Once you've created the first full backup, differential and incremental backups take the same amount of time, assuming you add a few new files but don't delete any other files. In most cases, however, incremental backup is faster than differential backup, which is faster than a full backup.
If you do an incremental backup on Tuesday, you only back up the data that changed since the incremental backup on Monday. The result is a much smaller, faster backup. The characteristic of incremental backups is the shorter the time interval between backups, the less data will be backed up.
In general, differential backups take more time than incremental ones to complete. However, when it comes to recovering backup files, the tides change — differential restores are faster than incremental ones, as you need fewer data pieces to complete the recovery process.
Incremental backups are completed quickly and require fewer resources. Disadvantage: While incremental backups have the fastest backup time, they also boast the slowest data recovery time.
Incremental backups take the least space and time to perform than differential and full backups, but it's the most time-consuming out of all of the methods to restore a full system.
The Incremental backup type includes all new and modified files since the last full, differential or incremental. It is the smallest backup type. When you need to restore an incremental backup, it will take longer as all backup versions since the last full to the latest incremental will be restored.
This results in a minimal time to restore data, a metric known as a recovery time objective. However, the disadvantages are that it takes longer to perform a full backup than other types (sometimes by a factor of 10 or more), and it requires more storage space.
Incremental backups are the most space-efficient form of backup.
This is the most time-consuming backup of all methods to perform and may put a strain on your network if the backup is occurring on the network. But it's also the quickest to restore from because all the files you need are contained in the same backup set.
Businesses that deal with large volumes of data and cannot dedicate time to the backup process will find incremental backup methods effective since they take up less storage space and encourage fast backups.
Incremental and differential backups: Speed without accuracy
Differential backups contain only files that have changed since the initial full backup. Although incremental and differential backups are faster than full backups, restoring from them is more complex.