Thursday, July 11, 2013

SyncBack Free Review

I just finished testing 2BrightSparks SyncBack Free. I'm very satisfied with this free backup solution. I'm so satisfied that I'm going to stop using the previous solution I used for simple backups.

SyncBack Free isn't intending to be an enterprise level backup solution so don't expect features like that in this free solution (though their paid pro version does that stuff). What it does do though it does very well. For my environment, I wanted to backup my documents and outlook content to a shared storage location. In my past experience this has either been very easy and thus neglecting some extra features or very complicated and thus keeping me from wanting to use the product. Syncback Free takes an approach that I like a lot by having two modes: easy mode and expert mode. In easy mode and expert modes you first name your backup profile, e.g., outlook profile.  Then, you decide what this profile is going to be: backup, synchronize, or mirror (these choices are explained by hovering your mouse over the "?" next to each choice). After naming and choosing the purpose for your profile you automatically are in easy mode. In this mode you can setup your source and destination folders (local, external, or network paths to choose), setup a schedule, and choose what you want to happen if SyncBack Free encounters a duplicate file during a backup, e.g., do you want to copy and replace, do nothing, prompt, etc. If you're done then you can do a simulation run to test the backup. You can choose expert mode from the left menu bar before going through with the simulation run.

In expert mode, you obviously have more options to design your backup profile. This is the part of Syncback Free I really like. Expert mode has options like compression, encryption, FTP, Programs-before and more. One to thing to point out: by default, Syncback Free backups your data to the destination as is. What do I mean? I mean that if you go to your destination drive to view your backup you'll see all your data just the way it looks in your source drive, i.e., the backup isn't zipped into a single folder  or encrypted. Anyone with access to that destination drive will be able to access your data without any problem. This is important to point out and the only flaw, I've found, with SyncBack Free. It's basically a copy and paste by default. Expert mode allows you to change this. In the compression section you can check the box to compress the files on the destination into a zip file, then check the box below it to put all the files into a single zip file and if you want you can choose the level of compression. Doing this will make the size of your backup smaller and make the backup a single zipped folder. You can also encrypt your compressed backup which is nice.

So that is my review of SyncBack Free. It's my impression that this solution is for personal use and for very small businesses who can't afford to pay for a solution that is more robust than this free solution. The Pro version is 54.95, but it has a lot of features that make the product worth the price.

If you're looking for a backup solution for your home or small office then checkout SyncBack Free.

1 comment:

  1. I've used SyncBack for over 7 years and it is the best of both worlds - ease of use and comprehensive - backup solution for home users.


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