rebit Backup Software

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Ever have a hard drive die on you and you lose all of your data? If you haven’t then good for you, but I’m sure many of you out there have had catastrophe strike at least once, if not more than once. I’ve had it happen three time to me so far over the years, the first time was the worst, I lost all of my data that wasn’t backed up, about a months worth of work. The next time it happened I was of course doing backups, but not as frequently as I should, I still lost of bit but was able to recover everything using software to recover about 99% of the files. This last time was actually about two weeks ago, but it wasn’t bad, just a corrupt master boot table which left the drive unfixable and unbootable, but still accessible, so once I installed my OS on another drive I just pulled my stuff from it. Still though it’s a real pain as I’m actually still in process of reinstalling everything, a little over 400 gigs of games and programs, not fun at all.

Today I’ve got a little piece of software for review that could pretty much save your life, or at least save you a ton of hassles with your PC, it’s called rebit, and it’s a backup software that runs automatically and in the background all of the time backing up your system. So it’s backup software, but it’s more than that, it’s also for complete system restore if your hard drive truly dies. One thing nice about rebit is that after you install it you never have to bother with it, it works automatically, behind the scenes backing up your system, the only thing you have to do is make sure the external hard drive is plugged in really.

Sp read on to check it out, it’s a short, but sweet review…

There’s not much to look at for the packaging,. standard jewel case with disc and insert, there are two inserts actually, one for installation and one for recovery, and your product key is there as well.

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Specifications:

rebit Backup Software

Simple and Complete
Rebit is a simple and complete USB hard drive backup device that sits on your desk, right next to your computer. Just plug it in. That’s it. There’s no installation, no setup, no configuration. You do nothing. Backups are automatic and continuous.

Rebit transparently provides file-level continuous data protection (CDP). Whenever you change a file or create a new one, Rebit backs it up. With a friendly frog in your tool tray, Rebit protects your whole computer, not just your data.

Automatic Backups
A Rebit external backup device saves everything automatically, including all your data (files, photos, music, movies, e-mail), Windows operating system, software applications, drivers, passwords, bookmarks, preferences — everything you need for fast, full system recovery.

There’s nothing to remember, nothing to learn, and nothing to check on every day.

No set-upwizards, no application configurations, and no backup management, justplug it in, Rebit takes over from there. Forever. It’s integrated with Windows, so finding backup files is as simple as using Windows Explorer and recovering them is as easy as drag-and-drop. Rebit is always on, never fills up and provides easy access to your backup files.

Rapid Recovery
If an unwelcomed event occurs, a file, folder, or your entire computer can be recovered quickly because you don’t need to figure out backup dates, or find your software CDs or license keys. You also don’t need to reconstruct every other part of your computer if a disk crashes (passwords, drivers, bookmarks, settings –.this list never ends).

If PC backup were simple, you’d be doing it, right? With Rebit, backup is not only ridiculously simple, it’s automatic, and you get complete protection.

Rebit Software CD
The Rebit Software CD is "ridiculously simple backup" for your Windows XP or Windows Vista computer. Backs up 1 computer onto your existing external USB hard drive. Connect the hard drive, insert the CD, and follow the on-screen prompts to prepare the hard drive, install the software, and begin the backup process. While the hard drive remains connected, the computer is continually backed up.

Rebit Software CD Specifications

* CD-ROM disk drive
* 300 MB available hard disk space
* An available USB 2.0 port
* A customer-supplied external USB 2.0 hard disk drive of equal or greater capacity than the internal system hard disk drives
* Compatible with 32-bit or 64-bit Windows XP and XP Pro (Service Pack 2 or Service Pack 3), and 32-bit or 64-bit Windows Vista (Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, and Ultimate)


What I got for review is the software only, it retails for $49.95, but rebit has bundles available with a hard drive, my version is you basically supply your own hard drive, and those prices vary depending on the capacity.

I originally intended to review this software on my main PC and use it as my backup solution, but I found out that it is not compatible with Vista X64…

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BUT it now is, they’ve recently updated the software so it truly works on all versions now, good for you, too bad for me.

So I installed it on my laptop running Windows XP Pro 32bit, pop the disc in and you’re greeted with the Welcome screen.

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My laptop only has a 30 gig hard drive in it, rebit recommends you use an external hard equal to or greater than your hard drive, the only one I had on hand was a 160GB, so I think that’s fine. When you click next on the Welcome screen you’ll need to pick which drive will be the rebit drive, there’s only one in the following screenshot, but if you’ve got several drives more will show up there.

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When you click next rebit will check to make sure the drive is empty, if it isn’t you can copy the files over to save them.

