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.