NovaBACKUP Professional Review (updated for version 15)

NovaBACKUP Professional is NovaStor’s flagship backup software for PCs, laptops, and workstations.  In my previous review, I criticized the software for having bugs and interface problems.  How does the latest version stack up?

NovaBACKUP main screen

Editor's Rating:
GD Star Rating
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Pros

  • Back up entire hard drives with full disk imaging
  • Copy and mirror files
  • Optional online backup
  • Machine independent restore can recover to dissimilar hardware

Cons

  • Somewhat confusing interface
  • Cloud backup is clunky and expensive

The Bottom Line

Despite the expensive cloud backup, NovaBACKUP 15 is powerful, full-system backup software.

Backing Up

When first started, the NovaBACKUP Express Wizard pops up and gives you three options:

  • Backup
  • Restore
  • Edit a previous backup job

I chose to create a new backup job, which gives several more options:

  • Local Backup
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Cloud Backup
  • Copy

I chose a local backup.  I thought this would create a backup of my entire hard drive, but it’s only for backing up files and folders.  To backup your entire hard drive, you have to select Disaster Recovery.  This led me to try to backup my entire hard drive using the local backup button, which output a bunch of errors when it tried to backup system files.  It was only after noticing these errors that I realized my mistake.

When I correctly chose the Disaster Recovery button, NovaBACKUP was able to backup my entire hard drive without any problems.

NovaBackup select drive

Backing up my C: drive.

Restoring

To perform a full system recovery, you’ll need to create a recovery DVD.  This lets you boot into NovaBACKUP outside of Windows, so you can restore your system.

Once you boot into the recovery DVD, you’ll see the Disaster Recovery screen.  From here, you can access the Tools menu which provides several useful features:

  • Mount backup image to a drive letter
  • Mount ISO file
  • Convert backup image to VHD (Microsoft’s virtual drive format)

NovaBACKUP was able to restore my entire system quickly and easily.

Machine independent restore

NovaBACKUP can also restore to a computer with different hardware, such as a new motherboard.

Features

Cloud Backup

Cloud backup in NovaBACKUP is too clunky and expensive.  NovaStor states you can get a list of hundreds of affordable online backup providers if you contact them, but what sort of person has time for that?

There are two default cloud backup providers: one in the US, and one in Germany.  The US-based FirstBackup.com charges a whopping $90/month for 100GB of space .  On the plus side, they’re HIPAA compliant for use by healthcare providers.  A user also informs me they support data deduplication, which would be useful when backing up multiple machines.

FirstBackup.com pricing

Cloud backup is way too expensive.

NovaBACKUP can also backup to Amazon S3, FTP, and xSP accounts.

Copy and Mirror files

NovaBACKUP includes an easy tool to copy and mirror files.  This can be set on a schedule.  There’s also a “bi-directional” copy type which will copy files in both directions on the source and destination.

NovaBACKUP Anti-Virus

This will scan files you backup files for viruses.  If you already have anti-virus software, you can disable this to speed up your backup jobs.

Time Slider

View your backups by time rather than files, so you can select a single point in time to restore.

Support

Overall, I found NovaStor to be very helpful and thorough in my support tickets.  I was responded to promptly within one business day.  NovaStor includes “NovaCare” phone and email support with their software, for a price of $30 per year.

You can also use their support forums, knowledgebase, documentation, and tutorial videos to get answers to questions.

Summary

NovaStor is listening to their customers, since they fixed all the bugs I experienced with the previous version of their software.

NovaBACKUP 15 can backup and restore entire PCs, which makes it good for business and home users alike.  I liked the Machine Independent Restore feature, which lets you restore your computer even if hardware has changed.  Overall, I found it to be solid, full disk imaging software.

On the downside, cloud backup feels unpolished and is greatly overpriced. So if you need to backup online, NovaBACKUP probably isn’t for you.

Specifications
Product Name NovaBACKUP Professional
Version 15
License Shareware
Price $49.95
Operating Systems Window
Backup Types
Files and Folders yes
Full Disk Image yes
Incremental yes
Differential yes
Backup Destinations
Hard Drive yes
Removable Media yes
Network Shares yes
Blu-ray yes
CD/DVD yes
FTP yes
SFTP no
Online Storage yes
Features
Compression yes
Encryption yes
Email Notifications yes
Error Handling yes
File Versioning yes
Priority Setting no
Scheduling yes
Speed Limiting no
Synchronization no
Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund is the founder and editor-in-chief of BackupReview.com. He is a cloud fanatic and regularly reviews online backup services. He believes backups should be easy, affordable, and automatic.
Geoff Akerlund

@backupsoftware

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  • http://www.backupreview.com/ Geoff Akerlund

    I actually know Bugamoe via email and asked him to post his review – I assure you he’s a real customer. Thank you for sharing your experience! I know for a fact NovaStor is reading these reviews.

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    • John H.

      NovaStor reads these reviews? Great. May they’ll resolve my problem with trying to create a Boot Disc. Worked for six hours on this today without success. Did everything with the Windows 7 AIK ISO file and nothing works yet. No responses yet from NovaStor to any of my Help requests. 7/28/2014. So the jury is out until tomorrow on this product.

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      • http://www.backupreview.com/ Geoff Akerlund

        Hi John. That does sound very frustrating. Let me know how it works out.

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  • bruin_bruin

    Good luck with recovery. I spent 3k on the software for multiple servers. We are getting our backups, however whenever I have had to restore…. It takes FOREVER to find a file, I almost always end up using previous versions or another method before I can even find the file on NovaStor, so is it useful? I still don’t know. It’s bad enough that I seeked out a message board this am while waiting, very unhappy with my purchase.
    In the past we used BESR, while it had it’s issues as well, the restore process was actually useable. I am VERY disappointed with the file level restore feature using both the Wizard and the traditional method. I have yet to try a whole system restore. Probably good if you are doing small backups. Ours are 600-700k files within 20-30k folders and NovaStor has a lot of issues with it’s database speed when trying to find a file to restor. If they fix this, it might be better. I am using the latest v15

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  • PeteCress

    “*Somewhat* confusing interface ?????

    I would call it a hopelessly-confusing interface.

    To wit:

    - You give a backup a name in Backup | Backup Name, but that name never gets shown anywhere else – like in the schedule

    - Backup | (click “Settings”) | Advanced Settings | Custom Commands | Command(s) to Run Before Backup only allows a single command, not multiple commands as implied by the name “Command(s)” and the navigation menu defaults to .exe every time… which is a PITA to say the least.

    - On the “Backup” tab, there is no “Save” button.

    - Schedule | Scheduled Jobs shows the same name for every job – and it’s different from the name assigned by the user in Backup | Backup Name

    I have been writing applications for 30 years, so it’s not like I’m easily confused – but NovaBackup has me in a state of bewilderment. It just *cannot* be this bad… so I am hoping that I am missing something.

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