My other half has worked as a private contractor for a couple or more years now and used this external hard drive to back up documents and financials for his business, however recently he upgraded to a better hard drive and gave me this to use, having transferred all of his own data, to back up my own work material as I also have some independent work alongside the odd period of salaried employment.
This is an ideal device for me as it is very easy to use which is ideal as I'm a bit of a techno entry level person who can work a smart phone, tablet and a laptop but not a lot else. The beauty of this device is that you simply plug it into a usb port and it automatically backs up all of the files on the hard drive, you just leave it alone to do the job and once it is finished then it simply needs to be unplugged and stored safely. There is a downside to the device in that it will back up everything on the hard drive whether you want it to or not however for me that is not a bad thing as it makes me spend time cleaning up files on the drive which in the long run will make my laptop work faster.
It holds 120gb worth of data and is compatible with all operating devices like Windows 7 and Vista for anyone still using it. There is no software to install either as that is pre-installed. The drive is quite small so it is very portable. The first time I used it the download took about 25 minutes and used up about 40% of the available space on the drive. I have found viewing documents on the drive pretty quick as well and it works with video and pictures.
This has proven to be a useful device, I was a bit worried given its age of over a couple of years old that it might not be very reliable or very slow and maybe against more modern devices it is but for me it works perfectly well and I have no issues with it. It is pretty much fool proof and seems quite robustly made as well.
At first, the Clickfree 120GB USB might seem like a good idea - a hard disk to take the hassle out of backing up all your data. And it does look quite cool, with its shiny silver edging. Unfortunately, it and the other ClickFree range cost a heck of a lot more than non ClickFree hard disks. And they don't actually work that well, either.
The way the ClickFree works is that you plug it in and it goes through your computer backing up certain types of files, documents, pictures etc. However, there's no way to specify just what you want backing up - it backs up everything with the qualifying file extensions. And it only does this when you plug the hard disk in - there's no button to do this and no software features that allows you to do this. So this means if you're planning on using the ClickFree as a regular hard disk as well, you've got to yank it out and plug it in again to initiate the ClickFree process.
If, on the other hand, you've got a regular USB hard disk, Windows 7 and Windows Vista comee with free software to back up to your data to a USB hard disk - and there's plenty of free and commercial products to do the same. And the commercial products typically let you decide exactly what you want to back up and when. Even if you don't have these, it's pretty easy to copy your My Documents folder to a USB hard disk.
The ClickFree USB drive is a gimmicky product that sounds like a good idea but that is ultimately spoilt by poor execution and the fact it's so much more expensive than the competition. Leave this on the shelf and buy a normal USB hard disk instead.
A couple of years ago I experienced a fatal computer crash and lost every single file on my hard drive and what made matters even worse was that I didn't have a back-up, Since then I have been very careful about backing up my files to DVD disks since, but it has been a very slow and laborious task waiting for those disks to burn, and then on some occasions seeing that dreaded message, "back-up failed!". CDs weren't so bad, being smaller they usually backed up OK but then, having that smaller capacity, I needed a lot more of them.
I was watching the QVC shopping channel one Sunday morning and I noticed that they were demonstrating the ClickFree external hard drive, and all you had to do was to plug it in to your USB port and wait. It would search and back-up every file on your hard drive without you having to click or do anything, and then once it had done its job, all you had to do was simply unplug it and put it away. This was something that would suit me down to the ground with its simplicity. I wasted no time, and after doing a search and could find none cheaper than the £87 asking price, placed my order on QVC/s website, although it must be said, that I have since seen this the ClickFree drive for less than £80 when I have Googled for it.
The drive itself holds 160GB and can back up multiple PCs - up to 10 of them. I backed up my own, running Windows XP, and then backed up my laptop and my wife's computer, both running Windows Vista. The files are viewable and usable from each PC, providing of course you have the necessary software to do so. There were one or two problems with my XP setup opening the Vista files, but the Vista computers opened all the files that were backed-up from my XP without a problem,
The drive works this click-free way because it comes with the back-up software already installed. And whilst it is click-free, you can use your mouse to select different options, cancel the operation or to select open to view the files.
The physical size of the drive itself is small and fits easily into my pocket, (about the size of a pack of cards), so I can take it anywhere with me and will be able to use it on most computers, especially viewing photographs and videos, or opening Word documents and spreadsheets and the like.
Using the drive for the first time took about 20 minutes as I had around 50GBs if files in My Documents, it also backed up all my e-mails from Outlook Express and my favorites from Internet Explorer. In fact, everything I would need to access from another computer.
I then decided to copy all the files on the ClickFree drive from my desktop PC on to my laptop and this too was simplicity. When you plug the drive in, it will back-up, as I said without clicking anything. However, should you wish to, you can use your mouse to view your files or to select the restore function. When I did this I was given a choice to select what I wanted backing-up or just back-up everything. On this occasion, I selected everything and around 20 minutes later, every file from my desktop was now on my laptop, ready for me to work with.
The ClickFree drive doesn't require any external power source as it takes it power from your computer's USB port, but there is a socket at the back for plugging in an optional (not supplied) cable, or a second USB should just one USB connection prove inadequate, but I must admit, I didn't have any problems with powering it up. My desktop being my oldest computer is around 5 years old and it works without a problem at all.
I have owned the ClickFree drive now for around 3 months, and I must admit, it has taken the hassle out of backing stuff up, and provided good peace of mind.