Backup Pro 17 is the latest fully featured backup solution from software specialists, Ashampoo! A backup tool which replaces the top-rated Backup Pro 16 by adding even more backup related functionality, enhancing reliability and, in-turn, increasing protection for any data being backed-up!
As always, the real selling point for the Ashampoo Backup Pro line is how versatile the software is, this means it is very easy to configure across various different backup types including full system image backups, backups to NAS devices and shared folders as well as providing built-in support for many leading cloud storage providers (including Dropbox, One Drive and Google Drive amongst others). Also notable in this latest version, aside from full Windows 11 support, is the addition of a new real-time backup mode which, once activated, can automatically track any file changes as they are made and ensure data is backed-up in real-time as required.
Backup Pro 16 has been a personal favourite of mine and one of the top-rated solutions reviewed across this entire site thanks to its versatility, reliability and ease of use. Naturally, given all of this, I am really looking forwards to testing out this latest version (Backup Pro 17) for myself, vamos!
- (New) Full Windows 11 Support
- (New) Real-time backup technology
- (New) Windows BitLocker support
- (New) Upgraded, easy to navigate interface
- Well designed, reliable & easy to use
- Perform disk, partition and full system image backups
- Pre-set backup plans (quick start plans)
- Extensive cloud support (Dropbox, Google Drive, WebDAV etc.)
- Unlimited historic file versioning (storage dependant)
- Supports zero-knowledge, end-to-end encryption (up to AES 256-bit)
- Easy recovery options (including mounting image backups as virtual drives)
- Built-in (UEFI) system recovery tools
- Free backup reports by email (free Ashampoo account required)
- Simple one-off cost of just $50 (no ongoing subscriptions)
- 30-Day free trial available (10-Days without registration)
Backup Pro 17 Usability
In this section of my review, I will be downloading and installing Ashampoo Backup Pro 17 for myself, this will be with the aim of finding out how well it performs during a mixture of real-world backup tests upon one of my own devices. This begins with the downloading and installation process before moving on to using some of the many backup and recovery features found within the application itself.
What’s New in Backup Pro 17
Before testing out the latest version of Backup Pro, I wanted to quickly address some of the new features which can be found in this latest version!
This begins with the new real-time backup functionality which is one of the more notable upgrades found in this latest version of the tool. Whilst it is commonplace to run backups manually or via a fixed-delay schedule (e.g., every hour), the real-time backup tool is capable of monitoring files as they are changed and then backing-up any changes as they happen (providing the distinct benefit of preventing any changes made between scheduled backups potentially being lost).
Other useful improvements to Backup Pro 17 include support for Windows BitLocker, thus allowing BitLocker protected volumes to be backed-up, full support for the new Windows 11 operating system, an enhanced user interface plus enhanced performance in various other areas of the application itself.
Installing Backup Pro 17
Installing Backup Pro 17 begins via the official Ashampoo website where a 30-day free trial of the software can be downloaded (this 30-day trial requires a free Ashampoo account, otherwise the free trial is limited to just 10-days).
At just over 100MB in size at the time of review, this was a reasonably quick download and I had the installer application itself downloaded and running on my own PC just a few moments later. The installation process itself is very straightforward and when opting to use the default installation locations is more-or-less automatic (and very quick to complete) thereafter.
Towards the end of the process, the installer will notify us when it has finished its work and the application can be opened for the first time, it is here we must then elect to take advantage of the 10-day free trial (which can be extended to 30-days when registering a free Ashampoo account) or register the full version of the software if a key has already been purchased.
With the software (or the free trial) now activated, Backup Pro 17 is now ready to use and we will be greeted by the main dashboard screen (seen above) straight afterwards. And with that, installation is now complete, in the next section I will start looking at the core backup and restore functionality within Backup Pro 17 before going on to look at some of the many additional features including mounting disk image backups as virtual drives, checking hard drive health and producing system recovery media amongst others!
NB – Remember, Ashampoo offer a full 30-day free trial of Backup Pro 17 should you wish to try things out for yourself, click to visit the official Ashampoo website for more details!
