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2BrightSparks Articles


Recently Added Articles

April 2021: EncryptOnClick

March 2021: Cloud Storage and (S)FTP Limitations

February 2021: SyncBack Licensing

January 2021: Versioning


Index of Articles

An A to Z of jargon-free computer and technology articles for organizations, businesses and individuals.

  • 100% Freeware Let's be honest - we all love freebies. The same goes for software. We at 2BrightSparks recognize how important freeware is to the Internet community, and we've developed our fair share of great cost-free solutions. Here's your chance to find out the kinds of freeware we have to offer that you can use for yourself or pass on to your friends and colleagues.
  • 15 Years of SyncBack Since 2003, SyncBack by 2BrightSparks has been used by hundreds of thousands of users worldwide to safeguard their important data. For over 15 years, SyncBack has gone through thousands of feature additions, changes, bug fixes as well as several version iterations. 2018 was the 15th anniversary of the first release of SyncBack. In this article we look back at how the world of technology has evolved since.
  • 3-2-1 Backup Strategy with SyncBack File Backup is one of the most important areas in the IT world, and it is essential for all the Computer users, System administrators, Information security officers and Businesses to backup their critical data, in order to protect it from loss or corruption. It is recommended to use the 3-2-1 backup strategy to protect data and increase your chance of recovering quickly from the lost or corrupted data.
  • A Basic Introduction to NTFS Permissions In Windows, permissions are available on every file, folder, registry key, printer and Active Directory object. However, in this article we’ll be concentrating on NTFS file and folder permissions. These permissions are available on NTFS file systems but not on FAT based file systems...
  • A Brief Introduction to Regular Expressions This article introduces regular expressions, also known as “regex”. People who are programmers or web designers may be more familiar with the functionalities of regular expressions, although some regular PC users also make use of this powerful search tool that extracts text by matching specific words, characters or patterns.
  • Advanced Encryption Standards Encryption methods are used to secure confidential data using mathematical functions known as cryptographic algorithms (ciphers). There are many trusted cryptographic algorithms such as AES, Blowfish and Serpent etc. This article explains in detail about AES encryption and its implementation.
  • Alternate Data Streams in NTFS Despite the widespread use of Microsoft’s operating systems, Windows users may not be aware of a lesser known feature in the NTFS file system (New Technology File System) called Alternate Data Streams (ADS). This article aims to provide some essential information on ADS as well as its uses and drawbacks.
  • Amazon Glacier Amazon Glacier is a secure, reliable and inexpensive cloud service for data archiving and long-term storage. This article explains the benefits, and drawbacks, of using Amazon Glacier with SyncBackPro.
  • An Introduction to FTP FTP is most commonly used to download files from the World Wide Web. In the early days of computing, complex sets of commands had to be learned to use the Internet. FTP, invented in the early 1970s, established a standard protocol for transferring files between systems...
  • Backing up to a virtual drive using SyncBack Containers There are many ways to back up your data, from using an external drive, or an FTP server, or even backing up your precious files to an online cloud server. You can also backup your data to (or from) a virtual drive. In this article, we introduce a proprietary virtual drive feature in SyncBackSE and SyncBackPro V8 (and newer), called the SyncBack Container, and look at the advantages of using a virtual drive to store your data.
  • Backup and Recovery Checklist Data backup and recovery processes are important for business continuity. Every business, and person, needs a backup and recovery plan to backup, protect and restore their data. This article provides a simple checklist to act as a base for creating your own Backup and Recovery plan.
  • Backup and Recovery Plan When Working from Home When employees work remotely, they will probably use their laptops or mobile devices to access, update or change business-critical data. However, many companies do not implement a backup system on mobile devices, hence remote employees may have problems syncing data automatically to their organization file servers from their laptops. As a result, the data stored on the file servers may not be up-to-date and may cause serious disruption to business activities.
  • Backup to Google Drive SyncBackPro can backup, restore and synchronize files with a number of cloud services, including Google Drive. In this article we'll show how to create a backup profile to backup files to Google Drive. The same steps can be used with other cloud services, e.g. Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.
  • Backup to Microsoft OneDrive SyncBackPro can backup, restore and synchronize files with a number of cloud services, including OneDrive. In this article we'll show how to create a backup profile to backup files to OneDrive.
  • Backup to SharePoint SyncBackPro provides an easy-to-use, secure and reliable solution to backup, restore and synchronize files with SharePoint and OneDrive for Business servers. In this article, we will explain the procedure to create a SharePoint profile, and configure a SharePoint site path or a subsite path and a document library in SyncBackPro.
