Clickfree Traveler SSD
Credit card-sized, no-brainer backup
Review The Clickfree concept is to provide effortless file backups for people who want hassle-free security from data loss. Yet the original Clickfree Portable drive received a mixed reception from Reg Hardware readers, comparing it unfavourably with ‘regular’ USB hard drives. The latest incarnation is a little different and relies on an SSD for storage. It's intended for backing up laptops and netbooks on the move and is considerably more compact than the Portable.
Clickfree's Traveler: SSD with a difference
The Clickfree Traveler has the same footprint as a credit card and a 3.5mm thick, brushed aluminium case. It feels solid enough and weighs just 12g, so could easily be carried in a wallet. There are three capacities: 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, but none of them are cheap, ranging from £80 to £200.
Connection is made via a swing-out, flexible PCB arm, complete with a skeleton USB plug on the end. The Traveler is light enough to hang from the arm, so doesn’t normally need an extension cable – with a laptop, it should be able to rest on the desktop beside. A pin-head, white LED set into the USB plug flashes to show data transfer.
Clickfree works like this. You plug the drive into a USB socket on any Windows 2000 or later PC or on an Intel Mac running OSX 10.5 or above. There are no Linux drivers we’re aware of. The Clickfree back-up software runs automatically from the drive and backs up everything in My Documents, as well as pst email files, jpgs, tifs, wavs, mp3s, wma and wmv. In other words, most of the things you’d typically want to secure.
Your inflexible friend
It does this without any intervention, completely automatically and secures them in a folder specific to the computer it’s copying from. Space permitting, it can do this for up to 10 different machines, and on subsequent backups, it recognises the machine and incrementally backs up any additions to the same folder. If you’re satisfied with the default file-set it backs up, you don’t need to make any setting changes and the process really is plug and go.
The quality of memory in an SSD is much higher and has a greater write-cycle tolerance than a USB drive (writing is balanced across the whole memory in the SSD, for a start). Where would the market for SSDs have come from, otherwise? A USB drive is no replacement for an SSD in this application.
@Hayden Clark I think you'll find most PCs DO have autorun enabled. If they don't it's a one-off change before you start using something like the Clickfree.
@Tony Barnes I agree. Thought it might be the USB 2 interface which was bottle-necking it, but it should bottle-neck the HD version as much. Queried it with the manufacturer, but they have no test results to confirm or refute ours. At least, none they were prepared to share.
I think the implementation of the SSD version is flawed, particularly on speed, but making back-up REALLY simple is a *very good* idea. The comment about using xCopy /s /d highlights where most Reg Hardware readers come from. Fine if you know that a) Windows has a command prompt, b) how you get at it, c) That MSDOS provides a library of commands they used to use to control their computers 20 years ago and d) that those commands have a series of non-intuitive, single-character switches you can attach to modify the actions of the commands.
Use a memory stick - it's cheaper!
16G for £80 ?!!! WTF is wrong with a memory stick? I bought an 8G one for about a tenner! and it's just as portable. Just a pointless gimmic.
Sorry, I didn't miss the point, I failed to make my own clearly. I wasn't disagreeing that a simple, automatic backup solution is a good idea, merely that the price was very high for what was provided.
And presumably those sales people work for a company with an IT department in which case the responsibility for backup should already be decided and fully automatic procedures in place. I think putting sensitive sales information in your wallet is probably a bad idea unless it is encrypted as mentioned by AC above because wallets are very frequently stolen. Of course most companies don't encrypt anything at all so I realize that this might take a bit more work to put in place.
Anyway how does it know what to copy? It can hardly be fully automatic because most people's computers have more data on them than would fit, especially on the SSD version. So the user must inevitably have to specify what to copy. So it is definitely not as simple as plugging it in.
The xCopy scripts that I mentioned are something that I demonstrate to my colleagues and even those who actively dislike computers manage to use them.
Missed the point
@Kevin Whitefoot: I think you are missing the point. This is the easiest way to backup your data for the millions of people that have NEVER backed up in their life and in the case of the Traveler, it could be used for sales people who like to think they are tech savvy but don't know the first thing about computers. Plug this bad boy in, and then put it in your wallet. If your laptop gets stolen, or is comprimised in any way, then all is not lost.
@ Anonymous Coward: I would not trust net backup ever. Do you really think you have any more control over anything that you post to the web? Backing up at home, I totally agree, and the clickfree hard drives are good for that too. I use one for my home network. Captures data from my wife's pc, my pc & laptop and my kids pcs and they never have to lift a finger.
... er, only on a PC that has autorun enabled. Which, nowadays, should be relatively few.