Clickfree C6 Easy Imaging review: Clickfree C6 Easy Imaging

The most powerful thing about the C6's restore function is the fact that you can use it as the boot device for the PC it's plugged into. To do this, you'll need to make the PC temporarily boot from the USB device. With most PCs, you can do this by tapping the F8 or F12 key during startup, or you can change the boot order to make the USB device the first boot device in its BIOS.

Note, however, that though the C6 supports USB 3.0, you'll need to plug it into a USB 2.0 port of the computer to boot from it. This is because most computers don't support booting from a USB 3.0 port.

Once you have successfully booted up using the C6 as the boot storage device, you'll be presented with a lot of options. You can restore the entire computer to an early state, and you can even pick the system state and user data state separately. For example, you can restore the computer's operating system and software to a point of two days ago when the system was running well, but the user data to its state as of today when you made the last changes before the computer crashed. On top of that you can also use this option to restore the entire system on a new hard drive, in case the old one dies or you want to move to a new hard drive that's larger and faster. Of course the restore points are only available when a backup was made at the time.

We were impressed by the level of comprehensiveness in regard to restoring. It's more than enough to make up for the fact that the drive doesn't offer backups for network computers and can't be restored using Windows Explorer, as mentioned earlier.

Performance
The C6 performed well in our testing, both with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0. When used with USB 3.0, the drive registered 87.7MBps for writing, the fastest among portable USB external drives. In reading, it scored 103.4MBps, being about average in our tests. When used with USB 2.0, the C6 offered 28.8MBps and 33.1MBps in writing and reading, respectively, slightly above the average in our tests.

CNET Labs external hard-drive USB 3.0 performance scores (in MBps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Read  
Write  
Clickfree C6
103.4 
87.7 
LaCie Minimus USB 3.0
104.9 
87.7 
LaCie FastKey
115.5 
87.1 
Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro
103.5 
86.2 
Seagate GoFlex Slim
101.9 
82.4 
IoSafe SoloPro
106 
77.1 
Seagate GoFlex Satellite
76.1 
69.3 

CNET Labs USB 2.0 external hard-drive performance scores (in MBps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Read  
Write  

Service and support
We don't expect that users would need much support for the Clickfree C6, and Clickfree doesn't offer much. The company states on its Web site that all backup drives are backed with a (frugal) one-year warranty and will only be considered for exchange if you include the original purchase receipt that gives the date of retail purchase. At the site, you can also download user manuals, but you can't download updates for the backup software.

Conclusion
We loved the Clickfree C6 for its fast performance, ease of use, and comprehensive system restore function. Add a more flexible Windows-based restoration method and a longer warranty and the drive would win our Editors' Choice Award. In its current state, however, the C6 still makes one excellent backup solution for Windows users.

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