Zinstall Backup: The Best Way to Backup Your Data and Prepare for the Worst

Zinstall Backup Featured

This is a sponsored article and was made possible by Zinstall. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence, even when a post is sponsored.

Everyone loves the idea of backups, but not many people actually implement them in their lives. In a world where all our important documents and memories can vanish in a single hard drive crash, backups are more important now than ever.

There are hundreds of backup programs, and not all of them are worth your time. Fortunately, I can say that Zinstall Backup is definitely worth a look.

Why Zinstall Is Different

Zinstall has a lot of competition in the backup world, so why does it deserve your time and money? The simplest answer is that Zinstall scales to your needs. Do you want to keep a folder safe and sound? Zinstall can do that. Do you want to take your entire hard drive, operating system and all, and make an entire backup that can be reinstalled on a totally different computer? Zinstall can do that, too.

Zinstall comes in two editions. The first is Zinstall Lite, which is offered for $99. This version will back up your files but not your app settings. This is the best choice if you have very important documents to keep safe but aren’t too worried about backing up your entire operating system.

The second is Zinstall Pro, the version we’ll be reviewing today. Zinstall Pro aims to back up every part of your computer, from apps to OS profiles. It’s like making an exact mirror image of your computer and storing it away in case of a hard drive crash or ransomware attack. Zinstall Pro is priced at $199.

How Zinstall Backup Works

Zinstall can make a backup in almost every format you can imagine. It can make a backup on another drive, on a USB stick, on an external hard drive, or on a cloud service such as Amazon AWS or Dropbox.

There’s not much to say about setting up and engaging the backup. Not because it doesn’t work  – it does a perfect job – but because the program does all the heavy lifting by itself!

When you boot up the software, click on Settings to get started.

Zinstall Backup Button

When the settings window appears, tell the program which storage drives you wish to back up and where the backup should be made. You can also exclude files you don’t want to be backed up.

Zinstall Backup Settings

Once you’ve set it up, OK out of the window and flick the backup switch to ON. Now, Zinstall will back up your computer to the selected destination.

Zinstall Backup Switch

After this initial and simple setup, there’s nothing more you need to do. You can minimize the program and let it back up your data via the schedule you set.

How Efficient Is Zinstall?

What amazed me about Zinstall is how “silently” it works. From other backup programs I’ve used, it’s not uncommon to hear the system fans go into overdrive and the computer come to a crawl. With Zinstall, however, it didn’t tax my system whatsoever. I could happily use my computer while the backup worked away in the background.

As for how long a backup takes, I backed up 100GB of data from an SSD to a 1TB external hard drive. The process took 45 minutes, during which I could freely use the computer while the backup app was minimized.

When it comes to the actual backup recovery process, Zinstall is very efficient. For instance, while other backup programs only save your files and folders, Zinstall also saves your programs and settings. This means you can use the backup to bring an entire computer back to life instead of only a few select files.

The backup doesn’t care about the computer model or OS version. Backups made on a 32-bit version of an operating system can be redeemed on 64-bit. If your home rig dies on you, and you purchase a store-branded PC to quickly replace it, the backup won’t care who made your new PC.

As such, Zinstall is a great way to prepare for the absolute worst. Not only will it save your PC as-is down to the software settings, but it won’t get annoyed if your target PC differs from the original backup’s hardware.

My Thoughts on Zinstall

Out of all the backup programs I’ve used in my life, Zinstall has the largest price tag, but for very good reason. Many companies claim their backup software is a “set-and-forget” solution, but I find they often hog resources or need babysitting every so often. Zinstall does neither of these and earns its spot as a truly effective backup method by storing every little detail of your computer while keeping its resource footprint low.

One comment

  1. “This version will back up your files but not your app settings.”
    Since your app settings are stored in files, they should also be backed up along with data files.
    Using the built-in “dd” command, I can create an exact byte for byte copies of all of my disks. No worries about certain data not being backed up.

    “The process took 45 minutes”
    The speed of a backup has little to do with the backup program. The speed is governed by the throughput speed of the interface (IDE, SATA, USB) and the speed of the input/output devices (HD, SSD, CD/DVD). Using the same backup program to backup the same amount of data, it will take much longer (2x, 3x) to write to a DVD than to write to an SSD.

    “The backup doesn’t care about the computer model or OS version.”
    Don’t you run into problems trying to run a Windows system restored from a backup created on another PC?

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