System & Disk Image Backups
Taking a full system image backup can often prove one of the safest and most effective methods of ensuring all important data stored upon a device is selected and included within a backup set. In fact, making use of full system backups not only protects the data stored upon the device, but also the device’s operating system, any installed applications plus all user customisable settings which might have been configured (e.g., desktop wallpaper, icon arrangements etc.).
NB – Image-based backups work by making a full (1:1) copy of the disk (or disks) which make up a PC, this means anything stored upon the disk (including all user data, applications and settings) can also be recovered in the case that this is ever required. For example, if a hard drive ever fails, then a new hard drive can be installed and the existing operating system recovered with all files, settings and installed applications also recovered as a part of the process!
Setting up a new system image backup set within Backup Pro 17 begins at the “Backup Plans” page which can be found on the main app menu, from here the blue “Create New Plan” button is the one we need to start the process of configuring our first backup set.
Once the new backup wizard starts, one of the first things to do is specify where the backed-up data will be saved, this can be saved locally on an external hard drive, a NAS device or on one of many supported cloud storage services including Google Drive and Dropbox amongst others.
NB – In this section I will be making use of locally attached storage for saving my system image backup, but I will be covering cloud backups in more detail a little later on in in this review!
With a locally attached storage device selected for storage (as can be seen above), the next step is choosing the exact storage device to use while also specifying a folder for containing all data and settings relating to this backup set.
With the drive and folder specified, the next screen allows for a new backup set to be named or an existing set to be resumed. In this example I am creating a new backup set however, an existing backup set which was created at an earlier time or on another device could be imported if this is required (useful when moving to a new PC or upgrading to a new version of the software).
With naming complete, the next step in configuring the backup is where we can optionally make use of a pre-made backup plan, as such helping to reduce the work needed to finalise the backup set.
As can be seen above, Backup Pro 17 provides a good selection of pre-made backup plans to choose from, each one able to apply a pre-made set of configuration options to our new backup set in a single click. One of the biggest advantages of this approach is not only the time saved versus configuring everything manually, but also the reduced risk of applying unsuitable settings due to each pre-made set being specially configured and tested for the specified type of backup!
In this case I will not be making use of a pre-made plan, but instead configuring the backup set manually so as to highlight the full range of options which are on offer. After specifying the manual configuration option, the application then offers an important choice, this is choosing between backing-up an entire drive (taking an image backup) or backing-up individual files and folders instead.
As can be seen above, in this initial example of a locally stored backup, I will be making use of the disk image backup option. Disk image backups are a great way of ensuring the entire system (including all data, settings and installed applications) are backed-up, however, it is a choice which usually results in longer backup times and larger file sizes meaning it is usually better suited to locally stored backups versus those stored in the cloud.
NB For more information on the differences between image-level and file-level backup types, be sure to read our detailed guide on System Image vs File Level Backups!
The next step in the process is to now choose a disk (or multiple disks, if necessary) to be included in the image backup. Remember, when making a disk image backup we will be securing all data upon the disk and must have sufficient storage space available upon our backup storage device!
With any disks selected, the next step is (optionally) setting-up encryption for the backed-up data. This is an important step as it is almost always a good idea to encrypt a backup (unless you have specific reasons for not doing so) and when setting encryption, it is also very important to remember the password that is set here!
NB – When using zero-knowledge (as is the case here) there is no way of resetting the encryption password if it is lost or forgotten! If you do forget this password then Ashampoo will have no means to re-set it and the backup will become inaccessible and of no use! With this in mind, if you do set a password, make sure you remember it (a password manager can be of great help)!
With the password optionally set, the next page is where we can optionally turn on compression for the backup set (something which should result in less disk space been consumed at the cost of slightly slower backups). The next page after this is also very important as it is here that we can specify the backup methodology and historic version retention options to be used.
As can be see above, Backup Pro 17 provides options to make only incremental backups after an initial full image backup is made (for faster backups) or the ability to make regular full image backups with a specified number of incremental backups in-between (a slightly slower option, but safer).
NB – Whilst incremental backups can be much faster than making full backups, they do have the downside that only a single incremental backup (file) needs to be missing (or become corrupt) for the entire backup to fail and become unrecoverable! Therefore, it is usually safer to choose the option whereby regular full backups are also made to break up the incremental chains and increase the resiliency of the backup overall.
