Handy Backup – Complete, EXTENSIBLE Backup Solution

handy backup

As part of my Data Backup Day efforts here at GeneaBloggers, I am often looking for new methods of backing up my genealogy research data.  I’m always willing to try new programs – both installed software as well as web applications – and when Novosoft LLC approached me to take their product Handy Backup for a test drive, how could I say no?  I’m a techie who likes playing with new toys, right?

Download and Installation

The download of the Handy Backup Standard 6.4 software was quick with no glitches.  Installation was a breeze – I am using Windows Vista Ultimate Edition but Handy Backup (and other Novosoft LLC backup products) are already certified to work with Windows 7.

I also appreciate the fact that the Handy Backup install didn’t try to insult my intelligence by sneaking in other items or toolbars for my browser which some programs try to do.

Out of the box, Handy Backup is ready to go to work safeguarding your data, documents, photos, browser bookmarks, and email messages – either in a run-once situation or as scheduled events. Your options include the ability to backup to local media, such as a CD, or to offsite storage like a secure FTP site.

Why Backing Up More Than Data Is Important

While most people may only backup their genealogy databases, and perhaps their scanned photos and documents, there are so many other pieces of data that assist you in finding your ancestors.  And many people don’t back these up:

  • data folder settings
  • bookmarks and favorites
  • specific program settings

As the Handy Backup site states (and I agree): “Your computer setup is a reflection of you. Sure, everyone has their documents folder, their pictures folder, their office applications – but that’s where most similarities end. Think about it, your Photoshop settings, IM tweaks, browser preferences… everything is set up just the way you like it.”

Many backup programs only focus on the data.  Handy Backup is a different kind of backup application. It’s fully extensible, featuring free plug-ins that are designed to completely backup not only data, but also the settings, playlists, skins, and other specifics of the individual applications that you’ve tweaked to perfection.

Backup Options Covered

Handy Backup lets you:

  • Perform run-once and scheduled backups of your entire hard drive or selected directories.
  • Use free plug-ins that backup and restore the unique profile settings of the most popular applications.
  • Backup to local media, local servers, offsite servers, or the Novosoft Remote Backup Service.

Extensibility

Handy Backup includes plug-ins for all of the popular programs (such as Outlook and Windows Mail), and if you don’t see what you need, you can actually create your own plug-in (as an XML specification) for that special app.

Remote Backup Availability

As if backing up to local media, local servers, and offsite locations weren’t enough, all users of Handy Backup can also take advantage of the Novosoft Remote Backup Service (you get 5GB of storage for free!). Think of it as super-duper-remote-always-on backup, with unlimited storage in a highly secure web server that’s fortified against technological and natural disasters, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Conclusion

I found Handy Backup very easy to use (and as my readers know, I am always looking at apps from a newcomer’s perspective rather than my 25 years of information technology experience).  I like the flexibility in terms of types of data that I can backup including settings.  I also love the ability to schedule backups and to only backup the files that have changed recently.

Who needs Handy Backup? You do if you’ve ever:

  • Had to recover data from backup, but then had to manually reset all of the settings for your applications.
  • Wanted to take advantage of the larger storage capabilities of DVD, Blu-Ray, and HD-DVD media.

You can download a full-featured 30-days trial by clicking the following link:

Download Handy Backup.

[Disclosure: I was contacted by Novosoft LLC in October 2009 and was asked to review one of their data backup products.  I have been given a free copy of Handy Backup Standard 6.4 for my personal use. In addition I have been given three additional licenses for Handy Backup Standard 6.4 to distribute to GeneaBloggers members as part of a Data Backup Day contest on November 1, 2009.  I have not been compensated monetarily in any way for this review or for my work with Novosoft LLC.

My intention is to give a good review, which does not necessarily mean a favorable review. In my mind a good review is one in which the subject of the review is fully researched and tested and my opinions are given while at the same time remaining fully transparent as to my involvement with the vendor of the product.]

© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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About Thomas MacEntee

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.

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