  • Backup Using FTP The next most important task after backing up your data files is to ensure that your backups are stored safely, preferably offsite. This article details the different kinds of secure FTP protocols and presents an easy to use software solution that assists with backing up to a server via FTP.
  • Backup Your Photos and Videos on Dropbox If you’ve installed Dropbox onto your phone or tablet then you’re probably also using it to automatically upload any pictures or videos you take with your phone or tablet to Dropbox. But are you making a backup of those files on the cloud? Find out how...
  • Beginners Guide to SyncBack Monitor One of the many new features introduced with SyncBack V9 was SyncBack Monitor. With SyncBack Monitor you can stop, start, pause and resume SyncBackPro/SE profiles running on your local computers (on the same local network). Or to put it another way, in your home you can use your Android phone, or tablet, to see what SyncBack is doing. This article is a beginner’s guide to installing and configuring SyncBack Monitor.
  • Beginner's Guide to SyncBackPro install and Profile setup A beginner’s guide to installing the backup and synchronization program, SyncBackPro, as well as creating, setup and scheduling your first profile. Although this guide is based on SyncBackPro, users can reference this guide when installing/using SyncBackSE and SyncBackFree.
  • Best Practices for File Backup The number of security threats and physical disasters are increasing day-by-day. Because of this, organizations and computer users are forced to backup data as part of their daily routine. Just backing-up your data is not enough to recover from a failure or disaster. It is essential to have a comprehensive backup plan in place to safeguard against emerging threats and disasters.
  • Cloud Backup This article focuses on Cloud Backup and considers its strengths and weaknesses. You might store, backup, or synchronize data to the Cloud using a service like Google Cloud Storage, Apple iCloud, or Amazon S3, but if you think local backups are not necessary because of the Cloud, think again...
  • Cloud Storage and (S)FTP Limitations When SyncBack is accessing files on a supported cloud storage or (S)FTP server it relies on a certain, predefined set of commands that the server can understand and execute. In other words, SyncBack cannot do as it wishes (meaning accessing and modifying content) without going through the cloud/FTP server, which acts as a middleman.
  • Configuring SyncBack Touch to backup files over the Internet Do you intend to backup files from devices (such as Windows, macOS, Linux or Android) on a remote network to a local (or a network) drive? This article explains how to achieve this using SyncBack Touch.
  • Continuous Data Protection Continuous Data Protection, or Real-Time backup (or continuous data backup), is the process of automatically capturing file changes on a source drive (file creation, modification or deletion) and replicating the changes to a backup drive. With a Continuous Data Protection strategy, you can ensure that every version of a file is backed-up and can be restored at any point in time. This article explains how to achieve this using SyncBackPro/SE.
  • Creating a SyncBack Touch profile Using SyncBack Touch to backup your devices could not be any simpler. You can backup to a Touch device or synchronize files with a Touch device, but in this example, we'll explain how to create a SyncBack Touch backup profile.
  • Data Backup Devices Data Backup is essential for every organization to perform their core business functions and to keep the business running in the event of a hardware failure or natural disasters. This article mainly focusses on different data storage devices and important points to consider when using them.
  • Data Encryption Data Encryption is a process of encoding and transforming data into an unreadable form (or encrypted form) using an encryption algorithm and an encryption key. SyncBack supports a number of encryption options to help keep your backup data secure.
  • Data Integrity Data Integrity is a process of verifying the accuracy and consistency of data stored on a storage device. The main objective of a data integrity check is to assure that the backup data is valid, and it is kept free from unauthorized access, modification or deletion.
  • Delta Copy Delta Copy is the process of copying the differences between an original file and a modified version of the file, instead of copying the whole file again to the backup location. With Delta Copying, only the changed parts of a file are copied, when the original file is present on destination. This saves storage space and reduced network usage.
  • Disk Imaging is Not a Total Backup Solution Disk imaging utilities can be extremely useful tools that duplicate disks. However, there are some issues and limitations that must be kept in mind when relying on disk imaging as a backup solution.
  • Don't Let Your Business Sink Considering that businesses rely so heavily on electronic data storage, it is little wonder that they often incur significant financial losses as a result of data loss, and that for an increasing number of people, this sadly leads to the loss of their livelihood. According to the National Archives & Records Administration in Washington, US, 93% of companies filed for bankruptcy within a year of disaster when they lost their data center for 10 days or more...
  • EncryptOnClick EncryptOnClick is a freeware program that enables you to easily encrypt or decrypt files with a strong password and ensures your data are kept safe, secure, and protected from malware attacks or unauthorized access. This article gives an introduction on how to use it to keep your files secure.
