Making a copy of a few selected files on an external hard drive is easy to understand however when it comes to taking a full backup of your entire computer along with the operating system settings and OS files, it becomes a tedious task. Many of us are unsure how to create an exact copy of the OS files and how to get it back after a format reinstall. This article is a clear picture of the major differences and benefits of mirror imaging and backup files. You will also explore the steps to perform the said task and the best disk image software that is available in 2020. Creating a precise image file of your computer along with the operating system settings come into play when your OS crashes and you need the entire valuable data back on the system. What is Mirror Image? A full mirror image, or mirror backup, is an exact replica of everything on your PC's hard drive, from the working framework, boot data, applications, and hidden files & folders along with your preferred settings. There are a lot of disk image software for Windows that mirrors every individual file that you need to have your system running. Once you create a full image backup, you are all set to restore your computer back to original settings after you encounter file errors due to malware or other infection. Mirror imaging is more complex than a regular backup as it not only makes a duplicate of your files but also creates a mirror image of your computer operating system, system files and preferences. A mirror image is an exact copy of how your computer looks like right now. A simple backup only creates a copy of your personal files. A mirror image has benefited over the customary backup in light of the fact that regardless of whether your PC or server is down, you can without much of a strain restore your computer using the mirror image. What is a Full Backup? Full Backup is the beginning stage for every single other backup and contains all the files, folders and documents that are chosen to be backed up. Since the full backup stores all files and folders, if you frequently take a backup of your files, it becomes easy for you to regain access to all your files and folders in case of a system crash. Restoring from a mirror image or clone may take longer than a regular backup. What is Disk Cloning? Disk Cloning creates a clone (replica) of your hard drive that is as precise as your data on the hard drive. The data in a disk clone isn't compacted, so it occupies a huge space on the disk. Frequently, a disk can just hold the data from a solitary cloned drive. Difference Between Mirror Image and Backup 1. Backup is only available for Windows however Mirroring is accessible on both Windows and macOS. 2. Backup has an option to schedule however mirroring is a continuous activity of checking all the 'Mirror' folder(s). 3. Backup permits clients to choose source organizers from internal drives. 4. Mirror makes a new folder on the PC with the name of \u2018Mirror\u2019. Data stored in the folder gets mirrored with the external drive's Mirror image. In the event that the original data is not copied, few of the files may create a duplicate copy on the internal drive. 5. Mirroring is a two-way-sync process, which means if there is any addition, modification or deletion on either the original or mirror folder, it gets reflected on both the folders. 6. Mirror doesn't give a full Image\/System Image of the internal drive, it is just the data. Downsides of Mirroring Mirroring becomes tricky when issues of data corruption and security become a challenge. On the off chance, that the primary database is corrupted or infected with a virus attack, the same infection gets reflected on the mirror image as well. Mirroring is incapable to ensure complete data protection and total data security. mirroring is actively advised for applications that require high accessibility and elite performance. Where the data is continuously in sync and require duplicating the image constantly, you may experience a dip in system performance. So as to guarantee that the Mirror disk can completely support the primary disk, your total disk space is bifurcated into two equal halves. In this manner, a 500 GB disk with RAID 1 configuration will only allow you to store 250 GB of data as the other half is occupied for the mirror image. Mirroring can't shield your data from malware infection, data corruption, incidental file deletion, and other potential threats that may harm your computer or gulp up your data. Mirroring endures additional maintenance challenges that add on additional cost on the servicing. Firmware updates, consistency checks and other day-to-day maintenance tasks are costly and take more time and manpower. Which One is the Best? Figuring out which one is best for you is totally dependent on your requirements. Mirroring guarantees the latest changes made to random files, folders or drives are exactly copied on the mirror file while backup ensures that the vintage data is also safe and secure on a corner of the driver that you may need after hundred years from now. If you are creating a database, you will need a back however if your focus is to create a backup image of the current state, mirroring or cloning is the best.Thanks for reading!