The Clickfree Traveler: The backup device that's the size of a credit card


This is probably the easiest review I’ve ever had to write. It’s about the Clickfree Traveler, an automated backup solution that works with both Windows and Mac; it’s the size of a credit card, as the video here tries to show! (Presumably Linux folk have all written, in raw machine code, their own backup applications.) Literally, you plug it into the USB port of your computer, a small window pops up with a countdown timer, and then it automatically backs up your home directory—/users/ndeleon/ in my case. Provided there’s enough space on the Traveler for your data, it’s all over in a matter of seconds. It’s pretty darn painless.

And what if you don’t have enough space on the Traveler? Well, a little window pops up that says there’s not enough free space on the device. Fair enough, soldier, just go into the options tab of said window and tell it which directory you want it to backup. Maybe you don’t want the entire home directory backed up, or you only want all MP3s (Music) and PDFs (Office Docs) backed up. Then you’d select those categories and off you go. It’s all right there in plain English. Pretty painless, I must say.

Let’s see… limitations… well, it only backups your data when you tell it to. That is, there’s no scheduled backups or anything, no “backup files at midnight every night” kind of thing.

The Traveler is also designed for frequent travelers or businessmen—people whose 401(k) has evaporated in recent months—so you may need more than the 16GB the Traveler provides if you plan on using it for your never-goes-anywhere desktop or whatever. In that case, you might want to spring for the bigger versions: either 32GB or 64GB.

Also, Mac-wise, it requires an Intel-based machine and Leopard, so those of you clinging to Tiger or earlier, or to a PPC-based Mac, are out of luck.

I don’t know, the Traveler did exactly what Clickfree’s snazzy back-of-the-box wording said it would. Plug her in, and a few seconds later your data is backed up. There’s no software to install, and it’ll fit right there in your wallet.

Consider me pleasantly surprised. (You have no idea how I enjoy writing, “Well, this item was a pain-in-the-ass to use.) For $79 (for the 16GB model), not too shabby.