Differences between Backup and Synchronization

What is a Backup?

A backup is defined as a second copy of a file in another location. If the original file is removed, lost, or otherwise inaccessible then the file is no longer a backup, unless there are additional copies of the file. WD includes backup software with many of our drives (not to be confused with WD Sync software included with Western Digital My Cloud NAS drives). Backup software is designed to automatically monitor files and create backups as needed.


Western Digital recommends that best practice is to keep a backup of your important data at all times. Maintaining a valid backup helps against: computer viruses, data corruption, hardware issues, or environmental hazards.

IMPORTANT Important: Always remember that "backup" means the data is stored in at least two (2) locations. Moving data from a computer system to an external hard drive is not a backup, unless there is already a duplicate of the file on a different storage location. Best practice is to always have a backup of the backup.

In order to find the proper instructions for the backup solution please choose from the following articles:


What is Synchronization (WD Sync)?

WD Sync allows files to be copied from a computer onto a My Cloud Network Attached Storage device. Adding, deleting or modifying files in one location will lead to the same changes being applied to the other locations. WD Sync is not a backup.

In a backup if data is deleted from the source, it will not be removed from the backup location.

In order to find the proper instructions on how to use WD Sync please choose from the following articles:

  • Answer ID: 11394 How to install WD Sync on Windows
  • Answer ID: 11395 How to use WD Sync to sync data with a My Cloud storage device
  • Answer ID: 11396 How to add or remove devices in WD Sync
  • Answer ID: 13123 How to restore a previous version of a file previously synchronized with WD Sync
  • Answer ID: 13124 How to access and retrieve a deleted file or folder with WD Sync
  • Answer ID: 13178 How to configure WD Sync for use over the Internet
  • Answer ID: 13849 How to enable SSL in WD Sync using a Windows PC

  • In case the answer did not answer your question, you can always visit the WD Community for help from WD users.

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