Announced at CES 2010, the Clickfree C2N is the upgrade to the Clickfree Portable Backup Drive with an added function that supports network computers. That said, apart from making backing up a local computer a no-brainer, the device now backs up other networked computers without requiring a direct USB connection. While the Clickfree C2N lacks support for the much-faster USB 3.0 standard and doesn't offer system image backup, it makes up for it by offering a very fast USB 2.0 connection performance.
At street prices of around $120, $130, and $150 for the 250GB, 320GB, and 500GB versions, respectively, the Clickfree C2N is an easy recommendation for any home user who wants to back up their computers without having to get very involved in the process.
Out of the box, the Clickfree C2N drive is good-looking and compact, measuring just 4.52 inches by 2.9 inches by 0.67 inch and weighing a mere 0.38 pound.
The Clickfree C2N has a docking station that features an attached Y-shaped USB cable with two USB connectors on it. Since the drive is bus-powered and draws power from the USB port, a second connector is needed in case a single USB port doesn't provide enough juice to power the hard drive. Together with the docking station, the Clickfree C2N looks good on a desk.
The C2N drive doesn't, however, require the docking station to work. In addition to the mini-USB port on its bottom that connects to the docking station or any other mini-USB cable, the drive has another short, built-in USB cable that can be completely tucked away in a groove on its back. We tried the drive with many computers, and all of them can power the drive via a single USB port.
The Clickfree C2N is preconfigured with two partitions. One is formatted using the NTFS file system to store data, and the other is a read-only CD-ROM emulated partition that contains the ClickFree Backup software. You can do whatever you want with the first partition, including reformatting it to support Mac OS, but you can't make changes to the second one.
There's really nothing to setting up the device. The first time you plug it into a PC computer, the Clickfree Backup software will prompt you to launch it. For security reasons, you'll need to allow it to run. Once launched, you'll be greeted with a 30-second countdown before the software begins the first backup with its default settings. You can skip this countdown by clicking on "Start" or "Options" to further customize the way the software performs the backing up. Subsequent launches will give you the option to perform a restoration or view the backups that have been made.
We tried the Clickfree Backup software with Windows-based computers, but the software also works similarly with Intel-based Macs as long as they run OS 10.5 or later.
The Clickfree Backup software enables a lot of customization. By default, it categorizes data into 10 groups such as Text Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Photos, Music and so on. The software also allows for filtering within each group. For example, you can exclude all JPEG files in the group "Photos," or exclude all Excel files in the group "Spreadsheets." Also, you can also create a customized group with different file extensions of your liking.