Memeo Backup Premium 3.5
Are backup programs for mere mortals getting any better?
- Backs up files as they are created
- Bombards the user with status messages, requires a reboot to get it working
Memeo's trick is that instead of backing up files using a set schedule, it monitors them all the time, backing them up as they are created, and keeping several versions if the user wants it that way.
Price$ 74.43 (AUD)
Ever since the makers of external hard drives realised that bundling a backup program with their products was a sensible idea, programs like Memeo Backup have been on the rise.
You get a cut-down and generally pretty limited piece of software you can't complain about because you didn't pay for it, or at least you think you didn't. But is there anything clever in the paid-for versions of the same programs that might be worth the upgrade cost?
Memeo exists as a trio of paid products, starting with a functional Backup version, followed by the one they really want you to buy, Backup Premium for Vista/XP, and topped off with Pro' small business version designed to tackle servers and network drives in addition to workstations.
But here's the interesting bit. Memeo's trick is that instead of backing up files using a set schedule, it monitors them all the time, backing them up as they are created, and keeping several versions if the user wants it that way. The concept gets round the flaws in scheduled backup, such as backups failing when either the source or destination is not available. If a file can't be saved to the destination for some reason, Memeo just saves the file locally until that drive or device comes back online.
As clever as it sounds, it's no longer a selling point on its own as other backup programs (for instance the excellent Yosemite Filemaker Pro) use the same idea. The battle, as with everything in software, is to do it well.
Getting the app up and running means running a simple wizard through which source directories or file types are selected, and pointed towards one from a range of possible destinations, including an hard drive, USB stick, or network drive. Users can also sign up for Memeo's own online storage service, iDrive.
Files are selected initially based on their type (word processing, images, etc.), an unfamiliar concept for most experienced users but it does mean you remember to back up Outlook's chunky .pst file — and then manually by selecting folders from local drives. The small wrinkle is that you have to do both, telling the software that you want ‘word processing files', say, before actually selecting a directory in which such files exist.
The next stage is to set up ‘exclusions' or ‘inclusions', depending on whether you want certain files within the categories you've chosen not to be saved, for instance .tmp files. Multiple versions of files can be requested and encryption (of unspecified format) applied. Files can also be ‘tagged' for later recovery — this is said to be useful for digital camera files — but these would only work with Memeo of course.
A nifty feature is the integration with Windows Explorer through the LifeAgent add-on, which means that clicking on a directory from within Windows lets the user add it to an existing backup plan, or back it up by creating a new one.
All programs offer a restore function of course, but not all make this as simple as does Memeo by preserving the original file structure and data format. In addition, a copy of a utility is copied to the destination folder along with each job making it possible to retrieve the files even when the backup device is connected to a computer without the main backup software running.
An inconvenient aspect of installing Memeo Premium is that it requires a reboot to get it working (thanks to the Explorer integration feature), which is echoed by the eccentrically-slow speed of its initial file backup routine. Annoyingly, having downloaded and run the Vista install app from Memeo's Web site, it then detected a new version, which required a second install and yet another reboot.
Not long after install one, the program wasn't always happy to restart, informing us that it might not have been installed correctly. The update seemed to cure this, but left an impression of flakiness.
The relaxed file gathering routine is supposed to minimise CPU time, though this still ate up to 40 percent on our test machine. Everyday background backup was not noticeable, but the CPU meter still spiked from time to time as it carried out its monitoring. File access did slow down a bit under under Vista.
By default, the program likes to bombard the user with status messages, which grew tiresome. Luckily, some of this can be turned off. A simple ‘I'm working' status message at the start of every session would have sufficed.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- NBN Co's poor document security enabled document leaks that could have been avoided
- Microsoft breaks own design rules in dupe-the-user Windows 10 upgrade tactic
- Top 30 AWS cloud services
- Update to Google Docs, Sheets, Slides lets them automatically save recent files offline
- The speed you need: Pyne and Albanese clash on NBN
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCCCB & MDM ConsultantNSW
- CCLMS Administrator and e- Learning Development Project OfficerSA
- CCMS SCOM AdministratorVIC
- FTSoftware DeveloperSA
- CCDigital Business Analyst (iOS & Android / Web Projects)NSW
- CCContract Systems Analyst (Linux/Orcale/MySQL) 160531/SA/253Asia
- FTTechnical Specialist EmailACT
- CCBusiness AnalystACT
- CCSenior Network Engineer - NV1ACT
- CCSenior Change AnalystNSW
- FTPerformance Test AnalystNSW
- CCTransition Manager / Project ManagerQLD
- CCOracle DBA | 3-6mth ContractVIC
- CCDevOps EngineerNSW
- CCICT Contracts and Procurement SpecialistACT
- CCChange Manager- Success Factors/HCMNSW
- FTStibo PIM Consultant - Permanent OpportunityNSW
- CCService Provider Manager - DesktopVIC
- CCInfrastructure Deployment ManagerVIC
- CCMobility SpcialistACT
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCData Center ArchitectNSW
- CCFront end and Full Stack DevelopersNSW
- CCAnalyst Programmer (J2EE/Oracle/SQL*PLUS) 160519/AP/432Asia
- CCRelease Manager, SAPNSW