In the world of data backup and recovery, simpler is better. At least in my opinion but I'm a minimalist. I love the "set it and forget it" mentality. Just like that Ronco guy who sells those cooking machines on TV in the middle of the night. The world is complicated enough. Taking into consideration all of the antivius, antispam, and firewall software you may be keeping track of, why would you want another complicated piece of software to add to your collection? GFI Backup 2009 Home Edition software is a great option for those of you that share my thoughts and feelings on no-nonsense backup and recovery.
USER INTERFACE (4 out of 5)
This is where simple means everything. The GFI Backup Home Edition main menu is comprised of four different, clearly-labeled sections. Each has a brief description of the utilities/tools provided by that section. The sections are as follows:
Backup – Create a backup of files, folders, registry keys, emails, user settings, storage media, or anything else you might want a backup of.
Restore – Restore the above items to a restore point/location of your choice.
My Tasks – During the backup scheduling, tasks can be created to specify the WHAT/WHEN/WHERE of the backup schedules. This section allows you to manage those tasks.
Sync – This section does exactly what it implies. It allows you to configure and manage file and folder synchronization between multiple devices and/or multiple locations as another backup option.
FEATURES & PERFORMANCE (4 out of 5)
One interesting feature of GFI Backup Home Addition is the ability to use 256-bit AES strong encryption. This encryption method (Advanced Encryption Standard) was deemed by the U.S. NSA (National Security Agency) as "secure enough to protect classified information up to the TOP SECRET level." By definition, a top secret information classification means disclosure of said information would cause "exceptionally grave damage" to the nation security of the United States.
Another great feature is the use of the ZIP format for backups and restores. By using this universal format, GFI provides users with an extremely versatile backup method.
Performance is great. I set my test schedule to run a backup each time I shut down my system. The backups were quick and I hardly noticed they were taking place once I clicked on the shutdown button. The restore/recovery of the backups were quick and efficient.
PRICE TO VALUE (5 out of 5)
As consumers in a global market, most of realize that "free" doesn't necessarily coincide with "quality" or even "usability." However, there isn't much to say here. The value should be fairly obvious if you've read this far. And the price… well nothing beats free, right?
So in conclusion, there's really no reason you shouldn't try GFI Backup Home Edition. It's FREE, it works, and it's easy to use. Still need another reason? Check out GFI's We Care pledge. In summary it simply states that their mission, in order to be the provider of choice for small and medium size businesses, is to understand the market. Given the rough economic times we are experiencing, GFI created this software with the idea that it would be offered as freeware. As they put it, their goal is, "to assist [their channel partners and companies] in sustaining their business until the economy bounces back." Need I say more?
Go HERE to download GFI Backup Home Edition Freeware.
Where to Store Backups?
Now that you have a backup solution, you may be wondering where you should store your backups. There not much point in storing them on the same drive that you're backing up as, should that drive file, both your files and your backups will be lost. An external hard drive is a better option, but this will completely secure your data as a fire or flood could wipe out both your computer and your external hard drive. Check out our ioSafe Solo Review for a possible solution!