Back stuff up with Genie Timeline Free | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Back stuff up with Genie Timeline Free

Back up files and folders with this free version of a premium solution.

Genie Timeline Free is designed to back up the stuff you want it to save and make it easy to retrieve it. It archives desktop files and folders, My Documents, e-mail, bookmarks, videos, music, pictures, Office files, and financial files. It's intended to be a set-and-forget solution for safeguarding your system. However, the freeware disables the critical Disaster Recovery feature that lets you recover your system after a disk failure or formatting. BlackBerry and iPhone/iPad/iPod also require a paid upgrade.

During its installation process, Genie Timeline asked for our full name and e-mail address, stating plainly that it was required for installation, regardless of our Internet address. That raised flags. Nevertheless, we proceeded with the first step, selecting a drive for our backup archive. This should be a drive other than your C drive, either a separate drive on your disk or, much better, a separate hard drive (best of all is an external hard drive). We selected our dedicated backup drive and moved on to the Select Data page. Here we could choose what we wanted Genie to back up. While the program claims we could select individual files and folders to back up, it only let us include or exclude the default categories. Genie also placed a No-Backup Zone folder on our desktop for items we didn't want to back up. The program calculated our backup size and parameters, and we clicked Finish. Clicking the program's system tray icon let us monitor the backup's progress. We could also open the program's main view, the Dashboard, as well as pause our backup and perform other tasks from the system tray. The free backups aren't encrypted or compressed, which makes data recovery easy but requires a lot of disk space.

You should never scrimp on backups. If you're looking for a free backup tool that can recover disks and partitions from catastrophe, we recommend looking elsewhere. But if you try Genie Timeline Free and like its ease of use, you have the paid upgrade option, which is comparable to other premium backups. Whatever tool you choose, complete and regular backups are absolutely essential.

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