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Author Topic: Bvckup (Beta) :: A first look review.  (Read 7711 times)
Stephen66515
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« on: October 16, 2010, 04:55:05 PM »

Basic Info

App NameBvckup
App URLhttp://bvckup.com/
App Version Reviewed1.0.1.401 (Beta)
Test System Specs2GB RAM, 1.5TB HDD, 3.2DC Processor
Supported OSesXP and Newer
Support MethodsForum and E-Mail whilst in beta, perhaps more once fully release.
Upgrade PolicyNo upgrade policy as yet.
Trial Version Available?No limitations beta version
Pricing SchemeOn release: $19.95 for a personal license, $49.95 for a business license
Author Donation LinkDonate to apankrat, the Software Author
Reviewer Donation LinkDonate to Stephen66515, the Review Author
Screencast Video URLScreenshots: http://bvckup.com/screenshots
Relationship btwn. Reviewer and Product REVIEWER: No relationship between review writer and software author.

Addition to pricing notes:

Quote
Additionally, we are planning on issuing complimentary production licenses to all our beta users as a token of appreciation for helping us through the beta.

Located at: http://bvckup.com/perks

Intro:

For a quick introduction, I am firstly going to quote the authors post on the Announce Your Software/Product section, and then give you my first look introduction to the software.

Quote
First
Bvckup's default mode of operation is to constantly monitor for changes. Once the changes are detected, it propagates them to the destination. This makes Bvckup a real-time backup utility.

Second
Its default copying mode is delta copying. Which is a fancy way of saying that it copies only changed parts of the file. This makes Bvckup fast, really fast. Lots more details on why and how along, mind you, with the list of drawbacks of this particular approach is available here - Delta copying, explained.

Third
Bvckup is not a two-way sync utility, it's a backup utility and it makes full use of the core difference. By default it assumes that the destination copy does not change between the backups. This allows it to not scan the destination directory to detect what changed, but rather rely on a locally saved summary from the last backup.

I hear you say "bah, so what?". Two words - NAS backups. Not needing to scan the destination directory eliminates a lot of network traffic, and it removes the need for spinning up otherwise idle disks on NAS devices. This adds up to some major time savings, on top of those delivered by delta copying.

---

Still with me? A bit more perhaps? smiley

Fourth
The user interface. It is not about utilizing all 16 million colors in a single toolbar icon. Verbosity is not a feature, multitude of options is not a convenience. Properly designed user interface is all about simplicity and unobtrusiveness of the day-to-day interaction flow. A small example would probably go a long way here - Bvckup toolbar - but the only sure way to appreciate the UI polish is to take the app for a spin.

In fact Bvckup is as much about the UI design as it is about technical features. This bit explains how tightly these two are intertwined in case of Bvckup and how they shaped the design of the app - Short history of Bvckup.

Fifth
It is small and very lean. The installation package is about 480 KB. That's as much as a splash screen logo of some other backup products smiley The app is written in C++ but without any extensive use of ++ features. It's much more like C with Classes... just like Bjarne envisioned before he got sucked into that bloody language design committee... but I digress.

Sixth
It is technically sophisticated. It doesn't copy just the file contents and the attributes, but also the timestamps, NTFS security and ownership information. If it finds a file that it cannot copy (locked, open, etc), it will try and use Volume Shadow Copying to work around the problem. If it is running under stripped-down administrator account on Vista or W7, it will prompt and offer to elevate itself to full admin privileges.

Also, and it's for true Windows connoisseurs only - it can run in elevated and filtered modes using the same executable. In fact, the even more amazing feat is that the very same executable can interact with Shadow Copying service on both XP and Vista; even though Microsoft explicitly requires linking to two different VSS libraries for these two platforms. Took a while to figure this one out, I can tell you that smiley

---

A bit more...
Assorted bits and pieces of some interest - built-in software updates, linear regression ETA estimator, the built-in interactive Mini Guide shown on the first run, a bit of a logo and web design goodness and a bit about myself.

And lastly...
All beta versions are free, with some tasty perks in store for the beta users.


OK, now thats out the way, onto what I have to say about it.

Bvckup is a handly little utility (less than 500kb in size) for backup up files to different drives/computers.

From what I can gather, it does not actually upload the entire file, each and every time you process it.  Instead, it locates the changed data, and only uploads that portion of it to the original file, saving very large amounts of time on each upload.





Who is this app designed for:

This application is intended for use, by people who require a quick, simple and reliable utility for backup up any type of document, photo or software.  Useful for if you are working on a project and you want to copy it to multiple USB drives or Network Drives.


The Good


Well, since this is a first look review of the software, I have not gone into full depth with it as of yet, thats for a later review of this.  For now, I shall tell you what I have found out so far.

Installation:

The installation was painless, very fast indeed, no requests to add countless toolbars or change my homepage where seen, and I was prompted to launch the software after the completion of the installation.

Software Loaded...

