Backup Genie review

6 Jul 2012

A sound product at a good price, undermined by a handful of missing features

Price when reviewed: 
5inc VAT
4

Online backup providers are such a common sight these days, it’s tough for any one service to stand out. Backup Genie plays the ease-of-use card, with bright graphics adorning its website, and the words “simple” and “easy” making several appearances right up front.

It’s justified, too. The software widget that takes care of all file operations has a simple, friendly UI that isn’t cluttered with tickboxes and menus.

An array of seven buttons sits across the top of its small window, providing access to the main backup window, a screen that allows users to simply drag and drop files or folders to back them up, and the service’s restore facility, which allows items to be retrieved directly from a folder-tree view.

The service provides a Dropbox-style sync service with 1GB of storage; files and folders can be backed up or sent to the sync folder with a right-click of the mouse. The website advertises free iPad and iPhone apps, too, although these weren’t live at the time of writing.

The service has three pricing options: 75GB of capacity for £4.49 per month, 250GB for £6.95 per month, and unlimited storage for £9.95 per month. It’s cheaper than Mozy, but pricier than Livedrive – our two online backup options of choice.

The service uses Amazon’s S3 servers, and performance is perfectly fine. We used a 1.4GB photo library to test it: it took 1hr 42mins to back up, and 1hr 36mins to restore. Bear in mind, though, that this was over our company network; depending on the speed of your upload and download connections, performance will certainly differ.

Backup Genie restore interface

Gaps in Backup Genie’s feature set do exist, however. Backups aren’t continuous and can be set to run only once a day. There’s no way of telling which files have been backed up and which haven’t simply by looking at the files and folders in Windows. The website has no facility for streaming media files or viewing/editing documents in place either.

In general, we like its simplicity, its price and performance. However, Backup Genie’s lack of a continuous backup option is too major to ignore. It’s a promising debut, but needs a little work.

Details

Price ex VAT £4
Price inc VAT £5
Overall rating 4
Ease of Use rating 5
Features & Design 3
Value for Money 4
Software subcategory Online backup