have the security set properly. You must have read/write authority if you want to do incremental backups without the software trying to copy everything again. The documentation is not always clear, and the UI could be modernized, but it's a great program and has never failed me.

    Summary

    For those that want a magic program that knows what to do without being told, I'm not sure where you're going to find that, but Cobian backup is a very solid program that does just what I want a program to do; namely, it creates an exact duplicate of the original file(s) without using a proprietary format, or enforced compression. Of course you can use compression, but I don't.

    The last thing you want to find is that you can't restore from a proprietary backup file, so I like to leave files in the native format even if it takes more space - meaning the exact same amount of space the original file required on your hard drive.

    As to one (or two?) reviewer's comment about it taking up extra space, I'm not sure what he/she (or they did) but I don't believe they understand what's happening, how to use the program, or manage backups. A real backup will ADD files; if you move file A from location 1 to location 2, it won't delete the file in location 1, but it will add it in location 2. Moving or adding files will increase the size of the backup folder over time.

    If you simply modify file A and leave it in the same location, you can have the software over write the file if you choose. There are lots of possibilities, and you should understand what you're doing if you want the security of a real backup.

    To get you started, here's a very basic incremental backup strategy that COPIES files. I'm not saying this is the best way, and it does take some work, but if your files are valuable, I would suggest you work out a some kind of strategy that suits you.

    1) create a backup folder (e.g., on an external drive)with a name of your choosing. Call it MyBackup, or something you'll easily recognize. However, before doing a backup, check the properties/security of the new folder and make sure you have ownership/read/write capabilities.

    2)Create a baseline - Select all the folders on your PC that you want to backup, point Cobian to your new backup folder on the external drive, and do either an incremental* or full backup. I've started with a full backup, but I think incremental might be a better way to go and eliminate possible redundant copying.

    3) perform incremental backups (daily/weekly) the frequency is your choice, but you must do this regularly, and the more frequently you do it, the better your recovery options are and the faster the backup will go. With regular incremental backups, Cobian can/does sift through hundreds of GBs of data quickly, and will copy just the new/modified files extremely quickly. It is fast..

    NOTE: the size of the baseline backup folder will grow as you add new things. You would have to physically delete files from this folder if you no longer want them, but then it wouldn't be a real "backup", would it?


    4) Optional. Assuming you've done incremental backups - as opposed to differential, if/when your baseline has grown too large, you can manage it. You can start over with a new baseline and delete the old one(assuming there's nothing there you might want), or to be a little safer, you could create a new baseline, and then use a compare/duplicate file finder to remove dupes and identify the files that are different. This adds more work, but you can safely assume you won't lose anything.

    The software is not really confusing, hard to use, and works flawlessly on a Windows 7 PC. A little understanding can go a long way toward creating a backup strategy and protecting your data.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Runs out of space"

    October 12, 2013  |   By SINBAD

    Version: Cobian Backup 11.2.0.582

    Pros

    easier to use than most others

    Cons

    You need many external hard drives as this software runs out of space on external. I now have 3 external to back up my 500gb laptop. I have approximately 300 gb of my photos and a 1TB (latest one) of space. Been using Cobian since Jan 2013 and ran out of space on it July 2013.

    Summary

    Costly way to backup. How many external hard drives can you afford to keep buying? I did a full backup in Jan 2013 and since then just differential backups but ran out of space after using for 7 months. I started using this as I needed a place to move my photos from my laptop as it was completely filled. Did the full backup before I deleted my photos and just differential since then. This is 2nd harddrive I have used to backup my laptop and hopefully nothing happens as I have no idea on what I am doing or how to restore if I ever have to. There is no support that I have found for Cobian so you are at their mercy and just hope it will do the job. No instructions or tutorials that help either.
    Wish I could find another backup that would be easy to use for when i get another external.
    If they only had support that would tell you exactly how to use this and explain in easy to read English for newbies.
    One of their links for support is in a foreign language, so what good is that?

