For home and small business users who have found the backup and restore process complex or time consuming, Clickfree’s C2 portable drive offers a simple alternative.
Once connected to your PC or Mac via a USB cable that extends from a slot in the rear of the unit, the C2 drive automatically starts backing up files. Because software is integrated, no software installation is needed before using it.
A countdown timer will begin and once files for backup are identified, the backup process starts. Users can back up content from multiple machines.
File types that can be backed up range from photos, music and video to emails, text documents, email attachments (from Microsoft Outlook), spreadsheets and websites. A useful feature for those with an extensive music collection is the C2 software’s ability to import tracks and playlists (although not videos) from iPods or iPhones.
The test backup was a speedy process, taking less than three minutes to backup 512 files totalling 288MB.
Once the process is complete, users are given a neatly-ordered list of the backed up files by type on screen, along with the space each group of files has taken up on the drive. The PC name and date of the last backup is also stated.
Other options once backup is finished are browsing the files and viewing stored photos.
When the next backup is done, the C2 software will automatically search for new files that have not yet been stored.
Clickfree also provides 256-bit encryption to secure files and users can put password access on the drive as a further safety measure. They can take the extra precaution of burning files from the drive to a CD or DVD.
Further automation is on offer with the ability to schedule regular backups, with options ranging from two hours to once a fortnight.
The review unit had a 250GB capacity (capacities range up to 2TB) and it comes with a docking cradle.
It supports several operating systems, including Windows XP, Vista and 7, along with Mac OS X and later Mac systems.
Users will also need 100MB of free hard drive space.
The C2 and docking station are stylish to look at, in glossy black with a blue LED power-on indicator.
The only downside is the tendency to attract fingerprints. It is not as small as some competing portable drives at 120 x 80mm, but is still fairly light.
There is also a mini-USB port on the bottom of the drive if users want to connect a longer cable than the one built into the drive.
The C2 is competitively priced at $169.