MyPCBackup review

Did you know it is almost impossible to recover corrupt data in the event of a hard drive crash. It is certainly impossible to recover data in instances of fire or theft. Backup software is becoming a necessity for all PC and laptop users. Find out more about online backup with this review of MyPC Backup.

Warning: All Hard Drives WILL Crash in Their Lifetime.

Online Backup:

In this review I shall be reviewing MyPC Backup, an automated online computer backup and sync provider. I have been using MyPC Backup for 6 months now and I feel qualified to give my opinion on this product. I have used other backup providers in the past, namely Carbonite and Mozy, but i have to say that the wealth of features MyPC backup offers ranks it higher than the other two, more established competitors.

Whilst the large companies named above have seemingly dominated the backup industry for years it is time for a fresh new company to come and put the cat amongst the pigeons and offer superior products, features, prices and customer service.

Most consumers looking to purchase online backup generally look for these features:

–          Automatic Backup
–          Affordable Payment Plans
–          Easy File Restore
–          File Sync Between Computers

These four requirements rule out more companies than you would think, a quick review shows established names like Dropbox don’t offer automatic backup and Mozy/Carbonite/Backblaze don’t offer file sync between multiple computers. Sugarsync offers most of these features but at a premium, payment plans are very expensive. This is why I consider MyPC Backup to be the obvious and smart choice for computer backup, irrespective of user experience.

You can get a 14 day free trial by going to the website HERE

MyPC Backup Review:

 

Pricing and Space:

The free 14 day trial on offer from MyPC Backup allows you ample time to test the product and service comprehensively. I was convinced in the first couple of days, so i signed up to the MyPC Backup unlimited plan right away.

MyPC Backup offers two plans with various payment terms. The two plans are named ‘Home’ and ‘Unlimited’ the Home plan offers 10Gb of storage and file sync capabilities from 4.95 a month. This is good value considering you get the file option as well however MyPC Backup remains one of the few companies left that offer true UNLIMITED space in their aptly named ‘Unlimited’ plan. The Unlimited plan offers UNLIMITED space and file sync capabilities all for ONLY 7.95 a month!! The best bit though is that MyPC backup is the ONLY Company in the backup industry offering an ANYTIME MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. This is truly unbeatable value. Sign up to one of these great plans today at MyPCBackup
Security and Encryption:

Most online backup providers only offer 128 bit SSL encryption, however MyPC Backup have gone the extra mile and offer 256 bit AES connection as standard on all subscription plans. I like that they haven’t just gone with the industry standard and are doing their upmost to protect their customers.

Web Access:

The online control panel for registered users is extremely comprehensive. There are options to view backed up/synced computer files, add account upgrades, view previous file versions, see how much space you have used and earn yourself free space by referring a friend.

How MyPC Backup Works:

Signing up to MyPC Backup couldn’t be easier, simply visit MyPCBackup and click on the sign up tab in the navigation bar. After entering your email and choosing a password you immediately have an account created. It is then an incredibly quick download of the software application.

Once you have downloaded the software you will be greeted by the setup wizard which will register your computer to your account as well helping you configure backups, this will only take 1-2 mins. Once the setup is complete you no longer have to worry about backing your computer files as the program automatically backs up any changes to your files. You can view how many files you have backed up at anytime by opening the desktop application or by logging in to the online control panel.

Now the real reason you need a computer backup program is to recover any data you may lose in the event of an accident or a disaster. Thankfully with MyPC Backup there are two options for restoring lost files, you can either use the desktop application or the online control panel. Both options only take a couple of clicks, you can select exactly which files you want to restore and exactly where you want them restored to.
Sync Folder:

This is the feature that really sets MyPC Backup apart from most backup providers. Syncing files between computers happens in two easy steps. First you need to download the software onto the computer you wish to sync to (this is free!), then drag and drop any file you wish into your sync folder, located either in my documents or the shortcut on the desktop.

Customer Support Review:

Thankfully this is something I have only had to use once due to the software being so easy to use and bug free. The customer support team seems super helpful and I received a response from them really quickly to help resolve my issue.

I hope you enjoyed my MyPC Backup review. As you can tell i wholeheartedly recommend MyPC Backup to any computer user. You don’t know how valuable your computer files are until you lose them, don’t take the risk. Backup your computer with MyPC Backup today.

Advertisements

Reasons you should back up your data

Superheroes need it, police rely on it and everyone that uses a computer should use some form of it. In the world of mainframes and microchips it’s called data backup or data recovery and it can mean the difference between a slight computer setback and living through your own electronic apocalypse.

Let’s face it; our computers are a bigger part of life than ever before. We shop, work and play using computers. They’ve replaced stereos, encyclopedias, even the mailman. They’ve become journals, photo albums and canvases for our art.

But computers aren’t perfect. Files become corrupt, motherboards malfunction, CPUs call it quits taking our precious data with them.

The best defense is data backup software. Backing up data is vital for businesses; lost information can cause a major crisis or worse, lead to business failure. Individuals who don’t backup computer data run the same risk. While this may not cause financial ruin, it can certainly be frustrating and even heartbreaking. So why do so few of us practice data backup?

