Clickfree Backup external hard drive
A driver's airbag for your data
If you don’t have the number of PCs or the amount of data to warrant the hard drive version of Clickfree, you could instead buy a two-, three-, five- or ten-pack of Clickfree DVD+Rs. These discs contain the same software as on the hard drive version, but back up onto one or more discs. As one disc fills, the software requests another, in the same way Windows used to do with floppies.
Because of a DVD’s limited capacity, relative to a hard drive, the DVD product is divided down into Office, Photos and Music categories and only looks for filetypes related to one of those headings. Each disc is limited to 4.5GB and 2000 files per disc and is slower to back up. A test back-up run of 3.3GB of photo and video data in 5039 files took 10m 3s, but that included full verification of all the files.
Maintaining a good back-up regime with either hard drive or DVD still involves remembering to plug the drive in or load the DVD periodically, but you can always set up an alarm to remind you. For true security, you should store the back-up media away from the PCs they’re protecting. A different building or a fireproof safe will give you some protection.
SAC is working on a version of the product which will enable you to use any external device as the storage medium. It'll be based on a cable with the Clickfree firmware installed into an embedded dongle and will work in the same way as the existing HD product. Mac versions of the products are due out early in 2009, though we suspect anyone using Leopard will already by using the equally simple Time Machine back-up facility built into the OS.
The Clickfree hard drives cost from £75 up, and a five-pack of DVDs is around £8.50, so neither offering is exorbitant. You’re paying for the simplicity of the hardware and software combination and it pretty much does what it says – it provides thorough back-up simply by plugging in an HD or loading a DVD. Minimal clicking involved.
You could, of course, copy every file and folder from your PC to a USB hard drive or a series of DVD+R discs by hand. You could set up a back-up script to do it for you, but for sheer simplicity, Clickfree takes a lot of beating. The price is reasonable and it's a flexible and effective data security tool. ®
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