While Windows 11 allows you to create backup images of your computer, it does not offer all the capabilities that other third-party backup solutions offer. Here’s what you need to know about fully protecting your Windows 11 environment.
How does data backup work?
Some backup systems only back up documents, files, and folders. Other backup solutions, such as Windows 11 Backup and Restore, provide full mirror backup including operating system (OS), data, and applications. When an initial backup is performed, the software copies the entire system, and subsequent backups are usually incremental or differential, capturing only the data that has changed since the last backup, thus saving backup time and storage space.
Does my computer need a Windows 11 backup system?
The answer is yes! Regardless of which operating system you use, you want to create a full mirrored backup of your entire system, including data, applications, and operating system. In the event of unforeseen events such as cyber-attacks, software/hardware failures, artificial or natural disasters, power failures, device theft, accidental deletion of files, folders, data, etc., you will be able to recover the entire system without suffering any data loss.
Is it enough to restore Windows 11?
Windows 11 offers two ways to back up your PC:
- Backup and Restore create a complete image backup, but it only provides the option to restore the full image. Microsoft recommends using the Windows 11 Recovery system to create a recovery drive, so you can use the recovery drive to reinstall Windows 11 if you encounter problems with Windows 11 in the future.
- File history ensures that you back up and restore selected files and folders.
If you want the flexibility to recover the full image and selected files/folders, you will need to use the Windows 11 option to recover the data at the same time, or you can consider using a third-party solution to create the full disk image and download the entire image for full PC recovery or selected files and folders recovery. Meanwhile, Windows 11 has other limitations.
There is no option to back up files to the cloud. Even for home users, this limitation is important. As we all know, backup files should not be stored in the same location as your PC. If a fire or flood destroys your computer, your local backup files are likely to be damaged as well.
Are both local and cloud backups required? Yes, you should at least create and maintain local and cloud backups. While local backup allows you to easily and quickly select and recover selected files and folders, cloud backup ensures that you can also recover files and folders if your local backup is damaged or compromised. Industry experts recommend that all PC users follow the 3-2-1 backup rule, which provides more detailed requirements.
There is no easy way to follow the 3-2-1 backup rule. The 3-2-1 backup rule states that there should always be three copies of data (one production copy and two backups) stored on two different media, with one copy stored off-site, such as in the cloud. By following this rule, you can ensure that no matter what happens, you will always have a backup copy available.
Full mirror backup with flexible recovery options. Modern backup solutions enable you to create a full image backup that can restore a full image or selected files and folders, saving time and effort using the Windows 11 backup feature.
The backup to cloud option has three advantages:
- Easily follow the 3-2-1 backup rule.
- A fire or flood could damage your PC and your local backup, while your cloud backup is secure.
- Unlike local backups, cloud backups protect against cyber attacks on your PC.
Always keep in mind that if you are subjected to a cyber attack, your local backup can also be compromised.
Microsoft 365 cannot be protected. Another disadvantage of Windows native backup is that it does not provide any way to back up Microsoft 365 accounts. The assumption is that Microsoft’s servers are completely protected and secure, but in the past few years, even global behemoths like Facebook, Amazon, and Google have been hit by outages, security breaches, and attacks. You should be able to securely store your data on a third-party independent server with data encryption so that even the software provider cannot access your files. The fully secure and encrypted third-party backup solution for Windows 11 backup ensures that no one but you can access your private files.
Unable to secure mobile devices. Modern third-party backup solutions not only protect Windows PCs but also enable you to back up your iPhone and Android devices.
Does not protect against cyber attacks. While Windows Defender in Windows 11 protects your PC from cyber attacks, it is separate from the Windows backup feature. As mentioned above, if your PC is attacked and compromised, your local backups are likely to be as well. Modern third-party backup solutions include artificial intelligence (AI) -based cybersecurity that stops malware, ransomware, or password stealers in real-time before they can do damage, and prevents accidental infections and unwanted cyber attacks from moving away from your valuable data, even those caused by zero-day vulnerabilities. What’s more, if an attack gets through and destroys your PC, modern solutions will also automatically recover any affected files.