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Five easy backup devices for home users

Here are CNET editor Dong Ngo's top five storage devices that make backing up so easy for home users.

Clickfree Backup software and its accompanying drives are arguably the most straightforward backup solutions.
Clickfree Backup software and its accompanying drives make arguably the most straightforward backup solutions. Dong Ngo/CNET

Everybody should back up his or her data. You already know that, of course, but sometimes it's hard to remember to get around to it. This is when a portable drive with automatic backup software comes in handy. For you Mac users, a drive that works with your system's Time Machine will do the trick.

Here is our list of the top five backup devices for home users. They may not be the best storage options overall, but they'll make backing up easy. On top of that, they are all very good-looking.

Clickfree C6: This is the latest backup portable drive for home users and it's arguably the best one for the technology-challenged. The drive's backup software runs by itself and makes a daily backup if it's kept plugged in. You can recover files using its software when Windows is running, and you can also use it as a boot drive to restore the entire system in case of drive crash or virus infection. On the downside, it doesn't support Mac.

Hitachi Touro Mobile Pro: This is one of the sexiest portable drives to come with backup software, and that software works via one click of the mouse. Plus, the drive includes 3GB of online backup storage for free.

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Ultra-portable: This drive's included Memeo backup software, though not as user-friendly as that of the Clickfree C6, works as intended out of the box. On top of that it's by far the most flexible portable drive. More experienced users can use its swappable adapter with other internal drives in case they need to recover data from the drive of a broken laptop. It's also a perfect drive to use with Mac's Time Machine, while remain friendly with Windows thanks to its included software that allows the drive to work with both platforms, regardless of what file system it's formatted in.

Apple Time Capsule 2TB (summer 2011): This new Time Capsule boasts much better performance than previous models, and so makes a viable backup solution for Mac users, especially people with multiple computers in the house. It's rather useless for Windows users, though.

Clickfree C2N: Another portable backup device from Clickfree, the C2B is as easy to use as the C6 and can back up multiple computers in the same network while plugged into just one of them. The device, however, can't back up and restore the entire system--merely the files and folders. It works with both Macs and PCs.

To compare the specs and prices of these devices, check out CNET's roundup of the Top 5 foolproof backup devices.