CyberLink PowerBackup 2.5 review: CyberLink PowerBackup 2.5

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The Good PowerBackup 2.5 provides password protection, compression, optional encryption, several backup methods, and a wizard that walks you through the backup process. It also backs up directories and files, not just drives.

The Bad PowerBackup 2.5 lacks printed or online documentation, and it offers expensive phone-based tech support.

The Bottom Line PowerBackup 2.5 does backups well, but it doesn't provide adequate technical support should things go wrong. For small businesses that need a reliable, secure backup program, we recommend WinBackup 2 Professional instead.

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6.0 Overall
  • Setup 7
  • Features 6
  • Support 5

CyberLink PowerBackup 2.5

Viruses, power surges, battery failures, systems that suddenly become unstable--all these are good reasons to own an effective backup program and use it regularly. CyberLink's PowerBackup 2.5 certainly meets the basic requirements. As a backup system, it supports compression and optional passwords and even lets you pick individual directories or files for backing up. But PowerBackup 2.5, which is available only as a download, lacks some useful configuration options found elsewhere. Combine this with expensive phone support, and you have a utility that just doesn't quite measure up. Instead, we recommend WinBackup 2 Professional to small businesses that require a reliable, secure backup program.

PowerBackup 2.5 has an easy-to-use interface. The menu at the top of the screen lets you view imaging jobs, edit backup choices, catalog records, and view reports. It also duplicates much of the button bar's functionality (such as providing access to options and the help system). On the left, a four-step wizard walks you through selecting a source, a destination, and a backup method; it also takes you through the backup process itself. The main body of the screen changes depending on the step you've highlighted. Below that, a status bar informs you of the program's current task and its progress. The interface has hardly any configurable elements. But with a program as direct and focused in its operation as this one, very little needs to be configured.

Like WinBackup 2 Professional, PowerBackup 2.5 supports a wide range of popular media, such as DVDs, CDs, flash drives, hard drives, and USB, FireWire, Jazz, and Zip drives. Unfortunately, PowerBackup 2.5 won't recognize external hard drives, such as USB drives, without first targeting the attached drive, which is a minor nuisance. You can split backup archives across several volumes and restore backups without using the original program. Password protection and data encryption are both available. PowerBackup 2.5 lets you view files and select individual directories and files to back up. It also supports filters for including or excluding file types. The program offers three types of backup: full, differential (new files and files modified since the last full backup), and incremental (new files and files modified since the last incremental backup). Like WinBackup 2 Professional, PowerBackup 2.5 has a new feature that backs up only program data from Internet Explorer, Outlook, and Outlook Express.

CyberLink's tech support requires registration; after that, the company will answer e-mailed questions within 24 hours during the workweek. Unfortunately, there are no online tech-support forums or online FAQs dealing specifically with PowerBackup issues. PowerBackup 2.5 does offer a decent help file that's fully indexed, making it easy to find the material you need. Though not lengthy, the help-file entries are thorough and clearly written. Live phone support is available for purchase in two-month increments. Each increment costs $29.95, and calls must be placed within the United States or Canada on weekdays between 1 p.m. and 10 p.m CT.