Cool Automatic Data Backup Software for Windows

How do you make a backup file? Data backup is actually as easy as placing a bunch of file duplicates in another location to double its safety from being lost. When you have only a few files, the backup could easily be done in a manual way. But as the number of data you keep increase, it is likely that the manual backup turns out to be a tiresome work to do. You need something advanced technique to do the file backup. This is probably the time for considering to use an automatic data backup.

Now, what is the best data backup among the so many backup programs available and offered by various developers? To be honest, it is hard to give the exact answer since all the programs have their own weaknesses and strengths. Sometimes to decide which one is the best is to think carefully of what you actually need. I think it is somewhat wasting to have a sophisticated file backup sofware with lots of features but only some you often use.

However, though I have pointed out that the sophisticated backup software doesn't mean the best to use, the backup software I'm about to cover here is the one having many features that I found manages to meet my expectations for my daily data backup. It is free, simple to use for beginners but customizable for more advanced users, and packed with various options for expanding its automatic backup's capability further.

Its name is FileHamster, developed by MogWare.

Practically speaking, FileHamster is an automatic file backup that will monitor the specified folders and files in real-time and save every change occurs. Each time a selected file is modified or revised, or remove or add files into any of the folders, this program keeps a backup all the time so you can have several versions of a file.

How it works? After installation, a wizard asks you to create a container called library. In this library you can specify which folders and files to be watched. It enables you to create several libraries with your own name so you can categorize the folders and files included.

The main window itself is divided into two panels. Top panel is the watch tree where all folders and files watched are kept in a tree style, while the bottom is the revision list containing every file backup. You can auto hide the bottom panel to get a wider tree watch screen.

Every file modified is called a revision, and every revision will automatically be backed up. However, the backup or the watch behavior depends on your configuration. In other words, it is fully personalized.

Backup file however you want it...
When you add files and folders to be monitored, there are several options to configure the monitoring behavior. Some of the options are:
  • Letting you to blackout the monitoring on a specific time such as what day and what time the blackout starts, and how long the blackout should last
  • Watch every file type, or create filters to select only certain file types.
  • Keep all the old backup files or set the maximum number if the backup file size becomes too large. Please remember that if you set a limit FileHamster will keep only the specified number of newest revisions while the old ones will be deleted. If you want to keep some specific file backups, exclude them from the automatic deletion by right-clicking on each and select the 'Protect' command.
  • Another way to avoid the backup files consume disk space too much is by setting the maximum size of the revisioned files to be kept. For example, if you set the size to 10MB it will not backup the newest revision with size more than 10MB and every old revision that has a larger size will also be deleted from the revision list except the ones protected.
  • Set expiration time for the backup files whether it is in hours or days. This will automatically delete all the expired files except the protected ones.
  • Restore previous version without deleting the newest one. You can revert back to any of the old revisions that still exist in the revision list without loosing the newer revision you're working on. When a restoration occurs, what happens is the file gets updated and a new revision is created. It is some sort of file exchanging.
  • Ability to add comment to each revision for better reference.
  • By default it shows up a notification bubble containing four buttons with different functions every time a file backup takes place, allowing you to take different actions on the new revision. It enables you to add comment, protect, ignore the file or ignore all the files of the type in the future. You can turn it off if it somehow is disturbing, or customize its behaviour, location, and appearance for a more friendly notification.
  • When you're working on a document and save it often, it may be wise to set FileHamster to backup only every 10 or 15 minutes. Yes, you can do it with this program.
  • Lots of more...
There is also a bunch of plugins to increase the capabilities of FileHamster as a data backup program that can be downloaded for free on the developer's site. The most useful plugin according to me is the zip plugin, which will save every backup file into a zip archive to keep the whole backup size to the least possible.

A plugin to compare revision files to see the differences is ready to download as well. Still, you'll need third party software to be able to diff different revisions.

FileHamster can work with Microsot Word, Excel, Notepad, Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Flash, Dreamweaver, Autodesk Maya, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Audition, Adobe Premiere Pro, and lots of others. However, the software's developer states clearly in its helpful manual page that sometimes you may find occasional exceptions.

All in all, FileHamster is a cool data backup solution I recommend to be used to protect your data availability in diffferent versions all the time. The free version has been so powerful for my personal backup necessity. I suggest you to use the free version first before buying the pro version which has several more capabilities. If you think this version is good but you need more features, then get the pro one.

Windows Software Buzz, Tuesday, December 11, 2007 At 1:08 PM - Permalink
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