Server Backup Software

The 8 Most Popular Free and Open Source Server Backup Software

The 8 Most Popular Free and Open Source Server Backup Software

“Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves,” revealed the World Wide Web ( WWW) inventor, Time Berners-Lee. It is little wonder then that organizations of any size, scale, or scope term data ‘digital oil’. With this categorization comes the necessity to process and store data carefully. The volume of data includes financial, legal, operational, transactional, and personal information. The sheer scale at which companies process, operate on, modify, store, and concurrently access/view this data makes it sensitive. It also offers a competitive advantage. However, data is often a cynosure of several problems - including theft, corruption, technical failure of servers/storage devices, and human error in data handling, hampering the organization on multiple levers. These situations highlight the importance of data backups - the process of archiving or duplicating data to prevent loss in any form, at specific periods. Users can rely on data backups to return to a state without errors in data input or processes, thus enabling seamless organizational functioning.

Data backups are a lifesaver for any organization. Since servers are the first point of access for a connected company, it becomes critical to backup data promptly and efficiently on the servers themselves. It is at this juncture that the promise and value offered by server backup software arises. The ‘Free and Open Source Server  Backup Software’ blog will introduce and explain the need for this digital solution category, expand the features and enumerate the many benefits it brings to organizations looking to minimize the chances of complete data loss. The article will also list the best free and open source server backup software in the market, facilitating a quick purchase for prospective buyers. So, do not waste any more time - delve deeper into the world of server backup software. 

Evolution of Server Backups

The modern and sophisticated data backup, recovery, and management servers can hold different specifications of data effortlessly - some even in hundreds of petabytes. However, this was not always the case. Server backups continue to evolve, but they have their roots in extremely simple. Let us take a closer look at the evolution of server backups below:

Advent of the Server Backup

Need to Future-Proof Data 

Future-proofing is a common practice deployed in the global electronics and communication, construction, industrial, and environmental industries. It relies on the foresight to anticipate changes or modifications to regulations, policies, and rules that affect a resource’s functioning and ensuring these resources are flexible enough to meet necessary changes, thus preventing them from turning obsolete overnight. Future-proofing applies to hard and soft resources, reducing the need for wholesale changes. Also, it helps enhance the functionality of resources in the future, when necessary. With the world’s data landscape changing every day, there comes the point when companies need to plan effectively and futureproof data against external and internal shocks and stresses that may affect its usability.  

Some of the reasons to futureproof data are as follows:

Reasons to futureproof data

What is Server Backup Software?

Server backup software is a suite of digital applications, functions, and tools created to store mission-critical data on servers safely. Server backup tools archive information at regular intervals, preserving data integrity, otherwise impacted by damage or complete loss resulting from artificial, machine-made errors, natural disasters, technical faults, hacking or theft, and other unwarranted events. Server backup tools usually bring forward three different types of data backups: Incremental, differential, or continuous backups based on the company’s needs. Every server backup constitutes a snapshot of the original data set/hard drive at a point in time. 

Cloud server backups also allow users to use bare-metal restore functionality on every bit of system information. Not only the backed-up data is protected through encryption, but users can also compress the information to smaller sizes, preserving space on servers. Over the course of time, server backup software earned its rank among the rank of must-have software in every company.

What is the Use of Server Backup Software?

It also applies to any kind of natural or artificial disaster that will impact data storage. Imagine a situation where a multinational company's operations come to a standstill owing to a technical failure at their data processing server, resulting in the wipeout of trillions of bytes of data - essentially the company’s entire war chest of information - that gave it a distinct, competitive edge. It could be enough to bring the shutter down on the organization, resulting in a loss of billions of dollars, alongside hundreds and thousands of jobs. The above situation arises only if companies do not adequately back up their data. Thus, the most crucial function of server backup software is to prevent or nullify the chances of complete data loss, i.e., the information relied on by companies as part of their core operations. 

Whether SQL server backup or not, server backup software provides multi-mode data backups depending on the company’s objective - incremental, differential, or continuous - instead of pegging companies to a single choice that may not fit their operational necessities. The functionality of cloud server backups or regular server backup software does not just end there. Encrypted data storage minimizes data loss via breaking/hacking, while compression optimizes server storage utilization, preventing the need for frequent investments in increasing storage capacity. All of this leads to operational cost savings. Server backup software also reduces the need for constant human intervention in backing up server data. They help better deploy human capital across other necessary systems, increasing the productivity of staff through automation.    

