iDrive Backup is a great choice for those wishing to backup multiple devices using a cost effective service - the 2TB limit will be ample for the vast majority of home users.
O&O DiskImage 15
DiskImage 15 is the latest PC backup software from O&O! Featuring both file and full system image capabilities alongside multiple disk cloning features it proves a great piece of software for keeping your PC safe!
Aside from the core backup functionality, DiskImage 15 also provides multiple system utilities including a very powerful disk cloning tool, powerful compression and encryption support and the ability to directly mount image backup files.
It is also fair to say O&O have also worked very hard in relation to the imaging functionality in DiskImage 15 with advanced options such as combining multiple incremental disk image files into one image file available as well as the ability to clone image files to VHD drives and so so on.
- Solid, well designed and reliable software
- Supports file and full system image backups
- Supports full, incremental and differential modes
- Disk cloning tools (including option to write to VHD)
- Ability to merge incremental image files into a base file
- Ability to convert propriety image files to VHD, VHDx etc.
- Ability to directly mount and browse image files
- Recovery media building tool
- Email notifications support (requires SMTP credentials)
- Configuration options for backing up secure network drives
- Good value perpetual licencing
- No cloud storage support
When installing O&O DiskImage 15 the first thing to notice is that the installer will automatically download the latest version of the software as it goes along. This does add some additional waiting time to the installation process, however, it is nice to know that once installed you will be starting off with the latest version of the software from day 1. It is also nice to see that the software allows for a full, typical or custom set of features to be included within the install, this means if you know you are never going to need certain features they can be excluded and in turn help free up disk space.
I also noticed that the software required a reboot upon the installation completing, something which is starting to become rare when installing software now so this too added some additional time to the install. Overall not the quickest install I have ever done but it was simple enough and again is nice knowing the latest version has been installed from the start!
Once in the software for the first time we are greeted by a very pleasant start screen showing multiple tiles each representing some of the main functions available within the software. From the home screen we can easily start a new image or file backup, clone a disk drive, build some recovery media or use the very handy “one-click image” tool to easily get our PC secured with the minimal of fuss.
The one-click imaging tool is especially useful and as such a good place to start, this tool essentially allows an image of the entire PC to be taken with all of the major settings and preferences handled automatically by the software. In other words a default settings “profile” is used to ensure our image is created as quickly and easily as possible.
With the one-click image tool aside the main backup tools are the file and folder backup tool and the drive imaging tool, both of which also allow for multiple user profiles to be created. This means, for example that multiple backup sets can be created, each of which focusing on different performance metrics (e.g. a quick, incremental backup running during the week and a full backup on a Sunday).
Once the initial backup has been configured it can be run manually to begin with, once complete we will see an entry on the “Jobs & Reports” screen from which our backup job can be further configured by specifying schedules, notification and if any commands should be run before or after the job is complete.
DiskImage 15 has the ability to create full, incremental and differential backups both for the file based backups as well as the image image based backups as well. Unfortunately, from what I could see during my testing the full backup needs to be created as an individual job beforehand with a second job needed afterwards acting as the incremental element. As can be seen in the image below once we have a full backup in operation we can then create an incremental backup specifying this previous full backup as the base:
Once this is setup the configuration actually seem to work quite nicely, the software also supports both email notifications for our backup jobs as well as the ability to assign an automatic schedule to trigger the backup. This means we could automatically set the backup to run when logging on to the PC, for example, or alternatively run on a schedule, e.g. every day at 6pm. Excellent!
Whilst DiskImage does appear to provide a solid backup solution on the surface It unfortunately disappointing to see no integrated support for any cloud storage operators. This means, unless you have another bridging solution in place DiskImage 15 is limited to locally attached drives and network drive storage locations only.
Restoring with DiskImage 15, on the other hand, was a very nice and straight forwards process taking only a few moments to get to the necessary files, simply start the restore off, select the backup file and then specify the required folders.
Crucially as well the restore process allows users the option to restore to the original locations (and overwrite) or specify a separate location for restoring to, great to see this functionality included!
Aside from the core backup features DiskImage 15 includes a handful of useful system utilities including secure network drive mapping, disk checking tools and the ability to create bootable media allowing for recovery should your system ever fail to start.
Under the “Tools” menu we also have the option to mount existing image files made by the software, this means we can mount them as a dribe in Windows and assign the drive a drive letter, very useful should you need to browse and actively work with backed up files!
We can also merge and convert any image files made by DiskImage, this means a load of incremental backup can be merged into the base file or an image file can be converted into a VHD file, useful for booting a virtual PC from to work with the backed up image!
The ability to connect to secured network drives is also available within the Tools screen which is, potentially, a very useful addition, especially for those working within a small business environment!
Whilst not a massive set of additional tools on offer O&O have clearly taken into account the needs of an advanced system image user and provides plenty of option for working with and optimising disk image backups and drive clones.
O&O DiskImage 15 features good encryption options allowing users to set either AES 128 bit, AES 192 bit or AES 256bit encryption on their backups.
O&O have a good support section on their website containing a useful documents, FAQs and a support forum as the main ways of finding help.
The Professional version of O&O DiskImage 15 is prices at a one-off $49.95 for a single PC. O&O also offer a Professional 5 pack of licences for a one-off $69.95 which is great value for households and small businesses with multiple machines to backup.
O&O DiskImage 15 is a solid backup product and works very well within certain limitations, if you are mainly looking for a local backup with plenty of disk imaging and cloning options then DiskImage 15 has you covered.
Unfortunately DiskImage 15 does not, as of yet, contain any integrated cloud storage support which I find slightly disappointing to see. Sure, not everyone wants to use cloud storage but for a product costing nearly $50 I would have liked to have seen at least some mainstream cloud functionality built in for those that do (e.g. the ability to backup directly to Dropbox would have been very useful).
Overall a good backup solution with an impressive set of disk imaging options and available at a very good price (especially considering the 5 pack of licences!). If disk imaging, cloning and related imaging tools are an important part of your backup strategy then O&O DiskImage 15 is a solid choice!