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Once the copying is done, the installation will finish, and then you’ll see a final screen asking you if you want to use the rebit drive with this computer, silly rabbit of course we do.

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If you click My Computer you’ll see the rebit drive listed there with it’s little frog icon.

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rebit puts an icon in your taskbar that can be right clicked to pull up the menu, here you can get status, activate the software, disconnect the drive and open it. I couldn’t get them in screen capture but there are transparent windows that will appear as rebit is working.

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Clicking on Help opens up a nice manual for you, pretty much covers everything.

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There is one other thing I need to mention here, when you first start rebit it runs a complete backup of your system that can take a very long time to complete, not a big deal I guess, but just thought I needed mentioning.

rebit is very much different that most other backup software out there in that it does all the work for you really, other software requires user interaction to initiate the backup, rebit does it for you, all of the time, so your system is backed up to the most current configuration and files you have on there.

The only small gripe I could have is that it only backs up your main drive, and no others in your system, I’m sure this is fine for the average user though, but for those of us that have a few HDDs in our computers, it might not be enough of a backup solution. rebit is well suited and more aimed at those who aren’t very tech savvy,  but it can be of use to the enthusiast as well.

Since the rebit acts also like a restore disc it’s very nice, but if your operating system gets all messed up, then it’s kind of pointless to restore it back to that isn’t it? I mean what’s the point of restoring a bad operating system to only be greeted with the same problems again?

Ok, so I’ve got another gripe about this software, you can’t actually access what’s on the disc without rebit. I mean when I open the rebit drive to explore it, there’s nothing there but the rebit autostart program. What I mean is, what if I wanted to transfer some of the work to another computer, I can’t use rebit as a portable storage device, it only works with rebit, so yes it’s nice and no it isn’t.

I manually back up everything on a weekly basis to external hard drives, and if need be I can take one of those hard drives and access it to do whatever, with rebit I can’t do that. With my backups, what I primarily do is have two drives, a backup of my backup if you will, but I do that for a reason. Since my main drive in only 500 gigs it can only hold so much and I transfer my old files and new ones over for the backup, but then delete the files from my main drive I no longer need, like finished review pictures and movies for example, but they’re still on both of the other drives, if I need too I can just go back and grab them from one of the external drives, my question would be does rebit delete the deleted files as well? The answer would be yes, your backup on rebit is a backup of your current hard drive, or the state of it, personally I wouldn’t just use rebit as my backup device, but it can be useful of course.


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Conclusion:
rebit is a great little piece of software that can be invaluable especially for those out there that aren’t exactly technically inclined, even then though it can also be useful for most other people as well since it works as a complete backup and system restore.

The problems I mentioned are my own gripes, some might agree with me and some might not, as is though, rebit is not a bad product, it just lacks a few things that I’d prefer to see and be able to do.

9

Pros:
Inexpensive for what it can provide
Easy to install
Provides full restore as well
Works automatically

Cons:
Not exactly a complete and comprehensive solution

Grades:  
Overall score-9-10
Design score-9-10
Performance score-9-10
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  • David Bisciotti

    I agree with all of your review with the exception of two points.
    1. They offer a bootable image that will allow you restore your system in the event your operating system gets messed up. You can pick a recovery point that was a point in time before the problem occurred.
    2. You can access what’s on the REBIT disk without REBIT. If you plug it into another system it will come up as any other external drive would and you can choose the files via explorer.

    I am a big fan of Apple’s Time Machine and this is the closest Windows product I have seen…

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  • http://www.rebit.com Norton Ewart

    Hi Kristofer,

    Thanks for the comprehensive review of our product. We agree with you – for those users wanting an easy to use, yet fully-protective, backup solution, Rebit is the best solution.

    A couple of points you’ve made aren’t technically accurate, so I hope you don’t mind if I state the company position on them:

    1. “The only small gripe I could have is that it only backs up your main drive, and no others in your system”

    Actually, if you right click on the the task bar icon, you’ll see the menu option More>Select Drives to Backup. This will allow you to include/exclude other internal/external drives you have on the machine.

    2. “Since the rebit acts also like a restore disc it’s very nice, but if your operating system gets all messed up, then it’s kind of pointless to restore it back to that isn’t it? I mean what’s the point of restoring a bad operating system to only be greeted with the same problems again? ”

    Actually, Rebit will create new restore points frequently, and should you need to restore to a point earlier than when you first notice a problem, that’s easy to do.

    3. “Ok, so I’ve got another gripe about this software, you can’t actually access what’s on the disc without rebit.”

    The disk is loaded wiht a guest client which allows one to browse and retrieve files from it to any other compatible computer (Windows based). It’s perfectly suited for migrating files to another machine.

