Virtual Backup

Tuesday Aug 1st 2000 by SmallBusinessComputing Staff
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@Backup 2.0 -- Rating 80

by David Haskin

@Backup 2.0
Rating 80

Losing mission-critical business data means losing time and money, which is why smart computer users back up their data. But, what if the tape or Zip drive to which you back up data is lost, stolen, or burned?

@Backup backs up files to the Internet, which keeps them out of harm's way. After signing up on line, you download the program for your PC, which then automatically installs itself. The program looks roughly like Windows Explorer. In the left pane, you select the directories to back up. In the right, the files within the selected directory appear, and you can check or uncheck each file that you wish. The screen for restoring files looks similar except it shows only the directories and files you've backed up and not your entire system.

The program encrypts your data for security and compresses it so that files transfer faster. Still, you may be in for a long wait during your first backup. It took us all night to complete our initial 100MB backup using a standard 28.8Kbps dial-up connection. After that, however, restoring a dozen or so changed files took only a few minutes a day. You can schedule the backups to automatically occur when you want, including the middle of the night.

We were frustrated, however, that we couldn't schedule backups more frequently than daily. Another complaint is that @Backup doesn't let you create multiple backup sets, such as backing up your database once a week and your word processing files daily. We also found some options to be buried in the software. For instance, the option for excluding specific types of files from being backed up, such as BAK or TMP files, is hidden somewhat obscurely in the View menu.

While backing up lots of files with a dial-up connection is inevitably slow, @Backup provides an important type of peace of mind at a very affordable price.

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