After specifying the backup methodology to be used, the next step is to choose a schedule for automatically running the backup or (optionally) specify that the backup is to only be run manually as required.
As can be see above, Ashampoo provide easy to use options for making automatic a daily or weekly backup, they also provide an advanced scheduling option which allows for more complicated schedules to be made (e.g., useful for running the backup at different times on different days depending upon when it is required most). Moving on and after been asked to specify how missed backups are to be handled (they can be skipped or run at the next possible opportunity) and what should happen should power be an issue (for laptop users), we get to the verification page.
As can be seen above, Backup Pro 17 allows for automatic verification of backups (a good idea to turn this on) or, should you require, this functionality can be turned off and backup verification run manually as and when required. With the verification option set, we can then set the number of backup reports to be kept before getting to the page for turning on email backup reports straight afterwards.
As can be seen above, Backup Pro has the ability to email backup reports to a specified email address. This feature does require a (free to register) Ashampoo be used and is 100% free (without any subscription fees) thereafter (a great addition from Ashampoo, especially so as many other subscription-free backup tools require their users enter their own SMTP for such functionality)!
With the reporting options set, the final step in the backup configuration is the summary screen where all of the aforementioned options can be seen at a glance. Providing everything looks good on the summary screen, the backup set can be saved and will become visible within the main application straight afterwards.
As can be seen above, once the configuration has finished, we will see a screen confirming everything is ok and given the option to run the backup manually or return to the main menu and allow the scheduling engine to start the backup when ready.
As can be seen above, once the backup does start running (either manually run or via the schedule) the progress of a running backup can easily be seen via the backup plans page. Is also from this page we can see reports of previous backup jobs as well as manually verify the integrity of the backups (via the actions menu) as required.
And with this brings the end of this section, in the next section I will be looking at the process for making a cloud backup (as opposed to making use of locally attached storage as was done above) before then moving on to looking at restoring data a little later on.
As I have already mentioned, one of the best features of Backup Pro 17 is the versatility it provides, something which extends to the wide range of cloud storage options supported including many favourites such as Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox amongst others.
The full list of supported cloud providers within backup pro 17 is as follows:
- Google Drive
- Microsoft OneDrive
- OneDrive for Business
- Strato HiDrive
- 1&1 cloud storage
Creating a cloud-based backup within Backup Pro 17 starts off by simply selecting the necessary cloud storage provider to be used. As before, this is done on the very first page of the set-up wizard during the creation of a new backup set.
As can be seen above, Ashampoo already provide a good selection of cloud storage options pre-configured as well as the option to make use of WebDAV for any services not showing up in the list (WebDAV being a standardised technology which is enabled upon most cloud storage services by default). In this particular example I am going to be making use of Dropbox, a popular cloud storage service which is very easy to make use of thanks to it been one of the already pre-configured choices.
Once the cloud storage has been chosen, the next step is to authorize Backup pro 17 to be able to access the cloud storage account. This exact process will differ slightly depending upon the provider chosen and in the case of Dropbox (used in this example) requires been redirected to a web-based login page where the authorisation can take place.
NB – In the case of Dropbox, authorising Backup Pro 17 is as simple as signing into the Dropbox account when prompted to do so (in the web browser) and then returning back to the application which will now be ready to connect to Dropbox.
The next step involves setting up a new backup plan and giving it a name. As can be seen in the screen below, should we have any existing cloud backup plans on this cloud storage then these plans will show up here and can be optionally resumed (taken over) should this be required (useful when replacing a device and re-configuring an existing backup plan).
The next screen is where we can (optionally) make use of the pre-configured backup plans which come bundled within Backup Pro 17. These are the same set of plans as were seen earlier when setting up the image backup and I will again select the option to continue without applying a pre-made template.
The next page is where we can (again) select whether to make a full system image backup or choose to backup individual files and folders. In this particular case I will be choosing the individual files and folders option given that selecting specified files is usually more suited to using cloud storage (mainly due to the file sizes for the final backup being smaller, something which will make a big difference when using slower internet connections).
