I am looking for a solution that would help me backup data of users that often work outside of office. Our environment is consistent - everyone is using Windows 7 laptops.

What I am expecting from my ideal software:

  • run in tray and remind user to run a backup (when they are in the office / or on fast connection),
  • let me define what to backup (selection list by folder),
  • once a backup is running, let user do his job (that is - run backup process in the background),
  • allow me to selectively choose what to restore (like restore only one file).

It would be nice if it also:

  • support both full and incremental backup as well,
  • communicate with a central unit (so that I as an admin can know which users did not backup their data in a long time).

All other features like encryption, compression, deduplication, pre- and post- backup actions, auto-purge, are not that important in our scenario.

Out of many backup software out there, which one do you think suits best in such scenario?

  • i don't use any of the backup-server, therefor just a comment: BackupPC comes in my mind, maybe also Amanda and/or Bacula is worth a look... Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 19:29
  • Do you want to include cloud backups (that will depend on their connectivity when out-of-office)?
    – user416
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 9:28

2 Answers 2


UrBackup would satisfy all your requirements. For encryption and compression run it e.g. on FreeNAS.

Here is a list of features copied from https://www.urbackup.org/features.html:

  • Full and incremental image and file backups: Whole partitions can be saved as well as single directories
  • Clients for Windows, Linux and Max OS X
  • Fast calculation of file tree differences leads to very fast incremental file backups - only new changed files will be retransmitted
  • Only used and changed hard disk sectors are transmitted during an incremental image backup
  • Image and file backups while the system is running
  • Conistent backups of used files on Windows and Linux. For example Outlook .pst files
  • Same files on different computers are saved only once. Less server storage space is needed for your backups (file level deduplication)
  • Clients can change their settings like backup frequency or number of backups and can take a look at logfiles of their backups
  • Next to no configuration. Install, select the directories you want to backup and watch it backup
  • Client warns if there was no backup for some time
  • Webinterface that shows the status of the clients, current activities and statistics. It allows the administrator to change backup settings and override the settings for the clients. Existing file backups can be browsed, files from these backups can be extracted or restore processes started
  • Reports about backups can be send to users or administrators
  • Secure and efficient backups to your own server via Internet if the client is currently not in your local network
  • File metadata such as last modified time is backed up
  • Easy to use file and image restore (via restore CD/USB stick)
  • Easy to configure and use file backup access

You can find screenshots of it running here: https://www.urbackup.org/impressions.html

  • 1
    We finally decided to use urbackup and after some initial configuration issues we are quite happy with it. Thank you for this recommendation. Commented Jul 1, 2017 at 9:36


I think this is very good software to do this steps.

  • 3
    Please don't just dump a name. Explain why this would be a good solution.
    – user416
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 9:28

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