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Robust backup tool

Meet your disaster-recovery goals with this surprisingly feature-rich backup management application.

BackupAssist provides a rich set of features for scheduling, managing, and monitoring backups. The application is overkill for the lone freelancer, but small and midsize businesses will appreciate the wide range of options and ability to create multiple jobs.

A wizard interface walks you through setting up a new job, starting with the type of backup (system, file, or application). BackupAssist does a good job of presenting its many options through visual cues and integrated Help text. We appreciated the built-in list of scheduling options, which came with recommendations on the type of company most likely to use each one and pictures of file trees showing how the backups would be stored. Monitoring backups is simple as well. For each run, the application creates a report describing what directories were backed up, stats such as disk space used and time spent, and any errors that occurred. An event log, similar to the Windows event viewer, provides even more granular information. BackupAssist can send these reports and notifications to you via e-mail.

Although the application greatly simplifies managing backups, the ideal customer will still be a power user with some system administration experience. A free 30-day trial provides a good amount of time to take BackupAssist for a test drive, but be aware that the listed price does not cover all of the snap-ins you'll see in the trial product--in fact, we were disappointed to find that Exchange Server, SQL Server, and Rsync were not included. Still, we recommend it as a viable backup program.

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