  • Essential FTP Features SyncBack’s embedded FTP engines support a wide range of FTP servers and in most cases it will work fine with them by using the default FTP settings. However, if the FTP server doesn’t support some important features, SyncBack may fallback to using alternative methods, which may have an impact on performance. In this article we will go through the various FTP features/extensions which the user should be looking for when deciding which FTP server to install and use with SyncBack.
  • Example uses for SyncBack Touch SyncBackPro and SyncBackSE can be used together with SyncBack Touch to allow you to backup and synchronize with other devices, e.g. Android devices. Simply install SyncBack Touch on the device (that is running Windows, macOS, Linux or Android) and now SyncBackPro or SyncBackSE can access the files on that device via the network (local or Internet, wired or wireless). This article gives a few examples of where SyncBack Touch can help you.
  • Fast Backup Fast Backup improves the performance of Backup/Mirror profiles by not scanning slow backup devices such as FTP, network drives and cloud services (Amazon S3, Azure, Google Storage, Open Stack) for changes. This article explains how and when to use Fast Backup and also provides examples of how to use it, e.g. Incremental and Differential backups.
  • File Sizes and Transfer Speeds In this article we describe the units of measure for file sizes and transfer speeds.
  • File Synchronization with SyncBack File synchronization is a file copying method between two locations so that the contents between them are up to date. In a two-way file synchronization, updated files are copied in both directions - from the source to the destination, and from the destination to the source, usually with the purpose of keeping both locations identical to each other. In this article, we look at how you can create an Intelligent Synchronization profile and the sync configuration settings in SyncBackPro.
  • File System Terminology In this article we explain some of the common terms used with file systems, e.g. Volumes, Serials, etc.
  • File Transfer using Media Transfer Protocol In this article we describe what Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) is, as well as its advantages and disadvantages.
  • Find Files Fast Searching for a particular file can be stressful, especially if it’s a file that is of the utmost importance and needs to be retrieved in the quickest time possible. Discover how to find any file far faster than using the Windows search facility.
  • FindOnClick Scripting FindOnClick V3 introduced a powerful new feature: scripting. Scripting lets the user define exactly what files and/or folders to include in the search results. Although FindOnClick already provides the user with numerous advanced filtering options, with scripting you can extend that with almost limitless flexibility.
  • Guidelines to Select a Cloud Storage Service Cloud storage services provide a convenient way for users to store data on an offsite location and allows them to easily access it from anywhere with an internet connection. Thus, cloud storage has become a popular storage medium for data backups and recovery. As numerous cloud services are available on the internet, selecting the right cloud service for your backup needs can be extremely difficult and challenging. This article focusses on some key factors that you can use to identify the best cloud storage for your backup requirements and needs.
  • How File Backup is Crucial to Business Users Regardless how small or large your business is, it is vital to have regular backups in order to secure your company’s data. It is arguably the most important task to undertake for preventing data loss in case of disasters. In the event of system failure, a security breach (like ransomware), or a natural disaster, having a solid backup plan in place ensures that you have recoverable data to fall back on and keep your business running. Here are some reasons why you need to have a backup plan and some advice on how to implement a backup strategy.
  • How To Make Files Unrecoverable Many people have personal information on their computers that they need to keep protected. The solution is easy with encryption, but what about making your files unrecoverable. If you think that simply deleting the file is enough, then you are mistaken.
  • How To Patch Files Ever had to email large documents to your colleagues at work and found it a real hassle due to long download times? Email is one of the most popular forms of communication in this high-tech society and there is no more convenient a way to send documents than attaching them to your emails. Find out how...
  • How to protect yourself from Malware Malware is a broad term used to describe a wide variety of different types of software. These could be viruses, trojans, scareware, ransomware, spyware, worms or other vulnerabilities. The specifics of what they're called isn't as important as what they can do to your computer or computers.
  • How To Recover Deleted Files Have you deleted a data file and then wished you hadn’t done so? By the time you realized the deletion was accidental, you were unable to retrieve it as your Recycle Bin had been emptied. You believed it was too late to recover that file, and you’re not alone.
  • How To Restore From Version Files Restoring a backup is a process of recovering your files when a disaster happens. With SyncBackPro/SE, you can restore files to an earlier point in time by selecting the versions prior to the disaster. This article describes the procedure to recover your files from version files using SyncBackPro/SE V9 (or newer versions).
  • Introduction to Hashing and its uses If you are transferring a file from one computer to another, how do you ensure that the copied file is the same as the source? One method you could use is called hashing, which is essentially a process that translates information about the file into a code.
