Best Windows and Mac backup software in 2021

Now that you’re finally serious about backing up your Windows PC or Mac, you’ve probably figured out that the backup software included with your preferred operating system just isn’t going to cut it.

Also: PC and Mac backup: How to protect your data from disaster

Sure, you can use the built-in tools (Time Machine on a Mac or File History on Windows 10), if you’re willing to settle for a limited feature set with few options outside the standard settings. But replacing those default utilities with one of these third-party alternatives unlocks a wide range of useful features and capabilities that can save you time and disk space, not to mention helping you sleep better.

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Backup software features to look for

On the backup side, these are the features that matter most:

  • The ability to create a disk image that can restore the entire contents of a PC or Mac, so you can recover quickly after a disk crash or other data disaster
  • Ongoing backups that can save your work daily, hourly, or in real-time, so you never risk losing important work
  • Protection from ransomware attacks
  • The option to save backup files on a local drive, on a network server, or in the cloud

And when the day arrives that you have to call on those backups to recover your files, a good backup program will allow you to quickly mount that backup image as a virtual drive to retrieve individual files or…