File-level Backup vs Disk Image Backup

Having a consistent backup solution is very important to protect your data against disasters. When considering a backup method, there are many factors to consider as to which solution works better than the other.

What to choose?

To answer this question properly, it would be necessary to know the specific user needs. So let’s look at both the scenarios in which a backup solution can be of great value.

File-level Backups

As the name suggests, the backup works at the file-level; meaning you are protecting individual files, folders and application data. This is the most common type of backup and is generally faster to carry out. It allows the user to simply select the files and folders, and schedule them to backup periodically. File-level backups are better suited to restore smaller amounts of data. However, you will not be able to recover your entire systems following a server crash or some other form of disaster.

Learn more about IDrive File-level Backup

Disk Image Backups

Disk image backups are a more comprehensive type of backup. It creates an ‘image’ of your hard disk, which includes your entire operating system, including files, programs, and configurations.


IDrive® BMR - An onsite bare-metal disaster recovery with VMware backup, virtualization, cloud backup and NAS backup. Image-based backup and snapshot-restore capability combined with cloud replication provides effective disaster recovery.


IDrive Disk Clone - Create drive or system image backup of your system drives on the cloud or locally. Restore the system to its initial state or perform restore on a dissimilar hardware.

The deciding factors

File-level backup and recovery are best suited for personal laptops, tablets and mobile workforce, as there are no complex system configurations involved. With the periodically scheduled file-level backups, you can make sure your critical files, folders and application data are easily accessible and allow for quicker restores.

When it comes to complex computer systems and virtual machines, disk image backup would be an ideal solution to consider. Image backup solutions that allow you to transfer the changes since the last full disaster recovery backup, create a secondary offsite repository and perform bare-metal restore are especially useful. Businesses can recover multiple systems in one-go, virtualize their physical machines and hence reduce downtime.

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  • Snapshots

    Perform point-in-time recovery of the data stored in your account.

  • Restore

    Restore files stored in your IDrive cloud account with ease.

  • Dashboard

    Manage backups and more, on your far-away computers via web console.

  • Mobile Backup

    Backup contacts, photos, videos from your iOS and Android mobile devices.