Data Backup Digest

Do-It-Yourself Windows File Recovery Software: A Comparison

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Using Acute Software's Autobackup PRO

Not all users today resort to cloud storage solutions, meaning that still a large portion of them are responsible for their own backup schemes. Autobackup-PRO bridges the gap in advantages between physical and cloud storage in terms of data backup.

Autobackup-PRO uses a relatively bare-bones user interface with a retro look. While not pretty, it has a utilitarian feel to it. One of the most important features is that of an automatic or manual mode. The user can either customise their own backup at whichever time they feel necessary, or, more importantly, schedule regular backups to happen in the background. It calls these regular backups "cyclic" as they will adhere to dates and times set on a calendar by the user.

The program also comes with a custom path selector. There are a couple of neat features here that actually make the software stand above some lesser competitors. While simple, these features are much needed intuitive innovations that make the whole process of backup much less of a headache. Firstly, it allows multiple directories instead of just the one - users can grab important files and folders from across their hard drives and then store them in one convenient backup location. It also allows the "ability to exclude directories". This means that if for example, a user wishes to backup their entire user library, they can still select folders within that directory that they do not wish to be backed up. Scenarios where this might be useful might be if the user does not wish to backup their large "downloads" folder because it may just contain installation executables and a few unimportant folders.

Another feature of the cyclic backups is that the user has the ability to save each new backup to a separate directory, to avoid confusion and promote a clear, organised drive. An example could be having "August", "September" and "October" folders, even containing folders for each day of t he weeks of that month. This would be particularly useful if the files in question have multiple versions and are regularly amended or edited. For example, if a bug was introduced a while ago that suddenly was made apparent by another change, the original unedited file could be found from the specific date just before it was edited.

The site claims that it retails at $34.95 but further investigation shows it now retails at around $41, perhaps due to inflation over the years and a lack of changes on the websites. This might be indicative of a lack of support, but one of acute softwares main selling points is it's "prompt, detailed reply" and that it takes "customer support seriously" according to one client.

While old and not great to look at, the no-nonsense approach that Autobackup-Pro's designers have taken is indeed refreshing. The inclusion of a "silent" background mode is encouraging, allowing working users to continue with their work uninterrupted. Overall, Autobackup-Pro is a sound option for users wishing to have the problems of self-regulated backup dealt with by a reliable and low cost automated program.


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