Titan Backup – Easy to use for backup novice

wordcloud_Titan Backup - Easy to use for backup noviceI’ve been using version 2.0 of Titan Backup and I think it’s the easiest and most easy to understand backup software as it works more on the principle of normal files and folders, and zip files. I can even easily see how many files have changed. After a while, I can just force a full backup – I don’t need to configure two separate backup type (full and incremental/differential) like in NTI Shadow. I don’t need to be confused on where the backup definition is saved (it’s saved in the same location of the backup zip files) unlike Microsoft Backup.

In other words, Titan Backup already take into consideration that you may need to restore files to systems where Titan Backup is not yet installed – and maybe even its installer is inside the backup!

titan-backup_main-interfaceThe nice thing about Titan backup is that it backs up the files in standard zip files if you choose to use compression. When you use incremental as well as differential options, it just create the backup for the changed files in a new zip file with incremental suffixes.

Now, in those zip files are the DeletedList.tzd files. These are normal text files recording what files have been deleted from the backup source since last delete. At the same time, whenever a file is changed (and you use the incremental option), it will be backed up to a different zip file.

What all these mean is that you don’t need Titan Backup in order to restore the files. You can do it manually. So, when the computer’s gone and you don’t have Titan Backup installed yet, you can just use 7-zip (free open source) and restore step by step. First, restore the main backup by unzipping it. Then, restore the next in the incremental set to the same location and replace all files when there’s conflict (the one in the incremental is the later file). Then, open the DeletedList.tzd in a Notepad and see the list. You can then delete those files one by one if you want or you can just leave them there. Do this until you have finished all in the incremental set.

titan-backup_backup-setup So, this is actually a very good backup software. Since it’s in zip files (even the incremental backups), I can easily just open a later zip file created on a particular date and find the latest (or older version from the earlier zip). However, it’s easier if you use the Titan Backup restore interface. Of course, all these means nothing to a backup pro as you’d be used to more sophisticated backup ideas. However, for a novice in backup, it’s much easier to understand zip files than incremental images or differential images.

You can also backups without compression – very useful for quick backups for files in a shared folder (although you won’t get Volume Shadow Copy function). You can use this to sync two folders while one holds all the files including older version. Or, you can also use it as folder sync – apply changes in both folders. This works better than the one I use in NTI Shadow which only monitor one folder and sync to the other (which means that if I create file in destination folder, it will be deleted next time run because it’s not in the source folder). Titan Backup works more like Microsoft SyncToy that checks changes in both folders. However, it can only run manually or scheduled but can’t monitor for changes as it happens like in NTI Shadow. Still, better than MS SyncToy as that one doesn’t even have scheduler (you can do your own with scheduled task and command lines though).

Overall, it’s very good, very fast, and is full featured. It even have file sync and scheduled backup. The only drawback is that version 2.0 uses a lot of memory when running in the background as a scheduler (around 78Mb. around 233Mb when GUI visible! – and will stay at that 233Mb until restart, I think!) compared to NTI Shadow (4 to 8 Mb background or foreground) or Macrium Reflect (5Mb background, 18Mb foreground).

titan-backup_my-tasksAs for backup of disk image, Titan Backup is not it – not like Ghost. For that, you can use Macrium Reflect (free version – the full version also have files backup but it’s not as zip files). You can create disk images and boot CD for restore that you can restore even without installing Reflect. In another way, Titan is also better than Reflect for file backup because of the Sync function.

Now, don’t even begin to try and compare with Comodo backup – that’s a very simple backup solution with no compression, folder sync, etc., or at least I couldn’t find the feature. Comodo is not that novice-friendly too.

From this review, you can see that I’ve tried a few backup software (including Ghost, TrueImage, DiskImageXML, and a few Linux-based image backup I don’t care much about). I would say that Titan Backup is the most easiest to use and understand. It works as expected and you don’t get confused. If Titan can reduce the memory footprint of the scheduler and maybe have it run as a service, then Titan Backup is a backup titan for the rest of us non-system-admin folks.

On second thought, I don’t really care about the memory footprint. I have 3Gb and even with all the Yahoo! Widgets running (12 of them ranging from 8mb to 60mb each), the system still have more than 2Gb free RAM! But for systems with less than 1Gb, I think Titan Backup memory use is just titanic. 🙂

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