Clickfree Transformer SE
“To back up or not to back up” should not be the question. Instead it should be a case of “When to back up and how to back up”. With the numerous backup solutions available you could be spoilt for choice as you make the selection most suited to your particular needs. A new addition to the range of backup options is Clickfree Transformer SE (Special Edition) which combines a small hardware device with automatic backup capabilities.
The Clickfree Transformer device’s appearance is rather understated. While it does follow the current popular trend of a lacquered black finish, there is little else about the appearance that will set your pulse racing in anticipation. The small body (46 x 35 x 9mm) of the device has a 3cm cable with a USB plug protruding from one end and an embedded USB port at the other end. This arrangement enables the Clickfree Transformer to act as a link between the files to be backed up and the storage device which could be an external drive or your iPhone and iPod.
According to the brief instructions supplied with the product, all you need to do is connect the Clickfree Transformer to an available USB port on the host system and you will be ready to proceed. However, and the instruction guide does mention the possibility, if you are using a hub for the connection then power constraints could mean that you will have a problem. This happened in my case as the Transformer was unable to detect the destination device for storing the backup when connected to a powered hub. Once I removed the hub from the equation the problem disappeared.
The Clickfree software then kicked into action. Backups are instigated automatically following a countdown that does give you enough time to interrupt the process and make any adjustments to the settings that might be required. Options are available to cherry-pick from categories that can include text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, photos, music, video, financial and emails. You can pinpoint file locations; search the entire disk; plus omit temporary folders and Windows system files.
Once these decisions have been made, you can allow the countdown to continue enabling the software to move on to the next stage of the operation. This will involve a search of the hard disk(s) for the files to be backed up. Finally the backing up of the files will start and this can be rather time consuming depending upon the amount of data involved. However subsequent backups should be quicker. On-screen feedback keeps you up-to-date with the progress of the procedure. When necessary you can reverse the process and restore files.
While the backup and restore features are nothing new, the Clickfree Transformer does allow you to use an iPhone or iPod as the storage device using any available space. It is debatable how many users would be prepared to use their Apple device in this way but those that do will find that they will be able to use the Transformer to retrieve their music collection and playlists stored on their iPod.
Available, Henry Ford-like in any colour as long as it is black, the Clickfree Transformer SE has been priced at £59. This seems rather expensive as the device does not provide any storage capacity of its own and it is possible to purchase a 500GB external drive with its own backup software for less than this price. The Clickfree Transformer will work with Windows XP and later or Mac OS X 10.5 and later with 100MB of free hard disk space. iTunes will be required for iPod and iPhone capability.
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