Paragon Drive Backup 9 Personal: Excellent PC Backup Software
written by: Finn Orfano•edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 5/24/2011
This software lets you backup your entire hard drive, a partition of that drive, or just certain files and folders. It even lets you create a bootable restore disc in case you ever need to restore to a brand new drive. Read on to find out more in this detailed Paragon Drive Backup Personal review.
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Drive Backup 9 Personal
Paragon Drive Backup is the Cadillac of backup software for your Windows PC. To put it simply, it's very possibly the best backup software for Windows. This review is for the 9.0 Personal edition of the software. A server-based version is also available. A free copy of this software was given to me by Paragon Software Group for the purpose of this review. In no way did this affect my overall opinion of the software.
Backing up your data is an important aspect of computing that is too often overlooked until it is too late. Data can be lost in a variety of ways, including natural disasters or hard drive mechanical failure. I’ve personally seen hard drives crash on brand new machines before. If you have data on your PC that is crucial to you, then you need to make an effort to back it up regularly, because you never know when that data might not be available any more.
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Drive Backup 9 Personal contains a variety of tools for backing up data from your computer. You can back up your entire hard drive, a partition of that drive, or even just select files or folders. It also allows you to schedule backups so that you don’t have to remember every time. It even includes a utility called Recovery Media Builder that creates a bootable disc for you to use for restoring your data.
With this software, you could make a backup copy of your entire hard drive. If something were to happen to that computer or hard drive, you could use this software’s restore utility to set everything back up just the way it was before. For example, a really good time to do a whole hard drive backup would be when you first get a brand new machine. That way, you could just restore it to the original factory state in case you get ready to sell the PC, or just want to wipe it clean and start over.
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The interface in Drive Backup 9 Personal is pretty simple to navigate, though I do wish it allowed you to drag and drop files into a backup area. Instead, you have to go through a collapsing list of folders in order to choose which ones you’d like to back up. This method of folder navigation seems archaic these days, especially on a Windows Vista PC.
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When you are ready to back up the data, you can burn it to a CD or DVD, or just create an image file to place on your hard drive or a network drive. It wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to place it on your hard drive if you forgot to move it afterward, but it’s an option since backing up directly to a network location could cause bandwidth issues depending on the speed of your network.
This software also compresses the data as it backs up, meaning you won’t have a 300 gigabyte drive image of your 300 gigabyte hard drive. Instead, it’s be more like 200 gigs, depending on what kind of data you have and how well it compresses. A drive full of MP3 files won’t compress well at all, but a bunch of documents and text surely will. When you get ready to back up the data, Drive Backup 9 Personal will give you a rough estimate of how much the data will be compressed.
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In the end, I was very pleased with the features and performance of Drive Backup 9 Personal. It’s packed full of useful features, simple to use, and something that should be used on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis. For a retail price of just $39.95, it provides a lot of functionality for the money. Highly recommended!
For the ulimately secure backup solution, you may wish to consider teaming Paragon Drive Backup with an ioSafe Solo: a disaster-proof external hard drive.