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Pro Softnet iBackup for Windows 9.5 review

Ben Pitt
8 Jul 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
100
(around £61) inc VAT per year

Its design and plentiful options may please experienced users, but iBackup is expensive and its ability to recover older versions of files is limited.

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Specifications

iBackup is the most expensive service here, starting at $100 (around £61) per year for 10GB, rising to $1,000 for 100GB.

There are some justifications, though, with backups saved to two sets of RAID-5-protected arrays. Support is via phone, email and live chat, though UK customers may find themselves out of sync with the California-based support team.

The Windows client looks more like a traditional backup application than other online services. Multiple backup jobs are given different schedules ranging from hourly to monthly, but you can't set them to run continuously or when the PC is idle. We found the interface a little uninviting, with vague button names such as Mirror Path. Navigating folder trees was cumbersome, and we had to start again from the top after performing a task such as creating a new folder to restore to.

A Snapshot feature lets you restore earlier versions of files when the most recent backup contains a corrupted file. Older versions don't affect the nominal capacity used, but they're limited to just 10 snapshots of the previous 10 days. The website mentions options to divide these snapshots more strategically, such as monthly, or to keep a particular snapshot preserved indefinitely, but this isn't a feature that's supported in the software client. Instead, users have to put in a request to technical support, and may need to pay a premium.

A new feature is the ability to back up multiple PCs to the same account. This is ideal for anyone with a few PCs, but without masses of data on each one, as this would make the single-PC, unlimited-capacity accounts less appealing. However, ticking the option to allow multiple-PC backups in Preferences meant that our existing backup had to be uploaded again from scratch, rather than relabelled on the server. This was typical of our experience using iBackup for Windows; too many interface traits seem to be for the convenience of its programmers rather than its users.

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