Review: Data Backup 3

Easy to use backup software for your peace of mind. (June 28th, 2007)

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Product Manufacturer: Prosoft Engineering

Price: $59.00 US

The Good

  • Relatively simple backup utility Many options to choose from Verifies burned discs. Automatically backup on a schedule Can backup to CDs, DVDs, hard drives, and servers Demo version available.

The Bad

  • Many options to decipher.

I don't know why it is, but nobody likes to backup their files. Most people think that every time they turn on their Mac, all of their files should be available and usually that is what happens. It is that black day when you turn on your Mac and you get the flashing question mark or nothing at all, that you become concerned. That may be too late. Those of us who live along hurricane alley understand that backing up your computer DVDs or CDs means you can leave your computer behind if you have to evacuate. A couple of DVDs is a lot lighter than a 20-inch monitor and all that goes with a desktop Mac.

Prosoft makes it easy

Data Backup 3 is a simple utility whose sole purpose is to save your data onto some other media. It saves your information on an external hard drive or onto CDs and DVDs. There are many options you can choose. You can backup your entire hard drive, or selective folders, such as:
  • Everything but the system.
  • All of the documents/data files.
  • Everything in your Computer/Users/Name folder (handy for those computers that have more than one user).
  • All document files in your Computer/Users/Name folder. All non documents, such as applications, are skipped.
  • All documents in your home file.
  • All of the photos in your Pictures directory.
Open the options panel and create a backup type by selecting from the choices available. If you want to backup a drive or a folder, you can drag and drop its icon into the options panel, then indicate which media you want to use. Data Backup can burn multiple sessions on one CD, but not on a DVD. You can also split a file and burn part on one CD and the other part on another. This is handy for a large movie or sound file.

You can even set your preferences to exclude certain files. Let's say you convert all of your photos from TIFF to jpeg files (or vice versa). You may not want to backup the jpeg files. Data Backup can exclude all of those files and backup only the TIFFs. You also can use the date modified and date created to backup a range of files created that day or week.

Schedule your backups

After you select the type of backup you wish to do, just click the Start Now button. If you back up to DVDs or CDs, Data Backup 3 prompts you to insert a blank disc. ProSoft Engineering recommends that initially you backup your entire hard drive. After that, you may only need to backup data files. Version 3 adds the Fast Start feature, which backups those files that have changed since the previous backup without needing to scan your whole source disk for changes. You can schedule your backups by date or intervals. Backup every other day or once a week on Friday at 6 PM. You can also have Data Backup 3 compress and encrypt your files as they go from the source drive to your backup media. Of course, if you loose your password, you will not be able to access your information on the backup media.

Overall

The process is very simple once you work through the interface. The PDF user manual is very helpful. It walks you through and explains the many options. I created backups on a 4GB thumb drive and CDs without problems. I also experienced no problems running the backup in the background. For those people who need to create copies because of business needs or those who don't want to loose their stuff, you definitely want to check out the many features, including the automatic options that Data Backup 3 provides. While this Universal application only requires Mac OS X 10.2.8, you must have 10.4.x to use the Fast Start features.

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by Rick Curran


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