Friday, January 30, 2009

Giveaway of the Day Review - Insofta Document Backup 5.1

Insofta has given away version 4.1 of Document Backup last year, but received less than positive reviews (38% gave it a thumbs up out of 700 voters). Checking out the official website, version 5.1 was released on Jan 28, 2009 (early this week), with the following changes:

  • Added backing up open (locked) files
  • Data encryption speeded up by several times
  • Encrypted archives can be restored with WinZip/WinRar
  • ZIP password protection
  • Added support for writing on Blu-Ray and HD-DVD disks
  • Essentially speeded up verification of discs upon completion of recording
  • Custom filter settings for separate folders in backup set
  • "Differential" backup type
  • Further expanded command line options

Judging from the changelog, it seems the new features would bring Insofta Document Backup up a level from the previous version.


No problems here. Just install and double click on Activation.exe to register the program. If it prompts you to key in some registration code, just exit and restart the program.

Ease of use

Many backup programs are wizard-driven, and Insofta Document Backup is no exception.  The new job wizard lets you choose files to backup, where to backup to, and schedule backups. Very straightforward, with no additional options to confuse beginners.

Feature set

Once you complete the wizard, you are given the option to enable additional options for the backup set. You can specify filters on a folder-by-folder basis, leaving out or including files with certain extensions. Folders with active filters are marked with a small red arrow.

The program is smart enough to save time skipping compression for heavily compressed files (e.g. jpg, mp3, other archives). No registry backup options here. Also, you have to manually select individual files and folders. Some standard templates (e.g. software settings, browser bookmarks etc. ) would be a good addition.

You can perform a full, incremental or differential backup, with the option of AES 256-bit encryption. Volume shadow copy is supported as well - meaning files which are currently opened will get backed up. (Note from its help files: FAT32 is supported on internal drives only, on the term that an NTFS partition is also available). You can create multiple versions of backups. However, the program doesn't let you specify how many old copies to keep, it only deletes old backups based on dates.

The restore feature appears a bit redundant, as the zip file generated can be easily opened in a zip program. The restoration process also extracts the full paths to the destination, meaning you will get folders named "C", "Program Files" etc. Hopefully this will be fixed in the next version. (And maybe put on ) 


Backup times are reasonably fast. Resource usage is low, using below 10mb of ram while running a backup in the background.


Insofta Document Backup has a solid set of features. Wizards offer just the right amount of options, while more advanced options can be configured from the main program.

The restoration feature is a bit weak though. Also, there are no templates for quick backing up of web browser bookmarks and program settings. No registry keys backup either.

If you didn't get the chance to download the previous version, I recommend you try out this updated version.


Free alternatives

The excellent Cobian Backup, now in its 9th version, deserves a look. (Will take a look at it another day).

Other alternatives include: Comodo Backup, DFIncBackup Home, SyncBack, AceBackup, FBackup, the discontinued :( Abakt, and my old favourite - BackItUp

Wow, seems maybe I'll do a comparison of these programs one day.

Want to recommend any other free backup programs? Feel free to leave a comment below.


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