Backup bargains: 5 low cost data- saving options


With so many helpful utilities available, there’s no excuse not to back up your files. For the casual Mac user with a .Mac account, backing up to iDisk might do the trick. But if you worry about gigabytes and you’re on a budget, one of these bargain programs is sure to meet your needs. All of these programs will back up and synchronize your files. In other words, they’ll copy newer files from one volume to another and copy files in both directions. If you want to restore your entire system in the event of a crash, you need an application that can copy hidden system files, too. Free and easy If you’re really on a shoestring budget, you may want to try SilverKeeper 1.0 or Synk X 4.0.1 Both programs reliably back up and synchronize files, both are easy to use, and both include full documentation. Synk is faster than SilverKeeper, and it will let you preview changes before running. It also has an option for archiving deleted files when you synchronize. SilverKeeper can save multiple copies of a backup. For example, you could set the program to keep five copies of a backup of your Home folder. If you back up every day, SilverKeeper will write over your first backup every fifth day. To do that with Synk, you’ll need to create multiple Synk documents and alternate running them. Automatic protection
While you must run SilverKeeper and Synk manually, many backup programs allow you to create schedules so they can run in the background. If you want to back up your files automatically, one of the easiest programs to use is Déjà Vu 2.3, which installs as a preference pane. You can create multiple backup sets on different schedules. Déjà Vu will run in the background if your computer is on and awake, and if the backup volume is mounted. You don’t even have to be logged in. Déjà Vu will back up, synchronize, and even clone your system disk to a bootable copy, but it won’t archive deleted files. ChronoSync 1.1 is one of the most flexible programs, offering numerous options to give you complete control over your backups. You can create rules to filter files based on name, type, modification time, or OS type and creator codes. You can set ChronoSync to run when you launch or terminate the application or on a daily or weekly schedule, or you can run it manually. Daily schedules can run on any interval. For example, you can back up critical customer data every five minutes during business hours. ChronoSync doesn’t have to be running to perform scheduled backups, but it can’t make bootable backups. Peace of mind
If backup worries are keeping you awake at night, ExecutiveSync 1.2 will have you sleeping soundly in no time. Most programs check modification dates to determine which file is newer during synchronization. ExecutiveSync uses TAS (Time And State) synchronization instead, which stores and compares CRC32-bit checksums, a complicated way of detecting any changes to a file. Since modification dates may change for a number of reasons, ExecutiveSync should provide you with the most accurate backup. It will also archive files deleted during synchronization. But be warned: ExecutiveSync is slower than the other programs in this roundup, by an order of magnitude. And it has no scheduling feature, so you can’t run it unattended, when your computer is otherwise idle.
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