Review: Nero BackItUp and Burn
Ever have your PC break down on you and lose your files, music, movies, pix etc.? Yeah, we thought some of you out there also had that problem, and for that reason we strongly recommend buying an external hard drive (you can find them pretty much anywhere– Staples, Wal Mart, Amazon, Best Buy…) and constantly running backups to make sure you never lose your precious data or have to ever go through the struggle of trying to find and replace lost data (trust me, computers nowa-days are very much not indestructible, and I’m talkin from first hand experience as my PC that I bought just a couple of years ago recently had the hard drive go. Lemme tell you– it’s no fun).
Now getting the hard drive is just one step in backing up, the other part of it is finding good software to go along with it. Today we got a review for you of a product we’ve been testing out the last couple weeks, Nero’s BackItUp and Burn. This software (available for Windows XP and Vista– sorry Mac users), not only give you a great suite of controls to make backing up your files easy, but also comes with Nero Express (which let’s you burn files to CD’s, DVD’s and Blu-Ray disks) and Nero Rescue Agent which let’s you get files off a damaged disk (say a scratched CD which I’m sure a lot of people have) and helps you restore files.
So how did this software preform, and what are our thoughts on it? Read on for the answer.
Since there mainly those 3 sub-products in the BackItUp and Burn suite, we’ll divide this review into 3 parts, one for each. Let’s start with the main guy here– the BackItUp part.
I really loved using this part of the suite, as not only does it work (a pretty important thing to happen if you ask me), but it does so REALLY WELL. The interface for example, is really clean and easy to use– much better than other back up programs I’ve used and a major upgrade over the built-in Windows back up software. Once you open up the program your greeted with a calendar with scheduled days you’ve set to back up, a “back up status” which gives you as the name implies– status of the back up, and also an overview of your recent backups and your planed backups. That is all nicely placed on the left hand side of the window on the top you get to where the real power and purpose of the application lies.
Exactly to the right of the Overview section you’ll find Backup, Restore, Sync and Tools options. Dragging your mouse over these items causes a slide down menu to appear, and it comes down very quickly, which is a very nice touch. Backup, which is what I primarily tested, works great and you are given a load of backup options to use such as automatic backup (which automatically backs up all your files, every 2 hours of every day– perfect for those with a desktop), manual backup (which lets you manually select the files you wish to backup), and drive backup which just backs up everything on you hard drive from every user. There is also a verify backup function which lets you manually make sure your backups are up to your satisfaction.
Setting up a new backup was a breeze, and within a couple minutes since opening the program, I was all set and ready to go. I backed up pretty much all of my files (which is about a couple thousand songs, a dozen or so movies, and several thousand photos, to go along with all my school work and Word documents. This was 30 or so GB, and it was able to do it for the first time in about 3 hours. Yes, that sounds like a lot, but realize its the first time it’s coping it over, so when you are just backing up a couple of new files or verifying, it shouldn’t take anywhere near that long. And for what I was doing, 3 hours is actually pretty good.
Setting up a backup in Nero BackItUp and Burn
When you have all your files backed up, you just reopen the program, go to restore, and to quote the recently retired NFL broadcaster John Madden– BOOM!, all your files are there and when you need to recopy them over (like let’s say your hard drive does brake down or you move to a new computer). If you choose to backup your entire hard drive (the “drive backup” part listed above), this get’s even better as you could just use Nero to restore the entire drive onto your new hard drive.
And just for you security junkies out there, Nero makes it very easy to encrypt your backups with a password, so don’t worry bout having someone get into your files if you accidentally lose it (this works particularly well if you decide to backup to a little USB flash drive, CD or DVD– which we recommend you do if you can’t just get a stand alone external hard drive).
This is pretty much another easy way to burn movies, music, data or pix to a CD, DVD or even Blu-Ray! This program runs pretty well, with things like burning music as easy as it would be on other programs like iTunes or Windows Media Player. The video and picture burning options though were not as easy, and require you to use other Nero software called Nero Vision (which is not including, making this part rather difficult to use).
I personally would not buy the BackItUp and Burn software for the ability to burn music, videos and other files to a disk, as I find that iTunes, and even the built in Windows Pictures app, do a fine job, which is simpler, free and much easier to use.
Nero Rescue Agent:
So this is a very cool feature, letting you restore some of your files off of CD’s, DVD’s, flash drives and hard drives. It’s even cooler because you can even recover files that were damaged (such as songs on a blank CD). When I tried this though (making a burnt CD in iTunes and then scratching it up completely– and I mean completely– with a pen), the software couldn’t do it’s magic, so I’m not really sure the limits of this program. It could very well be that a non-totaled CD will work fine, or at least one that is found by your computer (my PC couldn’t even find the CD, which means anyone with a majorly scratched CD shouldn’t think this is your savior to recovering your lost music, at least if your computer can’t find the CD).
Basically, a cool idea, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up on this saving all your scratched data, if it is really badly damaged (minor scratches for example to a CD, which just causes some songs to skip, I assume should be helped here).
Nero BackItUp and Burn is loaded with some really great, and easy to use features that, for backup software, is more than you’ll probably need (which is always a plus), and a product I would without question reccomend for using to backup your computer. Yes, the Nero Express and Resuce Agent aren’t the greatest, the backup part is amazing, and that’s what makes it really worth the money (having the other 2 bundled in doesn’t hurt either).
As I said in the intro, backing up your computer should really be something you do, as these computers we use aren’t industructable, and you never want to find yourself in the situation were you one day turn it on to find all your music, movies, pix, documents etc., are gone with no chance of getting them back. And this software definetly makes the backup part real easy, and so were gonna give Nero’s BackItUp and Burn our very first perfect, 5 out of 5 rating!
We whole heartedly reccomend Nero’s BackItUp and Burn, giving it a perfect 5 out of 5
So there you have it. BackItUp and Burn costs $39.99 to download, and $49.99 to buy in store. If you want, you can also download a free trial of the program, which is great if your really wanna test this out for yourself. You can buy it directly from Nero’s site here, and download the 15 day trial version here. For backup hard drives, just check out your local Staples, Wal Mart, Best Buy etc., or browse the web for one that suits your price range (we also reccommend making sure the hard drive you get is at least the size of your hard drive, preferebly more).