Impact of Server Backup Software on Business Productivity & Efficiency

Data backups are so significant to everyday global citizens that the international IT community successfully initiated a movement to commemorate March 31st as World Backup Day. The initiative aims to ensure every citizen backs up essential data so that individuals do not have to face the consequence of lost information, especially when more than 1.2 petabytes of global personal data is online held by social media giants alone.

The movement, backed by its website and pledge, has an ethos relevant to corporations worldwide (industrial and digital). The significance of backing up data to prevent operational instability that results in several associated mishaps is evident. Server backup software provides the capability to automate backups periodically or manually based on specific events. In the case of a technical failure or human fault, restoring data becomes very simple without impeding operational capability. It ensures that firms can consistently create customer value without having to fall victim to data disasters. The speed of carrying out data restores matters too. Server backup tools reduce the time taken to completely restore data to a particular point before the incident, as it stores challenging drive content in the form of a snapshot/image. It is a technique that contributes to increased productivity as users now have to wait for just a few instances before resuming revenue-generating activities.

Server backup tools also encourage collaboration between multiple departments on the status of data backups and when best to deploy them. The technique increases cohesion between departments, as multiple personnel now know the status, segment of data, and timeline for data backup and restoration. It has a positive impact on communication and overall business synergy. Thus, it translates to higher work efficiency and employee productivity across the organization. Thanks to automation, data backups require lesser dedicated resources, which can then provide value-based output in other firm departments. It is a phenomenon that gives firms added efficiency in the workforce with better human and technological capital deployment. Faster data backups also translate to lesser decision-making time. This, in turn, promotes greater freedom for action throughout the company. 

Best Features of Server Backup Software

The system critical features that separate the best server backup software from the rest are as follows:

Server Backup Software Features

Key Advantages of Server Backup Software

The significant advantages of server backup software are as follows:

Server Backup Tool Benefits

The Market for Server Backup Software

As more businesses migrate to full-fledged online operations, their dependence on server backup solutions increases exponentially. Their demand for best-in-class features at the right price-point, alongside exceptional customer service, continues to see innovations in server backup software. Many options are available to prospective buyers - free and open source server backup software market,  freemium server backup systems, and premium server backup tools. Let us take a closer look at the free and open source server backup software segment below.

The Best Free and Open Source Server Backup Software

server backup software comparison table

*Free Trial

#1 Duplicati

Duplicati is a free and open source server backup software. The server cloud backup software checks data to ensure conformity and non-corruption and facilitates auto-restart of backups interrupted by network issues. The popular free server backup software integrates with third-party solutions like Backblaze B2, Tardigrade, hubiC, Mega, vital cloud, storage services from Google, Microsoft, and Amazon. Network protocols like FTP, WebDAV also find support. The server backup tool operates on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. The latest iteration is a Beta module, Version 2.0. Duplicati provides a web interface with capabilities to run on NAS (Network Attached Systems) machines too. The server backup tool ensures automatic version updates. It implements Volume copy Shadow Services (VSS)  on Windows and a Logical Volume Management (LVM) on Linux systems.

Demo for Duplicati

Source - Duplicati

The free server backup software features that make Duplicati a must-have choice are: 

  • An AES 256-bit encryption module successfully ensures privacy, with backups also protected by GPG encryption.
  • The Disaster Recovery tool enables users to download backup data, ensure its consistency, create an index of recovered files, and restore them using the same tool, online or from offline source paths. 
  • Compressing backup data is easy and efficient -without data loss - to facilitate storage optimization.
  • Using the Incremental Backup feature, the server backup system only backs up the newest addition to the entire database, in new files at the destination server folder.
  • Set independent timelines and periods/slots for backup using Duplicati’s Manual Scheduling tool.
  • The Deduplication feature removes clone data from the same storage folder as backed-up data.
  • Captures all meta information of backups and restores (Time Stamps, locations, etc.) and ensures only authenticated users can access it. 

