Drobo & Pogoplug Collaboration: A Seamless Solution?

There is no escaping the fact that as our reliance on gadgets to execute work duties, be entertained and stay connected with people grows, so do our files and data, and whilst I have so far managed to avoid buying a ‘cloud data solution’, with so many files and data stored in my computers that I am actually causing them to run at probably a tenth of their potential efficiency, perhaps it is about time I transferred my data into a remote file access. Being on the lookout for such a device, I was therefore keen to write a piece on Drobo and Pogoplug’s solution to personal cloud storage with instant access to files anytime, anywhere.

Drobo-PogoPlug

In combining the knowledge of the award-winning data storage products for businesses and professionals, Drobo, with the experience of Pogoplug, another award-winning outfit for its creation of streaming and lining devices, one would expect Drobo and Pogoplug’s Personal Cloud solution to deliver the goods.

In using Pogoplug Cloud, users can transform their Drobo into a multi-terabyte private cloud. ‘Pogoplug, private cloud, multi-terabyte’, what does all this jargon actually all mean, we all cry?! Basically, the new co-created ‘Personal Cloud’ device provides secure and remote access for an entire digital library of documents, photos, music, games and movies. On top of providing a safe home for our precious digital data, the Personal Cloud also provides users with 10GB of free public cloud storage, meaning it is ideal for synching crucial files between Drobo and ‘the cloud’.

Shedding some much needed further light on, what we are assured is a ‘sophisticated yet easy-to-use and affordable solution for professionals and businesses,’ is Tom Buiocchi, CEO of Drobo, who said of his company’s latest storage creation:

“Small businesses, professionals, and consumers already store large collections of files on their Drobo. Adding remote access, media streaming and other cloud capabilities turns the Drobo into the ultimate personal cloud – combining the simple, reliable storage Drobo users have come to expect with the flexibility and freedom of the cloud.”

While I feel inclined to shop around a bit for my data storage solution, if the Drobo/Pogoplug partnership has convinced you, you’ll find more information about this ‘seamless hybrid cloud solution’ at: www.drobo.co.uk/pogoplug

Handy backup solutions with Novosoft Handy Backup software

It’s a sensible move to back up data isn’t it? Although for someone who has just lost 1000 plus photos of my two children from birth to their toddler years because I never got round to backing up the data stored on an ancient PC I knew was to die a death any day soon, preaching about the sensibilities of backing up digital data would be slightly hypocritical. You can rest assure though I will not be making the same mistake twice and the files on my new and shiny laptop are distrustfully backed up by numerous backup sources.  Given my recent obsession with backup solutions I opened a press release from Novosoft about its Handy BackUp software with unusually fervent interest.

Handy-Backup

Handy Backup is basically a backup program designed to protect data on almost any type of storage media by automatically backing up and restoring files. When used with CD/DVD/Blu-ray/HD DVD devices, flash devices and remote FTP/SFTP servers, Handy Backup can be used to make a reserve copy of any data considered valuable on your system, whether it is in the office or at home.

Novosoft assure that with free plug-ins designed to facilitate My Document backup, Windows Registry backup and Outlook backups, as well as having the ability to perform all backup tasks on a regular basis by assigning a schedule, valuable data will never be lost with Handy Backup.

Whilst Handy Backup may be a sophisticated and comprehensive method of backing up valuable files on your computer, I don’t know about you but I find regular PC scheduling and updating rather annoying. For example, when your anti-virus suddenly interrupts you by alerting you of an update meaning you lose your train of thought, is a rather irritating component of modern computing. Whether or not Handy Backup, with its backup and synchronization tasks performed on a regular basis by assigning a schedule, will be carried out discretely or practise similar irritating interruptions, remains to be seen and such doubt makes me favour backing up my valuable data on external devices such as a USB data pen.

For those of the more patient discernment determined to safeguard your data, Novosoft Handy Backup software has got to be a sensible choice, and until 31st August the BNovosoft Backup range is available with 50% off the RRP from http://www.downloadbuyer.com/Novosoft/113/d

Rebit 5: Beautiful and beautifully simple hard drive back up software

If you want to back-up your computer without hassle, buy Rebit 5. No, this isn’t a poorly veiled advertorial, it is our findings after playing around the back-up software. It has its faults (soon to be listed), but as far as overall experiences go, this is the iPhone of back-up software.

Rebit takes two key inspirations from Apple: it’s beautiful, and it’s beautifully simple. It begins with the installation process, which takes around ten seconds. Rebit has clearly done a lot of work in keeping the application as clean behind the interface as in front of it.

rebit

You can put it on your computer or an external harddrive, allowing the portable HDD to backup everywhere it goes. Rebit comes pre-installed on some externals at minuscule extra cost, so look out for it when you next go shopping.

Once installed, an attractive window pops-up, full of gentle shadows, cute roll-overs and simple, big buttons. You’re met with a screen asking you to select a backup location – either a local drive or a network share.

Local drive is simple enough – you’ll either use a spare harddrive inside your computer, or the external drive. Click’it and you’re sorted. You can also back-up to a network location – Rebit will scour the network for available options. For back-up areas where you need a username or password, they can be completed in-program.

Then you’re free to gaze at the home screen. There are three options: Browse Backup, Make
Recovery Point and Settings. Browse Backup lets you find old restore points to return your system to an earlier point, while Make Recovery Point creates a new backup iteration.

Recovery points occur automatically every 24 hours, if your drive is connected to your computer. The Continuous Data Protection also works automatically, monitoring your files and making a back-up whenver one is edited. You can then right-click the file and revert it back to older versions. Cool.

Settings allows you to chose Drives to Back Up, choose more Backup Locations (either local disk or network), create a Recovery Disk to recover your entire computer should the current HDD die and set a password to defend your backup from prying eyes.

