Looking at these results, you have to conclude that the 120GB HD version of Clickfree, also around £80, is a lot quicker and a lot more capacious than the Traveler. The HD is quite a bit bigger, but at the size of a pack of cards, it’s still manageable when you’re on the move.
On the cards: a convenient but, alas, a slow backup device
A typical 16GB SSD Express Card costs around £40, so you’re paying another £40 for the backup firmware. You can buy back-up software for less than £40, but we’ve not seen another product that runs automatically without the need for set-up. For the particular kind of customer Clickfree aims at, the price premium probably won’t be a problem. If your backup concerns don’t warrant the extra security of an SSD, of course, you can buy a 16GB flash drive for under £20 and run it with backup freeware.
The concept of having a back-up device, which does the whole thing automatically, is a really good one for those who either don’t have the skill or inclination to configure settings. Yet the issues with this particular implementation are that you’re paying over the odds for the SSD and it takes far too long to complete a backup. ®
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Clickfree Traveler SSD
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.