Ashampoo Zip Pro 3 is the latest version of popular file archiving suite from Ashampoo, a suite which can handle virtually any archiving, compression and encryption task you can think of, and then some!
Ashampoo Backup 2020
Backup 2020 is the latest entry-level backup solution available from software makers Ashampoo. This tool is designed to work with the minimal of fuss and help PC users of all abilities get a local backup configured and their important data made safe in just a few clicks.
In addition to providing the usual file-based backup functionality, Backup 2020 will, by default, take an image backup of the entire PC during any backup operation. This approach means that not only are all files are included in the backup by default but also, in tandem with the built in system recovery tool maker, make recovering data on an un-bootable PC possible.
Backup 2020 sits alongside Backup Pro 15 which is the premium backup solution offering from Ashampoo, this is a lighter version and doesn’t have the ability to backup to the could but it does retain some of the core functionality of its bigger brother. This means, for around half of the usual price, backup 202 is the simplest way to buy into the Ashampoo backup family and protect your PC with the minimal of effort or fuss which might come with other, more advanced, backup software.
I’m excited to see what Backup 2020 can offer, let’s go!
- Well designed and very easy to use backup software
- Easy to schedule multiple daily / weekly / monthly backups
- Lightweight on PC resources (ideal for older PCs)
- One-click manual backups (backup with ease whenever you need to)
- Software comes effectively pre-configured, very easy to start with
- Full disk image backups produced by default (be confident all data is included)
- Image based backups allow entire Windows PC to be recovered
- Incremental backups reduce backup time and preserve disk space
- Easy to use recovery options
- Built-in system recovery tools, easily recover after Windows system issues
- Very cost effective compared to alternative backup solutions
- Only local backup targets supported (no cloud backups)
- No encryption support
- A true “set-and-forget” solution!
Installing Ashampoo Backup 2020
As with all Ashampoo software the installation of Backup 2020 was both quick and easy, the installer itself can be downloaded from the Backup 2020 webpage and at just under 88MB was a relatively quick download.
Once the installer is running the process of installing takes only a few seconds (on my moderate specification PC) and after just a few clicks the software will be ready to use. Before getting started we must first register the software or elect to start a free trial, Ashampoo offer all of their customers a 10 day free trial to test the software (which is extended to 30 days if you decide to register for an account with Ashampoo).
After the software is installed and registered we can start taking our first backup straight away thanks to how Backup 2020 comes pre-configured, but I will cover this more in the next section of this review.
Backing up within Ashampoo Backup 2020
Ashampoo have made backing up using Backup 2020 really easy to get started with, in-fact, when opening up Backup 2020 for the first time we can see all of the main configuration details are easily accessible to us from the main dashboard page.
As can be seen above, the application does not over complicate the process of backing up, this means, by default, the entire system (and all applicable disks) are already selected for backup (where it says “Back up these drives” above). Ashampoo do provide an option to remove drives from this default configuration if you so wish by clicking on this section and then manually adding / removing any disks as applicable.
It should be pointed out here that there is no option to do a file-level backup nor can we mark selected files, folders of file types to be automatically excluded from our backup set. This might be a disadvantage for some users (in terms of potentially wasting storage space backing things up which don’t need to be) but in terms of keeping things easy and as simple as possible this should be a small price to pay for many users.
After selecting any disks to be backed up, the storage location for the backups can also be specified, in my testing I found Backup 2020 cleaver enough to automatically select my external drive as the target location for my new backup set. This can of course be changed to any disk or removable media which is attached to the PC, but it does need to be pointed out we don’t have any cloud storage options in this version (check out my review of Ashampoo Backup Pro 15 if cloud options are essential for you).
After selecting what to backup and where to store backups the next step (again, easily accessible from the dashboard)is to specify a schedule for our new backup set.
It is worth pointing out at this point that Backup 2020 only supports creating a single backup set, this essentially means we cant split different sets of files up and have, for example, different backups running on different schedules. Whilst this might affect more advanced PC users I think it is a fair compromise leaving this functionality out of Backup 2020 as it helps keep things as simple as possible!
The final thing to do when configuring our backup is to set a versioning policy, this is how we specify how many old versions of files to keep.
As with everything else this is really easy to do within Backup 2020 and involves simply setting a number of old backup revisions to keep stored (as can be seen above). That’s it, no need to worry about incremental backup chains and whether or not to keep the initial backup forever etc. just select the number of days to keep old backups (27 is default) and get on with the backup!
