PLEASE NOTE CLICKFREE AUTO-BACKUP DEVICES COME WITH DIFFERENT HARD DRIVE SIZES -- I RECOMMEND YOU SEE THE REVIEWS FOR OTHER MODELS, AS THEY MAY PROVIDE ADDITIONAL OPINIONS RELATED TO CLICKFREE AUTOMATIC BACKUP DEVICES IN GENERAL.
AND SO MY REVIEW ON THE 250 GB MODEL HD225:
Like just about everyone, I've lost a lot of data over time, given Window's lack of reliability. I have thousands of photos, and all my personal records are digitalized as well, so data loss is just not acceptable anymore.
A year or so ago, I decided to try multiple back-up devices/services.
Last week, I bought the new Windows 7 three-pack, and installed it on all my computers. (I have three computer in my home, on a network. Two of them had Vista, and the oldest one, had XP.(See my ps below re the XP). I had to do a clean install on two of the three computers). Before doing the Win7 installations, I had started using the Clickfree device, as well as an off-site service called Mozy. I also frequently transfer data between the three computers to keep everything up to date, and I have an old Western Digital drive (it was sold with a supposed auto-backup capability, but true to WD, it didnt work; but its fine for drag-n-drop purposes). I also periodically back-up data to dvd's.
I first thought Mozy would be my best choice: but it proved very disappointing. Retrieving multi-gigabytes of data from their site is agonizingly slow. As an alternative to online retrieval, they also offer to mail you your data on a disc (or discs). I priced just one large file, and it would have been about $75 ! Anyway, I'm keeping Mozy because its pretty cheap (about $59/year) and I have used it to retrieve small files (for example, a Quicken data file), and it worked fine. It really is automatic too, running up to 12 times a day. You can also retrieve files from their site if youre traveling,
So, I relied on the Click-Free device, and it worked like a charm; it was amazingly fast in transferring all those files back to my computers. Maybe two hours tops. As far as I can tell, none of the files were corrupted or damaged or lost. (As opposed to backed-up data on CDs and DVDs, which I also found had too many corrupted copies - one disc with 1,000 photos was totally useless).
I agree with one commentator who said that Click-Free can be confusing. Its not as intuitive as I think it might be, but on the other hand, once I got the hang of it, it did its thing perfectly. Essentially, my stored files mirrored my hard-drive, so it was easy to check the box for the ones I wanted to do first; then go back and do a second round etc, so I could be sure it was working reliably.
You name each computer that Click-Free backs up, and then you just connect it via a common usb-type adapter. It then starts up automatically, and finds every file that youve changed since the last back-up. So the fitst time you back-up, it takes hours and hours, but thereafter it runs for just a few minutes. It can also remind you (via a pop-up) if you havent backup up for a certain number of days, which you specify.
I dont often write reviews on electronic devices. But as I know how many people will be transferring a lot of data in the next year, I thought I'd offer these comments. Of all the back-up mechanisms I've used (and believe me, I've tried just about everything), I think Click-Free is superior by a long shot. If they had clearer instructions, I'd give it a 5.
a ps: One of my three computers (the oldest, originally with Windows XP), sometimes did not recognize the clickfree when first "plugged in" via the usb. I called Clickfree tech support, got through immediately, and was told that on really old computers, the problem is almost always related to a relative lack of power sent from the usb port(s) to the clickfree. So they are sending me a dc power converter for free. It plugs into a separate 5v porton the back of the clickfree....excellent tech support...I'd raise my rating to a 4.5 if it were possible.