|At a Glance|
|Product||Clickfree C2N Home Backup (227NCR-1004-100)|
|Summary||Easy to use home backup system with network capability|
|Pros||• Simple software
• Supports Windows and Mac OS
• Can back up to DVD or CD
|Cons||• Weak security when backing up
• Much slower on Mac OS than Windows
• Not reliable for Mac OS
Clickfree's mission is to provide dead-simple automatic backup for folks who don't have the time or inclination to hassle with installing and configuring backup software. We previously looked at Clickfree's Transformer, which turns any USB drive into an automatic backup solution. This time I'm looking at the C2N. It builds upon Clickfree's previous product base and adds the ability to back up both Windows and Mac OS clients by either direct or network connection.
The Clickfree C2N is an external USB hard drive, physically identical to Clickfree's C2 product, backup software and a base, or cradle as Clickfree calls it. There are three different versions of the C2N, with 250, 320 and 500 GB capacities. Clickfree's website says the C2N comes in storage capacities of 250GB to 1TB. But the website lists pricing for only the capacities listed above. Clickfree sent the 250 GB version for review.
If you prefer to provide your own storage, you can get the C2N's feature set in the Clickfree Transformer, Network Edition.
The product includes just two components; the hard drive and the cradle. There is no power supply or power cable, since the device is powered via the computer’s USB port. The hard drive is in a shiny black plastic case with an indicator light on the front, shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: The drive
The hard drive measures approximately 3” wide by 4.6” high by .75” deep. With the hard drive placed in the matching shiny black cradle, the whole device measures approximately 5.25” high.
The cradle provides a nice vertical stand for the hard drive and comes with a longer USB cable with two USB connectors. The second USB connector is used only if your PC can't supply enough power to the drive via one port.
On the back of the hard drive is a short USB cable that fits neatly in a slot on its case, as shown in Figure 2 below.
Figure 2: Drive showing USB cable
This short cable made it awkward to directly attach the drive for backup. Using that cable with a horizontal USB slot on a laptop, as shown in Figure 3, leaves the hard drive leaning precariously against the cable, instead of flat. It works, but doesn't seem well thought out. You'll have an even more risky attachment backing up a desktop machine if the USB ports aren't close to its base.
Figure 3: Awkward connection
On the other hand, the cradle works well. It provides a convenient stand for the hard drive and makes it easy to monitor the hard drive activity indicator light while files are being copied. I used the C2N in the cradle for my tests and preferred it to the naked drive.