If it weren’t for syncing, most people would never back up anything. It’s only because synchronization is so easy that we wind up with backups of our most important data: our address books and calendars. But syncing doesn’t always back up everything (particularly files you’ve stored on your handheld, and sometimes additional applications you’ve loaded) — and your backups are only as good as your most recent synchronization.
MDM’s Secure File PDA Backup, which comes on a 64MB MultiMediaCard, makes backup a truly one-click process for almost any handheld. You first stick the card into the MMC or SD card slot on your PDA. On Palms, the backup application instantly pops up, and you just click the Backup button to copy everything onto the card. On Pocket PCs, you need to launch the Sprite Backup application; from there, all you have to do is press the Backup button. Once the backup completes, pop out the card and put it in a safe place.
If you’re security conscious, you can encrypt the backed-up data and require a password to restore it or opt to compress it to save space. If you want to back up only certain data, two additional tabs let you select which applications and files to include in the archive.
In our tests, Secure File PDA Backup copied 16.2MB of data from our Palm Tungsten T3 in two minutes and 15 seconds without encryption or compression; adding encryption and compression lengthened the backup time to a little over six minutes.
If you sync your PDA daily and ensure that your important files are included in the daily sync, you’ll never need Secure File PDA Backup. But if you’re on the road and won’t have a chance to sync for a week or more — or if you’re one of those people who almost never syncs — PDA Backup is a dead-easy way to make sure you don’t lose your data. Just try not to lose that tiny MMC card. -Dylan Tweney
Best Feature: One-click backup and restore
Worst Feature: Backup is redundant if you sync regularly
MDM Secure File PDA Backup
Specs: 64MB of MMC storage (60MB available for backups); one-click backup; supports compression and encryption System requirements: Palm OS device with 350KB of free memory or Windows Mobile device with 4MB of free memory; SD/MMC expansion slot
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