Protect your data with BackUp Maker. | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Protect your data with BackUp Maker.

Back up critical files and folders automatically with this free solution.

Ascomp's BackUp Maker is a free data backup solution for Windows. It automatically backs up your files and folders on schedule or when something changes, and it can create new backups or add changes to existing backups. It doesn't create system images, so it can't restore your entire system, though Windows Backup already does that. What it's best for is backing up critical files and folders on a daily basis. BackUp Maker Standard Edition is fully functional freeware that displays a nag screen at startup and when backups complete.

BackUp Maker's user interface shows prominent Backup and Restore buttons above a compact list view for displaying available backups. The program offers two modes, a wizard-based beginner's mode and an expert mode with more control; basically, the expert mode uses 12 steps for what the beginner mode does in five. Both begin with Step 1, Data Selection, with two options: Simple selection, which groups data by Libraries, Bookmarks, and Email, and Files & Folders, which let us directly select items to back up from a tree view and program list. BackUp Maker also offers Filter Options for excluding files, including by size; Automation, for triggering backups after intervals, on system events such as log-on, and by day and month; Execution guarantee, which lets you tell the program how to catch up on skipped or missed backups; Backup type, for specifying full or differential backups; and other settings such as Security and Procedures. BackUp Maker can save backups to a variety of destinations, including CD/DVD burners, FTP clients, and IntelliVault accounts. We chose the separate hard drive we use for system backups, selected our backup type and other settings, named our backup, and saved the backup definition. When we were ready, we selected our backup in the list view and pressed Execute. BackUp Maker quickly created our backup, and just as quickly (and automatically) restored our files when we ran the Restore tool.

We still recommend regularly creating full system image backups using Windows Backup or a similar program. BackUp Maker's best use is protecting critical data from loss or damage with robust, regular backups.

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