Price: $30; 30-day trial (limited features)
Download StarDock KeepSafe
This powerful little gem from Techsoft not only mirrors multiple folders to multiple locations but can also synchronize them. Though MirrorFolder lacks true revisioning (retention of multiple copies of files), it has an option to archive files that are about to be overwritten to a ZIP file.
After you set the source and target locations, you have literally dozens of options, including whether the target is a mirror or synced folder, when operations should be performed (in real time or scheduled), who can do them, how overwrites are handled, how long logs are kept, and so on. The large array of settings can lead to a bit of sensory overload until you get up to speed. Fortunately, the program is for the most part logically laid out, and tool tips pop up over every option with a concise explanation of what it is or does.
IBM's simpler-to-configure Tivoli CDP is only a couple of bucks more and probably a better fit for the average user. But MirrorFolder's extreme configurability and advanced options, such as copying folder user permissions, make it a must-have for anyone who wants to do complex real-time backup.
Price: $39; 30-day trial
AJC Active Backup
AJC's Active Backup may not have a splashy name or a sexy interface, but its no-nonsense, logical approach to setup, configuration, and backup is a breath of fresh air. That said, I have two decidedly minor setup gripes: It offers no New Folder button when you browse for the location to store your backups (you can select a location and add the new directory name by typing it), and the program is a little too polite, not automatically setting itself to run when Windows boots. Other than that, it's a model of design efficiency.
AJC consists of two modules. One is a backup applet that sits in the system tray waiting to back up files in locations you specify, and the other is a viewer module that lets you browse the revisions of documents added to the program's proprietary .aja compressed archive files. The program performed well in my testing, though it didn't offer to copy previously archived files when I changed the backup location. It did, however, keep track of files that were changed while the backup destination was unavailable (my network-attached storage box was off), and it copied them when the location became available again.
My only other wish is that AJC would back up to multiple locations. I feel better when I know my current articles are backed up both to local storage and to something remote on the other end of the network.
Price: $30; 30-day trial
Download AJC Active Backup
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