By Kevin Fogarty Print this article Print

Storage and backup applications are among the most critical in any major corporation. Because missing or corrupted backups tend to show up only when someone needs to use them to recover from some data disaster, there's not much room for error. Lost data equals lost revenue and possibly legal liability, if the lost data are relevant to the financial performance of the company.

One of the more popular freeware/shareware/open source backup apps, Cobian has gone through eight major revisions and is in beta testing for a ninth. Version 8 is available as open-source at Sourceforge.net; version 9 will be proprietary (though free) because the author was disappointed that so few open-sourcers jumped in to add features to the version he released. Could be because version 8 was already pretty good.

The support forum is also among the best single-app freeware support groups around, for your own inevitable questions.

Version 8 allows backup from and to FTP servers, backup for files larger than 2GB, a range of strong encryption options, a "green" installation that marks up the registry only to enable the backup service, not .ini files and other extranea.

Backup jobs are highly configurable; remote backup is available; and the app can split files to make backup even more flexible.

Version 9 (still in beta) backs up open or locked files, adds 7zip compression, SMTP-over-SOCKs, SMTP-over- SSL, detailed download logs, FTP using UTF transfers and "prettier About boxes," according to the author.

Past history is no indication of future performance, of course; but picky individual reviewers report very few problems, even after two to three years.

Considering it's freeware (consider making a donation) that's an awful lot of value for the money.

This article was originally published on 2008-08-21
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