EMC Corporation Retrospect Express HD 2.0

EMC Corporation Retrospect Express HD 2.0
  • Expert Rating

    2.50 / 5

Pros

  • Retrospect Express HD makes getting into a backup routine a simple process.

Cons

  • The lack of a traditional, option-filled configuration dialogue box takes a bit of getting used to.

Bottom Line

This reliable and extremely easy-to-use backup program is more expensive than competing apps.

Would you buy this?

With so many users backing up to hard drives, it's a wonder EMC didn't start selling its super-easy-to-use Retrospect Express HD 2.0 backup program sooner. Previously available only when bundled with Maxtor's OneTouch hard drives, Retrospect Express HD has received a mild overhaul and now has been released on its own. We tested a shipping version of the $66.50 application and found it as simple and intuitive to use as its full-blown Retrospect Professional cousin is complex and obtuse.

Unlike the Professional version, Express HD is a single-job software: one full backup, then incremental backups of a single data set. Users can't tell it to run different jobs at different times with different data sets, as is available with Pro.

Retrospect Express HD makes getting into a backup routine a simple process. Backups are configured via an attractive step-by-step wizard and managed using a system tray menu. We found that the lack of a traditional, option-filled configuration dialogue box took a bit of getting used to, but in the end, Retrospect Express HD's keep-it-simple, set-it-and-forget-it philosophy quickly won us over.

Many low-cost backup programs simply copy files, leaving the file structure intact for easy browsing using Windows Explorer. Express HD 2.0, while it can do this as well, defaults to a traditional approach of consolidating everything into a single compressed backup file. While users will have to reinstall Express HD to browse a compressed backup in the event disaster strikes, it also means better security, easier internal cataloguing, and easier on-demand restoration of files.

The biggest problem I had with Retrospect Express HD is its price: $66.50 is awfully steep for a program without disaster recovery, and there's stiff competition that are less expensive.

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