Secure your data with AOMEI Backupper Standard

Aomei Backupper is a reliable and easy software that protects your data by performing differential or incremental backups. This is a very handy tool if ever your entire system fries from a power surge or simply decides to call it quits and you need to restore your precious files from a dependable backup. It has been a few years since we last did a review for the Aomei Backupper, so this time we are going to look into what is new with the latest version – 4.0.6.  One of their latest impressive features is that you can backup your files to a cloud drive application such as Dropbox or OneDrive. The Aomei Backupper free version is compatible with Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP for 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Furthermore, it is available to home owners and businesses.

Noteworthy Features

  • Real-time file sync
  • Email notifications
  • Backup files to cloud drive desktop apps i.e. Google, Dropbox, OneDrive.
  • Schedule file and folder automatic synchronisation to local disk, external hard drive, NAS, network shared folder or removable USB Flash Drive
  • Partition alignment to optimise SSDs
  • Encrypt and compress backups
  • VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Service) enabled so the backup process does not interfere with other running applications on your computer.
  • Multiple language support including English, Italian, Spanish and Turkish.

The interface has not changed much at all (a simple interface is usually preferable) and is very straight forward to schedule a backup  with various options File, System, Disk or Partition.

A small irritation but this product for some reason doesn’t have its own file viewer. This could be arduous for larger scale backups but if you only have a few folders or files to do, it isn’t a problem.

A major change from the earlier version is the ability to run your backups when it is convenient for you! For example, you can arrange the backup to perform daily, every Tuesday at 11am, select day of the month and so forth. The auto backup incorporates Windows Task Scheduler for added security and reliability.

Oh and here is the option to configure the select destination to a cloud desktop app! Hooray! Yours may appear different to the image below as it is dependent on the Cloud apps you have installed on your computer.

One final thing is that the Backupper Standard utilises VSS, a technology from Microsoft that prevents system and data backup processes being interrupted by running applications. Awesome!

Support

AOMEI has a section entirely devoted to support for the Backupper Standard application. You can review documentation such as helpdesk guides, look at Frequently Asked Questions, post your own queries in the Forums section or even contact the developers directly for further assistance!

Upgrade… is it worth it?

You are probably pondering why you would purchase either the Professional ($49.95) or Server Edition ($169.00). Well the paid versions of the application do come with added functionality, such as, event-triggered scheduled backups (i.e. user logs off) and real-time sync files/folders to a network drive.  This does reduce administrative overhead and ensure security and stability for your precious data. Furthermore, the upgraded products means you would take precedence over other users if you have a support issue. Might be worth it to maximise your business operational efficiency and lessen chance of down time.

Final Thoughts

The latest version of AOMEI Backupper Standard is a smooth sailing backup, restore, sync and clone application. It is apparent that the developers are committed to consistently updating the application that suits the ever changing technology landscape. The ease of scheduling a backup makes this product a worthwhile tool for any user.

iBoysoft Drive Manager for Mac Review

Take care of your external storage and network devices when connecting them to your Mac with iBoysoft Drive Manager. If you are one of those people who get worried about their external drives disconnecting properly from their Mac (if you don’t, the data can become corrupt!) or a little bit new to computers and need some hand holding, then iBoysoft Drive Manager for Mac is a user friendly and reliable tool. Users are entitled to 7 day trial with full feature functionality so you can make up your mind if it suits your needs. Features

  • Manage your external and/or network drives from the menu bar.
  • Eject and unmount drives without the need of physically removing the connector from your mac.
  • Mount/unmount all external drives in one click.
  • Connect/disconnect all network drives in one click.
  • Configure automatic ejection and remount of drives dependent on the status of the computer.
  • Configure auto notifications of the status of your drives i.e. unplugged safely, mounted.
  • Mount NTFS drive as a regular drive in read-only mode.
  • Map a file share (FTP, SFTP) server storage as a local disk in the Finder, open remote files with any application and work like on a local volume.
  • Supported storage devices – External hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card, CF card, MicroSD, SDHC, memory card, memory stick, micro card.
  • Supported Mac Operating Systems – MacOS X 10.7 (Lion), 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.9 (Maverick), 10.10 (Yosemite), 10.11 (El Capitan) and Mac OS 10.12 (Sierra) and 10.13 (High Sierra). Note: If you are unsure of what version is your Mac OS, you need to click on the apple icon on top left hand side of your Mac desktop and select About this Mac from the drop down. 

