If there is even one photo, video file or document on your PC or notebook that you cherish or need for work, then you need to have a backup plan in place.
This needn’t be anything too elaborate, simply copying everything you use to a DVD-RW is easy enough. However, if you want to automate it and forget about it, then opt for something like Genie Backup Manager, as it’s one of the most comprehensive but easy-to-use tools we’ve come across.
This is a wizard-base piece of software that has been seriously overhauled and now has a more flexible feel to it. One of the neat tricks is that it splits backups into different categories, so your folders and files are kept separate from your emails and even your programs.
This means you can schedule backups for different times, so you’re system doesn’t have to run the whole backup in one night, or depending on how often things change you can make some more frequent than others.
This wouldn’t be a backup tool if it didn’t allow for full or incremental backups and the only problem we found with the suite was it that it only allows you to select one destination for the backup.
Running the program you’ll find your system defined by three separate tabs. MY Profile covers most of the essentials, including your email (Outlook and Outlook Express typically) as well as the registry and your files.
My Folders allows you to cherry pick files you want backed up and when, this is ideal if you work on files over a long period of time, so you can back them up daily if needs be.
When it comes to backing up your program settings, Genie has a neat trick as it allows you to download plugins to better configure the way your system is setup. There are hundreds of plugins on the Genie website that can be downloaded.
We liked the fact you can backup to a variety of media, even online to your own account, which costs £2.50 a month for 1GB of space. This latest version even has support for Windows Vista. Now you may be thinking that Windows Vista has a beefed-up backup routine of its own, so you don’t necessarily need to buy a separate tool but we feel Genie does a far better job.
Vista Ultimate and Business editions come with feature that allow you to recover and restore your PC even if Windows won’t boot and Genie Manager 8 comes with a similar feature, neatly called the Disaster Recovery module. It’s easy to use while it doesn’t take a snapshot image like Ghost or TrueImage.
If you’re serious about backing up your data, and you should be, then Manager Pro is an essential tool.
It may not be perfect but it’s the best we’ve used for a long time and if you run Windows XP it should be seen as a required purchase – you won’t regret it.