Ashampoo Backup 2021: free but good enough?
German software publisher Ashampoo released Ashampoo Backup 2021, the free version of its backup application for Windows, recently. Free backup solutions are a dime a dozen on Windows and new releases need to demonstrate that they stand a chance against best of class applications such as Macrium Reflect 8, Paragon Backup & Recovery Free, or Veeam Endpoint Backup.
Ashampoo Backup 2021 is the latest iteration of Ashampoo's free backup offering. It is designed to backup entire partitions on systems it is run on, and cannot be used to backup individual files or folders. You may use it to restore individual files or folders though, next to restoring entire partitions.
The program is available for download on the developer's website. Note that it is only compatible with Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system according to Ashampoo, and that you need an Ashampoo account to use the program. The Help file on the other hand lists options to uninstall the backup software on Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
Does Ashampoo Backup 2021 run on Windows 7 or 8.1? Likely, but we did not test it.
Ashampoo Backup 2021
The program displays just a few options in its interface. These are:
- Back up these drives -- Select the partitions and drives that you want to back up.
- To this folder -- The destination folder for the backup.
- When to backup -- the backup schedule.
- Old backups to keep -- how many old backups you want to keep until the oldest gets deleted.
Ashampoo Backup 2021 supports incremental auto-updates; this makes sure, according to Ashampoo, that backed up files are always recent and never out of date. The feature seems to be tied to the scheduling feature, but it is not explained anywhere.
You may select local or local network folders as the backup target in the application. Once you have made the selections, select Activate Plan to enable the plan. Backups are run automatically if scheduled but you may also run them manually at any time.
Restoration of backups comes with several options. You may browse the backups to restore individual files or folders, restore a drive or partition, or, if backed up earlier, the entire computer. The option to create a rescue disk is provided, to restore backups if the system does not boot properly anymore. Backups can also be verified at any point to check their integrity.
Ashampoo Backup 2021 does not highlight the space that is needed on the target drive to complete the backup during the creation of the backup plan.
Ashampoo Backup 2021 is a basic backup software for Windows that focuses on backups of partitions and drives. It works as intended. I ran it through a series of backup and restoration jobs on a test PC, and it worked just as it should.
The program lacks several options that other free backup programs offer. You cannot use it to backup files or folders, there are no options to password protect backups, change the backup mode, enable automatic integrity checks after backups, or change the backup type, e.g. between incremental and differential.
You may create one backup only using the application. It is probably not that much of a problem since it supports only partition and drive backups, but it is not sufficient for some use cases, e.g. when different backup destinations need to be used.
Last but not least, it is necessary to create an Ashampoo account before you can start using the program. The company's commercial backup version, Ashampoo Backup Pro supports most of the missing features.
All in all, it is a solid program but lacking several features that other free backup solutions do support.
Now You: which backup software do you use?
TeraByte Drive Image Backup and Restore Suite is the best I found and I’m lucky I found it. Fast, Easy, and so reliable I thought it didn’t work because it was reporting a problem when others didn’t. I followed through on what their support recommended and found out I had a bad RAM module. Replaced it and not a problem since.
When products primary function is data collection over the functionality the program is supposed to provide (in this case a cut down set of back up features), then it’s a no go. No file and folder backup is the other show stopper, and in that sense this program is no better or no different than these other dime a dozen free back up programs. This really is the bottom of the barrel in terms of features. It certainly would not encourage me to upgrade to a paid version.
I’m using Macrium Reflect Home 6.3. Only because versions 7 and 8 are substantially more bloated (unwanted features, many more services, bigger system load etc), and are more focused on data collection also. 6.3 has served me well for years and has never let me down.
“Last but not least, it is necessary to create an Ashampoo account before you can start using the program.” This is absolutely a deal killer for me.
For images of the system drive:
I still use the Windows’ inbuilt “Backup and Restore (Windows7)”.
Saving and restoring images worked allways fine for me and never failed. I do not require any advanced recovery options here.
For personal data/files/folders:
I use two apps, for redundancy reasons
– “Personal Backup”, I like its flexibility.
– “AOMEI Backupper Professional”, at the time I decided to use this, to me it felt less bloated and had a smaller footprint than the SW from Acronis and Macrium.
I used to use the Windows system image process, but then M$ announced it was abandoning that functionality, so I went with Macrium Reflect. You may wind up with a Windows update some day that doesn’t have that system image process in it.
2-3 years ago AOMEI was offering a lifetime free version of Backupper Professional, so I downloaded it and keep it updated. I doubt I’ll ever use it, but since it was being offered free of charge, why not take it?
Note to the author of this site: the “Comments” link below each article title, doesn’t work.
I been using ‘Disk Backup’ with AOMEI Backupper Pro for years. Its lightweight and portable.
It backups up my whole hard drive into one image. If anything happen to my PC, I boot into PE and restore. My PC is exactly the way it was when I ran the backup. Also works amazing with dissimilar hardware. I can recover my image to any computer with any hardware. I can even mount the image and recover individual files.
No need for bloated backup programs like Veeam, Todo, and Macrium.
AOMEI Backupper Free for many years. It has never failed me
and saved my butt numerous times.
Same here. Acquired AOMEI Backupper Pro Editon 5.8.0 as a free giveaway a few years ago and it works great. A few times when Windows failed to boot I easily restored the system from the rescue disk and or USB Flash drive. Macrium Reflects rescue boot disk and or flash drive always failed.
I block AOMEI Backupper from having any internet connection as I don’t like the idea of it sending information back to the publisher in China.
In any case, I’ll test Ashampoo Backup 2021 to see if it works with my system.
For incremental file backup to the cloud, Duplicati is a good solution.
Surprisingly, SyncBack hasn’t yet been mentioned. I used the free version for many years, before succumbing to the temptations of the ‘SE’ paid version. Took me a some time to realize its full capabilities, and once in a while I’ve modified the profiles accordingly. I have about 30 ‘Profiles’ allocated to various ‘Groups’, and that deals with the entire system comprised of an NVMe, twin 10TB HDDs, and 6 x USB. There’s nothing left undone – except drive imaging, which is in the capable hands of Macrium Reflect. Security is bliss :)
Ashampoo backup is an infuriating piece of endlessly back-up, verify, re-back-up, re-verify, re-re-back-up…
My advice is to stay well clear of this dreadful rubbish.
I’ve spent many years with Acronis True Image. I had great experiences with that. Saved my butt. a few times,My heart was beating fast, and I probably broke into sweat. In their earlier versions, I had to spend a lot of time understanding TI’s little quirks, hiccups and operating issues until I felt at ease I’ve found 2016 and 2019 were their best years.Now, they’re loaded with useless gimmicks. I’ve recently been using Macrium 8 while using TI as a safety net until I can “Be at one” with this gem! , It has taken a bit of time to understand this, but not in the way I had to work with true image years ago. I’m loving this learning experience at every step. On top of being truly reliable It’s also fast. Incrementals are very fast, and take up about 1/4 of the space V True Image. Restores Breathes confidence with this. I tried Backupper several times over the past year or so. I get errors that I could live with, but this latest version of 2021, she only creates full images no matter how I set it.. Setting differentials or incrementals in every way possible,No Go But right now it’s Macrium 8 straight!. I l tried to give the Backerupper a fair shot,even over time. I gave up on it. I have a real old PC, so maybe it’s that