    Thanks again for your great write -up – if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our great customer service team at support@rebit.com

    Kind Regards,

    Norton Ewart
    Product Line Manager
    Rebit, Inc.

  • harry fahlbusch

    Actually there are a few points glossed over. This product is slow and stupid.
    If you are an end user that has no idea of what a backup is, you have one and only one computer and you keep the backup drive connected to the computer – then this is an OK product (at best).
    If you use this to back up multiple computers every once in a while then this is a poor, poor product. It is very, very slow – did i say slow? How slow, let me tell you.
    On my one system – 250G drive with approx 130G used – less than 5% updated per quarter (3 months). First backup: ok you can expect that the first one takes a little longer but it took 2+ days (that’s right days). – seems to be rather consistent, other laptops 60G and 80G drives each took over a day. I back up this computer every 2 months (we’ll get into the notifications later) and using this product, I start the backup prior to heading off sleep, next morning (40% complete) I head off to work and by the time I get back from work the backup is finally complete. If I need to insure that I have updated, offsite copies of files – I simply use win merge on my network drive (wireless) and sync – it is much, much, much faster (ok – I don’t get the system updated, but I need the files) in say an hour (wireless as opposed to USB connected).
    And besides being slow the software is annoying. It appears that every time you boot it expects that the backup drive is attached otherwise it tells you. Then after a few days it will notify you that ‘you haven’t backed up your computer since’ – well guess what I know that. Then after 30 days or so, you get the ‘your software has not been activated’ message.
    And you will notice a difference when the software (just the software – not the backup drive) is loaded on your computer. Well my wife did. I loaded a copy on my wife’s computer and backed up her system while she was away for the weekend (one of the systems above). When she came back – ‘why is my system running so slow?’. I removed rebit, ‘It’s better now. What did you do?’. (didn’t tell her I removed the software). Two weeks later – I reinstalled the rebit and backed up her system. Next day – ‘My system is slow again!”. I removed rebit, have never reinstalled on her computer and have not gotten the ‘My system is slow’.
    Bottom Line: I know when I need to backup my systems, I know when I need to rotate my offsite backups, I know how long it should take to backup my data and in such a case, this product is a failure.
    If (and only if) you are a complete novice and you keep a backup drive connected to your computer, then this might be an OK product.

  • Real product

    Really? Yet another fly by night company that I’m going to trust my software with? Not going to happen. Get a real backup program from a real company, all anti-virus support this exact thing today. It comes free with Microsoft’s new backup software and Home Server is this time 100. Don’t trust your documents to some one off company.

  • Hal

    Like nearly all other Rebit reviews, yous seems to primarily repeat Rebits advertised capabilities. Have you actually gone through a restoration? When I attempted one following a virus, an error message came up saying there was a problem and to contact Rebit tech support – after it had deleted my XP and other programs and files. Rebit tech support admitted that they had a “bug in their software” and were working on a fix. About 2 weeks later they updated my software using remote access, but nothing has been the same since. Weird setting changes, slower internet, email client defaults to Outlook rather than Earthlink (that neither Earthlink or Rebit has been able to fix) – and more. Now after 3 months of back and forth with tech support, I’m finally breaking off contact and will take the computer to a shop and hopefully get the problems fixed – and shop for another product. In my most recent exchange with Rebit tech support, the person admitted that she had just replaced her Rebit with another brand so my guess is that Rebit is experiencing many problems with their drive that have so far gone unreported.

  • David

    Hi
    I am backing up my computer while I am typing this review. I have a 80GB hard drive
    and 35GB used. I started the backup in 9:30AM, now it 11:39AM, for more than two hours, it looks like only about 10% of the job finished and my computer is extreamly slow down which I never expirenced before…….. since it projects more than 20 hours to get the job done, I will stop right here. I will uninstall this Rebit and return it. I will find some real backup software in the market.

  • DAVID

    Which is best for totally cloning a bootable Hard drive. Ribit or Ghost 15?

    My hd in my HP is starting to make noises, knowing from past exp. it will not be long before it crashes.

    David
    Savannah

  • David

    How does this software compare to Ghost 15?

    David
    Savannah

  • JohnnyBoyClub

    I don’t see Dmailer http://www.dmailer.com/dmailer-backup.html because is a pretty good software that is intereseting and easy to use :| , i don’t how this compare with other backup software because it laks of features

  • Sue

    I loved the idea of Rebit but the experience of using it has turned out to be very problematic. That would be okay if Rebit’s Tech Support was responsive but they’re not. Rebit had a conflict with Windows Explorer that was so bad, I couldn’t use either one with Rebit installed.