When opting to make a file-level backup, the next page is where can specify these files and folders which are to be included within the backup. This can be as simple as using one of the pre-set locations (e.g., all items in the “Documents” or “Videos” folders) or selecting files and folders individually to be added to the set.
NB – We also have the option to exclude files, folders and even file types using this file selection page should we need to. This can be done under the “Exclusions” tab as is seen in the above screenshot.
Moving on and, like before, we can also (optionally) choose to compress and encrypt any backed-up files within this backup set. Compression is especially useful when using cloud storage and it is always a good idea to turn it on, setting encryption with a strong password can also provide additional safety and security for any backed-up data.
The next page is where we see one of the more notable and useful new additions to the Backup Pro software line, this is the ability to turn on real-time backups and take advantage of almost instant backups every time a file is changed. As can be seen above, the alternative option is to make use of the scheduling engine like we did before and set to run the backups manually or on a fixed schedule as required.
NB – Whilst this new real-time backup functionality will help keep the risk of data loss to an absolute minimal, running backups continuously might (in some cases) effect system performance negatively (e.g., when backing up large files which might otherwise be done outside of working hours).
With the new real-time option selected (in this example), the next page is where we can still schedule that the normal backup be run as well (this is necessary so as we still have a backup running regardless of the real-time component which works of its own accord). After setting options for handling missed backups, power options and reporting options (all the same as were seen in the full image example seen earlier on), we finally get to the version settings screen.
One notable difference when setting historic versioning settings here (versus when performing a system image backup) is that we don’t need to specify the backup scheme (methodology) that is to be used. When using a file-level backup we can simply set a number of days’ worth of versions we want to keep and the software will manage this for us automatically!
NB – Historic file versioning refers to the number of old versions of a file which are kept available, a value usually specified in days or a number of changes made to the file. For example, when specifying 90 days of historic versioning be kept (as above), all changes made to the file within these prior 90 days will be available for recovery (something which could be very useful, for example, in protecting against ransomware attacks).
Finally, a summary screen will be shown and the backup job can then be saved. As before with the image backup set, we can set the backup to run straight away or allow Backup Pro 17 to take over running it automatically via the schedule.
And with that we have seen both a locally stored system image backup and a cloud-based file-level backup in action, in the next section I will be looking at the process for restoring data using Backup Pro 17 before finally looking at some of the additional features included within the software.
NB – Remember, Ashampoo offer a full 30-day free trial of Backup Pro 17 should you wish to try things out for yourself, click to visit the official Ashampoo website for more details!
Restoring data is one of the most important functions of any backup software, not only must the process be reliable and deliver the results we expect from it, but also be easy to use and simple to get to the correct version of any files which might be required.
Ashampoo Backup Pro 17 has two main methods for recovering data, these are via the main restore page which is found within the application itself (which takes a wizard-based approach to recovering the correct data) or, when making use of image backups, the ability to mount image backups as virtual disks within Windows.
Starting off at the main backup page (seen above), we can initiate a restore by first selecting the backup set to be recovered from a list of all registered backup sets (as well as other backup sources potentially not yet registered on the device). In this first restore operation I will be recovering from the Dropbox cloud storage used earlier on, a process which first requires the connection to Dropbox be verified and the encryption password entered (if this has been set).
Once verified, the next step in the recovery process is selecting the items to be recovered (this can be a single file or the entire backup set depending upon what is required). Also, be sure to note (as is pointed out above) that we can select a specific version of a file based upon the date and time it was originally backed-up!
With any files (and the correct versions of which) now selected, the next step is to specify where to recover these files to using the folder selection tool (seen below).
With the recovery location selected, most of the work will now be done and a summary screen for the whole restore operation will be shown. Assuming everything looks good on this summary screen, we can then click on “Restore” to begin the recovery process running!
Having now seen a file-level recovery using the wizard-based approach, we can move on to now look at the other main recovery tool provided within Backup Pro 17, this is the ability to mount image-based backups as virtual drives within Windows.
Starting off at the “View Backup” page (as can be seen above), we can select the image-based backup set to be mounted as a virtual drive within Windows and (if applicable) enter the encryption password on the next screen. After passing the password checks, the next screen in this wizard will ask us to specify a version (date) to recover from and then to click on the corresponding drive (listed below) to be mounted as a virtual drive.