Test Run After quickly downloading and installing the application, it shows up on our desktop on the top task bar what types of drives it can detect and which are mounted or not. We want to mount our ‘No Name’ external drive (SD Card) so we click on the relevant drive icon to mount the drive (you can tell with the down cursor icon appearing).  Now the drive is mounted and its contents instantly comes up in a finder window.In the Preferences section, we can directly uncheck or check the actions we want performed in certain scenarios on our network and/or external drives  i.e. computer goes to sleep therefore external drives are unmounted. Neat!Support The developers are not too shabby with their level of customer service with the Support section of their website packed with user guides, FAQs, online help and information on how to contact support for direct assistance. Their customer support team are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Final Thoughts We found this an easy peasy software to configure and use. We particularly liked the preferences section where we can setup how we want our relevant drives to be mounted dependent on the status of the computer. A nice way of alleviating administrative overhead for the user. Furthermore, being able to mount/connect or unmount/disconnect all drives in one mouse click is perfect. Bearing in mind that the lifetime license is only a mere US $10 more than the one year license, we think it is certainly good value for money. Furthermore, if you are an academic, non-profit or government user then you get a further 20% off.

MiniTool Photo Recovery Review

So the day just was not going for you as you seem to have lost the photos and videos from your awesome European summer vacation. You certainly looked good in them didn’t you? Well, MiniTool Photo Recovery is an intuitive piece of software that can recover your beloved photos/videos/audio no matter how you lost them! The tool, in three easy steps, can find your multimedia files from your hard drive, CD/DVD, digital camera, memory card, external storage. You can restore up to 1 GB of files for free!

The tool can recover almost all picture and video formats which are listed below.

Picture formats: JPG, TIFF/TIF, PNG, BMP, GIF, PSD, CRW, CR2, NEF, ORF, RAF, SR2, MRW, DCR, WMF, DNG, ERF, RAW and so forth. Video formats: MOV, MP4, M4A, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, FLAC, SWF, MP3, MP2, M2TS, MKV,MTS, WAV, AIF etc.

Since MiniTool Photo Recovery can be used on both Windows (XP/Vista/7/8/8.1 & 10) and Mac (10.5x and up), we decided to take it for a test drive on both operating systems.

Windows Test Run

After a quick installation, we open the application and are presented with an elementary interface. It shows you the type of devices you can potentially recover data from and we select ‘Start’ to get going.

We choose our external drive to scan our lost media files and away we go!

The time taken to scan does vary on the size of the storage device but for 32GB it seemed to not take too long. All recovered files are neatly mapped out and accessible for us… hooray! It even found some photos deleted from over 12 months ago!

We choose a few media files to recover. All done! Woohoo! Such a sweet and simple procedure. Not too hard to follow the steps.

Mac Test Run

Similarly for the Mac component of the software, the interface is fairly simple and straight forward. The connected devices on the computer are listed and we see if it can recover the same from the external drive.

All data was recovered once again just as we found in the Windows version. Good to know!

We did notice there was a difference between the scanning component of the Windows and Mac version. In the Windows version, the data found comes up gradually in the results. For Mac, you have to steadily wait for the entire scan to take place before you are presented with the final outcome. Not necessarily a problem, but important to note all the same.

One feature we were impressed with is that the free software provides the previous recovery result so we could easily load the results and not have to painfully scan the same device all over again!

Support

MiniTool have a support section on their website devoted to assisting their customers which is available 24 hours, 7 days a week. They are contactable via email and phone call! There is a FAQs page and manual for each of their products so you can delve into for further information.

Upgrade

We know people don’t like to pay for software… you rather it be free… right? Well considering this is a powerful recovery tool to have and they are generous with their 1GB of recoverable data for free (unlike similar software out there),  a one off $69 fee won’t break the bank! Although, it is only free for noncommercial, personal or home use. If you are a business, then you need to purchase to use this product.

Final Thoughts

Minitool Photo Recovery is a novel, highly efficient and genuine software that quickly recovers missing media files with a flourish. It is incredibly easy to use which means you don’t have to be a computer expert to operate it. From our test runs on both operating systems (Windows and Mac), we managed to fully recover our missing photos and videos which is a definite plus from us!