#2 UrBackup

UrBackup is a free and open source server backup software. The server backup system uses a combination of image and file-backup restorations, seamlessly operating in the system background to ensure the highest user productivity (consistent backups). The server has a web interface and provides users with a dedicated dashboard to assess backup statistics and other important information. Buyers can also use the software to store backups on USB devices and CDs. UrBackup also facilitates online (internet-based) data restoration and backups. The server backup solution is platform-independent, running on Windows and LINUX alongside NAS-enabled machines. It has the AGPL v3+ certification. The latest UrBackup versions are 2.4.11 (client) and 2.4.13 (Server) on Windows, while other platform download versions differ.     

Demo for URback

Source - UrBackup

The best server backup software features of UrBackup are: 

  • The server backup tool follows an incremental backup pattern where successive backups contain only parts of the new database since the last backup. 
  • Users can schedule backups as necessary (based on periods or specific events) to reduce network utilization.  
  • The server backup solution can remove duplicate backup data in the exact location using deduplication techniques. 
  • Users can now gain detailed insight into backup activities, patterns, and other necessary information through visualized reporting.
  • UrBackup holds crucial metadata regarding the backup. E.g., backup time, location, etc. 
  • Facilitates system recovery and complete data restoration through incremental backups.
  • UrBackup enables users to restore a system to its initial settings and operating systems using bare-metal restore. 
  • The Windows server backup software uses alerts and notifications to inform users of pending backups.  

#3 Bacula

Bacula is a free and open source server backup software. Its latest version is 11.0.5,  and the server backup system promises advanced storage management features with efficient functioning for enterprises. SQL Server backup software facilitates multi-volume database backups and is easy to set up on clients and servers. It manages backup, recovery alongside the verification of data. It relies on SQL database engines for flexibility and provides an entire SQL standard database of backups completed. The server backup solution is easily scalable, and it is possible to backup clients without a client system software using NFS or Samba protocols. Despite having a GUI interface, administrative users can control bacula using the command line interface. The server backup tool consists of a catalog service operator, enabling the easy finding and quick restore of backup files. The catalog services maintain indexes and volume databases of all backups.  

Demo for Bacula
Source - Bacula

The features of Bacula server backup software are as follows:

  • Provides facilities for all three backup techniques -Incremental Backup, Differential Backups & Continuous - depending on business requirements and storage capabilities. 
  • Ability to set time and or event-specific backup schedules through the software
  • Encryption of backup data using standards such as AES-128 bit on the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), alongside symmetric, and asymmetric encryption techniques at the client site 
  • Easily deduplicates all backed-up information in databases across volumes. 
  • Ensures complete system recovery to initial operating system and software through its Bare Metal Recovery function 
  • Bacula uses two different compression techniques LZO and GZIP, to maximum efficiency. 

#4 Zmanda

Zmanda is an open source server backup software offering a free trial. The community edition of the award-winning server backup system operates with a BSD license. The enterprise edition of the software supports hybrid storage - i.e., a mix of offline and online (cloud) data backups. The server backup solution is operating system-independent and supports four different databases to backup data. The cloud server backup solution also integrates with cloud backup solutions such as Amazon, Google & Open Swift storage. Zmanda server backup tool can also store data on magnetic tapes, disks, and CDs.  The server backup solution promises decentralized data recovery, thus reducing the cost of data management. Zmanda also provides a central license management platform to manage multiple licenses distributed across systems across the globe easily. The SQL Server backup software also can perform Real-Time RPO - to minimize the lag between data loss and complete recovery.

demo for Zmada
Source - Zmanda

The ideal server backup software features of Zmanda are: 

  • Facilitates backup scheduling using a dedicated tool to optimize network and storage utilization
  • Secures backed up data using AES-256 bit encryption 
  • Employs the best compression algorithms to ensure heightened space usage efficiency while nullifying data loss 
  • The Incremental backup technique scans the master database and backups only the newest data since the last backup. 
  • Deployment of backup data across virtualization machine (VM backup) storage such as VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V 
  • Differential Backup functionality - which involves cumulative storage of all new data additions since the last backup timestamp - is also available to users. 
  • Users may perform a complete system recovery using one of the backup and restoration techniques mentioned above to its absolute plain state.     

