BuddyBackup – free software first look

by , Senior Money Researcher Security software 01/10/2011
BuddyBackup

BuddyBackup is a free backup program that requires some willing friends, or you to have a second computer. It works in a similar way to a cloud backup tool but instead of saving to the cloud, it uses the spare storage space of your ‘buddy’ on their PC.

How does BuddyBackup work?

First you need to install BuddyBackup on your own computer. We found this simple to do. You can then use it to backup to a local USB drive store, but the real power is to backup to a ‘buddy’.

This can be another PC that you own, or even better a set of machines belonging to your friends. Each PC will need to have the BuddyBackup software installed and running.

The amount of storage space you have avilable on your friends PC depends on how much you’ve allowed them. For example, if you allow 10GB of storage space on your machine to be used by your buddies, you can backup up to 10GB of your own data to their PC.

If you don’t like the thought of your friends being able to see your files don’t worry, the backups are encrypted so your buddies won’t be able to see them.

Running a backup

Once you’ve installed the program and want to backup your data this is what happens:

Choose what data you want to save, and it runs automatically. If a ‘buddy’ is not online it will be sent to your other buddies – it’s worth having several to up the likelihood of someone being available. The default setting will send a copy to two of your buddies, but you can increase this if you want to. In our test we also found recovering files to be simple.

Everyone likes something for nothing. Find out how free software stands up against paid-for versions in our review of free software - including free anti-virus and office alternatives.

Should I use BuddyBackup?

Overall it’s a very interesting concept. We found it was easy to install, easy to use and of course it’s free. You can use it to back up with friends or to back up between a couple of your own computers. There are a couple of things to watch out for though:

First, it’s important to mention that this is purely a backup solution for your files. There’s no imaging capability so it won’t be able to recover an operating system or whole applications.

Secondly, the backup process is quite slow by default. We found this reasonable though as it’s done to ensure minimal distrubance to the internet connection of you and your friends. Once you’ve completed your first backup though, the increments will be quicker.

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sealdriver

The free version of CrashPlan software also permits this method of backing up.

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