Backup software: How we test backup software
We test backup software that you install on your home computer and online backup services that allow you to save your data over the internet.
Testing backup software
We look for tools that can reliably carry out file backup and disaster recovery without glitches or getting in the way of other tasks. We measure the speed of local and online backups, and of individual file retrievals and full system restores.
Ease of use
To find tools that are easy to use, we rate the install and uninstall process, the friendliness of the user interface, and the ease of the product in use. We do scenario-based testing, using the products just as a consumer would. Extra points are awarded to tools that have sensible default settings and those that get on with backing up without too much user intervention.
We log the various features of each tool, assessing their capacity for file backup and disaster recovery. We knock points off products that lack what we think are essential features.
We also look for tools with the flexibility to meet the demands of advanced users, as well as award extra points to tools with those ‘nice to have’ extra features.
Testing online backup services
Ease of use
To find services that are easy to use and reliable, we assess how easy they are to download and install. We rate the friendliness of the menus and screens and how easy it is to find your way around them.
The process of uploading files and folders to the service is rated and we award points to services that make it easy for you to locate and restore files and folders that you’ve stored online.
We record the features offered by each service, assessing their capacity for automatic, as well as manual, file backup. We establish whether the services have sharing capabilities and whether they can ‘talk to’ other programs. Points are deducted if services lack essential features.