Backup Data with Bvckup Beta

I’ve been using Bvckup beta for well over a year now and it’s about time it received some recognition for reliably sorting out my backups without ever getting in the way. I mean, what more could you want from a backup utility? That it is fast maybe? Check. Perhaps that it is minimal and easy to set up? Check. Maybe that it does not use a proprietary file format for backups? Yep, got that too.

Bvckup differs from other backup applications, It makes sure that whichever folder you choose to back up is always exactly duplicated to the folder that you are backing up to. Ok, no big deal you say. Well what about if we throw in a Delta copying algorithm that makes backups super fast? And how about real-time folder monitoring, scheduled backups and manual backups all in one app?

Read on to find out more about this cool little application.

Getting Set Up

The Bvckup website is a great place to visit for the download of Bvckup beta (the only version available at the moment) as well as a guide to the features and information on how it differs from other backup utilities. The blog is also interesting and an unusual example of a developer being very open about the process of making the app. It makes for a great read.

To set up a backup all you need to have in mind is what you want to back up, and where you want it backed up to, the guidance notes on the options will guide you through the rest of the process as you create the folder pairing.

image of a new backup in Bvckup

It’s very simple to set up a new backup, choose the source and destination and you’re done

You can choose both local and network folders for the backup destination so it is straightforward to set up a backup to your NAS across the network as if it was on your local hard drive.

The way that Bvckup works is to rely on the fact that the destination folder will never change, except when it is changed by Bvckup. That means that Bvckup does not need to scan the destination for changes, it can use a locally saved file that instantly tells it the state of the destination at the end of the last backup, so it can get right on with the actual backup process, which in turn makes the whole process a little faster. It also reduces network traffic if you are backing up to a NAS or another computer on your network.

New Backup, add more options

Real-time backup means that your data can always be safe as soon as it’s modified.

If the files at the destination folder are likely to change in between backups then you can set Bvckup to check the destination for changes on each backup. It is a bit slower, but a bit more flexible.

Backup how You Want it

Each backup can be set simply to duplicate the folder that it is backing up using the default settings, or it can be set to check filters and only back up certain files, or set other filters so that only certain files are excluded. The implication for each of these options as well as all other options for each section are explained in terms of their impact on reliability, speed, size or any other factor that is effected by that setting.

Bvckup Filters

There are so many useful settings that you can easily tailor Bvckup to your needs.

Because of the way that the options within the application are presented, a less computer literate person will have all of the explanations they need to understand what it is they are setting up, and a power user will have all of the power and control they need to make it work exactly how they want.

Features

As stated above you can choose to have a folder monitored for changes, or have a scheduled backup to run as often as you like, or just run the backup when you like. The folder monitoring option is great for photos, as you plug in your camera and the photos are imported to your usual folder, Bvckup can monitor this folder and backup the photos as they are being added, in real time.

You can choose to ‘sync deletions’ or not, this is useful for creating a full backup and any deletions from the source folder after that point are not propagated through to the backup so you still have the originals if you need them. Great for photo editing as you need not worry about deleting photos whilst you’re weeding out the bad ones as you have a copy of all of the original files elsewhere in case it all goes wrong.

Bvckup Delta Copying

Delta file copying dramatically speeds up backups.

As mentioned earlier, there is a rather clever copying algorithm used in Bvckup — Delta copying allows only the parts of a file that have been changed to be copied across to the backup instead of the whole file. This massively speeds up the backup process as so much less of the file is copied.

The example on the Bvckup website on the website shows that the savings in time and traffic can be quite substantial: when backing up a 99MB folder with 213 files the algorithm found changes in one 32MB file, but the changes were only 384kb in size.

So, that is all that was backed up out of the whole 99MB folder, 384kb. That’s a ridiculously large difference in the amount of data being moved around!

Simple and Minimalistic

Bvckup is a wonderfully designed, minimalist application when compared to other apps, let alone other backup apps. Most tools of a similar ilk are cumbersome and designed with out much thought for user interaction. It can be seen that the UI has taken as much of the developer’s thought as the way the app functions behind the scenes.

The toolbar has all of two buttons: Go and Stop, that really is it. If a backup is running then pressing Stop pauses it, pressing it again cancels it, and pressing it again disables it. The same is true in reverse for the Go button. Simple.

Bvckup information summary

View as much or as little information as you like.

There is a status panel at the bottom of the main window that can be hidden so that only the backups and their progress can be seen. Alternatively it can be shown so that you can see the details for each of your backups, from the files copied to the time taken and the number of files that were copied.

Bvckup2

The next version is in the works, you can check out the details on the Bvckup2 site. Needless to say it is continuing where Bvckup left off, and adds new features that were missing from Bvckup, I’m quite excited about it so I hope it comes along soon.

Conclusion

A different approach to folder backups that makes it more user friendly, easier to set up, and more pleasurable to use. Real time folder monitoring combined with scheduled backups mean that you can set and forget your backups safe in the knowledge that your data is being saved elsewhere. The options interface is simple, yet comprehensive and descriptive, making it easy for anyone to use.

It’s always one of the first apps I install when I reinstall Windows as I have found it reliable, fast, and unobtrusive. Having this backup tool has saved my bacon a couple of times and I have no qualms recommending it.


Summary

A simple yet fully featured back up solution that is faster than most backup tools, and yet easier to use. Real time folder monitoring, scheduled backups, and manual backups all in one application. Highly recommended.

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