Computer data's a funny thing, one minute it can be there next it's gone, whether it's a virus or a theft losing your laptop and its data is a pain. It's at that dawning moment when the screen goes black or you see your laptop running off out of view that you think to yourself Backup. Backup. Backup.

Dantz has been in the business since 1984 making backup solutions for the industry and the consumer for over 20 years, its latest version of Retrospect 7.0 for the PC isn't a great leap forward from the pervious version more a refinement. That's not to say there isn't anything new.

Dantz has improved the wizards from the last outing, streamlined the setup, backup, restore and media duplication, it's also increased the ability to perform automated tasks, make sure encryption is kept secure as well as adding support for new formats such as dual-layer DVDs.

For those not familiar with the software it's a gem to use. The idea is that you save everything on your drive the first time, either to CDs, DVD, another hard disk or even tape (basically any backup solution you can think of) depending on the size of the backup this does take some time, however once it's done, additional backups are simple and quick as the system only ever backs up files that have changed rather than requesting everything again. From a weekly update point of view this takes minutes rather than hours and as we all know if things that don't take long are more likely to be done on a regular basis.

Verdict

Since installing this software not a week has gone by that we haven't backed up our entire drive. Admitted it did take some time on the first pass, but now it's a minimal operation.

Better still, you can set the software to not only back up certain parts or even certain file types but the whole process can be automated to do it without you even thinking about it (this is only to hard drive or taped bases systems as it won't swap the CD-RW's for you).

As for the question of whether you should upgrade from a previous version there isn't much in it. Yes the new wizards are slightly easier, but then we didn't really see that the old ones were that much harder to master. And yes this version supports even more backup devices that ever before. If you are new to the world of backup then this is the big cheese the numero uno. However you might just bee better off picking up one of the earlier versions at a fraction of the cost.