Comodo Backup

A new version 3.0 has been released since I originally wrote this review. I have added to the review to indicate where the new version affects what I had to say about the earlier version.

Backup all the essential data on your computer easily on whatever schedule you require and to where ever you want.

My Rating: yesyesnonono

Pros

Cons

Review

Backing up the data on your computer is an essential part of any security strategy. When all else fails you can always buy a new computer and rebuild from scratch provided that you have a backup of all your data. Even in situations not related to security, having a backup of your data in order to be able to undo a change that you stuffed up can be far easier than trying to rebuild things back the way they were.

Many people are put off from doing backups because they think of it as either a manual process (which they forget to do) or requiring the installation of expensive software. Comodo backup is an ideal solution because it will automate the backups for you (so you don't forget to run them) plus it is a free download. With Comodo Backup you have no excuse for not taking regular backups of all of your data files (well perhaps you have an excuse for not backing up your emails if you haven't yet figured out where your computer stores them but there's no excuse for not backing up the data files in "My Documents" and anywhere else that you store the files you create.

The control panel for Comodo backup is fairly complex to use (even for someone familiar with terminology relating to backing up data) since a lot of the commands do not do what you expect them to do. Set one backup to run every three hours and it will run when first scheduled, an hour and a half later, and then three hourly after that. Set another for the same schedule but starting at a different initial time and it will run the first backup and not run the repetitions you asked for. Set it to do incremental rather than full backups and it will not detect the changes to the files and so will not back up anything at all.

I had originally written a much nicer review of this product but was delayed in publishing it and the longer I continue using it the more problems I am finding with it. Yes it gives you backup copies of your data files but just how up to date a backup you'll have when you really need it is questionable. I have found that by scheduling full backups for every three hours that it means that I will get at least one backup a day provided that my computer is turned on at the time that the first backup is scheduled to take place. If I don't turn the computer on until later in the day then I may or may not get a backup made that day. Probably be easier to delete the program and just manually copy the folders I want backed up each time I want a backup.

The new version 3.0 has an easier to understand interface with lots of default options built in which presumably will work if you have everything on your computer structured the way the software expects and have not implemented basic security settings. Since I have all my data structured differently and have various security options enabled many of the functions in the program would not work for me and a significant amount of work on my part would be required to create my own versions of the backups that backup my data from where I actually have it rather than where the program assumes it is. The security issues could be resolved if you log in as administrator to configure the backups but then even if you use all the default locations, all the built in user data backups will point to the empty admin folders insead of the ones where all your user data and emails are stored leaving you still with the task of manually setting up the backups as you had to in the prior version. This makes it more likely that the backups will be set up to backup the wrong data than was the case before the default backup options were added.

The software also advised me that my data had never been backed up - meaning that it hadn't done any backups. It's probably unfair though to suggest that the program ought to detect that there are other backup programs running on the computer at the same time since that wouldn't normally be the case.

Two new features that I do think will be useful for people using this software are the ability to have backups run as soon as possible after they are missed and the option to have the backups run as a service (which should get around the issues of it trying to run a scheduled backup of something the current user does not have access to).

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