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 Review, WinBackup by LIUtilities
By: Robert Kropiewnicki, March 3, 2003  Print this article

When Johan at LIUtilities contacted us about reviewing their personal backup software, WinBackup, we were enthusiastic about the idea. The issues we had run into on our last review of a backup application had left us disappointed. Would this time be different?


There are four aspects of any utility application written for Windows that tend to catch my attention quickly. The first is the application's stability. As one would have rightfully noticed in my last review, I cannot endorse an application that crashes on me constantly, regardless of whether it crashes gracefully (close app, continue to work in Windows normally) or takes the operating system down as well (Blue Screen of Death). Utilities are supposed to assist me in the use of my computer, not have me curse the day I bought the thing.

The second aspect is the feature set. I do not expect a utility to perform every function imagineable. I expect it to perform the tasks I need it to do and be able to do them well. Missing features that would appear to be a no-brainer given the nature of the product hasten the onset of displeasure with the product.

The third aspect is the utility's ease of use. I have no problem reading the manual beforehand. Unless the utility is very similar to something I have used before, I expect there to be a slight learning curve while I learn how to use the program to do what I need it to do. However if, after reading the manual, I'm still not able to get the most basic functions completed by the time an hour has elapsed, I'm not a happy camper. It's supposed to be a utility, not a programming environment.

Finally, there is programming bloat. While I like utilities to have a nice feature set, I also like them to be focused on the task at hand. Adding a whole list of features that are on the periphery, at best, of the core function of the utility will not win points in my book. I don't like these kinds of programs to be huge resource hogging monsters, nor should they embed themselves so far into my operating system that one needs a cross between a neuro-surgeon and a network admin to remove them. If the utility fails to perform its primary task well, this final aspect is doubly damning.

In our prior review of a backup utility, Stomp's Backup MyPC, the program in question passed all of my qualifications with the exception of the first. Now our attention is turned to WinBackup by LIUtilities. Will it pass muster as a useful tool in the PC user's arsenal or will it be relegated to the list of those programs with unrealized potential? Let's start out by taking a look at the feature list and system requirements.

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