Clickfree Transformer Cable review

3.5 out of 5
£49.99

For

Simple, works out of the box, takes advantage of existing USB drives

Against

A touch on the expensive side

Backup is boring, but as we all increase our digital footprint, so too grows the necessity for a simple backup regime. Clickfree thought they had the ultimate solution with their backup drive, but now they’ve gone one step further and removed the drive.

So what does that leave you with? A USB cable. Yes, as the name suggests, the Clickfree Transformer Cable is just that, a USB cable that transforms any drive into a Clickfree device. Ok, you won’t confuse it with a regular USB cable because the female end is rather bulbous, containing the brains of the outfit, and a neat backlit logo that illuminates to show you have power.

As with the Clickfree drive, there is no need to install any software or do any setting-up, you simply plug it in and off you go. In the case of the Transformer Cable, of course, you have to add the drive yourself. From USB sticks right up to terabyte external drives, the choice is yours. We tested it with a number of USB sticks and a Maxtor 750GB external hard drive with no problems at all.

There are no buttons to press, no switches to flick, no sliders to slide, you just plug it in and off it goes exactly the same as the Clickfree drive. The onboard software is identical, save for a first screen that asks you to connect a harddrive, but otherwise it is identical. This means that besides the option of just plugging it in and leaving it to do your backup, you get the option to dive in and customise your backup if you want to. You can select file types, as well as drill down through folders so you only backup exactly what you want. You might not even be backing-up, you might decide you want to use this for document synchronisation between home and office computers, for example.

If there are existing files on the drive, then Clickfree ignores them, it just sets up its stall in a small corner and gets on with business. From within the Clickfree software you can restore your files, or simply view them to see what you have. Images are handled well, giving you convenient options to share them, either by email, or upload straight into Facebook or MySpace, an odd inclusion perhaps, but one that might appeal to some.

Verdict

The Clickfree Transformer means that if you have a harddrive hanging around, you can take advantage of the Clickfree solution without having to pay out for another drive. But this is, in essence, a hardware software solution, so for many will be the same as a traditional software solution – where you still have to supply and connect the drive yourself.