At this point we have our initial backup ready to go, all that is left to do is hit the “Activate Plan” button and the software will begin automatically keeping our PC backed-up, excellent!
Progress of backups, whether run manually or on the schedule, can be seen on the main dashboard. The dashboard also shows us when the last backup was successfully completed and if any errors were encounter. We can also start a backup running manually via the dashboard as well if needed.
Restoring within Ashampoo Backup 2020
Once our backup has completed we can begin restoring our data in multiple ways, this includes selecting specific files and folders or alternatively restoring a whole hard drive or a complete Windows system (a full system potentially made up of 1 or more drives).
The first tool I’m gong to look at is the tool for restoring individual file and folders. This is actually a very cleaver little tool which allows an entire backup set to be mounted as a virtual drive within Windows with a drive letter, once mounted the contents can then be browsed through using Windows Explorer.
Mounting a drive (i.e. selecting a backup to restore from) is as simple as first selecting the date to view using the date drop down atop the page (shown above) and then clicking on “Open” next to the drive you wish to browse, this will then mount the drive for the requested version date.
Once a drive is mounted any files to be recovered can be copied across to the main Windows system drive, it is important to note that any changes made to this virtual drive will be lost when it is dismounted, as such this drive mounting functionality is for the purposes of recovering data only!
In addition to the recovery of files as was mentioned above, we can also have the ability to recover the entire Windows PC itself should we need to. This is made possible thanks to Backup 2020 making use of image backup technology and making an incremental image backup whenever it runs.
Image backup technology can be slightly slower and less resource efficient than file-level backup but it does have the added benefits of ensuring all files are included in the backup by default, it also allows the entire PC to be restored if needs be (useful if the PC is affected by a virus issue, hardware failure etc.)
Recovering the entire PC has the effect of essentially returning the PC to exactly how it was at the time the selected backup was taken, this means any file changes and new software which were added after that time will be lost (so make sure this is the right option before using such a method).
Other Features of Backup 2020
Ashampoo Backup 2020 is a tool very clearly focused on getting a main backup set working and then providing a good choice of recovery options as and when they are needed. With all of this being said, the software doesn’t have many additional features which fall outside of this main objective.
One of the few additional features on offer is the system recovery media builder, this built-in tool allows a recovery DVD or bootable USB flash drive to be built for recovering the PC in the event it wont (for whatever reason) boot up to Windows.
As can be seen above, this is all handled from a single, very easy to use screen within the application itself, once a bootable DVD or USB flash drive has been built the PC can be booted into said device and the entire Windows system can then be recovered (this could be useful when dealing with a PC which doesn’t boot or has had a hard drive failure etc.).
Another useful feature of Backup 2020 is the Automatic Pausing functionality, this is turned on by default and essentially detects when your PC is busy and pauses any running backups (temporarily) in such cases. This has the benefit of helping keep your system running as fast as possible when its resources are needed else ware.
Ashampoo Backup 2020 Security
Unfortunately, Backup 2020 doesn’t include the ability to encrypt backups, Whilst this wont be an issue for many people it is something to be aware of!
If you are looking for similar software which supports full AES-256bit encryption then take a look at Ashampoo Backup Pro 15. This backup tool is also from Ashampoo and helps take the solid functionality of Backup 2020 even further.
Ashampoo have a great website and provide a comprehensive Q&A section which handles most problems you might encounter. Should you still need to get in touch with a support representative you can submit support tickets online.
Ashampoo backup 2020 Pricing
Ashampoo Backup 2020 is priced at $29.99 – this is a one-off licence fee!
Be sure to also check out Ashampoo’s deals page as they regularly have great deals across their entire range of software (including Backup 2020).
During my testing it is clear that Backup 2020 is a very focused tool which aims to make backing up a PC as quick and as easy as is possible, something I am very confident it does well thanks to a design which makes it virtually ready to run straight “out of the box”.
Whilst it doesn’t have many of the additional features found in some other backup software titles (including Ashampoo Backup Pro 15), what Backup 2020 does have in its favour is ease of use.
If you really need fine control over what is (and isn’t) being backed up and you must have control over file encryption and secondary backup sets going off to the cloud etc. then this isn’t the tool for you. If you just want your files backed-up quickly and with very little fuss then this is a great choice!
All-in-all a great choice for those wanting to get their PC backed up quickly and with little fuss, well done Ashampoo!