Here are the common excuses:

“I’m too busy to backup my computer.” We are busy; work, family and friends fill our days and leave us little time for boring things like computer maintenance. But today’s backup software manufacturers make it easy. Through scheduled backups, your system can automatically perform a backup that fits your needs at an interval you choose – without interrupting life.

“I don’t know how to backup data.” Like preparing for a natural disaster, most of us understand how important data backup is, but don’t know where to start. A big step is deciding how you are going to store the data you backup.

One option is Removable Backup Media, but this only narrows the field a little. You could buy a million 3.5″ discs or perhaps invest in a larger-capacity external Zip drive. You could take the plunge into writeable CDs or stretch out your legs with the help of an external hard drive.

Another good data backup option is to backup to an FTP location, which allows you to backup a file, a folder or your entire hard drive to a separate location online.

“My computer won’t crash.” You’ve had your computer this long and haven’t had problems so far why worry about computer backup now? Data backup is about protecting your data’s future, but with computers, it isn’t if you crash, it’s when you crash.

In today’s high-tech world of sneaky spyware and venomous viruses, you are in more danger of data lossthan ever before. Computer viruses grew by as much as 11% percent during 2003 alone.*

Like tires on your car, the electronic circuits your computer rides on will eventually wear down and blow out. When this happens, you can either grieve at your loss or simply restore your data with data backup software.

So with that said, how does one choose the right backup software? There are many varieties available – some suited to a growing business and others for growing families. Some backup software is for technical experts, other packages for the technically challenged.

Great back up Software:Backup Maker

Here is a personal backup software that  is easy to understand and use, while still offering a very good set of features.  It has a slick modern interface that makes it easy on the eyes, as well as to navigate.  It has setup wizard that takes you step by step through the job creation process, with the choice to show or hide advanced options.  Features include filters to exclude or include certain file types, or files with a maximum file size. It has a very easy to use scheduler with fine grain control over execution times, ans well as the choice to execute backup jobs at start up, shutdown, or upon insertion of a USB volume.   If a job time is missed it can automatically be rescheduled.  It offers the ability to run before and after job tasks, including mounting/un-mounting a network drive, powering down the computer, or rebooting, sending an email report, printing a hard copy of the backup log, or starting a subsequent backup job. Backup Maker did not balk on encountering long file names or foreign/unicode characters. Once backups are made each file is verified with a hash check. (CRC32)

It supports a variety of backup methods including incremental and differential zip archives which they call “partial backups” and they are presented in clear understandable terminology.  Each type of backup can be fine tuned with certain file property parameters, including archive “bit” set and reset. (bit is a type of attribute flag that indicates a file has changed since it was last backed up)  Archives can be encrypted if you need extra security.  Archives can be automatically named by date stamp and split to any desired size.  It supports to backing up to any local, network, or online storage that supports ftp,(SSL included) and it has the built in support for burning files directly to CD/DVD.

Backup maker supports restoring files to original or a new location.  You can restore a whole backup, or just a single file. A nice search feature is included for finding a desired file in the zip archive.

The my only complaints would be that the wizard does not include options for auto selection of commonly backup files and folders, and it does not support backing up open/locked files.   Also when I tried to restore a password protected archive, the password entry dialog popped up under the restore window, and for a while I thought the program had crashed or frozen.  I had to minimize the main programs windows to enter the password.   Another minor inconvenience is a popup nag screen that informs the user that the free version is for personal use only, and that it will be removed if you register it for commercial use.  Other than that there is no difference between the free and commercial versions.

In testing the program on Win 7, I found all features to work as advertised. It is easy enough for a beginner to use, but robust enough for a pro. It has a decent help file in pdf form that covers each aspect of the backup process if you encounter any problems.  I think Backup Maker is a great all around file backup program, and give it my top recommendation.

Review of Novosoft Handy Backup

Background

Novosoft is a Texas based company founded in 1992 that has produced a number of software products including the very popular Handy Backup.

Usage

The opening screen is a model of simplicity but on closer inspection, provides little immediate guidance to tell you what you have to do.

What you have to do in fact, is  open the File menu and choose to create a new “item” i.e. a  backup, restore, or synchronize operation. A wizard then opens and walks you through creating the item, depending what type of operation you’re doing.

Folder selection is accomplished by double-clicking folders in a tree view of your system. Once you get done selecting files, folders, or drives, the wizard closes and leaves you back at the main screen (above).

To actually run your item, you have to click on the large blue arrow on the toolbar.  Again, this is not immediately obvious.

You can change the properties of any item by right clicking. This throws up a popup screenwith a number of tabs covering different settings.

This approach is okay, but it’s falls a little short of the publisher’s claim of “intuitive” operation. Rather, I’d call it “uncomplicated.”. Whatever you call it, it works pretty well once you figure out what you’re supposed to do.

Handy Backup offers the option of backing up files without compression. When this option is selected, the files will be backed up in native Windows format. That is, the backup will consist of a list of files of the same name and length as the originals exactly as you see them on hard disk. This is a useful option for those who want their backup data to be readable and accessible from any Windows machine without the need for special software.  It does however take more space and it does introduce security issues.  This aside, it will present an attractive option for many users.

