An incremental backup is the fastest backup and requires the least storage space on the backup media. However, incremental backups also require the longest time and many tapes to restore.
Incremental backups should be used only in environments where backup time or backup storage media are extremely constrained. For most environments, a weekly full backup and a daily differential backup represent a better plan.
If you perform a full backup on Sunday along with incremental backups every night and the system crashes on Thursday, you will need to restore the full backup from Sunday along with the incremental backups from Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
In contrast, if you perform a full backup on Sunday and a differential every night, when the system crashes on Thursday you will only need to restore the full backup from Sunday and the differential backup from Wednesday.
An example of a classic incremental backup command in MS-DOS would be:
xcopy c:source*.* d:destination*.* /s /m