The Three Types Of Backups: Differential, Incremental, And Full

The Three Types Of Backups: Differential, Incremental, And Full

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There are actually several types of backup strategies. However, these three types of backup are differential, incremental, and full. Each of these three types of backups has its own unique characteristics and purposes that make them beneficial to users.

Backup entails copying your data from your device to a secondary location in order to keep it safe in the event of future malfunctions and hackers. All of your hard work will be lost if you do not back up your data, and you will have to start over! That’s why taking the time to back up your data is crucial and beneficial.

This article will tackle the three types of backups relevant to today’s technology usage. These three are as follows:

1. Differential Backup

Basically, from the term “different,” differential backup means it only saves the difference since the last backup is done. Differential backup also has less data repetition, and the recovery process is more convenient because it only requires the most recent full and differential backup. It has only made additions since the last backup.

This is how a differential data backup works: it first starts with a full backup. And once the backup is done, differential backups will follow and back it up according to the schedule set by the organizers. For example, when an organizer backs up data on a Monday, the differential backup will copy the data on Tuesday that has been changed or added since Monday. Differential backup has benefits, such as:

  1. Time-saving.- compared to the other two backups, the differential saves more time and is faster as less data is being backed up.
  2. Less storage is required.

However, a differential backup also has its disadvantages. Such as:

  1. Eventually, as more and more backups are being done and more data is being built up, the differential backup may consume more storage space than the incremental backup.
  2. Restoring data may be slower compared to a full backup. 

2. Incremental 

An incremental backup strategy only relies on the most recent backup. This type of backup strategy only copies data that has been backed up since the last one; it could be a full backup, differential, or incremental. Consequently, the incremental backup has more data redundancy than the differential backup, as the same data is copied repeatedly. And recovering data may be hard as it takes time to rebuild the data made from the latest backup. In addition, the incremental backup requires all the backups in the chain to be able to restore the data. 


  1. The backup is faster and smaller.
  2. Backups are time-saving and require less storage space.


  1. Restoring data may be slow and time-consuming.
  2. In addition, it requires all the backups in the chain to be able to recover data.

3. Full

Lastly, there is the full backup strategy. This type of backup is the most basic, as it simply means backing up all your data from your device to another location. It’s just a type of backup strategy that makes a complete copy of all your data; nothing more and nothing less. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing a full backup strategy:


  1. Fast recovery of data.
  2. Saves all types of data files.
  3. Better and more convenient storage management.


  1. Demands a large amount of storage space. Thus, it can be more expensive.
  2. Backing up data may take a long time.

Now that you’ve understood the three types of backup strategies and their operation, you can now be able to understand and wisely choose the right method for you.