Regularly backing up software files is a worthy job, but it's a stunningly dull one. We'd love to tell you that TurboBackup can miraculously make this chore easy and fun but, unfortunately, that isn't strictly true. What it does, however, is give you a huge number of options for carrying out a task that might just save you from your darkest computing hour.

Backup software is traditionally extremely bewildering for the inexperienced user. However, a quick tap of the TurboBackup's wizard button and you should be on your way. You simply tick the appropriate files and/or folders and then choose whether to copy them on to a hard drive or some other storage medium.

DVDs and CDs are fully supported, as are older removable backup devices such as Zip drives. You can perform full backups or just work with those files that have changed since the last backup via the 'incremental' facility, and the range of compression options is vast.

TurboBackup enables you to schedule your backup to minimise inconvenience. You can have files backed up every few minutes or, if you wish, you can set jobs days or months in advance. And backups can be automatically scheduled for when the PC starts up or shuts down. A 'Silent Backup' option means the PC won't even display any progress indicators – the process is completely hidden.

Ability Essentials TurboBackup: Specs

  • 100MHz Pentium III or Athlon processor
  • Windows 98/Me/2000/XP
  • 16MB RAM
  • 10MB hard disk space
  • 100MHz Pentium III or Athlon processor
  • Windows 98/Me/2000/XP
  • 16MB RAM
  • 10MB hard disk space

OUR VERDICT

TurboBackup works very well; it's a huge improvement on the rather basic backup features that come with Windows XP Home. You can tap into a number of impressively powerful features if you wish, while the basic Backup Wizard mode keeps things fairly straightforward for those with less computer experience – total novices may still be left feeling rather confused, however. And at £30, we reckon this represents pretty good value for money.