Data should always be backed up at regular intervals, however, manually backing up your data can be time consuming. There are a lot of third party backup tools available, yet only a few standout due to their features, functionality and ease of use. One such tool is Backup4all, which comes in four different editions: Lite, Standard, Professional and Portable.
Out of the four, the professional edition offers the most features and unlocks the full capability of the software. The lite edition on the other hand is the cheapest of the four and is designed for home users to take care of their moderate backup needs. If you choose to go with the lite edition, you will be missing out on some of the best features of the software, such as encryption, cloud backup, ftp backup, file versioning and most of the backup modes. Basically you are stuck running backups in mirror mode with the lite edition, which is not ideal if you are working with large files. We strongly recommend that you upgrade to the professional edition, since it will take care of all your backup needs.
The standard edition adds some features over the lite edition including differential and full backups, file versioning and the ability to execute backup during certain system event, such as during logon and shut down. The portable edition, as the name implies, is designed to be carried around in portable drives, and thus can be only installed on an USB drive. This edition is similar in features to the lite edition sans the ability to schedule tasks.
The interface should feel familiar as the program uses ribbon UI similar to what we see in Microsoft’s Office applications. On start, the program displays a prompt to select a backup or restore task, or open the link menu. You can close the prompt or select a task which will open up a wizard guiding you through the entire backup/restore process. The link menu provides resources that guides you through the features and functionality of the program.
Coming back to the main interface, the software lists the backup tasks according to their status. You can view all the backup tasks or only the tasks that have failed, currently running, completed with warning or scheduled to run.
When creating new backup tasks, the wizard will pop up to guide you through the entire process. When you are accustomed with the options in the backup wizard, you can use the advanced mode instead, which will allow you to quickly configure the backup settings. The advanced mode can be launched anytime from the backup wizard.
The advanced mode offers some additional options that are not available in the wizard. For instance, you will be able to limit the no of file versions and size of the backup, split backups, execute a program or action before or after backup, setup compression options, and set custom sounds for warnings, failed backups and successful backups.
In the backup wizard, you are asked to set the backup label, save location (which can be local, network or cloud), the source location (local or network), and the source type, which can include files, folders, and user data of Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Outlook, and Mozilla Firefox.
After you are done setting up your backup source and target location, you have to setup the backup mode. Backup4all include the following five backup modes:
Smart: Uses an algorithm to decide what type of backup is suitable for your needs. So based on your data and backup settings it will either use full, incremental or differential backup.
Full: As the name implies, performs a full backup. If compression and split options are set up, the backups will be segregated in the predefined sizes.
Incremental and Differential Backup: These two backup modes only copies the files that have been newly created or modified since the last backup. However, in terms of the backup copy, you will see very different outcomes.
After performing a full backup, incremental only keeps a copy of modified or newly created files since the last backup, while differential on the other hand keeps a copy of all the versions of the files since the first backup session.
Mirror: This mode keeps an exact copy of your source in your backup location. This may sound like a full backup, but it’s not. Instead of copying all the files, only new or modified files, since the last full backup, are copied to the backup location, and the files that have been removed from the source are also removed from the backup location, thus producing a mirror copy.
In the next section, you can use the encryption option to protect your backup with a password, and then select your schedule settings. You have the option to run the backup manually or on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Unfortunately, we could not find an option to run the backup on an hourly basis, which we feel some users might need. Moreover, email notifications of backup status can be enabled, but only after configuring the SMTP server settings.
The restoring process is simple, you can start a restore process during the start-up prompt or close that prompt to select a backup from the main window, and then execute restore by using the right click context menu. By default, data is restored in the original location, but you can override this and choose a location of your own.
Backup4all has everything you would want from a dedicated backup software. Support for cloud backup, encryption, compression and the ability to even backup open files or folders makes it stand out from other backup utilities in the market. The best part is that the company provides email support when you are using the trial edition of the software. Moreover, there is a discussion forum to connect to experienced users and receive guidance.
The only minor drawback is that none of the editions offer free upgrades to major editions. So for instance, if you buy any of the edition in their current version, which is 7, you will receive only free updates of bug fixes and changes made to version 7 (updates to 7.1, 7.2 and so on will be free). When version 8 is out, you have to either pay for a new license or keep using the older version 7.
Grab Your Free Product Key
Softland is offering our readers free copies of Backup4all Lite, which usually has a retail value of $19.99. Visit the Offer Page and register to receive your free product key.
Download Backup4all Setup
On first run, you will be asked to activate Backup4all. Click on “Enter Key”, then select “Product Key”, and paste the license information that was sent to your email address. Hit “Activate” to complete the activation process.
If you are not asked to activate, then on the main window of Backup4all, navigate to “File” – “Licensing” – “Enter Product Key”