Backing-up your PC is one of those mundane tasks that you generally ignore - until you have a drive fail. Generally speaking, drives last for quite a while, but can you, or your small business afford to take the chance? Windows comes with built-in backup options, which are rather tedious, but will do the job. This offering from Roxio lets you take it to another level.

Installation took about 10 seconds, and after a restart we came across a problem - I had a report that some elements of McAfee’s virus scan were missing. Whether this was related to the installation of the software is unknown. Once we had everything running smoothly, the quick start screen gives you a few wizard options: Backup Wizard, Restore Wizard, Automatic Data Protection and Disaster Recovery Preparation.

Most of these functions are fairly self-explanatory, but they let you choose what you really want to do. And that is where this product makes a difference from your bog-standard OS systems functions. After all, XP is happy to back-up and carry out system restores as it is, but as a one-size-fits-all solution. Within a few clicks with BackUp MyPC, you can backup those things you really want: photos, game files, documents, your address book. Applications can easily be reinstalled, but you don’t need to back them up.

BackUp uses advance compression technology to save you space and will write to multi-span DVDs. You can schedule your tasks so that you never have to remember to do the mundane. It simply presents a range of options to the user: From which location do you want your restore file to boot? Where do you want to backup to - CD, DVD, tape, Zip drive, elsewhere on your network?

Price when reviewed:

Whilst BackUp MyPC offers a really simply way of protecting your data, you have to ask yourself that standard third party question: do I really need this? How much data have you really lost over the history of your PC use? Sensible file management can replace much of what you pay for here, but with digital camera use on the rise, it might be easier to schedule a regular backup than risk losing photos you just can't replace. The score reflects logic and ease of use, but at the end of the day, there is little to get excited about here. Whether you think you need it or not, it's welcome to have a well-priced backup alternative to Norton Ghost since Symantec bought out the only competition a year ago.