Handy Backup has the capacity to backup Outlook .PST files the Windows Registry, and ICQ files. This is a handy feature because while most users would like to backup these files, few would know where they are located.

However, the ability to backup these files is not built into the standard version of Handy Backup. Instead you have to purchase special plug-ins and the cost adds up. The Outlook, Registry, and ICQ plug-ins cost $10, $15, & $10 respectively.

Performance

Alone amongst the programs tested, Handy Backup has no option for verifying the accuracy of the backups created. It’s just not built into the software.

Also missing is the capacity write to unformatted CD-Rs. To use CD-Rs you must first format them with third party packet-writing software.

There are some other restrictions as well:  Handy Backup will not allow you to extract individual files from multi-volume CD backup sets. There are also restrictions on the size of the backup files created. Finally, it can’t handle backups to DVD.

Those limitations noted, it must be said that Handy Backup performed backups and restores without any problems.  Performance though, was towards the bottom of the test group on most measures but oddly enough, Handy Backup was the fastest performer when producing uncompressed backup sets.

Help & Support

The program has an excellent Windows help file, comprising more of a program manual than anything else. It’s extremely comprehensive. You can use the file to learn all about program operations and the user interface.  It also has a useful FAQ section.

A visit to the online Help center made me feel both better and worse. They do have a tech accessible through ICQ or by e-mail,  but there is no phone access and even registered users aren’t promised a reply any quicker than 2 business days, with the general public waiting 5 days or so for enlightenment. And that’s it. No other support is offered or available.

Summary  

A straightforward backup program with a simplicity that will appeal to many users. However that simplicity comes at the cost of omitting some features, including the ability to verify the accuracy of backups created.

 

Review – NTI BackupNow

Background  

New Tech Infosystems (“NTI”) was founded in 1993 and has specialized in software for CD and DVD recording. Apart from BackupNow!, NTI produces a number of other well regarded products including a CD burner.

Usage

BackupNow!’s  user interface is a model of clarity.  It features numbered steps to guide you through creating a backup job and plenty of dialog boxes to gently guide you back to the true path if you stray. Here’s the main program window:

It gives you a clear path to the result you’re after, allows you to change whatever options you need to change at the moment, then gets out of your way while the program does its thing.  Each step in a backup or restore has its own lighted button in the list that represents the particular job you’re running. The program moves you towards the next step without giving you the impression that it’s pushing you. It’s a shame that more companies don’t follow this model.

Restoring a backup follow the same simple 1-2-3 formula. Click here for the screenshot. Again the screens are all separate and again have clearly numbered steps for each operation.

It may sound simple and obvious, but BackupNow! was the only program we looked at that we would rate as having a totally intuitive interface.

BackupNow! does not provide explicit settings to allow you to backup your email, Windows Registry, Desktop, Favorites and other system settings. To back up these items you need to know where the appropriate files are located on your PC. If you don’t know this, and haven’t the means to find out, you may want to consider other products such as Genie which provide simple tick boxes to back up these items.

Worthy of note are a number of special features:

  • The full version of BackupNow! includes a full drive/partition backup program that will handle open files, including the Windows registry. It is capable of actually spanningdrives as opposed to disk spanning. That means you may be able to do an unattended backup of a larger volume to removable media.
  • It can create bootable rescue media for use in disaster recovery.
  • It’s capable of actually resuming an interrupted backup.

That’s quite a list of features and it’s unmatched by any other program I could find.

Performance

Once I had the right options checked, backups and restores completed without problems, whatsoever.  It just worked as you would expect. No glitches, no holdups nothing.

However BackupNow! was one of the slower performers in this survey for both the time taken to create backups and the time to restore. It was not the generally the slowest but it was no speed demon either.

There is a partial explanation for this slowness;  when used at maximum compression BackupNow! produced the smallest backup sets of any product. This degree of compression uses a lot of processing power and this slows down the process. On the other hand, you are rewarded with more compact backup sets.

It’s worthwhile noting that this is one of the few programs that will backup your data to unformatted CD-R’s. Simply slip the blank disc into your drive and the program will take you to a small dialog that lets you pick any options you want to use for the drive. I found that on my system, the proper option was ‘packet writing’. Once I had that set, the backup proceeded to a successful conclusion in short order.

Help & Support

This program offers a good Windows help file, online FAQ’s, hardware compatibility list, and online access to tech support queries for registered owners of the software. There did not seem to be any way to contact them via e-mail or phone. I wish that the company did have more contact options, but I have a hard time believing that you’ll ever need more help than can be supplied by a quick trip to the included help file.

Summary

BackupNow! has the best user interface of any of the programs we tested. Its simplicity means that even beginners will be able to back up effortlessly. But don’t think BackupNow is a basic program. To the contrary, it has so many features that it will meet the needs of many advanced computer users as well. It’s only real weaknesses are the lack of encryption for backup data sets and the lack of a simple means to allow novice users to backup their email data.