Block-Level Backup Software

Block-level backup is a method of backup that suggests copying small blocks of HDD data, rather than complete files. Handy Backup has a powerful Disk Image function that lets you back up and recover HDDs on block (sector) level.

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Block-Level Backup Software

What is block level backup? There are two equally likely meanings of this term, both always opposed to file-level backup:

  • Many sources use “block-level backup” to refer to hard disk snapshots, i.e. backups created by sector-by-sector copying of physical HDD contents without querying file system.

Selecting data of the Disk Image plug-in

  • Others use it as a synonym of differential backup which is an optimization technique that lets you reduce storage space required to store multiple backup versions by computing and backing up byte-level differences between them.

Differential backup

Whatever you are looking for, our block-level backup software supports both!

Block-Level Backup VS File-Level

As compared to “common” file-level backup, block-level backup method has its own pros and cons:

  • Data backed up. Working with hard disks on block level lets you access boot sector, master file table, system files and other data that can’t be copied via file system queries. It means that block-level backup is the only way to create system backups.
  • Granularity. Block-level backup doesn’t provide much flexibility. Unlike file system-based copying that lets you protect individual files and folders, it can back up complete disk images or partitions only.
  • Size. Since the smallest logical object you can back up on block level is an HDD partition, you need to make sure that you have enough disk space to store the data.
  • Speed. Generally, copying data on block level is faster than on file level. However, it is true only for equal amount of information. If your partition has only one file, common copying will take less time than making a complete drive snapshot.

Block-Level Differential Backup

Differential backup saves storage space by copying only changes that occurred since the last full copy. During a backup job, the application divides data into small blocks and compares them to data already backed up. Restoring data in this scheme requires you to have full backup, and block-level differences.

Differential Backup Process

Block-level differential backup is available in all editions of our software. To learn about different editions, please refer to the comparison table.

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