  • Locked Files Every Microsoft Windows user has come across an error message saying that a certain operation on a file could not be performed because it was in use, for example while deleting or renaming a file. With SyncBack, this can be avoided…
  • Managing Remote SyncBackPro Profiles with SBMS In a corporate environment that deploys hundreds or thousands of SyncBackPro installations on its end-user workstations, administrating their backup profiles can become a tedious and painstaking job for the IT administrator if there is no centralized console to manage them. Thankfully, with SBMS (short for SyncBack Management Service), we can do just that…
  • My MP3 Files Are Missing If you have all the time and money in the world to re-purchase, re-download and re-categorize your MP3 files in the event you have lost them, say, as a result of disk malfunction, then this article is not for you. Otherwise, read on…
  • Offsite Storage Find out about the three principle ways you can store your data offsite: • Backing up to external media and storing that media in a different location • Backing up to an offsite server • Using professional electronic vaulting services
  • Optimizing Cloud Backups SyncBackPro provides several features to optimize your backups with cloud services such as Amazon S3, Azure, Google Storage, Backblaze, OpenStack, OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox.
  • Protect yourself from being a victim of ransomware Ransomware is a type of malware program that prevents or disables users from accessing their systems. It then attempts to extort money from users by locking their computers and taking control of the files (documents, spreadsheets, pictures, videos etc.), sensitive data or applications stored on their systems. In addition to this, some ransomware will encrypt and hide your personals files in such a way that you do not have access to them anymore. Protect yourself from being a victim of ransomware by using SyncBackPro/SE to backup your files.
  • RAID is Not a Backup Solution There are some who believe a RAID array provides a backup solution. It does not. This article informs users about some of the common misconceptions about RAID, and how backing up using software is crucial in preventing data loss.
  • Ransomware Detection with SyncBack SyncBack V8 introduced two new features to detect a ransomware infection on your host system and stop it infecting your backup storage. This article provides details on how they work and how to use them.
  • Receiving Email with Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP4) Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) and Post Office Protocol (POP3) are protocols used for email retrieval and they are in-use by almost every modern mail clients and servers. Following on from the article about Post Office Protocol, this article will focus on what IMAP is, its features and the difference between these two protocols.
  • Restoring from a Backup Data restore is the process of copying files from a backup location, e.g. the cloud, to the original (or alternative) location when data is lost or corrupted. Data restore is needed in situations such as: data is accidentally deleted, hardware or software failures, malicious attacks (virus, malware, ransomware, etc.). In this article we will explain the process of restoring a backup and the steps to rollback files to a specific date using SyncBack.
  • Runtime Intelligence You may have come across a request after you installed a program that asked if you would allow the transmission of non-personally identifiable information to help improve your experience. This article throws light on the world of what is known as Runtime Intelligence and provides some advice about what to consider when making the decision to opt-in or out.
  • Sending E-Mails with Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) Despite the widespread use of email, most people have little understanding behind the way email is sent to recipients. This article introduces readers to the protocol required for sending emails...
  • SFTP Authentication Explained This article discusses the basics of what SFTP is and the various authenticating methods in which a user can use to connect to an SFTP server (depending on how the server is set up). In addition, we will be discussing how a connecting client can check to ensure the SFTP server is authentic.
  • Special Restore Cases In this article, we will discuss some special restore cases that you may need in some situations. For example: you may want to restore a single file from a large backup, restore from an Incremental or Differential backup, etc. This article is an extension of the Restoring from a Backup article.
  • SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) Explained Learn about the Secure Shell Protocol (SSH) used to establish a secure connection between a remote server and a computer. Secure Shell utilizes public key encryption to provide strong user authentication and secure encrypted communications over the Internet.
  • SyncBack Licensing Our licensing policy is simple and affordable to many personal and business users. In this article, we will explain the terms and conditions our home users, organizations and resellers should adhere to when acquiring or using our software. The policy applies to both SyncBackPro and SyncBackSE.
  • SyncBack Touch as an alternative to FTP SyncBack Touch has none of the compatibility problems of FTP. It was designed from the beginning to be extensible and 100& compatible with SyncBackPro and SyncBackSE. 2BrightSparks has many years of experience with FTP and all of its problems and faults. That experience was put to good use when creating SyncBack Touch.
  • The Basic Principles of Data Compression Internet users who download or upload files from/to the web, or use email to send or receive attachments, will most likely have encountered files in compressed format. In this topic we will cover how compression works, the advantages and disadvantages of compression, as well as types of compression.
