Most backup utilities provide an option of automatic backup compression, and ZIP compression is one of the most popular algorithms. Archiving backups into a ZIP file provides many direct and circumstantial benefits:

  • Effective usage of HDD space. By creating backups in ZIP format, you minimize the space that it occupies, which allows saving it for more important stuff.
  • Increasing speed of backup storage. For ZIP archives you will need less DVD discs, if you back up to DVD, less time online, if you back up to the Internet (e.g. to an FTP server), etc.
  • Capability to restore data backed up without the program. While many programs create backups in their proprietary formats which can&#8217t be read independently of the software, it is a friendly manner to enable users to restore backups by themselves.

Depending on the data you want to back up, ZIP compression may produce very different results:

  • Files. For different types of files, the ratio between size of backup before and after compression may differ a lot. While for text documents it may reach 95%, for music files backup compression may be ineffective at all.
  • Disk images. As regards creation of complete HDD backups through disk imaging, an effective way to reduce size is not to compress it, but to skip empty drive sectors. And similarly to files-based backup, compression of the data from occupied disk sectors strongly depends on its type.

Advanced programs also provide a choice between creation of a single ZIP backup file and creation of multiple archives, one per each task item. For example, you can see how it is made in our utility Handy Backup.

See Also: Nas BackupHitachi Hard Drive Backup