The Recovery Disk option allows you to back-up the Rebit software to CD, DVD, or USB Drive. We had a bit of an issue with this – none of our USB drives appeared to work. We’re not sure whether it was because our sticks were formatted to Fat32 (only the more modern NTFS is properly supported by the software), because the memory stick’s capacity was at 1.438MB, or because of a software glitch.

A browse around the help file might have helped us work it out, but the help button doesn’t seem to work. A windows pops-up and disappears before loading anything. Uh-oh. Maybe the non-working help file is an ironic statement about how easy Rebit is to use? Probably not.

It’s not too annoying, because you can still access the help documentation by navigating your harddrive. Or call the complimentary 90 day phone support. Perfect.

Seagate GoFlex Slim hard drive

How many files are clogging up your space on your laptop? Applications, programs, movies and music. They all take up valuable space especially bluray movies. A lot of people combat this problem by having a portable drive. The benefits of this are not only having space freed up but files on the go. Visiting a friend? No problem, plug a portable drive to their HD TV and show your favourite movie which they criminally missed.  The problem is the drives can sometimes be heavy, especially terabyte drives. Enter the Seagate GoFlex Slim.

GoFlex-Slim-Drive

The first thing you notice about the GoFlex Slim is how tiny it is. It really lives up to its name. At a super-svelte 9mm, it is about as wide as a wide a pen. Think of this as the supermodel of portable drives. It has a 7200 RPM drive and USB 3.0 interface which gives faster transfer speeds than USB 2.0. Mac users, do not feel left out as you can use the GoFlex Slim for Mac without formatting or loss of performance. Backup software is included and provides automatic and continuous backups and encrypts files and folders. You can easily sync files between your computer and drive so transporting files is easy as pie.

Tablets and sleek laptops may be the rage right now but the storage can sometimes be a problem. You may use the cloud or a network to access your content. Would it be easier to plug and play from a portable drive?

The size is an average 320GB. I would have liked a bit more or even various size options. But then it would not be so slim so I have to grit my teeth and compromise. If I am really honest do I really need to carry around any more memory than 320GB? You can get the GoFlex Slim for £79.99 now.

Nero Multimedia Suite 10 addresses the burning issue

Nero Burning ROM has one of my favourite product names jokes for the past 10 years (and I always fiddle whilst burning my CD-ROMs). As a college DJ I used Nero to burn mix CDs most of the way through uni, compile photos onto photo CDs and even transfer the occasional movie file to DVD. However times have changed and I no longer burn as much media as I used to. I can DJ off iPods of Laptops (Serato/Native Instruments make some wonderful devices). Things have moved online for photosharing (Flickr, Picasa) or even general files (words can’t express how much I love Dropbox). Even media plays back effortlessly across my network – I have an Apple TV & LG BD390 and Packard Bell, Western Digital and Popcorn Hour all provide similar products.

Nero-Multimedia-Suite-10
A CD from the olden days

I still burn media occasionally but it’s no longer the first choice for sharing media. Nero have addressed this with the release of the Nero Multimedia Suite 10, which is a 3-in-1 package of Video Editing, Burning and Backup. Nero now has a foot firmly in both camps – physical and online media. NMS10 allows you to manage all your media, burn it to physical discs or share it online as well as the ability to securely back it up.

Video Editing
My favourite new feature was the in built Video Editing – very powerful yet flexible solution. Working with pretty much any format you can throw at it you can edit and export easily to various sites with relative easy. Out of the box it allows pretty impressive Video editing – not dissimilar to iMovie HD and in some areas edges towards Final Cut Express. You can make quick, simple edits for standard footage or you can really get your hands dirty with advanced video editing and authoring tools for Standard and High Definition movies. It includes features such as true multi-track editing, advanced Picture-in-Picture and overlay effects with full key frame control, Chroma Key, Image Matt, Lens Distortion, Edge Feathering and has 60 Menu Templates.

Nero MediaHub
As the name implies this is a Media hub for playback, management and simple editing of multimedia files and as you would expect allows you to quickly organise, sort, search, play back and share music, photo and video files. It does pretty decent work as a one stop shop – from the same window you can playback the most popular audio, video and photo formats such as AVCHD, MKV, FLV, FLAC, DVD, non-commercial Blu-ray, MPEG-4 AVC, (S)-VCD, AVCREC, audio CDs, as well as music play-lists and slideshows. It is pretty easy to publish music, slideshows and video projects to CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray Discs (including 24 progressive frame high quality cinema formats) or upload to leading social media communities, including YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Flickr and even the My Nero community.

Nero Burning ROM
If you do need to burn things Nero have you more than covered with a serious burning package. SecurDisc™ 2.0 technology is used to increase the lifespan, reliability, security and integrity and now includes support for Blu-ray Discs, in addition to CDs and DVDs making data readable regardless of scratches, age or deterioration and accommodates password protection and encryption, while ensuring its authenticity with digital signatures. Using the Nero DiscSpan and Nero DiscMerge utilities, you can burn oversized files to multiple discs or different types of media.

Nero BackItUp & BurnEasily back up files, folders, drives and the entire system in a few easy steps and protects entire systems from the effects of hard drive crashes, system failures and virus attacks. The built in one-click Autobackup function, automatically backups files either in the background or via scheduling and can also recover data from digital cameras, thumb drives or damaged media. There is also a syncing feature keeping files or folders organised on hard drives, flash drives or online.

For the price it is hard to find fault with this package, covering as it does the latest and greatest technology for burning physical media, robust online back up and surprisingly advance video editing facilities.

Nero Multimedia Suite 10 available now at www.nero.com for £59.99. Starting April 12th, Nero Multimedia Suite 10 will be available in retail stores worldwide with a suggested retail price of £59.99.