    My first phone call to support had me talking to someone that sent me a software upgrade. That didn’t handle the problem however. Subsequent emails would take days before I got an answer and the fixes suggested didn’t help.

    Then I got an email requesting a phone call so the Customer Support Manager could remotely access my computer to figure out what the problem was. That sounded good but he didn’t keep the appointment. We rescheduled for a week later and he didn’t keep that appointment either.

    I emailed one more time, asking if someone else in the Support dept. could help me but got no reply.

    Needless to say, I won’t be using Rebit and will recommend that others stay away from it.

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  • EricE

    I have the Segate Replica, which uses the Rebit software and it works flawlessly. Yes, the first backup takes a while – but just about any backup program, especially when backing up from a slow laptop hard drive to an external USB hard drive, is going to be pokey. I would start the backup either when I knew I wasn’t going to use the comptuer or before I went to bed. It took a couple of days to backup 300GB or so – a little longer than doing a file copy but not onerously so. Windows Home Server took about the same amount of time to do the initial backup and impacted the system in about the same way (i.e. I would only want to do the initial backup when I’m not using the machine).

    As for the comment about Rebit being a fly by night company and probably not around, I doubt Seagate would have sourced their software if they thought Rebit wasn’t going to be around. And if push comes to shove, someone like Seagate could just buy them :)

    I occasinally notice the Seagate Replica (with the Rebit software) updating the backup, but not that often. If I know I am going to be doing some intense work that I don’t want the backup software to interfere with, all I have to do safely disconnect it. Done – that stops the backups but leaves the drive physically connected to the USB. The next time I reboot or wake from sleep it will automatically re-attach (that’s a Windows USB thing, nothing special to Rebit) and my backups resume.

    Unlike Windows Home Server that backs up one a day, I like having the continuous snapshots of my data. Since Rebit appears to utilized Microsof’ts Windows Volume Snapshot Service (VSS) the incremental backups are tiny. I have a years worth of constant snapshots of my files – and it has been *extremly* handy to go back and pick a prvious version of a file before I relized I did something that I needed to get back. If I had been doing traditional daily backups I would not have had the capability to do that.

    If you have more than one comptuer to back up, Windows Home Server is a no-brainer. You can get the HP Media Smart boxes on sale for under $400 on a routine basis, and the next version of WHS will allow you to do more frequent snapshot backups for people like me who want and need that level of protection. Windows Home Server also does data de-duplication the first time a file from one of your computers gets backed up, if a second has it the second computers backup just references the file that is already there. That can translate into huge savings when you have multiple computers with the same program files, operating system files, media files, etc.

    However, if you have one or two computers to protect, Rebit works as advertised and it’s very cost effective. I use it for my work laptop since my company doesn’t have a formal backup plan for desktops (or laptops) and I’m hardly in the offfice to use the file server.

    And yes, have restored. Individual files are as easy as going into Windows Explorer and dragging them out to where you want them. I had an extra laptop hard drive so I swapped it into my laptop removing my system disk, booted off of the provided CD and restored – and it worked flawlessly. The only complaint I have with Rebit is as others pointed out, it will occasionally slow the system – but like I said I just do a safe disconnect and then re-enable it later if it gets to be too bothersome. It does seem to have much less of an impact over time – I hardly ever notice mine now, but for the first few weeks I agree it can be aggrevating. It’s probably the products only real weakness and I don’t know if there is much they can do to fix it with backup being so disk IO intensive and hard drives being, by far, the slowest thing in modern computers. For the protection it provides, I’ll happily be inconvenienced a little now and then. If you ever loose important data from a lack of a backup, you’ll be willing to be a little inconvenienced too! Unfortuantly most people havn’t had the “pleasure” of data loss, and the “Oh, that can’t happen to me” or “I’ll do a backup tomorrow” rationalization is a strong one. You don’t learn about the fallicy of those until it’s too late :( That’s why something like this is so perfect (and why Apple built it into Mac OS X in the form of Time Machine).

    They have a NAS version – I may have to try that out so that when I am on my laptop wirelessly (which is most of the time) my machine will still back up. I use Time Machine on my Mac laptops wirelessly and I love it since I never have to think about backing my laptops up.

    Finally, I never understand the comments about wanting to also be able to use it as a storage drive. It’s an integrated backup solution. Disk is cheap. Just dedicate an external hard drive to the thing and move on! Sheesh… As for all the other comments about other backup solutions from Ghost to whatever – none of them are as hands off and automated as Rebit. And if it’s not easy guess what – human nature will take over and before you know it you won’t be backing up. That’s the biggest value of solutions like Rebit and Windows Home Server – you don’t have to do anything and they just work!

    Just like the best camera is the one you have with you, the best backup is the one you actually have :)

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