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Difficult to use"

    August 22, 2013  |   By 914ian914

    Version: Cobian Backup 11.2.0.582

    Pros

    Has many features.

    Cons

    It wasn't immediately obvious how to use the program. There are many options and parts of the interface that were difficult to understand because they weren't clearly explained in the tutorial or the documentation.
    When I ran my backup, it ran out of space because for some reason the size of the backup is 1.4 times larger than the size of my hard drive, even though I unchecked the options for symbolic links. I Googled this and found no solution.
    It comes with a "Deleter" for which I could not determine a purpose other than it deletes files.

    Summary

    I wouldn't recommend this program to anyone who doesn't already understand the jargon associated with backup software. I would also mention that it may have a serious bug that causes backups to take up more space than they should.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Hands Down the Best Free Backup Software."

    July 16, 2013  |   By Musicman50usa

    Version: Cobian Backup 11.2.0.582

    Pros

    Easy to use Interface, No Manual needed.
    I noticed 2 people gave it poor reviews they said it didn't work, and the interface was confusing. All I can say is some people have zero computer skills. This software is the best free backup I have seen to date. Hands Down the Best !

    Cons

    I can find no Cons on this software, I'm very impressed

    Summary

    Just download it, you won't be sorry. Works Great !

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Didn't work, confusing interface"

    July 8, 2013  |   By digitalsmile

    Version: Cobian Backup 11.2.0.582

    Pros

    Since it didn't work - None!

    Cons

    It didn't work, would not backup my laptop drives to a Linkstation NAS.
    Very confusing interface, installation full of traps.
    A big time waster.

    Summary

    After 6 hours of time wasted doing research and trying different installs in was time for the final Uninstall.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Confusion..."

    March 15, 2013  |   By nirvanasilly

    Version: Cobian Backup 11.2.0.582

    Pros

    none at this moment....

    Cons

    Tried to download, download log says it doesnt like my user name or password, no info as to why, tried a new one with same response. Tried opening program that was installed on my computer and it says it running but no screen opens so i can use it... Not very easy to use in my opinion.... Think i will uninstall if no answers to these issues are gotten. Cant find a help file either....

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Exactly what I needed"

    February 24, 2013  |   By happy17307

    Version: Cobian Backup 11.2.0.582

    Pros

    Provides ability to back up one external drive to another. Easy to use, and fast. Great tutorial provided

    Cons

    This is not really a con, but some may think it is...first Back up of a 2 TB hard drive can be slow, but that should be expected when it's a full back up. Differential backups are very fast once full back up has been completed. No "cons" found so far.

    Summary

    I needed a program where I could back up some of my external hard drives, and this program came highly recommended. I was not steered wrong. It was easy to download, install, and use. I have scheduled several backups for several hard drives and have had no problems yet. I, too, recommend this program.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Something that works"

    February 21, 2013  |   By PastorC

    Version: Cobian Backup 11.2.0.582

    Pros

    Easy to install and setup. It does what I tell it and it's free.

    Cons

    Haven't found anything that I would consider a con.

    Summary

    I had used a couple of other programs which resulted in me losing data or not getting my files backed up. I can find the latest backup with not problem.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "For me this exactly what I wanted."

    January 7, 2013  |   By markjenk

    Version: Cobian Backup 11.2.0.582

    Pros

    Finally a backup program that will just copy the directories I tell it to copy and not try to tell me what to do.

    Cons

    The interface is straight forward but you have to know what you are doing and you have to know about backups. For me this is not a problem as I work in IT and have worked with backups for years but for the normal home user this could be difficult to use.

    Summary

    I tried a couple of others including a piece of junk that came with my new external drive from Toshiba. Too many of the programs want to tell you what to do not let you tell it. This one isn't like that. Other programs I have tried really try to push the schedule on you but not Cobian. I use the built-in backup in Windows 7 for my daily scheduled backups and it works fine for that but I needed something to make manual backups on the external drive I keep in the firebox.

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Results 1-10 of 10

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