Juries Out On Simple Wireless Backup

By Branko Miletic

According to the marketing blurb from Clickfree, its new wireless setup is “the world's first backup product that backs up every PC and Mac without having to be plugged into the computers”.

That’s the theory – the reality however is a little bit different.

Firstly, the Clickfree 500 Gb mobile storage drive is both small enough and stylish enough to place or take anywhere. However, this little beast does have its limitations.

First, my review unit came with an Asian power adapter, which I am sure would not work well with Australian power points. Second, the unit has what I think is the world’s shortest USB cable. Not sure about the theory behind this, but this was not practical. Lastly, when it comes to using it on a Mac notebook running OS 10.6, sure it loads OK, but when it comes to actually using it in a Mac environment, all I can say is good luck! It was a pain to get the Clickfree device to do anything at all on my Mac. I do believe you can get third party drivers for the Clickfree to be more Mac friendly, but that takes away from its original idea of having an instant backup system.

Those were the bad points. However when we look at a PC running Windows 7, the Clickfree backup really comes into its own and in many ways, all the bad points are quickly turned into good points.

Setting it up in a Win 7 environment was not only easy, it was almost painless and for that matter as fast as one would need. In fact, it managed to back up my wife’s pictures, songs, files and even emails, totalling some 200Mb or so, in no more than about 1 minute.

So speed and ease of use was not an issue. Furthermore, finding the files was easy as was the set up with my home wireless network. The only think that proved to be a bit of an issue was working with the wireless network, which did not work as well as expected. Having said that, this is not always an issue with external storage modules. Networks, home, business or otherwise offer their own set of issues, conflicts and problems that at times defy the realms of common sense to understand.

At the end of the day, the Clickfree Wireless Backup system is a handy little device to have at home and will save you the inevitable disappointment of losing your most valuable media at the most inconvenient time. But don’t be fooled by the marketing hype—many IT products out there are easy to use—however simple to set up with the millions of different individual networks and IT configurations is another matter altogether.

RRP
$199

Pros: Works immediately with PCs, easy to install, large storage volume

Cons: tiny USB cable, Unsuitable power adapter, Mac unfriendly

3 out of 5 Shacks

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