Novosoft Handy Backup 7 is aimed at the home or small office for anybody wanting a quick, serviceable file backup from and recovery to their local PC or notebook. More Windows backup software reviews.
It can back up to internal and external hard drives connected locally to a PC – and to CDs, DVDs or network drives.
Don’t be confused by the Handy Backup pages on the www.novosoft.com site, where the company fails to make it clear what each of the versions can do.
Use the www.handybackup.net site instead, where a linked comparison chart shows this clearly. The Novosoft site makes database backup and drive image backup the product’s two, headline features.
In fact, neither of these are available in the Home Standard version and only come into play in the Home Professional and Small Server versions, at $99 and $199, respectively.
Handy Backup’s main rival, also hailing from Russia, is Acronis TrueImage, which offers both drive image and file backup as standard, even in its cheaper £25 Home version.
Oddly, database and disk images are displayed within the program as objects you can backup. If you select to back up a disk image, the program doesn’t inform you that it’s unavailable because you haven’t paid for the appropriate version, but rather that you need to run the program as administrator, even when you’re already specifically run it this way. It’s all rather confusing.
Novosoft Handy Backup 7: Operation
When Novosoft Handy Backup 7 is first run, it presents a step-by-step Wizard to take you through the setup of a general-purpose backup. The first step offers backup, restore or synchronise tasks, the second enables you to select the objects you can backup – a drive, database, CD, etc. Choose computer and you can select specific drives, folders or files.
Next is backup destination, followed by the choice of full, incremental or differential backup; and then an option for zip compression and 128-bit encryption.
The scheduler enables automated backups at defined times and finally you can choose to run other applications either before or after a backup.
We tested over two days and when we restarted our test PC on the second day, Handy Backup started as a tiny miniaturised window. We could open the program to full screen, but not to its original window size. It’s little glitches like this that set you wondering how solid is the rest of the application.
The main screen shows the file categories being backed up and a scrolling history pane indicating what the program is currently doing.
We backed up 50GB of files between hard drives on a Windows 7 PC where the process took 27 minutes, which is very respectable.
However, when we chose to incorporate zip compression in the backup, as a second test, the program repeatedly produced an empty zip file. We installed the software on a second system, running Windows XP, and repeated the test.
This time, after a couple of hours processing, it produced a 6GB zip file, which both Windows and 7Zip claimed was corrupt and from which Handy Backup couldn’t restore.
A repeat test showed the same result. It looks as though Novosoft needs to do some more work on its compression routine.