Let’s face it, backups are pretty boring, which is probably the reason why they often get overlooked and people find themselves staring into the abyss of lost data. Part of the reason why so many of us hate backups is that the software used often seems to overcomplicate things with lots of options that many people never use.
Bvckup 2 aims to change all of this with a backup solution that’s clean, simple to use, elegant and fast. Produced by Swiss company Pipemetrics, Bvckup 2 is small – the installer is less than 2MB in size – but packs in a surprising amount of sophistication.
On installation it automatically detects whether you have a 32- or 64-bit system and proceeds accordingly. The ease of use continues on the first run when the only option you get is ‘Add new backup’. Click this and you can choose a source and destination for your save. If you want to you can stop there and simply run the backup job – it’s as easy as that – but there are other options if you need them.
It’s designed to be fast and starting from scratch in our tests it saved 1.3GB of files to an external USB 2.0 drive in just two minutes. After the initial backup of course it’s quicker still as it will only save changes. It uses multiple read/write requests in parallel to speed up the transfer process and is able to run intensive tasks on multiple CPU cores, but scale back its activity when the PC is under load. This means you can leave it running in the background while still using your PC for other tasks. One of the other reasons it’s so fast is its single-minded approach. It creates a mirror from one location to another, it doesn’t do anything clever like a two-way sync or a system backup and it doesn’t encrypt or compress data along the way.
You can have it run tasks on a regular timed schedule or it can continually monitor files and folders for changes in real time. It also uses what’s called ‘Delta’ copying which means it will save only the parts of a file that have changed rather than copy the whole thing each time, further improving performance. A backup can be pinned to a specific removable destination – it tracks drives by their unique hardware ID not just the Windows-assigned drive letter – so that it will only run when the target is available, and of course you can save to networked or cloud storage.
All of this simplicity might make you think that Bvckup 2 is mainly for home users. However, it has a lot of features that make it attractive for enterprise users too. It can cope with multi-million item backups making it suitable for large systems and it can run multiple jobs in sequence or all at once.
When running a job it creates a backup plan, you can do a simulated run and view this without actually executing it, so it’s good for satisfying compliance requirements. It uses Windows’ shadow copy service to allow it to save locked files. Saves of deleted items don’t have to remain cluttering up the main backup, they can be moved to an archive folder from where they can be retained for compliance or deleted after a period of time.
You can set the program to run a command before and/or after the backup, so you could shut the machine down after saving for example. You can also get it to send an email on completion allowing admins to see that remote systems are being properly backed up.
As we pointed out above there’s no encryption or compression so it may not be suitable for handling sensitive data, unless of course the files you’re saving are already encrypted in which case they’re simply mirrored as they are. Lack of compression of course means your backup storage needs to match the size of the original.
Licences for Bvckup 2 start at $39.95 (around £26.50) for the professional version and discounts are available for volume orders. For $19.95 (£13.23) you can buy it to protect your home PC too. If you want to try it out there’s a fully functional two-week trial available to download from https://bvckup2.com/ Currently it’s only available for Windows and will run on XP or later.
There are more complex backup programs out there, but that’s not really the point. What Bvckup 2 does is focus on doing a single task and doing it well with minimal hassle. It’s almost enough to make backing up your system a pleasure.