I know that sponsored reviews are a sensitive issue in the blogosphere, so at Gearfire, we are being careful to only review products that we actually endorse. I’m going to start out by saying that this is a sponsored review. That said, I want you to understand that I am not required to speak positively about it, and that the opinions that I express about this product are genuine.
I talked earlier about the importance of regularly backing up your important documents and data. A couple weeks ago, I bought myself an external hard drive in order to keep a copy of all my important information. To backup your files effectively though, you need a good piece of backup software.
Backup Platinum is a nice program that was developed to help you back up, synchronize, and restore files to CD, DVD, FTP, or LAN. I have tried a couple different commercial backup programs, but Backup Platinum is probably my favourite so far.
The reason I like this piece of software so much is that it is very simple and easy to use, but it also packs a wide range of features. After just 5 minutes spent creating a backup item, I was satisfied with its ability to backup, and restore. After another 10 minutes though, I found I could tweak many settings to customize it to my liking, such as specifying the thread priority of the backup process.
Backup Platinum has all the basic features that any backup software needs. You can create multiple profiles for thing you want to backup. You can then backup each profile manually, using the buttons on the toolbar, or you can schedule individual profiles to backup at a specified time. What makes Backup Platinum special though, are the extra features:
Informative Main Interface
The main window shows you a list of your profiles, a folder pane that lets you visually see what your backing up, and a status bar at the bottom, which shows you every backup related event. This really gives you a feeling of control over your backups. You can even customize which panes you want to hide in the View menu.
3/14/2007 9:36:21 AM STATUS:> Summary:
3/14/2007 9:36:21 AM STATUS:> Files processed: 726
3/14/2007 9:36:21 AM STATUS:> Folders created: 70
3/14/2007 9:36:21 AM STATUS:> Status: SUCCEEDED
3/14/2007 9:36:21 AM STATUS:> Backup operation finished
Backup registry keys, favorites, outlook data, address books, etc
Did I mention that you aren’t restricted to backing up only files? You can choose to include registry keys, Outlook files, Internet Explorer favorites and history, your address book, Windows settings, and various instant messenger settings. What’s better, is that you can include any or all of these different things in a single backup profile. For example, I may choose to create a profile including my windows settings, favourites, and some custom registry keys. Using Backup Platinum, I can backup all of these related items with a single click.
Backup your backup settings
One of the problems I had with previous backup software was that after my hard drive crashed, I had to reinstall the backup software to my new PC, and all my profiles were lost. Backup Platinum allows you to easily export or import your settings, registration, and backup profiles, so it is easy to get back on your feet after a hard drive failure.
Various zip options
While setting up your backup profile, you can choose between many file zipping options. Personally, I like to leave all of my files as is, but I could also choose to zip all of my files into a single zip file, zip them into separate zip files, encrypt them with a password, or any combination of the above.
Advanced Options & Settings
In the advanced options section of each backup profile, you can choose from some more advanced options, including checking your files for CRC (cyclic redundancy check), or specifying what to do when backup is finished (i.e. shutdown, log off, standby).
In the settings menu for Backup Platinum, you can set the ‘thread priority’ of Backup Platinum (faster, but more CPU-intensive, slow and unnoticeable, or any level in between). You can even specify a time for the program to wait after start-up before processing backup items. Personally, I have set this to 3 minutes. I do not want Backup Platinum to slow down my initial start-up, but I will not be doing anything CPU-intensive within the first 10 minutes of start-up, so it’s a good time to run backups.
This might not apply to the average user, but it is useful if you have installed backup software on someone else’s computer, or need updates from a remote location. A quick configuration of e-mail settings, and Backup Platinum will email you the log of every backup.
A couple things I didn’t like about Backup Platinum
No ‘idle’ option in scheduler
In previous backup software, I set the scheduler to back up my files whenever my computer was idle for 10+ minutes. Unfortunately, Backup Platinum does not have that option. This is a nuisance if you are backing up to FTP or a local directory. Personally, I backup to my external HD, so usually don’t use the scheduler anyways.
No use of colors in backup profile view
When viewing your list of backup profiles, everything is the same black color. This isn’t a big disadvantage, but I noticed that I missed the color-coding based on completion, failure, or status in other backup programs.
‘How to Purchase’ option still remains
When I entered my registration number into the trial, it removed most of the registration prompts, but one of them remains. Under the help menu, there is an item titled ‘How to purchase…’. I am not sure if this is just because I registered over my trial version, but I trust that they will fix this soon. Again, not a big deal.
After brainstorming the pros and cons of this software, I struggled to narrow down the pros, and develop some cons. If the disadvantages seem a bit silly to you, then it is probably because I couldn’t think of anything seriously wrong with this software. I received a registration key to review this software, but I hope I get to keep it, because I am looking forward to using this as my main backup utility.
(If you order before March 23rd, you can get a 10% discount on Backup Platinum using this coupon code: GEAR-E3Q2-FIRE)