You can view the backup file itself going through the settings of iTunes itself and then backup there. It will only show the backup file but you wont be able to view the contents. The backup btw only saves your personal settings and not your personal information / media. That stuff is synced to your computer and saved there so whenever restoring, iTunes will use your backup to bring your info from the computer to your iPhone.
Make sure that the sync options are checked for syncing your content. You can right click your iPhone icon under devices in iTunes which will give you an option for restore from backup. If you have multiple backups, you can choose older ones and then resync.