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Backup to most cloud services with Duplicati

While cloud storage may have taken off in a big way, most backup tools are yet to catch up: if you can save your target files to anything more than an FTP server then you’re probably very lucky.

Some backup utilities are now giving you more options, though, and Duplicati is a great example, with the program supporting backups to Amazon S3, Windows Live SkyDrive, Google Docs, Rackspace Cloud Files, WebDAV and FTP servers, as well as local and network drives. And that’s just the start of the program’s many configuration options.

You’re able to specify common backup sources with a click, for instance, or choose whatever individual files and folders you need. Custom Include and Exclude filters help to define exactly what you’re backing up, and AES-256 encryption helps keep your archive safe (which is good news if it’s held on a remote server).

You get complete control over your backup strategy. So you can run full backups all the time; use just incremental backups to improve backup speeds; or run a mix of the two, maybe running incrementals most days, but applying a full backup once a week (or month, or whatever interval you like).

Handy performance controls allow you to throttle Duplicati’s upload or download speeds, so it won’t tie up all your system resources. A capable scheduler automatically runs each backup job at the appointed time. And restoring files is just as straightforward: you can recover an entire backup, or just the files you need, in a very few clicks.

Duplicati is about saving files and folders, rather than full partitions, so if you’re looking for something that will create an image of your system drive then this isn’t the program for you. (And it doesn’t include a bootable disc to restore your backup, anyway — you can only recover files by running the program first, so it’s not going to save you if your operating system won’t launch for some reason.)

Still, if file backups are enough for you then there’s a lot to like about Duplicati: it’s fast, has plenty of features yet remains generally easy to use. Note that there is a separate 64-bit version available.

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