Data Backup 3 – Ease of Use and Peace of Mind!

data_backup_3_trans.jpegData Backup 3 ($59) is a powerful utility that allows you to backup, restore and synchronize your valuable data with minimal effort. Whether you are a new computer user or a seasoned professional, Data Backup 3 offers you just the right amount of power, flexibility and ease-of-use to help you protect your files fast.

Hopefully you already have a backup routine, and hopefully you didn’t find out the hard way, but for those of you who for whatever reason don’t back up your Mac on a regular basis, get into the habit now!

I am a back up junkie and regularly use SuperDuper, ChronoSync and have used Carbon Copy Cloner in the past as well. They generally have a free option and a more advanced option that you pay for.

The current ‘trend’ is to clone your Mac’s drive(s) to an external drive. This requires as much spare space on the external drive as you are using on your Mac which can be somewhat expensive, time consuming and unnecessary! For example on our iMac we have a 250GB hard drive. It is attached to a 250GB external drive but I do not back up all of the iMac to the external drive. I have partitioned the iMac into 150GB and 100GB. The 150GB is where the applications, iTunes, pictures and data reside. The 100GB is set aside for recorded movies. As such I am not interested in backing up the movies. Any that are ‘must keep’ are backed up to DVD. As a result the external drive is also partitioned 150/100. The 150 does a full clone of the iMac and the 100 does a full clone of the new Mac Book. That way I get two Mac’s cloned onto the one external hard drive.

Another example is the Mac mini (120GB) connected to the LaCie external drive (300GB). This time I haven’t partitioned the Mac mini or the LaCie. I have allocated 120 on the LaCie for a full clone of the Mac mini, with 180 allocated to the storage of movies. Again these are backed up to DVD rather than digitally if there are any that I really don’t want to lose.

The point is I need more than a straight forward system back up from my back up application. I like all the ones that I have used, but in general have always felt that I have been adapting my back up strategy to them, rather than tailoring the application to my needs. With Data Backup I don’t have that issue. The one thing that particularly like is that on the LaCie I have set up a folder called Mac mini System and with Data Backup I can point the backup to this folder rather than only to the LaCie volume. For many this will be a small point but for me it is important as I like to keep my folders in some kind of structure that I understand. Data Backup has the ‘usual’ scheduling, backup only new items options that you get with pretty much all the options in the market.

It is easy to use, effective with preferences that allow it to wake the system up to do a Back Up, determine how many backups you keep etc.

From their site:

Easy

* No complicated setup – built-in backup sets to quickly backup your iTunes or iPhoto files, other important data or your entire system.
* Custom create your own backup sets. Just drag and drop.
* “Fast Start” feature preselects the files to be backed up, saving you time (requires OS X 10.4+).

Powerful

* Go “back in time” and see your files and directories, as they were when your backups happened.
* Schedule your backups to automatically run at a specific time, on a recurring basis or when a drive is connected.
* Have your Mac automatically wake from sleep to execute scheduled backups.
* Backups run whether you are logged in or not.
* Create a bootable clone of your hard drive.
* Choose to compress and/or password protect your backups.

Flexible

* Backup to any mounted drive including FireWire, USB, ATA, or net worked drives.
* Backup to CD/DVD disks automatically span on multiple disks.
* Creates an exact copy of a folder or a drive, including bootable OS X backups.
* Synchronize folders – perfect if you use more than one computer.

Basic Operations

* Backup – simply drag your files and folders into Data Backup and select a destination drive and go!
* Restore – select the files and folders you want to restore, just like backup, but reverse the to and from folders.

You can backup to or restore from any mounted drive including CD, DVD, ATA, SCSI, FireWire, USB, or networked volumes.

Advanced Operations

* Bootable Backups – Clone your bootable drive to make a completely bootable backup. Be up and running quickly if your main drive crashes
* Schedules – automatically run any Data Backup task on a specific days, dates or other recurring basis
* File Exceptions – specify files that are to never be backed up (such as system files or applications)
* Versioned Backup – creates an exact copy of a folder or a disk, and also saves older versions of the data to provide an evolution of the backed-up data
* Incremental Backup – copies all files that have been modified since the last backup.

Options

* Synchronization – makes two folders identical by copying missing files and replacing older files with newer files
* Compression – backup and restore can automatically compress your data, or you can compress data on your computer to save hard drive space.

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