Normally on the release day of a highly anticipated new movie, game or album, I would find myself 30 people back in a line outside of a “big box” store. Somehow, the level of excitement is elevated by the fact that I’m sharing the last few moments of life without the new media amongst a group of people with the same interest. We’d talk about how we had read magazine articles and found information on the internet that said this or that. Then, the doors open and we poor into the store for our bounty.
That excitement is not there for me today, as I will be waiting on snail-mail (US Postal Service) to bring me my hard copy of Windows 7 on disk, as part of the FREE upgrade program that I have talked about so much. My patience is a small price to pay for that FREE $125 enhancement. Instead of getting my copy this morning and spending the rest of the day tinkering and testing, I will be preparing for when the disk does arrive. As promised in yesterday’s article, I have been testing a piece of backup software and I now bring you the results.
GFI Backup – Home Edition is the name of the FREE software that I tested yesterday. In short, I like the functionality, layout and ease-of-use that the program offers. The menu system is easy to follow and there aren’t too many options. For the first time user, I think the application would be easy to understand and use. Having said that, the program is not exactly what I was looking for. As it turns out, there are really two types of backup options to be considered when looking for the right software:
- Folder/File specific backups – you pick the exact folders or files that you want preserved and the software does this on a regular, recurring basis.
- Image backups – the entire hard drive is backed up in case of an emergency or, in my case, your Windows 7 upgrade fails and you need to go back to square 1.
GFI Backup is capable of an image backup, but is really meant for folder/file specific backups. So, for those of you who have a lot of photos, music, movies, word documents, etc. this is the software for you. You can put all of those documents in one area (my documents for instance) and then tell GFI to back it up hourly, daily, weekly… Choose your file name, location, compression and whether or not you want security and you are done. The entire process of setting up a recurring backup would only take about 30 seconds.
So, while I haven’t found exactly what I am looking for, I have found a new, great way to backup specific items that I really can’t afford to lose. I’ll continue the search for an Image backup and report back my findings. In the mean time, don’t be one of the masses who thinks “yeah, I really should back up my computer” and then forgets about it. Take the few minutes to download GFI Backup and begin a weekly archival of your important files. You will thank us later. If we find something better in a new FREE software, you can always switch to that later. It’s not going to cost you a dime.