When I loaded the software, I was taken to the main GUI, which had a small window attached to it, called 'Getting Started', this provided me with enough information to be able to start using the software about 15 seconds after installation, without any real questions.

Backup Up...

For ease of use, and to save some time, I chose to upload a small(ish) folder, around 4MB in size.

Once I had chosen the Source and Destination folders and included a description, I was then prompted to either create, or choose more options.

I then had the option to modify which files from within the folder I wanted to upload during the backup procedure.  I could also chose if I wanted to backup the files every 5 minutes, when the files or folders had been modified, or just to manually do it myself each time.

Alongside this, I was also able to chose to only backup new and modified files, or backup all the files, every time.  

And finally, I was asked wether to enable detailed logging (within this option, i have the choice to space backups at various times, chosen by myself, and whether or not to use Volume Shadow Copying).

Once I had clicked the create button after choosing my desired settings, It then proceeded to scan the folder, copy the files and then once it had finished, it told me it was monitoring that specific backup for changes, and had no errors.

To test this out, i simply added a file to the folder to see if the software noticed it had been modified, and to see how long it took to initialise the new backup.  I must say, I was very surprised at this, as no sooner had my computer told me the copy of the new file to the destination folder was completed, Bvckup spotted the new file, scanned it, and uploaded it to the backup folder on my external drive with 1 change, and no errors.

Also, while the backup is still being monitored, you can actually modify your chosen settings at any given time, meaning that you don't always have to keep the same options and/or create a new backup for the same folder, just because you decided you want to, or no longer require things like Volume Shadow Copying.

On a side note:

My virus scanner did not show this file, in any way, to be of any danger (Unlike with some new software where it trys to make people think its a Trojan or a Keylogger.) - This is a good thing!

The needs improvement section


Due to this being a Beta release, I am going to leave this section blank for the moment until the next release, as I fully understand that a Beta version of this, is not going to have every feature the software developer wanted within it, neither is it going to be 100% stable (Even though I have had no problems with it, the short time I have been using it)


Why I think you should use this product


If you are looking for a very small backup utility, that is very easy to use, and contains pretty much everything you would need from this type of software, that you can also fit the installer on a USB drive without it taking up any noticable space (less than 500kb...so you could technically put it on to a FDD, if you still use those!)


How does it compare to similar apps

Being in Beta, and coming from a single developer, I must say, this is up there with the best of them.

Small file size and fast sync speeds make this one of the best I have used, and I can see it being a part of my software collection for quite some time to come.


Conclusions

If you want something, free, quick and simple, either for yourself, a friend, collegue or family member, then this is the tool you need.


Links to other reviews of this application

First known review
« Last Edit: October 16, 2010, 06:23:53 PM by Stephen66515 » Logged

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tomos
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2010, 12:51:20 PM »


thanks for the review Stephen
sounds good Thmbsup
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Tom
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2010, 08:11:35 PM »

Thanks Stephen ! Bvckup is indeed fast. I won't post other numbers yet, but the last backup I performed was 2-3x faster than 2 other very good sync/backup  solutions. For a fast and no fuss syncing/backup solution with some sophisticated features thrown into the mix (copies locked files, uses delta technology), it's great. I'm still benchmarking a few others, but this might just stay on my computer for everyday usage.

[EDIT]I also realized that Bvckup shows its speed more obviously for larger amount of data.[/EDIT]
« Last Edit: October 17, 2010, 08:13:44 PM by Armando » Logged

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apankrat
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2010, 10:20:38 PM »

Stephen, appreciate the review, thanks.
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Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2010, 11:15:40 PM »

Addition for Need Improvement?

I'd like to see a setting for what programme is used when opening the log file  Thmbsup
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apankrat
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2010, 01:07:47 AM »

^ Noted, thanks.
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ldarrambide
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2010, 01:39:02 AM »

I tried Bvkup because of the delta feature, which is the only that my
favorite backup program is lacking, SyncBackPro.

I must be totally stupid, but i did not find the restore feature.
What's the point of backing up without the possibility to
restore? I'm used of backing up ntfs attributes, so i can
not simply copy back files to their original location.

If someone can point me out the solution.

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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2010, 07:10:06 AM »

I tried Bvkup because of the delta feature, which is the only that my
favorite backup program is lacking, SyncBackPro.

I must be totally stupid, but i did not find the restore feature.
What's the point of backing up without the possibility to
restore? I'm used of backing up ntfs attributes, so i can
not simply copy back files to their original location.

If someone can point me out the solution.

Can you not simply copy from the back up location to the original location?

There is no "Restore" option as it simply mirrors the directory(s) you're watching... just do it manually with something like windows explorer  Wink
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ldarrambide
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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2010, 10:25:30 AM »

I'm used of backing up ntfs attributes, so i can
not simply copy back files to their original location.

Thought my english was good enough to be understood  mad
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Stephen66515
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« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2010, 10:34:48 AM »

I'm used of backing up ntfs attributes, so i can
not simply copy back files to their original location.

