Backup seems to be rapidly becoming the new black, which makes sense considering the number of people who now solely rely on digital copies of their holiday snaps and so on. Backup is increasingly becoming of interest to home office workers and casual users alike, so it is no surprise that the number of backup offerings are expanding.
BullGuard is now in its eighth iteration as an integrated on- and offline backup solution, so core to this offering is the online drive that is provided as part of the package. As standard you get 10GB of online space, which is an improvement over the 3GB that came with version 7, or the 5GB offering you get with the full Internet Security offering.
Additional space can be purchased, but this is can be an expensive option, working out at over £5 per GB, it is, however, available in increments up to and extra 40GB, which is starting to get to serious size, but will cost £205, well above what you’d pay for ten times the capacity for an external hard drive.
BullGuard however will let you backup to wherever you choose, so it could be a local drive or even a CD or DVD, which is a great option for backup of you photos, to create a "hard" archive.
Setting backup options is very simple and this is one of the things that we like about the offering here. You can set-up a number of backup profiles, each with different settings, so you could save your important documents to the online drive, your photos to a local drive and so on. BullGuard will set-up these profiles with a wizard, but we found that our existing convoluted file set-up foxed it. With a conventional arrangement of files in My Documents, it works very well.
However, you can edit the content of a profile to allow you to add additional areas, so if you have photos in the default My Photos, and then an extra dump on a different drive partition for example, then you can include those.
You get options for the type of backup you want, be it a complete duplication of the files or a compressed restore file, encrypted and so on. Again each of these settings can be applied to each profile, so you can really do what you want.
BullGuard can be set to run when the system is idle – you also get the option of pausing if you find that the uploading is restricting your other online usage. We also found that it would run in the background rather well whilst still allowing other tasks to be carried out, but this will depend to a certain extent on your system’s resources.
You also now get the option to browse the online drive with a regular Windows Explorer window, which is a great way to see what you have on there and access your files. You also have a status report in the main BullGuard window that tells you how much of your space you are using.
But the main thing that really sells BullGuard to us is a simple option of disabling the software from the startup process – which some backup solutions don’t allow and is the bane of notebook users worldwide who experience huge startup lag because of these self-important programs that think they need to be there. BullGuard is different, it can be disabled and opened when you want it with no complaints.
BullGuard can be downloaded direct from their website and comes with a 2 week trial, so you can see how easy it is to use. However, the downside is that the costs for online storage do not compare to those offline and this is also a subscription product, so you are looking at an ongoing costs. The standard is a three user license, at 10GB, for 1 year at £25 but a 2-year option is only £37.50, so a hefty discount.
Overall we do really like the software offering from BullGuard, it is easy to get the software to do what you want in an unobtrusive manner. However, the downside is the ongoing cost, which won’t be an issue with other solutions and the drive space is expensive if you want more space, however, this might be the solution you need to support your mobile business or personal needs.