The main benefit of CMS BounceBack Ultimate is its utter simplicity. We tested a solution that comprises an external USB hard drive with the CMS BounceBack Ultimate backup software already installed. It makes protecting your most valuable data a cinch.

On installing the CMS BounceBack Ultimate software on the PC and pointing it at the correct storage destination, you're prompted to create a full system backup. An initial 15GB total PC backup took only 28 minutes on our relatively clean and lightly used system, and we were even using the machine as it worked.

CMS BounceBack Ultimate isn't disk-imaging software - it simply grabs every file on your machine and dumps it on to your chosen backup drive. This means that you can access backed up files on any PC. It also means that you don't have to decide what to back up, or stop using your PC alone while it's being backed up. This is great, of course, but it does mean that you'll have some pretty hefty backups.

CMS BounceBack Ultimate also produces a bootable disk, so if the worst happens you can boot straight back into your system from any Windows PC. Again, a massive plus point, this time with two caveats. Number one: you can't transfer your bootable backup from one USB drive to another. Secondly, CMS BounceBack Ultimate uses 256-bit AES encryption, so you'll need CMS BounceBack Ultimate installed on any machine that you use to restore a backup. Keep your software key handy.

The CMS BounceBack Ultimate software's interface is about as simple as simple can be. Whether its big, cartoon-like buttons aesthetically please you is really a matter of taste.

After your first backup you can set it up to do regular incremental backups, or use the 'CDP' mode. Continuous Data Protection works as an on-the-fly backup that you can set up to update every minute, should you wish.

Such activity would, you'd think, kill your machine's running speed, but CMS BounceBack Ultimate uses hardware throttling to keep things running. In our informal tests we didn't notice any system slowdown.

OUR VERDICT

CMS BounceBack Ultimate is simplicity itself, and does a find job of backing up entire systems. As a consequence it is easy to recommend. But it's not a cheap solution, and you'll end up with some pretty hefty backup files.