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Free and Open Source Software Alternatives

Backup and Recovery

Backing up your documents, photos, and other files is crucial if you don’t want to lose them. A virus could wipe them out, your hard drive could go kaput, or (even worse) you could have a fire or other disaster destroy them. You should never let a tight budget stop you from safeguarding your data. At the very least you should backup irreplaceable files to DVDs, an external drive, or another computer.

DirSyncPro is 100% free and open source synchronization program to consider using on Windows, Mac, or Linux. Unlike most free editions of commercial products, it doesn’t impose any limits, such as on the amount of files and folders you can sync. It supports scheduled incremental backups to external drives or other computers via network shares.

It’s ideal to keep a backup of your files offsite too. There are numerous online storage and backup providers out there. Unfortunately, most that offer a free edition don’t support automated backups and have other major limitations.

If 5GB would be enough space for backing up your important files, you could sign up for the free online storage service from Box.net. Then you could mount your storage space as a drive in Windows by creating a mapped network drive to https://www.box.net/dav and use your Box.net username and password. Then you can configure DirSyncPro to back up to the mapped network drive.

  • army_ant7
    You forgot to mention Microsoft Security Essentials. It's worth mentioning because it's actually supported by Microsoft and it's free (as long as you have a genuine OS). :-D
    Reply
  • army_ant7
    LibreOffice would've probably been more welcome here than OpenOffice (because it's actually open source). :-)
    Reply
  • army_ant7
    I was wondering that to, but I'm really not familiar with Glary. It didn't even show up when I Googled for a free optimization utility before. I use CCleaner now though.

    Also, in the backup section, the Windows bacup tools aren't mentioned.
    Reply
  • army_ant7
    I'm glad to see that last line of this article. It's very refreshing to read it and know that there are actually people out there who care. :-)
    Reply
  • The author of this articles confuses open source and free software.
    try wikipedia for the definitions
    True most open source is free (not all opens source is free). In this article I see mostly closed source free software.
    Change the article title cause it is misleading (or change job)
    Reply
  • Three tools missing,

    Ccleaner.
    Libre Office.
    Microsoft Security essentials.
    Reply
  • ubercake
    Avast is a great product.
    Reply
  • egeier
    Yes Ccleaner, Libre Office, and Microsoft Security essentials are good options too. Just didn’t want this to be a laundry list of software. I wanted to give some details about each and couldn’t do multiple alternatives for each category.

    Only gripes I have about Microsoft Security Essentials is that it lacks sandboxing and password protection. But I do like they offer it to small businesses for free as well, on up to 10 PCs.

    Does CCleaner support batch uninstall? I love that in Glary Utilities. Also Glary offers the simple 1-Click Maintenance and seems to include a bit more additional tools than CCleaner: file shredder, undelete file recovery, file encryption, disk analysis, duplicate file finder, and file splitter and joiner.
    Reply
  • Tomsguiderachel
    nobody123456The author of this articles confuses open source and free software.try wikipedia for the definitionsTrue most open source is free (not all opens source is free). In this article I see mostly closed source free software. Change the article title cause it is misleading (or change job)Nobody--
    Thanks for your comment. Your point is a good one and we are looking in to a more appropriate descriptor for the applications discussed in this article. Some of these apps do not meet the criteria for the literal definition of "open source" which we would do well to adhere to. Keep an eye out for the headline change and our editor's update/correction.

    Luckily, we're glad to take your advice about the definition of open source, but not insecure enough to change careers on your suggestion that we do so.

    Thanks for reading.

    Rachel Rosmarin
    Managing Editor, Tom's Guide
    Reply
  • phate
    LibreOffice >>> OpenOffice

    http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2011/04/oracle-gives-up-on-ooo-after-community-forks-the-project.ars

    Open Office is dead.
    Reply