PROS / A built-in virus scanner guards your computer and files from infection.
CONS / The software comes with free cloud storage for the first year, but it's limited to 2GB of space.
VERDICT / NovaBACKUP's comprehensive backup, restore and support features make it our top choice for best PC backup software of 2015.
Editor's note: NovaBACKUP 17.3 is now available. We will evaluate, rank and review version 17.3 when we next update the PC Backup reviews. Meanwhile, enjoy our review below about NovaBACKUP Professional 16.5.
NovaBACKUP is a PC software program that performs two vital functions: it backs up all of your important digital files while simultaneously backing up all of your computer programs and settings. What this means is that if you experience an all-out computer crash or virus attack, you will have the tools at your disposal to rapidly migrate your data and your settings to another machine with limited downtime. This computer backup program enables you to store your data to any number of safe locations, including local and online destinations. You can even back everything up to removable media like burned CDs and DVDs. Because of the ease of use and speed that NovaBACKUP demonstrates, we have named it winner of our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award for best PC backup software program.
A software program loaded with all of the most important backup features you need, NovaBACKUP ably copies your files, folders and computer applications to a safe location so that you can easily retrieve them if your computer crashes. Data can be backed up to a partitioned section of your computer hard drive, another computer, removable media like CDs and DVDs, or an ftp or cloud location.
The full backup function makes a copy of everything in your computer, but periodic backups that are less time-consuming take place afterward. The incremental backup function occurs on a more-frequent basis and only backs up data that has changed since the previous backup was performed. Differential backup, which backs up only those files that have changed since the last full backup was performed, is also available. All three options work in unison to ensure your computer is safely backed up.
Another of the most critical backup features is the ability to perform a complete system image backup. This makes a clone, or mirror copy, of your entire hard drive that includes operating system settings and critical software configurations. The importance of having this function available is so that if your computer becomes corrupted or damaged, you can restore everything to another computer without having to alter settings to have the environment the way you require it.
A built-in virus scanner is included with NovaBACKUP, bringing an additional level of security against unauthorized access to your personal or business data. All stored data is password encrypted and can only be accessed if you have the key. Additionally, the software is compatible with third-party cloud storage programs like Google Drive and Dropbox. The importance of this is that you have the option of taking advantage of the cloud as a safe location in which to store your backed up data. NovaBACKUP even comes with its own proprietary cloud storage, which is free for the first year. The only drawback here is that the free portion of the account is limited to a mere 2GB of storage space.
Recover & Restore
Without good recovery and restoration features, even the fastest and most capable PC backup solution can be rendered ineffective. NovaBACKUP boasts recover and restore features that are both versatile and simple to perform, thanks to the presence of a backup wizard that can walk you through the steps if you have difficulty.
Its features allow you to perform a variety of different data-recovery functions, which are not limited to a full system restore. You can also restore specific files and folders to save time if data loss is limited to a specific area of your computer. When restoring data, you have the option to place that data in a location other than your original hardware, including a different computer. When you do this, NovaBACKUP preserves all of your program file paths so that you can resume operations on a different machine without having to make any time-consuming adjustments. An intuitive, easy-to-operate dashboard of controls makes recovering lost files a relatively simple process.
Scheduling & Reporting
Where the automation of data backup is concerned, having the ability to schedule backups to take place in advance is key. NovaBACKUP has a rich set of customizable scheduling features that can be catered and altered to fit your specific needs. As a rule, incremental backups should be scheduled to take place on a recurring basis throughout the day. Differential backups can be scheduled less frequently, with full backups occurring only periodically – but frequencies can be set to run at any time you prefer.
NovaBACKUP also offers comprehensive reporting by way of activity logs that can be sent directly to your email inbox. These logs report on a number of variables, including all backup activity and confirmation that backups and recoveries were completed without error.
Help & Support
The ability to find answers and seek out help if you encounter difficulty is important with any software program. NovaBACKUP excels in the area of help and support by offering numerous avenues for finding assistance. Starting with a dense knowledgebase of online articles and online webinars, the program also gives you access to one-on-one assistance through email, live chat and a telephone support line.
NovaBACKUP makes the number one spot in our list of best PC backup software by virtue of its powerful combination of backup and restore features, thorough scheduling and reporting options, and comprehensive help and support. It is compatible with all Windows operating systems from Windows XP through Windows 8 (including Windows 8.1).