Backing up your most valuable documents, photos, and other files is a snap with 2BrightSparks' SyncBackSE ($30; free 30-day trial). We liked that we could back up data to either internal or external storage or an FTP site, back up multiple profiles at once, and even save room by backing up our data in a compressed ZIP file. Highlighting a profile and clicking the Schedule icon lets you set up daily or weekly backup patterns, so you don't have to worry about missing a backup. After waltzing through a short setup wizard, we created a backup profile in about a minute. After that, the initial backup of 30GB of content to an external hard drive took just over 48 minutes, which is 2 minutes faster than theAcronis True Image 11 Home'stime but a hair slower than that of theMemeo LifeAgent.
Restoring is as simple as selecting a profile and hitting the Restore button; as SyncBackSE performs incremental backups behind the scenes, we could select the point in time to which we wanted to restore our system. A feature called "Versioning," which creates copies of files, is an excellent safety net. Activated from the Differences window, which appears when you double-click a backup profile, SyncBackSE let us recover a specific Word document that we had deleted. The software can also restore documents that had been altered to a previous state.
If your PC is running Windows 2003, XP, or Vista, SyncBackSE will let you back up files without first closing them. Plus, you can synchronize files across multiple computers (you get five licenses with the purchase) and secure them with military-grade 256-bit AES encryption. All in all, 2BrightSparks SyncBackSE is an excellent backup solution that's easy to set up and easy to use.