SuperDuper 2.6.2 review
The ideal backup tool for those who can't afford to let hard drive failures get in the way of productivity.
Review Date: 18 Nov 2009
Price when reviewed: or $27.95 (about £17)
Reviewed By: Giles Turnbull
This may be a lowly point update for SuperDuper, but it's a significant release that adds some useful new features.
Now that Time Machine provides built-in, almost foolproof system backups for all Macs running Leopard or later, it's less easy to see the need for additional backup software. However, Time Machine and SuperDuper do very different jobs. Time Machine is designed to offer instant access to user files that have been mislaid, corrupted or accidentally deleted. By contrast, SuperDuper's cloned and bootable backups make it easy to continue working on a different Mac when your primary machine suddenly breaks down.
This version adds some useful options to SuperDuper's built-in scheduling functions, particularly one that allows a fresh backup to start automatically when the target external disk is plugged in. Another new option allows this disk to be automatically ejected when the backup is complete. This means you can have a backup schedule that isn't tied to a specific time on a specific day of the week, but just kicks off whenever your computer is connected to its backup drive. Be warned if you're upgrading from older versions, though: existing schedule entries are no longer compatible with this version.
Another welcome new addition is support for Sparse Bundle disk images, introduced in Leopard 10.5. These are special directories that store data in 8MB chunks and grow as needed. SuperDuper can now detect and back up only those chunks that have changed since the last backup, avoiding the need to copy an entire disk image every time.
SuperDuper is excellent value and offers peace of mind for people who need to carry on working without delay in the event of a hard drive failure. Given that it can also be used for free (without some features), it's hard to see a reason for not downloading it.
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