There are plenty of free backup tools available. Even the default backup tool that comes with Windows 8.1 is good enough to let you take different backup sets of the data you want. You also get to choose between overwriting backup sets and incremental backup sets. However, most people prefer third-party backup tools as they offer more functionality. This review of Uranium Backup Free checks out it features and ease of use.
Uranium Backup Free review
The download and installation was easy. There are no third-party apps that are bundled into the installation, as of date, so you need not worry about it installing toolbars and other browser add-ons. It is just the Uranium backup program that is installed.
Once installed, you can access it from the System Tray by right-clicking on its icon or by clicking on the desktop icon. In both the cases, the first thing you have to do is to create backup sets and set destinations for the backup sets.
Too many restrictions
Unfortunately, the free version has plenty of restrictions. One that I would like to mention in particular is that it won’t support incremental backups. This means that every time you run the backup using Uranium, you will be creating a different backup set or you will be overwriting the previous backup depending upon the folders you chose.
Though the image above shows you plenty of destinations to back up, all except the first are available only in the paid versions. With the free version, you can only select a place on your network or on an external hard disk drive for backing up the data. You cannot even use the DVD burner with the free version. Now, that is way too much of a limiting factor, that may make people away from using Uranium. As it is, people nowadays prefer to back up their data to cloud instead of DVDs, etc. If that option is present but cannot be used in the Uranium Backup Free, people are sure to be frustrated.
In short, the free version of Uranium backup tool will serve only those users who like to create a full backup of their data and copy it to external hard disk drives. There is no point in backing up data to the same hard disk drive even if it is a different drive letter as the hard disk is the same and if it crashes, all the drives on it will be inaccessible.
The application is good only for users using external hard disk drives for backing up data. For others who would like to back up to cloud etc, Microsoft, Amazon and Google are the answers (for free backups). If they want to go paid, IDrive, ADrive, Mozy etc are better as they offer backups directly to the clouds.
Assuming that you are one of the group that prefers local hard disk backups to external storage on network or USB connected hard disk drives (or even on a desktop with two hard disk drives), you have to first create a data set that needs to be backed up. This, you can do by selecting Create Data Set option in the File menu. You will get a dialog box that will let you browse and select the backup folders and files using check boxes. Once you are done, selecting the files to be backed up, you have specify the destination folder.
To specify the destination folder, click on the first option under the lower section of the right side of the Uranium window. It says “Click here to add a destination folder for this backup“. You can see it in the image above.
Clicking on any other option will ask you if you wish to upgrade.
Anyway, once you are done with creating backup sets and setting destination for it, you can run the first backup manually by clicking on “Run selected backups” in the File menu. Some of the best things about Uranium are that it compresses the backup files and folders before copying them to backup destination and it offers encryption for the backed up files. But I did not see any option to set up scheduled backups or incremental backups. This means it overwrites the previous backup set whenever you run the backup set manually. The only method available to avoid overwriting is to select a different destination (folder) before you manually run the backup using the Uranium interface or the system tray icon.
Uranium Backup Free is a good choice if you back up your data locally to some other hard drive connected to your computer. The paid version has options to back up to cloud but the free one doesn’t.
Encryption is present, so you can be sure about secure backup. You can save configurations using a password in the Settings menu. Beyond that, it is simply a tool offering minimal features. If you wish to back up to cloud, either purchase the Pro version or use one of the tools mentioned above. You can download Uranium from their website.
There are some other good free Imaging, Backup and Recovery Software available on the Internet. Moreover, there are also some free online backup tools that you might want to consider if you wish to back up to cloud and if your backup needs are small. Besides this, you may also use Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive for backing up, although they are more of sync nature. That is, if you delete a file or folder from the local disk, it will be deleted from the cloud storage too. An advantage is that instead of deleting them forever, the deleted items are moved to folders called Deleted Items or Trash and they stay there until you empty them manually or if they exceed the quota of Trash (in Google Drive). They can be used as backup in case you want the latest version of your backup sets on the cloud.
If any of you have used this free software, we’d love to get your feedback on it.