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NovaStor NovaBACKUP 18 Review
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Review

NovaStor NovaBACKUP 18 Review

by October 7, 2016

NovaBACKUP 18 Review.

Every file on your computer, is stored in an electronic form, on your hard disk, and is collectively called as data. It is the very core of all computing, and without which you would literally be unable to perform even the most basic tasks. From visiting a website in your web browser, to opening a document in an office suite, everything relies on the files stored on your computer’s hard drive.

nova-backup

It is no secret that computer operating systems are vulnerable. There are plenty of digital threats, like viruses, malware and ransomware, which could hamper the functioning of Windows, or in some cases, impossible to recover files. This could occur in any way, from plugging in an infected flash drive to the computer, or from a malicious ad, or a malicious file disguised to look like a well known one. And of course email spamming is still one of the most common ways, which attackers use to spread malware.

But are these the only ways, which could result in data loss? No, not really. We musn’t rule out another important element, hardware failure. Sometimes computers stop working, hard drives fail due to bad sectors, or sometimes due to a fluctuation in the voltage (power supply).

Now, what if you were the victim of such an incident, and you lost a lot of your important data. How will you recover the lost files? Sometimes it may just be impossible. To avoid such circumstances, you should start backing up your important files regularly.

There are two popular options to do this. One is to backup files to a cloud storage service. But this is expensive, and of course, there is no real guarantee of the files’ safety, in case a breach occurs. The second, more secure option, is to store the backups on an external hard drive, which of course only you have access to. But even this is not a viable solution, because of limited storage space, and also that the hard drives can cost a lot.

There exists, a third problem, and that costs manual effort and time. Yes, that is how you do manual backups, don’t you? To avoid this, a good idea is to use a software which is designed to take backups regularly, without your intervention. One such software, is NovaBACKUP 18, and that’s what we are reviewing here today.

NovaBACKUP has a simplistic UI, with a light theme, and a tabbed interface for user friendliness. These are the tabs available on top of the UI: Home, Copy, Backup, Restore, Logs, Schedule, Device, Status and Support.

Clicking on one of the tabs, displays the corresponding options in the program’s window. The first tab, Home, is where you will begin with the program because it houses the backup options. On the left side of this tab, are some options in a side bar. These allow you to view recent jobs (backup tasks), the next scheduled jon, and an option which lets you search the online knowledgebase, for support articles.

Note: Any query made using this option, is opened in your web browser.

The Home tab of NovaBACKUP has three primary functions: Start a backup, Image backup and Cloud backup. Clicking this option, brings up a file manager UI, with a directory navigation sidebar on the left, and a file viewer UI on the right pane. This is actually the third tab of the program (Backup).

nova-backup-start

To start a backup task, first navigate to the folder which has the files you want to backup. You can select entire folders, or individual files, by hitting the check box next to each listing. Then click on the “Backup to” option, in the bottom left corner.

This will bring up a small pop-up window, which lists the available drives where the backup can be saved. This includes three types of drives: your local hard drive, your external hard drive, and your cloud storage drives (Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc). Once you have selected the location you want to save the backup too, you can hit ok. You can create a new folder using this window too.

Now back to the main UI, you can select the first option in the bottom right corner to check the estimated time for the backup to complete. Select the second option, schedule to bring up the schedule options window. Doing so, requires your backup task to be saved (in .nbk format).

You will see the name of the selected job on the top, and below it is the schedule type selector. This lets you pick the number of times the task will run (once or incrementally over a number of minutes or hours, or at a set time everyday, week, or month).

nova-backup-scheduler

You can choose the date and time, when backup has to be done, and the user account under which the task will run. In case you have a Windows password for the user account, you can set NovaBACKUP to use it for running the task.

The settings option, in the Backup tab, allows you to configure NovaBACKUP to a great extent. This includes options to compress backup files to save disk space, verify backups after they are done, backup files which are open in the background, backup empty folders and more.

You can set the default backup location, and write mode (which over writes existing content with a newer one), and the backup mode. The latter is highly useful in case you want to only backup files differentially (only backs up files which are changed), incrementally (all files over time since the last backup), and a snapshot.

NovaBACKUP lets you send logs to your email, or print out one locally, in case the task had errors or messages or warnings. Using these, you can correct the issues, to complete the backups correctly.

You can optionally set the program to encrypt the backups using one of the following algorithms:

  • AES 128-bit
  • AES 192-bit
  • AES 256-bit
  • Blowfish

This will let you select a secret key for decrypting the data, and without this you will not be able to access the files, so make sure you choose one which is secure, and you can remember easily.

Hit the backup button in the bottom right corner, to start the task immediately. This will switch the NovaBACKUP interface to the Status tab.

nova-backup-status

This gives a detailed report of the backup task. This shows you how many files were selected, how many of those were backed up, whether any file was skipped, the total size of the backup and the elapsed time for the backup process to complete.

You can also see where the backup was saved to, the backup name, and the progress bar (which shows the progress in real time). The final status will indicate whether the job was completed successfully (checkmark means it was) and a message which says the same. You can click on the text link to view a detailed log of the back up too. This opens an XML log viewer, with the job report, which I must say is very neatly generated.

nova-backup-xml-log-viewer

Let’s go back to the home tab. Selecting the image backup lets you save an entire disc image of your operating system.

You can schedule this task as well, or start it immediately, using the built in Image Backup tool.This program allows you to create a full system backup or a disk backup, that you can use to recover files from in case of major issues, like a computer crash. Just like regular backups, image backups can be saved locally, in network drives, or external drives. The Restore option works in the similar way.

nova-backup-image

You can also use this tool to create bootable discs which you can save to a USB Flash drive, or write to a CD/DVD, which can boot up the PC even when the disk on your fails. It also comes with a virtual image tool, which can be used to mount a backed up image (ISO).

The third option in the Home tab, lets you save backups to the Cloud, using FirstBackup. Though the service is a premium one, you can get 2GB of free online storage, which is pretty cool, and you don’t even need to sign up using a credit card.

The bottom of the Home tab has options to run a job (performs the task), open the previously saved one (edit mode).You can add media, and network drives using the other two options.

The Copy tab can be used for copying files and folders to local/network locations of your choice. The Restore tab lets you browse completed backups, and restore files from them. You can restore specific files, from the backups. The Logs tab lets you view logs of previously completed backup tasks, while the schedule tab lets you see which jobs are scheduled to run. The devices tab displays the devices connected to the computer, and also lets you add a new network device to NovaBACKUP.

You can also use NovaBACKUP on Windows Server 2016, Microsoft Exchange 2016, for Microsoft SQL 2016 databses, Microsoft Hyper- V 2016 Virtual Machines, VMware machines and all versions of Windows 32-bit/64-bit computers.

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2 Comments
  • Jeff
    February 10, 2017 at 12:00 am

    Couldn’t get it to work right out of the box with a new machine. When you call for support they steer you to their online support. They don’t answer the phone.

    After a day I received a response, which I provided. They ignored my response. I kept submitting more information. They then closed the ticket saying that the problem has been fixed. It wasn’t!

    They suck.

  • John Grods
    May 2, 2017 at 1:23 pm
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    Rating4

    Frankly, I am not a techie and found a program that worked better in making things a tad simpler in setting up and running. If you’re going to charge an annual fee I would make it a tad better in deployment for us non-tech types. I went through the support and videos and it could not address what I was wanting.

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