Thought my english was good enough to be understood  mad

I don't know if this is a solution to what you are speaking of, but here goes:

If you are looking to restore files after they have been mofidied, then this is not possible.  However, if you cannot be sure that the modification is suitable, then why not test it in a folder that is not going to overwrite another file.

Perhaps having 2 backups running might be an idea, one for testing, and one for actual, fully working and fully tested files.
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2010, 10:48:14 AM »

This does simply not fit my needs.

If often backup huge files (steam folder is an example) and i liked the idea to have a delta copy tool (superflexible has delta
but is a pain to get restoration easy, and i don't use it anymore for ages).

In the steam example, ntfs attributes is not important, which is not the case of all my backup jobs,
and continuous backup is irrelevant for a game folder.

The only tool which contains all features is mirrorfolder, but it's not usable in
the way i backup.

So i'm stuck in waiting a long time for my files to be safe.

Maybe one day....
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apankrat
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« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2010, 11:31:00 AM »

Bvckup can do manually initiated backups. Or scheduled ones. The continuous backup is just a default of these three options. When you are creating a new job, click on More and there'll be a section in the middle that control when the backup is run.
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« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2010, 11:40:07 AM »

Indeed....

but this was just an example of use, the real problem is that it's a one way
software, and i won't take the car if it can't take me back home when needed..
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apankrat
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« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2010, 11:43:07 AM »

If you are set on using the same software to copy stuff back, you can always set another backup job with source and destination swapped. And that will be just as restorative as a dedicated restore function :)

I hear you, but hear me too... the restore functionality is needed in a fraction of percentage of all usage, and it is just a trivial file copy, so IMO making it a feature of a backup software makes latter look needlessly complicated. That is, of course, unless this is a system backup with boot sectors, MBRs and other specialized stuff that goes beyond simple file copying, then - yes, the restore function is fully justified.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 11:47:06 AM by apankrat » Logged
ldarrambide
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« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2010, 11:57:09 AM »

I just wanted to give an opinion, and a real life example of what the software could lack to
some users,not fight with the developer...

For me the restoration is a normal process of a backup scheme, and my needs don't include system backup
with such an inadequate tool, i use mirrofolder and paragon softwares for that

But in my case, i need to retain ntfs attributes, like ownership, access and creation time etc, and to restore them
along with the file if needed. So yes, i need arestore stuff, and people like me must be numerous.

So i'll stick with the backup system i use now, until delta copy finally arrives in syncback,
and i'll be happy camper then, but i wished to have find a good software FOR WHAT I WANT TO DO

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Stephen66515
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« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2010, 12:11:04 PM »

but i wished to have find a good software FOR WHAT I WANT TO DO

Make one then?  cheesy  Thmbsup
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« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2010, 12:16:04 PM »

Hmm it is now forbidden to post with a different opinion than
the average?

I just wanted to give a different point of view, which is not as enthusiastic
as others.

can you bear that?
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 12:18:38 PM by ldarrambide » Logged
Stephen66515
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« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2010, 12:23:46 PM »

Hmm it is now forbidden to post with a different opinion than
the average?

I just wanted to give a different point of view, which is not as enthusiastic
as others.

can you bear that?

How is it forbidden to post with a different opinion?

I was mearly suggesting that, if you want something to do, exactly what you want it to do, and nothing actually can, then perhaps creating the software yourself to suit your purposes might be a better option for you.

Im all for free speach and personal opinions, if I wasn't, I would have had this review locked, stopping any of these comments...
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« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2010, 12:31:10 PM »

@ldarrambide - you have a valid opinion indeed, no one is arguing with that. I explained my point of view of the same thing, which happens to be different, but that does not really constitute "fighting with the developer". Very far from it :)
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« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2010, 12:34:39 PM »

Not have the knowledge, the skills, the time, the envy  to write a tool. i thought this one could help me,
and tell why it did not,maybe some can be interested in a non positive opinion.

and even if it is free, i prefer paid software when it is useful, and used on an everyday basis

Maybe some people share that opinion..

i plan, anyway when i have some time to spare, to write a review on backup setup, maybe could
help some...
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« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2010, 04:15:22 PM »

Well to some degree I think it is a valid point. I would imagine some people would expect backup and restore to go hand in hand.

Maybe it should have been Cvpy instead Grin.

Trying the beta atm, it seems like it does a good job at what it does, and the simple user interface is a pleasure.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 06:26:57 PM by Jibz » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2010, 01:54:39 AM »

If anyone's interested, we might have a start of an epic UI discussion over at the Support forums -
http://www.bvckup.com/sup...ic_show.pl?tid=143#pid306

:-)
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« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2010, 08:59:12 PM »

Ah yeah. I plead guilty. Read about Bvckup here, and somehow felt attracted to your work in progress. (Must be my dutch nature going for the 'free' beta license key. cheesy) Just let me know when I'm getting too stubborn in that epic discussion..
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« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2011, 07:06:11 PM »

I register in the specific forum of bvckup.
I'll post there.
Best Regards
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