How many times a virus gets into your computer and you discover that you need to format everything?! It's a nightmare as you have hundreds of files which you need for your school! Your technician tells you that all your files have been infected….so practically you have to throw them away. How are you going to write all those files again? It's plenty of time...plus you don't remember what you have written days, weeks or months ago in all the files.
Sometimes it's about programs that you have installed but have unfortunately stopped working. How about having them running again? In a computer there are so many things that you need to record that an external disk won't record everything. Sometimes everything is working ok, you do an update and all sorts of problems pop up. You wish to go back one day, so that your pc will be healthy again.
Is there an easy way? Yes there is. It's open source and available for various operating systems. It's Areca. It copies everything (including hidden files which normally are not copied when copying to an external Hard Disk).
Here is a tutorial of how to set it up for the first time. Just follow the screenshots step by step and you're there. The beauty of it is when you need to recover just a file or two (so there is no need to install again programs or files), you'll just find it in the recovery part. It has saved people a lot of time. I think it would win a prize for the best program which saves the most time (and frustrations!!) to busy people.
Another big plus is that the next time you'll do a backup, there is no need to start from scratch! You only need to increment (update) your first backup! It's so fast. If you wish, in Linux OS, you can set a time and date to do the backup automatically! Now you have another program which sets your mind at rest when something happens to your pc or laptop.
For safety and privacy concerns, one can encrypt the copied files as the external Hard Disk might get stolen or lost.
For a more detailed information about the program, you might visit this link.