Generally, we like to use Bare Metal Restore (BMR) software for customer backups (e.g., AppAssure Replay, which we provide under our ITmanage Plus managed service). However, there are times when a file-based backup is preferred. For a file-based backup, we prefer Cobian Backup. It’s simple to setup and instead of worrying about complicated backup formats, you just need to be able to open a ZIP file.
You will generally want to attach a USB disk to the PC running Cobian backup. Cobian can be used to backup to a remote file share, but that is the least efficient (network-wise) setup.