#5 Proxmox

Proxmox is an open source server backup software priced through a subscription model. Rust is the programming language of choice for Proxmox’s creators, with dedicated integrations available for virtualization functions on the platform. The software has the GNU Affero General Public License, v3 (GNU AGPL, v3) and maintains user-based authentication and authorization to access specific data sets. A checksum algorithm (SHA-256) ensures the accuracy and consistency of backed-up data. The server backup tool offers users the ability to perform the granular recovery - a snapshot catalog through which users can view archived files and select recovery objects. A command line and a web user interface facilitate access to the software’s most essential functions. 

Demo for Proxmox

Source - Proxmox

Proxmox’s essential server backup software features are as follows: 

  • Proxmox shows a high compression ratio & speed using the ZSTD algorithm
  • The server backup solution displays the highest data security grade using the AES 256-bit encryption standard Galois/Counter Mode. 
  • Proxmox also follows the Incremental backup technique (backing up only new data since the last backup)
  • The server backup system deduplicates data backups to ensure better storage utilization.
  • Integrations with Proxmox VE platform for seamless VM backup of nodes, especially in remote locations. Easy backup access, monitoring, and restoration maintenance 
  • Users can adjust Backup schedule timelines to offer the best network availability and storage optimization.

#6 EaseUS Todo Backup

EaseUS Todo Backup is a free server backup software based on a trial period. The platform supports both Windows and Mac operating systems, transferring backs to many devices, including magnetic tapes, USB drives, FTP transfers, and NAS-enabled devices. The SQL Server backup software also supports deduplication processes ensuring optimal storage utilization. Email backup facility is available too, with cloud server backup a prominent overall feature of the software. With the EaseUS Todo server backup tool, users can: 

  1. Create a bootable drive on Windows/Linux to restart system efficiency without backup interruptions. 
  2. Migrate an entire system to HDD/SDD and boot system from the HDD/SDD in case of system failure with minimal disruption to system operations.

Demo for EaseUS Todo Backup

Source - EaseUS ToDo Backup

The important server backup software features of EaseUS Todo backup are:

  • Depending on company requirements and policy on backups, users can choose one of three fully automated backups options from Incremental, Differential & Continuous Backups. 
  • The System Restore functions re-initiates the state of the machine to the original OS and application-set  
  • The cloud server backup software Compresses data files with a high ratio to preserve storage space and maintain data accuracy. 
  • Schedules backup depending on network capability and storage ability at different timestamps.
  • Minimizes the chances of business failure during an incident with fast-acting disaster recovery and restores the system to the last actionable data-point
  • VM server backups enable businesses to restore crucial server data on remote, virtual drives, facilitating easy and efficient recovery         

#7 Carbonite 

Carbonite is a free server backup software based on a trial period. It is a hybrid solution, taking into account the capabilities of cloud, on-site, and SaaS server backup solutions. The SQL Server backup software ensures backup provisions for everything from Oracle DB and Microsoft Exchange to more granular datasets such as files, SharePoint, and active directory. The server backup system also implements image-based backups for entire volumes of data. All servers are easy to maintain using a web access GUI client, and the server backup tool provides a safe failover button in the case of disaster or unexpected events.   

Demo for Carbonite

Source - Carbonite

The best Windows server backup software features of Carbonite Backup are as follows: 

  • The server backup software implements the incremental backup technique where only the new data additions to the hard drive (post the last backup) are copied into the backup folder on the server.  
  • The server backup tool encrypts all data with the AES 256-bit encryption standard.
  • It is easy to schedule backups as per company policy to minimize network bandwidth utilization. 
  • In complete system restore, the backup software facilitates the initiation of the base state on the server from previously saved files. 
  • VM Backups are a critical component of the server backup solution, where users can backup data onto virtualized servers in the local or remote systems. 
  • All critical systems are available for quick business relaunch facilitating disasters recovery.
  • Implement industry-standard compression techniques to optimize storage, ensure data consistency, and quickly transfer over cloud systems.   

#8 Altaro VM Backup

Altaro VM Backup is a free server backup software. The windows server backup software relies on best-in-class deduplication techniques to effectively manage backup storage. Altaro uses the Change Block tracking technique in (CBT) regular scans of the original database. The local management console provides users with a Web Interface to help users monitor operations of server backup software on physical storage. Additionally, users can select their target backup locations and how long they wish to retain the backups. 

