Seagate’s Replica drive with Rebit backup is the first backup solution we’ve had in our lab that we can truly call foolproof when it comes to backup. You only have to attach the stylish 2.5” portable drive to your Windows PC, have the software install the Rebit service for Windows, and sit back.
It took seven hours on our test system for the initial backup to complete, but the solution literally takes care of everything: daily system snapshots, modified files (including versioning), and handling of deleted files. It will even continue its work when the drive is full by starting to dispose of the oldest backups. If you ever need to recover individual files, then you can do so by browsing the Replica drive on your PC and locating the desired file and version in a folder structure that matches your PC’s file structure. Backup really is a piece of cake now, which is why the Replica receives the Best of Tom’s Award. We believe this is a must-have product for consumers.
It has to be said that the Replica consists of two important parts: the portable Seagate 2.5” drive and the Rebit backup software. Rebit offers similar bundles, but leaves the 500GB capacity point exclusively to Seagate. Desktop users may want to go for Rebit’s 500GB and 1TB backup solutions. Other capacities are not yet available. While Seagate includes the full license to protect up to six PCs, Rebit also offers single-PC solutions. If you want to use an existing storage product, you can purchase the Rebit software individually at $49 for one or $79 for multiple PCs.
Still, we like Seagate pairing its strong brand with a truly smart software add-on and merging everything under a solid product name like Replica. The $179 price tag for the 500GB Seagate Replica isn’t a bargain, but it’s even cheaper than Rebit’s 320GB drive—and Seagate offers a comforting five-year warranty on the product.
Finally, we have to point at the fact that Replica is a backup device—and nothing else. Once it is used as such, you cannot use it as a regular storage device on your host PC any more. In addition, the backup set is not encrypted, which you should keep in mind if you consider your data really sensitive. One possible solution is to store all important files in an encrypted container created by solutions like TrueCrypt. The better way would be to use a fully encrypted drive. Seagate and Rebit fully cater to backup and data safety, but the concept can still be improved by adding data security. Business users should not use this solution without a security plan in mind.
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