Friday, September 2, 2016

Gizmo Review: BackupChain will customize backup tasks

9/02/2016

Gizmo Review

It’s not as though computer users needed any more reasons to back up their data. We were already living with the triple threats of theft, disaster and hardware failure. Now there’s the specter of ransomware, a hacker locks your files with an encryption program and demands a payment to get the key.

Microsoft Windows an other operating systems typically include a simple backup utility that will schedule backups for an entire system. That approach is fine for many home users. But if you’re in change of a household or small business with several computers, things can get complicated.

For example, you might have servers, network drives or external USB drives. Maybe you have  data that is constantly changing and should be backed up continuously rather than nightly or weekly. It might also be advisable to encrypt some files in your backups while making others available in their natural format.

Those are the kinds of tasks that BackupChain was built to perform. It’s a Windows backup program that can be used in a wide range of scenarios, whether you’re an IT professional or a home user who needs to protect a single PC.

BackupChain offers a fully-functional version of its software that you can use for free for 20 days. I downloaded it from the company website and installed the program on a laptop running Windows 7. I had the software up and running in less than five minutes and I was making my first backup about 10 minutes later.

BackupChain lets you easily create Tasks that tell the program what to do and when to do it. A Task Wizard stores the settings for each job an the Tasks can be run manually at any time or they can be set to kick off on a schedule. One Task might back up an entire computer, another might copy an SQL database or run on a virtual machine.

If your backup needs are simple, just tell BackupChain to make a Universal Backup an store it in a local folder, on a network drive or some other destination and you’re good to go. BackupChain will store the backed up files in compressed format to save space on the target drive.

But the program is especially useful is you have more complex requirements. For instance, you might have a preference for for how files are compressed. BackupChain lets you specify ZIP, Tar or one of several other compression formats.

Backups can also save files without compression so they can be easily found and opened. You also get options for encryption formats, including one that’s HIPPA compliant. For additional security, BackupChain will store backups offsite using an FTP destination.

Once you’re comfortable with basic backups, you can create additional Tasks for specific jobs. I set my Universal Backup to make updates every Friday at 3 a.m. and created another task to update a folder containing spreadsheets every night. The program can also be fine-tunes for special tasks like backing up an SQL server or Microsoft Exchange.

BackupChain is available in four editions with license prices starting at $62.95US for one year of software maintenance. For more details visit the BackupChain website where you can download the free trial package and a user guide.



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Follow me on Twitter @ricmanning and read my technology columns at My Well Being.

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