Back Up! The Pros & Cons of Full Vs. Incremental Backups

Back Up! The Pros & Cons of Full Vs. Incremental Backups

Data is a valuable asset for any firm in today’s world.  However, it is under constant threat from system failures, ransomware, and other such issues. The only way to keep their data safe is to maintain backups.

Losing data can cause business failure. According to the National Archives & Records Administration in Washington, 60% of companies shut down within 6 months of losing their data.

However, businesses based in the Atlanta Metro area can safeguard their livelihood by acquiring the services of SureLock Technology. Our remote experts will provide you with IT infrastructure management and support services, including regular data backups. Click here to get a free quote.

If you want to manage and maintain your data yourself, you should know the basics, such as the types of backup. There are three types of data backups – full, incremental, and differential backups.

We will discuss the pros and cons of two types of backup to see which is better suited to protect data.

Full backup

As the name suggests, full backup consists of copying the entire data set to one place. Full backup used to be the most popular way to secure data, but over the years, individuals started to opt for more flexible options.


  • Fast and full recovery of all data assets
  • Easy access to the most recent backup version
  • Allows business operations to be back up much sooner


  • Requires lots of free disk space
  • Requires a lot of bandwidth
  • Backup process takes a lot of time

Incremental backup

This type of backup only saves the changes made since the last backup (any kind). For example, if a full backup was made on Monday, and the incremental backup is being done on Thursday, then the backup will only copy files changed between Monday and Thursday. If another incremental backup takes place on Saturday, then it will copy data that was changed between Thursday and Saturday.


  • Less storage space is required
  • Least bandwidth is required for backup
  • Requires little time to complete backup


  • Slow recovery time to piece together multiple backup data sets
  • Requires a full backup for complete recovery along with incremental backups
  • There is a chance for incomplete data recovery if a backup set or more fail

The biggest mistake companies can make when it comes to backups is not testing the versions. According to Boston Computing, 34% of firms fail to test their data backups.

The best thing to do in this situation is to schedule regular incremental backups and monthly full backups. That way, your data is extra safe, in case something terrible happens. Don’t depend solely on one version of the backup—secure multiple copies. For example, create a backup on both cloud and external drives.

If you want to find out more about what IT infrastructure management solution is best for your firm located in the Atlanta Metro area, get in touch with SureLock Technology. Click here for a free quote.