GFI Backup Freeware Edition is truly one of those products that makes me glad to be involved with freeware. Sure it's a freeware version of a paid product, but the freeware version itself offers a whole load more than most of us could ever dream of using. Not only do we have local and remote backup options, but we have a wealth of backup options available to us - moreso than even some of the most expensive backup solutions currently on sale!.
When I kicked off a first backup with GFI Backup Freeware Edition, it took only a few minutes to work through the wizard though it took substantially more time to perform that actual backup to my network drive. Now, that's no reflection of GFI Backup, but moreso just further proof that the network drive I chose to buy is an inferior heap of junk, even if it was an Iomega network drive!!.
During the install you will be asked which version you wish to install - the obvious choice is the "freeware" version, and this let's you backup both to a local source, such as a second hard drive or DVD disc and a remote storage device such as external hard drive or, in my case, a network drive. You will also be prompted to enter the credentials for your computer which will later allow you to authenticate against your home network, if you have one, and even choose to backup all the computers within your workgroup!.
Remember to allow GFI through your firewall too when prompted, otherwise you won't be able to see other machines on your network.
The console for GFI Backup is a web console, with lots of information and choices available although for simplicity I just chose to run a quick backup of my files and folders and the wizard made everything a simple as it could possibly be for a backup solution. I chose to run "Incremental Backups" for my backup job which will backup all the files and folders I chose and then only backup the one's that change thereafter meaning I'm not overloading the remote storage device with a load of duplicate backups.
Backups are not something that many of us can really get that excited about if I'm honest - they're usually the last thing most people think about performing because they can be quite laborious and it's often the case we have too many options or things go wrong, but I can honestly say that GFI Backup Freeware Edition changes all that. There are no complicated questions asked, no daunting menu's and no stupid restrictions found in this freeware version. It's really a fully functional, professional and complete backup solution and I'm struggling to figure out which additional features I would need in the paid version!??.
I just hope that GFI don't have any plans to wip this from under the feet of us freeware users at some point in the future and turn it into a paid only product as it would be extremely dissapointing indeed to loose such a worthwhile and generous piece of freeware. For me, I'd have to score GFI Backup Freeware Edition something close to 10 out of 10 - a great product, very generous and an often sometimes difficult and tricky subject like backups turned simple !!