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Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I want to make it clear that I am in no way affiliated with these companies, nor am I getting paid to write this or getting any other kickback.

Every now and then you find a piece of software that just makes your life so much easier that you’ve got to share it, because it really works.

A few years ago I began dealing with a problem that everyone deals with… too many online passwords.

I started using the same password for everything, and it wasn’t a difficult one because I didn’t want to forget it. But then I started to use a banking program online that made me change my password every 30 days! I was a goner. And then with the proliferation of online sites that require a password, I realized I needed a good password management solution.

I eventually found a program called Roboform, which manages (with encryption) all my online passwords. I’ve been using it for over two year now, and it’s great.

JoeSettler recommends RoboForm.

I used to have an old Maxtor One-Touch hard drive for backing up my computer – very important – especially after (or before) you’ve experienced a crash or two. It came with a program called Retrospect (I assume it was the “lite” version). So I used that for years. It worked. It was a little complicated and slow, but it got the job done, but I didn’t back up that often because of the speed and complexity.

I recently upgraded to a network drive, and needed a new backup software solution. What came with the drive wasn’t great. I wanted something better than what I had in the past. Easier, less complicated, more friendly, more features, and so on.

I tried out a lot of backup software packages, such as Norton Ghost, and a few others, but I wasn’t finding what I wanted.

I wanted to simply duplicate files onto the external network drive. I wanted to copy directories. I didn’t want compressed data files with incremental updates. I wanted a one to one file correspondence.

I eventually found a program called GoodSync Pro which I have been using for the past 3 months or so. It does everything I want in terms of file duplication. It doesn’t create a system image, or a system restore – which I wasn’t looking for. It simply backs up your data, and that’s exactly what I needed.

The interface is easy to use (though certain parts were confusing at first in terms of inclusions and exclusions and jobs). It seems to be very efficient. I can even back up Microsoft Outlook while it is still open (though I usually close it anyway when I’m backing it up).

I am not using it to backup installed applications, and for those I would reinstall everything manually, which would admittedly be a big hassle (and probably less so if I was saving an image with a different image backup package). And I am thinking of using it to backup my downloaded application installers. But backing up apps when I have the install disks, is less my goal, than backing up my personal data.

It can also handle two-way synchronization (but I only backup one way), and onsite services like Amazon S3 (which I may try at some point).

And that’s it.

JoeSettler recommends GoodSync Pro.

I hope these packages help you if you've been looking for solutions to the same problems I was.


Neshama said...

I am skeptical of software that collects personal data, as in 'save all info on your hard drive' use our product; or 'have all your vital info in one place' so use our product. When hackers break into them to get hold of YOUR data it is awful to innocent people.

What I do is keep a tiny rolodex for each of the online places (to a limit) that require passwords, then write the password and any other pertinent info pertaining to them on their card. And I don't save the passwords into the computers program for remembering such data.

It takes a minute to write it down, and It has saved me much aggravation. The less 'strangers' get into your personal life the better. Just thought to share that with you.

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