Simple Backup 4.71 review: Simple Backup 4.71

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2.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Fast and simple; few ways to go wrong; cheaper than other backup products.

The Bad Backs up only to CD-R/RW drives; doesn't make incremental backups.

The Bottom Line If you know you'll be backing up only to CDs, save some money and buy Simple Backup. Otherwise, go with a more versatile program.

5.0 Overall

Veritas Simple Backup is the smallest, simplest, and cheapest backup app we've seen, but it works only with CD-R/RW drives. If you want supereasy, wizard-led backup, you may not mind Simple Backup's limitations. However, you simply can't do as much with Simple Backup as you can with other backup apps. Choose it for only the most basic backup needs. For a more full-featured app, look to GoBack instead. Veritas Simple Backup is the smallest, simplest, and cheapest backup app we've seen, but it works only with CD-R/RW drives. If you want supereasy, wizard-led backup, you may not mind Simple Backup's limitations. However, you simply can't do as much with Simple Backup as you can with other backup apps. Choose it for only the most basic backup needs. For a more full-featured app, look to GoBack instead.

Confusing download identity
Simple Backup suffers from a bit of an identity crisis. The program comes from Veritas, a company well known for enterprise-level software. However, another company, Stomp, handles Simple Backup's distribution and support. The main interface of the product is branded with the Stomp name, but the copyright and license agreement say Veritas.

You can buy Simple Backup online from Stomp, but before you do, check the list of supported devices. Simple Backup works only with CD-R/RW drives. It won't work with removable drives (such as Iomega Jaz and Zip drives), tape drives, or other hard drives. Also, you must download the PDF manual from Stomp, since one is not included with the program. Then again, Simple Backup is so easy to use, the manual is almost unnecessary.

Straightforward backup and restoration
Simple Backup's opening screen displays only five choices: full or partial backup, restoration from one of those two, plus the option to create a set of disaster recovery disks. Whatever your choice, wizards guide you along.

At one point, unfortunately, Simple Backup loses focus. When the program asks you to select a backup device, all the CD drives present on your system show up--whether they are writable drives or not. The not-so-bright wizard, hence, will let you try to burn a CD on a regular CD-ROM. When we tested this, after 20 seconds of spinning a blank disc, Simple Backup reported that the media was damaged. This happened on both a Windows 2000 and an XP machine.

When it's time to restore the files, both the Full Restore and the Custom (partial) Restore wizards lead you every step of the way. If you need to restore only a file or two, however, you won't be able to grab them from a full set of backup disks; you may want to do a full backup and stash it somewhere for emergencies, then do partial backups for more frequent saving of your data. You can also do a complete system restore, not only to the original computer, but to any computer equipped with a CD drive.

What's extra and what's missing
Simple Backup makes Disaster Recovery disks that you can use to boot a computer after a disaster has wiped out the hard drive. Using Disaster Recovery will allow you to exactly re-create your computer's operating environment, even on another hard drive, after something bad happens.

What's missing from Simple Backup is the ability to make incremental backups, that is, saving only those files that have changed since your last backup, as Retrospect does. Producing only full backups means that the actual process with Simple Backup takes longer than with most of the other products we reviewed.

On a scale that runs from easy to use to fully featured, Simple Backup is solidly the former. While power users may not like it because of the things it lacks, for others, it may the app that turns them into backup fanatics. However, for a few extra dollars, you'll have more features and still enjoy an easy-to-use yet full-featured backup with our Editors' Choice, GoBack.

Simple Backup features a no-nonsense interface and behind-the-scenes wizards to store or recover your data.

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