Default Backing up APKs and Apps: What's the best?

Okay, so we all know that when we launch Samsung's Gear Manager, it instantly wants to restore the Gear and clear out all our apps and setting. What to do?

I have read up on the different backup services and apps and I want to know what everyone is using?

It seems like Titanium Backup is popular but the paid app. for the unrooted phones is expensive, when so many free apps are available. What makes it better? Any apps that batch restore all your apps possible?

I am using Google Drive to backup my APKs that I cant just download from the Google Play Store, but are the services and specifc apps any better? Hell, they seem to be backing up the data on Google Drives (GD) anyways. Seems like me just putting them on GD in the first place just saves me the space and time of downloading yet another app.

Have also read a little about some people hiding the APKs in subfiles and then just opening them up and installing them again. That seems like a useful idea but would love to know exactly where to hide the files.