Simple Backup 4.71

  • Editors' rating
    5.2 OK


  • Easy to use
  • inexpensive.


  • Only supports CD-R/RW
  • doesn't do incremental backups
  • no encryption.

Simple Backup from Veritas is a small and inexpensive backup application, but it works with CD-R/RW drives only. If you want straightforward wizard-driven backup, you may not mind Simple Backup's limitations. However, you simply can't do as much with Simple Backup as you can with other backup utilities. Choose it only for the most basic backup needs. For a more full-featured program, look to GoBack instead.

Simple Backup comes from Veritas, a company perhaps best known for its enterprise-level software. It is sold online from Veritas's US Web site, as well as via a network of VARs and some retail outlets.

Before you buy, check the list of supported devices. Simple Backup works only with CD-R/RW drives. It won't work with removable drives (such as Iomega Jaz and Zip drives), tape drives or other hard drives. There's no manual included with the program, although you can download one. Then again, Simple Backup is so easy to use, the manual is almost unnecessary.

Simple Backup's opening screen displays only five choices: full or partial backup, restoration from one of those two, plus the option to create a set of disaster recovery disks. Whatever your choice, wizards guide you along.

At one point, unfortunately, Simple Backup loses focus. When the program asks you to select a backup device, all the CD drives present on your system show up -- whether they are writable drives or not. The not-so-bright wizard, hence, will let you try to burn a CD on a regular CD-ROM. When we tested, this, after 20 seconds of spinning a blank disc, Simple Backup reported that the media was damaged. This happened on both a Windows 2000 and an XP machine.

When it's time to restore the files, both the Full Restore and the Custom (partial) Restore wizards lead you every step of the way. If you need to restore only a file or two, however, you won't be able to grab them from a full backup disks; you may want to do a full backup and stash it somewhere for emergencies, then do partial backups for more frequent saving of your data. You can also do a complete system restore, not only to the original computer, but to any computer equipped with a CD drive.

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Simple Backup makes Disaster Recovery disks that you can use to boot a computer after a disaster has wiped out the hard drive. Using Disaster Recovery will allow you to exactly re-create your computer's operating environment, even on another hard drive, after something bad happens.

What's missing from Simple Backup is the ability to make incremental backups -- that is, saving only those files that have been changed since your last backup, as Retrospect does. Producing only full backups means that the actual process with Simple Backup takes longer than most of the other products we reviewed.

On a scale running from easy to use to fully featured, Simple Backup is solidly in the former camp. Although power users may not like it because of the features it lacks, for others it may be the program that turns them into backup enthusiasts. However, for a few pounds extra, you'll have more features and still enjoy a straightforward backup experience with GoBack.

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