Phoenix Recover Pro 6 offers you a simple, one-button solution for backup and recovery of data on your PC. Windows XP users will, of course, be aware that Microsoft has already built in a degree of system recovery, along with the ability to create a recovery disk in case things go horribly wrong. What we were interested in here, therefore, was how much additional functionality Recover Pro 6 gives you over that already in XP.
You’ll find fairly standard backup and recovery options for restoring your system to a previous state if you encounter problems, similar to Microsoft’s System Restore tool. A File Backup facility allows you to choose a set of file extensions on your hard drive or within specific folders that are automatically backed up to a new version each time they are changed.
There’s also a complete backup option that backs up every file on your hard drive and that can later be used to create a recovery CD or DVD. All of these tools utilise a special ‘recovery space’ that is set up on your hard drive when the software is installed: you’ll need at least a few gigabytes free in order to set up and maintain this properly.
You’ve got a lot of control over how the backups are controlled and how this space is managed, though, choosing to erase older backups when capacity is reached and, of course, deciding about scheduling and frequency.
An additional tool in the collection is Phoenix Always. This software sets up a secure, tamper-resistant area of your system from which you can run Phoenix’s third-party recovery applications, allowing you to carry out system checks and troubleshooting or restoring to a previous backup of your system created with the main package.
You can also view and adjust network, Internet and firewall settings in case viruses or other malicious intrusions have made changes to the state of your network. You can connect to Phoenix support online through this as well, so you can retrieve additional help and updates without having to run your regular Windows operating system (whether or not it still works).
Overall you’re given plenty of control over the management of what can often be quite an intrusive and resource-hungry type of application. Aside from eating up a chunk of your hard drive upon initial install, the software works quietly in the background as it should, and certainly leaves you with peace of mind in the event of a disaster.
It’s a more sophisticated application than the average recovery suite and, seeing the very reasonable price and 30-day trial period, we were pleased it wasn’t overpriced.
However, everyday users who have a secure, firewall-protected PC and decent anti-virus software probably don’t encounter problems on a regular basis, so aside from the regular file backup tools, much of the functionality will probably – and hopefully – remain unused.