NB – As the application itself will also warn at this point, these virtual drives are not to be used for modifying or saving new files to! If any modifications are made then they will be lost at the time the virtual drive is dismounted (these virtual drives are only to be used for browsing and recovering files from).
And with that we will have our entire image backup available as a virtual drive within Windows, a type of recovery which makes working with lots of files or (potentially) previously deleted files much easier. Upon completing the recovery, the virtual drive can also be closed down using the relevant button towards the bottom of the page.
Having now seen some of the many backup and restore options in-use, it is time to look at some of the other functionality built into Backup Pro 17. This begins with the built-in recovery media creation tool, a tool which allows for a bootable CD/DVD or USB flash drive to be created for the purposes of recovering an otherwise corrupt or un-bootable device.
As can be seen above, we have the option to create either a bootable CD/DVD or a USB flash drive using this tool (a lot of newer PCs no longer have CD/DVD drives, so this USB option is very useful to see). Once the recovery media has been created (a USB flash drive in my case) it can be used to boot the system in question and then recover an image-based backup set onto it (all without the need to boot up the system first).
NB – To make use of this image-based recovery method, as described above, we must make a system image backup set! Making us of the file-level backup functionality will not work with the system recovery tools!
Another useful tool incorporated into the Backup Pro 17 application is that of the “Check Disks” tool, a tool which will (as the name implies) perform reliability and integrity checks upon any installed hard disks to ensure they are reliable and suitable for use.
As can be seen above, this tool will automatically list all available disks found installed upon the system and can be used to check them for issues or check and automatically attempt to repair any errors which are encountered.
Finally, as can be seen below, one final feature of note within Backup Pro 17 is that of the automatic backup pausing utility. Once enabled, automatic pausing will monitor the backup software and the demand it has upon the current system resources, it can then intelligently decide when to pause a running backup so as to minimise the impact it will have on a running system.
This auto-pausing tool can be especially useful for anyone who does use their system heavily and doesn’t want the inconvenience of having to manually pause and re-start backup jobs so as to minimise their impact!
Backup Pro 17 Security
Making use of strong encryption is one of the safest and most reliable ways of protecting any backed-up data which might be stored at rest! This is especially true if said data is stored upon a cloud storage service where the cloud provider themselves might (potentially) have access to these files or upon an external drive which could become lost or stolen over time!
With the above in mind, it is really useful to know that Ashampoo Backup Pro 17 has the option to password protect all backup-types (including both file-level and disk image types) with strong AES 256-bit encryption, a step which is definitely recommended in most situations, regardless of where the backed-up data is eventually stored!
NB – When using strong, zero-knowledge encryption (as is the case here) there is no way of resetting the encryption password is it is lost or forgotten! If you do forget this password then Ashampoo will have no means to re-set it and the backup will become inaccessible and of no use! With this in mind, if you do set a password, make sure you remember it!
Ashampoo have a very useful help and support portal which is accessible via their official website. This resource features product documentation for Backup Pro 17 alongside a comprehensive FAQ section which should be capable of handling most problems you might encounter whilst using this software.
Should you still need to get in touch with a support representative from Ashampoo, you can also submit support tickets directly online via this same support portal.
Backup Pro 17 Pricing
Ashampoo Uninstaller 17 is priced at a one-off cost of $50 for a single, perpetual licence per PC (with no ongoing subscriptions to pay). Users of previous versions of Uninstaller can also upgrade to this latest version for the special price of just $20!
Also be sure to also check out the official Ashampoo deals page to find regular special offers across all Ashampoo software titles including Backup Pro 17!
Backup Pro 17 FAQ
Yes, Ashampoo do offer a limited free version of Backup Pro 17 (this is Ashampoo Backup FREE) in addition to the fully functional version which is priced at $50 per PC.
Backup Pro 17 works by creating either file-level or full system image backups in order to help protect a Windows PC. Backed-up data can then be stored either locally on an external hard drive, on a NAS or network shared drive or on 3rd party cloud storage form leading companies including Dropbox, Google Drive and any WebDAV compatible service amongst others.