Manage your cloud applications with MultCloud

Nowadays, there are a wealth of cloud applications available at our fingertips. These can include OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon… can be a little overwhelming when you think about it! A big pet peeve is having to manage all of our cloud products one at a time, wouldn’t it be handy if this could all be governed under one application? Well… introducing MultCloud! Move and sync your files from one cloud app to another with a few simple mouse clicks.

Main Features

  • Transfer data across clouds
  • Migrate from one cloud to another
  • Data can be transferred in the background without interfering with running applications.
  • Sync way support
  • Check and manage transfer tasks
  • Manage files/folders, download/upload files, rename files/folders, move files/folders from one location to another within their own cloud app etc
  • Multi language support
  • Scheduled transfer, sync and backup data (Paid version)
  • Transfer files with specific extensions (Paid version)

Which Cloud Applications are supported?

The Cloud Drives that can be currently managed with MultCloud are: Google Drive, Google Drive for G Suite, Dropbox, Dropbox for Business, OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, FTP, Amazon Drive, MEGA, Box, Flickr, MediaFire, Amazon S3, HubiC, SugarSync, Alfresco, MySQL, Evernote, Egnyte, pCloud, Backblaze, WebDav, ownCloud, CloudMe, Cubby, MyDrive, Yandex, HiDrive, ADrive, WEB.DE and BaiDu.

Test Run

Now let us see for ourself if MultCloud is the one dreams are made of!

First, we go and sign up for the MultCloud account. We fill in a few details and away we go.

After activating the account via email, we sign into the application and are presented with the friendly and easy to use interface. Nothing overly complicated about it which is a delight to behold.  The top row shows the options available to us – Cloud Explorer, Cloud Transfer, Cloud Sync and Add Clouds. The data we have trafficked with the app so far is shown in a gauge on the top right hand side.

Let’s go ahead and add a Cloud Drive! We choose ‘Google Drive’ and select Next.

We can change the display name if we prefer and click ‘Add Google Drive Account’ button. If you don’t have a Google Drive account already, the app kindly presents a link where you can go register.

After a few prompts, our Google Drive is now added to MultCloud that we can manage. We can upload files onto it if we desire, rename files and folders, move files around just as you would in the app itself.

We then test out by moving files from Google Drive to our Dropbox account. We select the Cloud Transfer tab. Again, very clear and to the point, we need to select our from directory and to target directly of where we want to save our files to.

We decide to transfer our folder from Google Drive to Dropbox. We click ‘Transfer Now’.

Success! Our data has been transferred over to our Dropbox account. This process is shown in Task Manager.

Time to test out Cloud Sync to see if this works out too. We put in a two-way sync this time between Dropbox and Google Drive. Click ‘Sync Now’.

Again the sync goes ahead without a hitch. If the Task Manager doesn’t automatically open, we can find out how our sync performed by navigating to it from clicking the small icon next to the data traffic gauge. This is a proficient way of reviewing your previous tasks performed in MultCloud and whether they were successful or not. You can also repeat the task if you wish instead of having to manually reset it up again.

 Support

MultCloud offers a full Support section on their website that has a discussion forum where users can submit posts associated with support tips, bugs, recommendations and general chit chat. There is also an Help & FAQ section which we suggest looking into before contacting the MultCloud developers directly and having to wait for a response. However, if you still need help, you can email them.

Should I upgrade?

The free version of MultCloud offers users with the ability to manage up to 2TB of data traffic and you can acquire more data storage (1 point = 10GB) by performing a few options i.e. sharing MultCloud to a social networking site. The features on offer are more than enough if you only have a few cloud apps and less than 2TB of data to manage.

If you have tonnes of data across multiple channels and want to eliminate administrative overhead then the Premium Plan option may be a more suitable option. Pricing can start from US $7.99 per month or you can receive discounts if you opt to pay quarterly or yearly. You also acquire a number of more features with the Premium Plan such as scheduling sync times, email notifications and configuring file settings.

Final Thought

An effective, reliable and cost efficient online service that enables users to strategically manage their cloud applications in one place. Files can easily be transferred and synced between cloud apps without connection speed bottleneck issues or bandwidth utilisation. We particularly enjoyed the ability to ‘experience without signing up’ option on the MultCloud website.  You can navigate and test out the application features without even needing an account! Although we do think that this product would be even more popular if the developers look into configuring a mobile app so that users can configure their cloud apps more easily on the go via mobile phone/tablet.

