By Delia / Last Updated October 19, 2020

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What is Continuous Backup?

Continuous backup, also known as continuous data protection (CDP), is an advanced backup scheme in which the computer data will be saved automatically once there's a change made to them.

CDP is a time-honored concept which has long been adopted by some data backup software, and still in use today. It has some obvious advantages compared to traditional data backup solution:

◆ The backup is performed automatically, you don’t need to set up a manual backup every time, nor worry about data loss.

◆ Every copy of the changes is guaranteed to be captured, thus you can keep the backup up-to-date and accurately restore any of the versions.

In the following article I’ll introduce how to perform continuous backup in Windows 10/8/7.

Continuous Backup

How to Implement Continuous Data Protection in Windows?

When you search for this term on Google, most of the results are probably continuous backup software. Does this mean that continuous data protection cannot be implemented with Windows built-in utilities?

Well, given the existing backup methods of Windows 10/8/7, there are options to set up a schedule for automatic backup, but that’s a little different from true continuous backup.

Continuous data protection doesn’t need a schedule. Instead, it will auto detect the data changes and start the backup operation immediately. That’s why it’s also considered as real-time backup.

But if you are fine with an automatic backup based on time schedule, here are the approaches in Windows 10/8/7.

  • In Windows File History:

It applies to Windows 8/8.1/10 for automatic files backup.

Backup Options

1. You can find it in Start > Settings > Update & Security > Backup, or directly search for File History in the search box.
2. Connect an external hard drive > Click Add a drive to select it > Click More options to choose the frequency (from hourly to daily).

  • In Windows Backup and Restore:

It applies to Windows 7/8/10 for folders & libraries or system image backup, but you can only set up a schedule for folders & libraries.

Change Schedule

1. Search for it to enter Backup window > click Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7)
2. Click Set up backup > follow the wizard and click Change schedule in Review your backup settings page > Choose from Daily/Weekly/Monthly.

You can find detailed tutorial with screenshots in this Windows 10 backup options guide.

Best Continuous Backup Software for Windows Continuous Protection

To set up schedule backup more flexibly or adopt true continuous data protection for your Windows computer, an effective continuous backup software is still necessary. AOMEI Backupper, for example, is a complete backup & restore software that can satisfy your needs perfectly.

  • It supports all Windows OS including Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista.

  • It enables you to auto backup files, partitions, system or even the disk on schedule.

  • It provides Real-Time Sync feature to continuous backup changed files in real-time.

  • In addition, there are Clone features and some practical Tools to manage your system and data.

To adopt continuous data protection on your computer, you can download AOMEI Backupper Professional to sync changed files from the source to the destination in real-time, or auto backup Windows system on a schedule.

★ How to continuous backup files in Windows:

1. Install and launch the software, navigate to Sync tab, you can find several options here. Choose Real-Time Sync for continuous backup.

Realtime Sync

2. Click Add folder to specify the data you want to sync, you can click the + button to add multiple folders.

● For network folders, you can click Share/NAS button to add network location.
● Optionally, you can click on the funnel button to include or exclude files with specific formats in Filter settings.

Add Folders

3. Select a destination directory. In addition to local disk, you can also sync to network, external hard drive, USB, etc.

● To backup changed files to removable devices in real time, you need to keep the corresponding device always connected.

Add Destination

4. Click Start Sync and wait for the process to complete.

That’s it, your files are now under the continuous data protection. Once there are changes detected in the source directory, they will be synchronized to the target directory in real time.

★ How to automatically backup operating system:

The real time sync can only be performed on files and folders, if you want to put your operating system or even the whole disk under automatic protection, you need to set up a schedule to auto backup them. Here take Windows OS as an example.

1. Go to Backup tab, choose System Backup.

System Backup

2. Choose a destination while the system partitions are automatically selected as source.

Select Backup Destination

3. Click Schedule to set up the automatic backup. You can choose Daily/Weekly/Monthly/Event triggers/USB plug in.

● There’s also a Scheme option to save your storage space by auto deleting older backups.

Schedule Settings General

4. Click Start Backup and wait for the progress to end.

Tips: if you don’t insist on real-time, and are satisfied with the schedule backup, you could consider using the free version AOMEI Backupper Standard. It allows you to perform scheduled system backup as well, but doesn’t support Scheme feature, or Event triggers/USB plug in Shedule options.

◆ What’s the difference between Sync and Backup?
They are both effective data protection solutions. But a backup is an image of the source data that can’t be used directly, while sync will create an exact copy of the files with original format. You could make the decision according to your specific purpose.

◆ Mirror Sync and Two-Way Sync
There are two more advanced sync modes in Professional edition.
Mirror Sync will keep the target directory exactly the same as the source directory. For example, if you accidently add a file to the target directory, Real-Time Sync will do nothing about it, while Mirror Sync will delete it at the next sync. Also, you need to set up a schedule for it to run automatically.
Two-Way Sync, as the name suggests, it will sync any changes in the source or target directory to the other side. To auto run it, you need to create a schedule as well.

Conclusion

Continuous backup will automatically save your data when any changes are made to them. In Windows 10/8/7, there’s none of the built-in utilities can actually provide continuous data protection, so you need an effective continuous backup software for this purpose.

Among a variety of Windows backup software on the market, AOMEI Backupper is a good choice with its complete and powerful features. Using it, you can perform scheduled backup or real-time sync to continuously protect your important data. What’s more, there are also clone features allowing you to migrate OS to another hard drive. Even if you are Windows Server user, you can make use of the Server edition.