redBoomerang Mobile Workforce Review

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$99.99

Pros: Simple installation and setup; Online portal indicates space usage; Strong encryption

Cons: Dated-looking software; No status indicator for uploads; Pricey for allotted storage space

Verdict: This businesscentric online storage solution isn't pretty, but it backs up and restores your files with ease.

There was a time when backing up critical data meant giving the IT department a headache. redBoomerang is designed to make this process simple for workers on the go, offering preset folder selection, government-level encryption, and a centralized Web portal for managing storage and accounts. Although this service looks as if it were designed to run on a Commodore 64, it provides an online backup and restore solution that is easy enough for the average PC user to configure and maintain.

Setting Up the Service

redBoomerang's 4KB software client lets you specify which system files are backed up to its online servers. The gray-themed software is far from glamorous and makes us wonder if the interface was inspired by Windows 95. But what this service lacks in style it makes up for in ease of use.
Selecting the Getting Started Wizard provides step-by-step instructions for establishing a connection between the software and the online server. You don't need to type in server data or port numbers; just enter your account user name and password (which is assigned to you when you purchase the software online). The wizard also lets you set up the backup schedule and select exactly how frequently the software should back up to the online servers. After it's configured, you will never have to worry about manually backing up your files again; you just have to keep the low-memory software running in the background.

Online Login

Although you cannot access actual files from the Web portal, redBoomerang does assign you an online login to monitor your backup status. By simply logging into the redBoomerang software, you can click the activity log and monitor your backups. Unfortunatley, there is no way to see the actual name of the files backed up, but you can see the number of files that were backed up at a specific time.

redBoomerang Performance

Selecting which files and folders you would like to be backed up automatically is simple with the Windows Explorer-esque interface, which provides a clear view of your computer's drives and folders. The latest version of redBoomerang includes an open-file manager that lets you decide how to handle files currently in use; backups for SQL server databases and Microsoft Exchange require you to purchase add-ons.
The initial process of backing up your PC doesn't include a status indicator for all the uploads in total; it merely shows the status of individual files. Uploading 1GB worth of files was an all-night activity and took a total of 7.5 hours.

Retrieving Your Data

If a file has gone missing on your computer, getting back your data is as simple as selecting the Restore tab in the software and selecting the folder or file you wish to restore onto your PC. If an entire PC goes missing or crashes, redBoomerang provides another license to download the software and restore the entire folder structure.

Verdict

redBoomerang isn't the prettiest backup solution on the block, but keeps data safe for traveling executives, remote workers, and telecommuters. While other online backup services are cheaper, redBoomerang's interface lets you simply select the files and folders you want to back up without having to find the file on the system, right-click it, and then select an option to archive the file. So you won't feel as lost should you lose your last five hours' worth of work.
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Laptop Mag & Tom's Hardware
Software Type Business Software
Platforms Windows
Software Required OS: Windows 2000/XP/Vista
Required RAM 512K RAM
Disk Space 5GB available
Company Website http://www.redboomerang.com