  • The Best PC Backup Software It's a worrying fact of life that most people use their computers far more than they did even a few years ago. You've probably gone from occasional web-browsing and email, to using it to store and view your photos, videos and music, your financial files, music, diaries, work documents, video conferencing, scanned documents and more. Despite this, the number of people and businesses that assume their data is automatically safe just because it's on a computer is worryingly high. Whereas the reality couldn't be further from the truth.
  • The Photographer’s Nightmare Backing up your photos may be a tedious and pain staking job using Windows Explorer or the inflexible and limited onboard backup feature in Windows, but it needn’t be. With the right software you can prevent your treasured photos from being lost with the click of a button...
  • Transfer Encryption Transfer Encryption is a process of transferring data (e.g. files) over the network using a secure connection. Secure communication protocols such as TLS (Transport Layer Security), SSL (Secure Socket Layer), SSH (Secure Socket Shell), HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol over SSL/TLS) are used to encrypt the communication between two systems....
  • Understanding Compression File compression enables a computer user to reduce the size of a data file so that it is more convenient for storage or sharing. Many of us have experienced difficulties in sending data files like text documents and digital photos via email because the file size is just too great. Find out about the different kinds of compression and how useful it is.
  • Understanding File Attributes We use digital files every day, but it’s relatively rare we need to recognize the attributes of a digital file. File Attributes tag files with additional information that Windows uses to act on. Knowing a little about File Attributes will help you understand why certain things happen with files, and why certain things can’t happen if an attribute is defined in a certain way...
  • Understanding NTFS Hard Links, Junctions and Symbolic Links Over the years Microsoft continued to improve the linking tools in the Windows NTFS operating file systems which can now be used to link files and/or directories together. The latest form of file link was introduced in Windows Vista and continues to form part of their latest operating system. In this article we will look at what these file links are and how they differ from one another.
  • Understanding Post Office Protocol (POP3) Most Internet users with email accounts would have used some form of “client” software (Outlook, Thunderbird etc.) to access and manage their email at one point or another. To retrieve emails, these email clients may require the configuration of Post Office Protocol (or POP3) before messages can be downloaded from the server. This article will help readers understand what POP3 is and how it works.
  • Understanding Sessions in Windows In 2006, Microsoft released the Windows Vista operating system and incorporated several new security features. One significant change was called “Session 0 Isolation” and continues to form a part of the services enhancements first introduced in Windows Vista and supported in later versions of Windows. In this article we will focus on what sessions are and how they work...
  • Upgrade Assurance Subscription As our backup and synchronization program, SyncBack, continues to evolve, we at 2BrightSparks have introduced a new payment model to provide our customers more value for less. In this article, we will look at what the new subscription model Upgrade Assurance is, and its benefits.
  • Using DreamHost Cloud Backup with SyncBackPro SyncBackPro has the capability to utilize DreamHost’s cloud storage service (DreamObjects) for backup purposes via S3 compatibility mode. This article will show the steps required to create a backup profile targeting an existing DreamObjects bucket.
  • Using Rackspace Cloud with SyncBackPro Rackspace Cloud is a cloud storage and hosting service provided by Rackspace, a managed cloud computing company. Recently, 2BrightSparks has partnered with Rackspace Cloud so that users can now sign up for Rackspace cloud and back up their data through SyncBackPro. This article guides you on creating a Rackspace account and creating a backup profile.
  • Using SyncBack Touch to protect yourself from Ransomware Ransomware has become an increasing menace affecting private users and businesses each day. SyncBack Touch is a viable secure alternative solution to offsite data storage against ransomware that is owned and managed entirely by the user. This article explains how easy it is to use SyncBack Touch to protect yourself from the damage Ransomware can cause.
  • Versioning Versioning is the process of creating and managing multiple versions of a file. A version is created when a file is changed or deleted. Every new version of a file is saved so that the user can access any previous version of a file or retrieve a specific version at any time. There are many benefits of using versioning.
  • What are Variables and Why are they used? In order to make sure applications store your data in the correct place (regardless of which OS is used), variables can be used to request for and return the values of these paths dynamically. In this article we will be looking at variables and how they can benefit users.
  • What is Unicode? Unicode is a computing standard aiming to provide a common encoding and representation of characters, and any symbols in general, that are being used in most of the world's written languages. This article explains why Unicode is important.

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