Demo for Altaro

Source - Altaro VM Backup

The best server backup solution features of Altaro are: 

  • Uses can schedule the exact time for the backup to occur irrespective of the system state to optimize network bandwidth allocation.  
  • The software uses a physical to virtual (P2V) tool, enabling the conversion and storage of data from physical servers in virtual locations and machines.
  • The system employs industry-leading compression techniques to maximum data storage utilization and network transfer bandwidth. 
  • The latest global encryption standards ensure data protection at backup locations. 
  • Easy to execute system restores data easily with the Disk2VHD feature, using the virtual machine, like Hyper-V, as a host. Users can also avail themselves of the Physical2Virtual (P2V) feature, which can back up entire servers on Windows Server OS to a virtual disk. 
  • The server backup tool implements all three techniques - Differential, Incremental & Continuous Backup - and users can choose the best solution dependent on company capability and need   

As listed above, the market for free and open source server backup software is vibrant, with options addressing all users’ concerns. However, solutions such as V2 Cloud, Druva, and Veeam all address significant issues through excellent Windows server backup software and are viable options to prospective buyers. Nakivo is considered one of the most popular solutions in the market. Let us take a  look at the server backup tool below. 

The Popular Software 


Nakivo is a free server backup software based on a free trial. The Windows server backup software provides users with a hybrid solution between cloud-based, offline, and SaaS backups. It relies on Windows VSS to ensure data consistency while conducting backups. The server backup solution lets users replicate backups on storage across locations, preventing total loss even if a backup is lost/corrupted/mishandled. The server cloud backup also performs deduplication, while bandwidth throttling is a standard function to reduce network utilization during backups. A centralized backup console provides users with an overall view of backups across multiple environments. 

Demo for Nakivo
Source - Nakivo

Nakivo is popular due to the following server backup software features: 

  • Nakivo only performs incremental backups to increase the accuracy of data backups.  
  • Who has a replication calendar  dashboard through which you can schedule backup according to time and to reduce network utilization
  • The server backup tool provides users with AES 256-bit encryption.
  • Compression is an integral part of data backup, and the server backup system indeed compresses data with a high ratio to ensure the best storage utilization.   
  • Implements the physical to virtual  (P2V) functionality to backup physical Windows Server OS machines to Hyper-V and VMware Machines
  • The server cloud backup software assures efficient disaster recovery through virtualized and onsite backup restore techniques. 
  • Support system recovery through database snapshots 


The cyber-world rarely stays constant. There are new developments that businesses need to keep a close watch on, especially when it concerns the safety and consistency of data. 2020 set new records regarding data breaches - 1001- with over 155.8 million records left exposed or stolen. Furthermore, the United States ranked highest in a single data breach/theft cost of $8.64 million. In 1998, a research paper highlighted close to 76.2 million enterprise/business computers in the USA. The same study also revealed that close to 6 percent of these crashed that year, resulting in an estimated $11.6 billion loss. In the era of server computing, this loss will total well over $50 Bn. Therefore there is a dual criticality - one to minimize the cost or loss from data theft and breaches on servers, and the other to prevent data crashes on these devices. 

These figures above highlight the growing necessity of backing up data, particularly on servers - and what better solution to deploy that server backup software. The market for Windows server backup software is blossoming too. More businesses realize the criticality in lowered RPOs, storage visualizations, and efficient recovery. As the world moves forward into the digital era, the chances of massive data losses are minimizing with the implementation of large-scale server backup systems. 

If you are using any server backup solution or are familiar with any, please put your comments on our feedback portal. GoodFirms’ Buyer’s Guide for server backup software is a must-read for users looking to turn buyers of server backup systems. Any company looking to expedite its capability with the power of multi-category digital solutions, that address a number of organizational problems, can refer to GoodFirms’ extensive Software Directory.   

Jason Adams
Jason Adams

Jason Adams is a writer with a keen interest to continue learning and develop his research abilities. An avid reader and an eye towards growth, he is associated with GoodFirms, a frontline, and evolving reviews and rating platform.

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