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Screenshot Tour: FBackup is a simple, no-frills free backup application

FBackup

You can never have too many good, free backup applications. While FBackup breaks no new ground, it seems like a solid solution at a price you can't beat. The company behind FBackup also makes doPDF, which is a PDF printer driver that we like.

FBackup itself is a completely vanilla backup solution; it creates ZIP files. Its greatest claim to fame is that it can backup files that are currently open or locked, using Windows' Shadow Copy functionality. If you're looking for versioning, innovative GUI, and paradigm-shifting functionality, look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you want a simple, free backup solution that just works, FBackup may be it.

Continue reading after the fold to find out what it looks like and see a bit of what it can do.


This is the first thing that greeted me upon running FBackup. Oh, how I love UAC. It's too bad that the application has to be run elevated, but I suspect Shadow Copy functionality requires this in order to work. Still, it would have been nice to have this as an option.

FBackup does its best to present a friendly face to the world; the Getting Started screen is a bit busy with all the links, but it has only two buttons, which are both huge and very simple to understand. I had nothing to restore, so I clicked the one that said Backup.

This is what I got; a new backup wizard, with several easy steps. I can back up locally or to the network, and I get to name my backup as well.

The Wizard seemed a bit simple, so I clicked the Advanced button, hoping to be blown away by oodles of advanced functionality that mere mortals are not exposed to by default. I wasn't blown away, but I did discover that the application supports backing up to removable storage and external hard drives as well. Sadly, though, it doesn't seem to support drive autodetection. I was hoping to be able to plug in a USB drive and have backup launch automatically; this doesn't seem to be possible.

The wizard lets you schedule recurring backups. Like all other FBackup features, this will not blow your mind. I still wanted to show the scheduler interface, though, since I have seen some implementations of this that were way too complex. FBackup's implementation is nice and easy to understand, with only three selections to make.

Being a technical writer, documentation is something I care about. It is most often a neglected area and something developers seem to dislike. So, I often view an application's online Help as a sort of test; if it's good, it means the company cares about all aspects of the program and not just the sexy bits. FBackup's documentation does, indeed, seem quite comprehensive and thorough.

Tags: backup, dopdf, fbackup, freeware, windows

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