Retrieve lost files with iBoysoft Data Recovery

There are sometimes times in your life when everything isn’t going right… your favourite TV show is cancelled, you didn’t get that pay raise and then finally your cherished data decides to pack up and leave without a trace from your drive. Well at least all is not ‘lost’ if you have iBoysoft Data Recovery to hand. This reliable piece of software is here to save the day by recovering your missing files/folders in 3 easy steps. iBoysoft Data Recovery is available for use on Windows and Mac operating systems therefore we shall be testing out and reviewing both versions.Features

  • Recovers deleted files (even from the recycling bin)
  • Recovers data from formatted/reformatted drives
  • Recover data from RAW, inaccessible, corrupted or damaged partitions
  • Recover data from deleted or lost partitions

Tech Specifications Windows

  • Compatible with Windows OS (XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10) and Windows Server (2003/2008/2012/2016)
  • Supported File Systems – Fat32, NTFS and ExFAT

Mac

  • Compatible with Mac OS X – 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 10.7 (Lion), 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.9 (Mavericks), 10.10 (Yosemite), 10.11 (El Capitan) and Mac OS – 10.12 (Sierra)
  • Supported File Systems for Mac OS – HFSX, HFS, HFS+, exfat and FAT32.

Windows Test Run After a fairly smooth installation process, we open the software and are in the main interface. It is rather uncomplicated with the drives the tool can detect listed. For further assistance, we can click on the ‘?’ icon that takes us to the help section on the iBoysoft website.We test out our external drive (E:\ in the image below) that we have divided into two partitions and reformatted… but alas we cannot see one of the partitions (Named ‘Turquoise’) on our File Explorer. In the Data Recovery tool, we highlight the external drive and click Next. A pop occurs showing that it is ‘Collecting volume information’.Hooray! the application has found both partitions on the external device that we could not see in file explorer. We select Partition 0 (which is the ‘Turquoise’ drive) and click Next.Our located files are shown below. We want to recover our IT Policies from this data only so we tick the checkbox and select Recover.When the data is recovered it opens up in a new file explorer window! Hooray!Mac Test Run For the Mac version, another swift setup and we are off to a flying start. Let’s go ahead and scan our Mac drive! We have the option to opt for a ‘Deep Scan’. The Deep Scan does take a bit longer but will perform a more thorough search of your drive. Let’s select it and away we go.The deep scan of our drive is in progress. We like how it shows us how much time is left for the scan to complete.What we noticed that is different to Windows version is that the scanned files show up under three tabs  – Path, Type and Time. If you are aware of where you lost your files/folders then the Path can be very helpful. However, if you just cannot recall the name but know what type of files you lost i.e. movie files then it is also broken down into that section as well. This is a very innovative and user friendly feature compared to some other data recovery products we see out there. Thumbs up from us.  We also were happy that we could split the type of files shown by selecting the drop down and selecting ‘only show deleted files’. We highly recommend the developers to add this feature to the Windows version of the product in future.  The restoration process of our data is very similar to the Windows version and gave us no issues at all. Highlight – Pausing and restarting the Scan A definite plus from us (for both Windows and Mac versions) is that we can pause and restart the scan at any time. For example, on our Mac, we simply hover our cursor over the % image and selecting the ‘pause’ icon. We can then restart the scan again by pressing the ‘play’ icon.  SupportiBoysoft have a Support page on their website which is separated into sections – Contact Support, Online Help, FAQ and Data Recovery Tips. Their guides are detailed with clear and concise images which is a big help for amateur computer users. For people experiencing issues or needing further assistance, their support staff are available 24×7. Final thoughts We found iBoysoft Data Recovery a very impressive and well grounded software that recovered our data with no hassles. We tested out the product on both Windows and Mac in a few scenarios and were pleased with the results. In most cases, 95% of our data was able to be located. We were pleased with the additional functionality, for example, pausing and restarting the scan (Windows and Mac) and being able to only show particular type of files (Mac only).  The software is US $69.95 for a lifetime license. Still not convinced? The developers provide a free full version of the software that allows users to recover up to 1GB of data. Academic, government and non-government organizations are also entitled to a 20% discount as well.