Yes, Ashampoo Backup Pro 17 is one of the best all-round backup solutions we have tested in a long time! The ability to make both file-level and image-based backups as well as store data both locally or on to one of multiple 3rd party cloud providers makes this a very versatile piece of software. Better still, with easy-to-use pre-set backup plans and a subscription free, one-off payment of just $50, it will surely prove a great value solution for many users!
Backup Pro 17 Alternatives
In this section of my review, I will be looking at some closely related alternatives to Backup Pro 17. This will be focused on backup software which provides a highly versatile approach to backing up a PC including both file-level and image-level backups as well as the option to apply strong encryption and make use of system recovery media amongst other related features.
Remember, any ratings and opinions given below reflect my own opinions and should be treated only as a guide! When purchasing any kind of backup software, always be sure to check the details of the offering out for yourself and always try and to make use of any free trials, whenever possible, to help ensure the solution is right before committing to a purchase.
1) Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office
Cyber Protect Home Office is the leading all-in-one backup, antivirus and cyber protection suite form leading software manufacturers, Acronis!
Replacing the highly popular True Image line of software, Cyber Protect Home Office retains the leading image backup functionality found within True Image. Alongside this backup functionality, many other useful utilities are also available including system recovery tools, utilities for migrating from disks and SSD drives and even support for recovering system image backups to dissimilar hardware!
Enhancing his offering even further is the Acronis cloud, a built-in cloud storage service which provides a pre-set allocation of cloud storage (varying depending upon subscription level) alongside fully functional antivirus and anti-malware software which is also built-into the core offering making for much safer backups!
Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office is priced from $49.99 / year with multi-device plans available as well as plans with varying amounts of cloud storage included. A 30-day free trial is also available which includes access to 1TB of Acronis cloud storage during the trial period!get-acronis-cyber-protect-home-office
2) EaseUS ToDo Backup Home
Available in both free-to-use and premium (Home) versions, EaseUS ToDo Backup is a highly versatile backup solution which provides access to both file and image-level backups alongside many other useful backup tools.
In addition to this ability to create full system-image and file-level backups, EaseUS also provide good built-in cloud support which extends to allowing the use of mainstream providers (including Google Drive and Dropbox) alongside subscription options which include cloud storage directly from EaseUS themselves!
Other useful features within ToDo Backup include good recovery media building tools, disk migration tools, secure AES 256-bit encryption and support for recovering image backups to dissimilar hardware amongst many other features.
EaseUS ToDo Backup is available in a limited free-to-use version alongside a fully-functional Home version which is priced from just $59 with free lifetime upgrades included. Other purchase options including a subscription with 1TB of cloud storage included at just $89.95 / year also exist as does a full 30-day free trial!
3) Macrium Reflect 8 Home
Available in both free-to-use and premium versions, Macrium Reflect has become a well-known as a compressive disk image-based backup solution.
Whilst Reflect 8 has support for both file-level and full system image backups, it also supports multiple other functions including disk migration, the mounting of image backups as virtual drives, AES 256-bit encryption plus the ability to assist with restoring image-based backups to dissimilar hardware amongst other things. One notable downside to Macrium Reflect, however, is that it does not feature any built-in support for making use of established cloud storage services like Backup Pro 17 does.
Macrium Reflect is available in both free-to-use and premium versions, the premium version of which being priced at $69.95 / PC (or 4x licences for $139.95). A 30-day free trial of Macrium Reflect Home 8 is also available via the official Macrium website.
Ashampoo Backup Pro 17 Review Summary
Backup Pro 17 stands out as a highly versatile application, one which is both easy-to-use yet capable of handling a wide range of differing backup scenarios for windows PC users. Both file and disk image-based backups are supported as are many leading 3rd party cloud storage providers, automatic backup pausing and secure AES 256-bit encryption thus making for an all-round superstar of a backup application (and one which is capable of backing-up exactly what is needed).
New enhancements in version 17 include the excellent real-time backup components which compliment an already powerful scheduling tool, full support for Windows 11 systems and an enhanced (and very easy to navigate) user interface which all combine to help make this the best version of Backup Pro to date!
Overall, a solid tool which keeps getting better, especially so given that this is subscription free software with built-in support for many leading 3rd party cloud storage providers and strong data protection – excellent work Ashampoo!