Handy Backup Review

Filed under: Software Reviews 

Anybody using a computer seriously will occasionally make a backup of important files. At least, they should, because a problem can always occur and you would not want your important emails, or precious pictures to be lost.

There are many ways to make backups of files and folder son Windows computers, including the standard Windows backup program. But if you want a bit more flexibility and functionality, a third party program is required.

In this review we looked at Handy Backup, which is a very powerful, but yet easy-to-use program for making backups. Handy Backup is created by Novosoft, a Russian software manufacturer, which has been in business since the early nineties. The program is compatible with Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7, and also with the Windows server versions 2003 and 2008.

You can download a 30-day trial version from the vendor’s website. There are different versions of the program for home, business and enterprise usage, each with more functionality. But for personal use the home version will do fine.

Once downloaded, you need to install the program, which is straightforward, with the exception of the warning about the firewall access. Since Handy Backup supports online backups, it will need internet access, so if you see a warning during setup, make sure to unblock the application.

Windows Firewall Block

Once installed, you can start a backup by using the New Task Wizard, that will guide you through all the steps of creating a backup task.

Handy Backup steps

The second step in the backup task is to select what folders to backup. You can select disk level, folder level and file level backups, and there is even an option to select an Outlook backup without knowing the details about the Outlook file details. Depending on the edition of Handy Backup, you can add many more different sources for your backup!

What you can backup

As you can see, the list is quite extensive, which shows the power of the backup program.

Like most backup software, Handy Backup can make a full backup every time or you can use an incremental backup concept if you only want to backup new or changed files.

The destination of your backup is also flexible, there are many options to chose from in Handy Backup. An external hard disk or USB stick is possible, as well as a writable CD or DVD, but even online backups are possible by specifying an FTP site or using the Online Backup Service.

Each destination option has settings such as login details, erase the destination medium before making the backup, recording speed, etc. The options will vary with the choice of destination type.

Handy Backup also supports compression and encryption. Compression can save space on your destination location, but will of course take more processing time. And if security is an issue, the encryption feature will be useful.

The last step in the backup wizard allows you to create a scheduled task or to execute the backup immediately. Scheduling a backup task is a good thing, because people often forget to make backups… including me!

The power of the program actually is partly in the wizards that make the program use to easy. If you take a look at the main interface of the program, it is much less intuitive.

Main program window

But restoring a backup is just as easy, using the Task Wizard you can simply create a restore task to bring back your backup files.

Overall the program is easy-to-use and performance was also not a problem (depending on the computer system and use of compression and encryption of course). At a cost of only US $26 for the standard home edition, the program is certainly good value for money. The extensive functionality clearly shows that the program has gone through several development stages already. If you need more features than available in the standard edition, the professional or server edition might be a better choice.
I will definitely keep on using the program to back up my important files!

Update: There is even a free version of HandyBackup for personal home use. This edition only has the basic backup features, but is a good starting point if you want to make certain you have a backup of your files.

Tip: If you do not want the burden of keeping your backup copies in a safe place, consider using an online backup solution.

Although it is never to late to start making backups, it is of course possible that you have lost some data, either by accidentally deleting it, or because a disk was formatted or corrupted. Apart from making sure you have backups in the future, you can always try to retrieve lost data by scanning a drive using a data recovery program. In many cases data that was thought to be lost can often be retrieved.


7 Comments to “Handy Backup Review”

  1. Great stuff, Kyle! Really handy stuff, especially for ignorant computer users like me. ;)

  2. I rely solely on my Seagate external drive for backup. Is that wise?

  3. Kyle says:

    @Cristy – If you have your originals on your computer hard disk and make a regular backup on the Seagate external hard drive, then yes, that is generally enough.
    Both would need to fail before you would have a serious problem.
    In case the data is very important to you, it does not harm to make another backup on DVD for example. It depends on the amount of data and the frequency of change really.

  4. Great piece of advice, Kyle! It is highly necessary to invest in backup as soon as possible. You never know when something might go wrong. You’ll just sleep better at night knowing that you have some sort of safety net for your valuable files and documents.

  5. Hi there, Kyle! I’d like to add that for files that are really, REALLY important — i.e. my daughter’s adorable photos ;) — I make backup files in an external drive as well as in a CD or a USB stick. Just so I can sleep better every night … :)

  6. Tom Davidson says:

    Kyle: Is there any potential security problem with this Novosoft being a Russian company? Is there any special protection we should implement when installing software sourced from Russia on our PC’s? Especially software that copies and stores files?

  7. Kyle says:

    @Tom Davidson – I can understand your concern, but in general it is good to check the company before trying any software.
    Always check online for the history of the company and any user reviews (on independent sites) of their products.
    And of course always run a virus scan on any download that you plan to install.

    In the case of Novosoft you will see that it is a company with a long history and even their handy backup software dates back as far as 2002.

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