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.
The software also allows you to pick folders within the computer's hard drive to back up. When a folder is picked, the software will back up every file stored in that folder, regardless of which groups of data to which they belong.
Unfortunately, while it's highly customizable, the Clickfree Backup software doesn't allow you to create an image of the hard drive in case you want to restore the entire system.
For network computers, you'll need to plug the Clickfree C2N into each of them and allow the Backup software to launch the first time, as mentioned earlier. This process will also install a utility called "Backup Link" that runs in the background. After that, Clickfree C2N can detect and perform backups of all computers within the network that have the Backup Link utility running. This can be done from any networked computer, as though it were plugged into each of them directly.
We found this a very effective yet simple way to manage backups for the entire network. Note however that you can only customize the backup settings of a computer when the Clickfree C2N is connected to it. While we generally don't like having software running in the background, the Backup Link utility seems to use very little system recourses, even when a backup is being created.
Apart from the regular backup functions, the Clickfree Backup Software also offers a few nifty features, such as DVD Backup and Import Music. The DVD Backup, as you might imagine from the name, helps you back up important files on to a DVD similar to how you would back them up to the C2N drive. The Import Music feature supposedly allows you to copy music and playlist from an iPod or iPhone to the computer to which the C2N is connected. Unfortunately, in our trials this feature didn't work; it failed to recognize the connected iPhone 3GS.
While much slower than external hard drives using the new USB 3.0 connection, the Clickfree C2N topped our chart of drives using USB 2.0, including those that support USB 3.0.
In the write test the drive scored 28.2MBps, faster than the 26.1MBps of the Western Digital My Book 3.0. In the read test, the Clickfree C2N performed even better, with 40.1MBps.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Service and support
The Clickfree Web site indicates that the C2N comes with a three-year warranty. However, it seems you need to keep everything that comes with the drive and the proof of purchase in order to qualify. You could also be charged up to $75 (more than half the price of the drive) if you send back a defective product without complete original packing materials. Overall, though the length of the warranty is longer than many other storage products, including the original Clickfree Backup drive, it seems to us that you might be better off not using it all should something happen to your C2N.