Top critical review
5 people found this helpful
Great idea - just impractical
on 14 January 2010
Note that this is an annual licence.
For those of a technical mind, F-Secure uses port 443 (the secure http port) to send your data away. This is a good way of getting around many firewalls and so configuration isn't difficult and is likely to work straight out of the box on any machine that allows a web browser to work.
The idea of backing up over an ADSL line to a secure, remote location is appealing, but isn't practical. Simple mathematics works against them.
F-Secure say that they will back up 1-2 GB per day. Now, excluding music installed software and operating system, the hard drive on my main PC has around 150GB of data, including photographs and video and email. At 1.5GB per day, it would take 100 days, which is more than 3 months, to back up this data, assuming that I change and add nothing. This is highly unlikely, as I receive emails, and take photographs more regularly than every 100 days.
F-Secure's figures assume that the PC being backed up is on 24 hours per day. I usually turn mine off at night and when I'm away, so, optimistically we could assume my PC is in half the time. This means 200 days to back up everything. That's almost 7 months.
Added to that, certainly in the UK, many broadband contracts have a maximum data volume include. e.g. plus.net include the first 10GB of data per month before customers pay extra. Now assuming my stats, of a PC that is sending 0.75GB of backup per day, the limit would be reached in less than 14 days, assuming I used the internet for nothing else (but I do! I order from Amazon and write reviews here amongst many other things!). Even more generous allowances would be gone within the month, so making the backup much more costly, as many ISPs seem to charge punitive rates for going over agreed limits, or throttle line-speeds for heavy users.
Over a 2 week period, F-Secure reports a bit over 4GB actually backed up. Now my system is not slow (I have a Quad Core processor, 4GB RAM and a RAID Array for my internal hard disk storage), but I do live in a rural area, so line-speed can be a little slower than in a big city.
If you have a fast fibre-optic connection with unlimited usage (Read your ISPs fair usage policy carefully to check how limited "unlimited" actually is), then this product may be worthwhile.
For normal users, an external hard drive may be a much faster and more practical backup solution.
When I did have technical problems, I found that F-Secure seem to ignore submitted support requests - Make sure you never, ever untick the "launch at start-up" option. If you do, it appears that you can never re-enable the product, so wave goodbye to your licence fee. See comments for more information.