What is a differential Backup?

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A differential backup is a backup type where only the changes that have occurred since the last full backup are backed up.

Differential backups are more storage space-efficient than full backups. However, these backups take considerably longer to restore as the underlying full backup has to be restored first.

Some advantages of differential backups:

  • Backup creation is faster than that of full backups especially if few changes have occurred.
  • More storage space efficient than full backups.
  • Faster backup restore time than incremental backups.

Some disadvantages of differential backups include:

  • Backup creation is slower than that of incremental backups.
  • Backup restores are slower than full backups.
  • Backups have a dependency on the full backup they are created from. If the associated full backup is missing or corrupted, the differential backup cannot be restored.
Next How do I create a differential backup?
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