These are times when data backup is an absolute must. Not because the operating systems are faulty or because there is little protection against file corrupting viruses, but because we are human and sometimes we make mistakes. Back in the days, backing up the most important files and folders would be discarded because of hard disk prices. Today, with the 1TB HDD out on the market and the continuous price drops for storage devices, space is no longer a problem.
Finding an application for backing up your data is extremely easy and there are few of them that do not perform to the advertised standards. The only obstacle in choosing one are the options you need for a fast, clean backup and the ease of use.
Titan Backup comes at a $39.95 price and can backup any type of file in different locations, both on your computer as well as on a network location, removable disks (USB stick
, memory card
), FTP server
or media storage discs like CD-Rs or DVDs.
The evaluation version allows you 15 days of free testing of the application, with few restrictions: you cannot manage more than two jobs and the backup size for each job should not be more than 1GB. These are enough to properly test the software and give you an idea on how well it works.
As soon as the program loads, you will face a general screen that provides four choices. You can proceed to creating a new backup, manage your tasks, restore a backup or take a quick tour to learn how the software works.
Titan Backup's capabilities do not stop at backing up and restoring your data as it can also synchronize files
and folders on your disk, anywhere on your network, send them to a FTP location or save them on CD-R/DVD storage devices.
The wizard driven interface
is extremely easy to use, simply follow the steps and choose your options from the available menus. The job will be complete in no time.
The six steps to completing a backup job contain every option you need in order to create a healthy duplicate of your files and folders. All the tasks can start automatically at a user defined time and date or when an event occurs (Windows shutting down or closing). Thus all the backups will be fresh and up to date. In case something goes wrong with the job, you can choose to be alerted via email.
Titan Backup's multi-functionality is revealed when you get to the second step of the backup job, Source. The options available permit choosing a regular file or folder on your disk or you can opt for a more exotic task like saving registry keys, email clients configuration (Opera mail, Thunderbird, Eudora, MS Outlook and Outlook Express are supported) or user settings for audio and video players (Windows Media Player, Winamp, BS Player and real Player), instant messengers (Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger's history and settings, Skype, ICQ Lite, Google Talk, Trillian and ICQ 6), web browsers (IE, Firefox and Opera's
settings, bookmarks/favorites and cookies), different utilities (Total Commander, Invisible Secrets
and WinSCP) as well as Windows settings (desktop links, fonts, mouse settings, wallpaper, connection settings, keyboard configuration etc.).
Writing the backup on a CD-R or DVD is quite a fast operation, depending on the amount of data to save. But you can ask the application to blank the disk if you are using RWs, and control the writing speed by specifying the percentage of the maximum speed allowed.
The options for backing up your data include compression settings (if you go for a non compressed backup file you will be able to make it both incremental and differential). But, as "safety first" is more like a rule these days than a guideline, Titan Backup offers AES 256-bit
password protected encryption for your files, in which case incremental and differential backups are out of the question. But the loss is actually only in the time spent creating the backup as you can choose to replace the previous file and everything is as good as new.
If the data is too much for your disk, the software makes available Split archives option. This lets you choose the size of each slice so that it fits whatever storage devices you are using. To save some space, the ZIP compression
has 0 levels of compression, from Low to High. And, to make it easier
for you to unpack the backup file, creating self extracting archives is supported. There is nothing easier than decompressing a password protected executable.
More ease of use is on the way once you get to the rich featured task scheduler. Your backups can be automatically updated either at a user-defined time and date, at Windows startup or shutdown, or periodically, at a time and date specified by the user.
Of course that something may go wrong during the process, but Titan Backup has taken all the necessary precautions for this. Error notifications that halt task executions consist in mail sending, sound playing or a visual display in the log window. For warnings that do not stop the execution of the task you have the exact same options.
Titan Backup comes complete with options that enable tasks to be run before and after the actual backup process occurs. You may want to set some applications like email clients to close before backing them up and start again after the completion of the operation. This option lets you do just that.
Options menu brings more configuration settings for the application as it can be set to start a certain time after Windows loads up, to crank up the process priority so that the computer's CPU pays full attention to it.
In order to receive emails with notifications you will have to provide the necessary settings. After that, make a test to see how it works. The same is available for uploading your backups to a FTP location.
Synchronizing your folders is done in the same easy, wizard assisted manner. The files can be compared by date or by date and CRC
. I would go for the latter option as the verification is deeper and will make sure that the content is the same. Resolving file conflicts gives you four alternatives: copy the newest file, the oldest one, copy from the first location or from the second one.
It seems that Titan Backup is prepared for almost everything when it gets down to backing up your data. Including registry keys, email and user settings on the backup list of files is definitely a handy option. You can switch between computers with much more ease without having to go through the turmoil of reconfiguring the system the way you like it.The Good
The built-in wizard will take you through every step, no matter the job. All the user has left to do is make the required settings and press next till the task is complete.
Backup options include incremental and differential jobs as well as a highly protective encryption algorithm (AES 256-bit). Backup source can be anything from a file on your computer to Windows settings.The Bad
I could pick on the price, but a good backup application is a bit more expensive than Titan Backup, so I won't.The Truth
Easy to install and handle, Titan Backup makes for a good safety net for your files and folders as well as email client and Windows settings. It comes at the right price and regardless of the job the application will use the same thoroughness and responsibility.Here are some snapshots of the application in action:Follow the editor on Twitter @ionut_ilascu