Three trends have dominated Mac Appdom in recent years. Malware, backups, the Mac App Store. There isn’t much malware on the streets to torment Mac users. But a little diligence is worthwhile.
Malware notwithstanding, backing up your Mac’s files may be the most important thing you can do. That’s why there are so many good, inexpensive Mac backup apps available.
Malware Tracker Maker, Meet Opportunity
Most of the noise about Mac malware (virus, worm, spyware, trojan horse, et al) seems to come from the people who make malware scanning and tracking software.
Rightly or wrongly, these app developers capitalize on a Mac user’s fears of catching a virus, succumbing to a trojan horse attack, or being the victim of spyware.
Mac malware may be on the rise, but growing faster are the number of Mac app maker opportunists.
Opportunists? That’s what it seems like when a Mac security app developer enters the crowded field of backup ups—with a me too backup app available only on the Mac App Store.
Backup and synchronization apps are not a dime a dozen, but it’s a crowded field with plenty of very good backup apps at competitive prices. Mac malware security app maker Intego’s Backup Express is the latest.
What? No Try Before You Buy?
The very best Mac backup apps (SuperDuper!, ChronoSync, Carbon Copy Cloner, Synk) allow you to sample their wares before committing to a long term relationship. The Mac App Store doesn’t allow for try before you buy.
Backup Express brings a healthy list of backup features to your Mac, all of which you can try—after you buy.
For example, as with the more popular and mature Mac backup apps, Intego’s entry does scheduled backups, full and incremental backups, excludes specific files or folders, and backs up to virtually every kind of storage volume you can attach to a Mac.
That includes external hard disk drives. Windows PCs. NFS, FTP, or SFTP servers, iDisks, iPods, disk images. And removable meida (CDs, DVDs, USB key drives, even Airport hard disks). It will automatically mount and dismount network volumes, and it runs in the background so you can stay busy while the backup goes about its business.
Even the recovery and restore options are winners.
Nice list, huh? There’s plenty to like with Backup Express, including the price (slightly less than our favorites, but not free). What’s not to like?
Call me suspicious, but it bothers me that a purveyor of Mac malware scanning and tracking apps is cashing in on the backup app trend and the Mac App Store shopping trend with a me too app that you can’t try before you buy.
So, in answer to my original title question, Why Try A Backup App From A Virus Security App Maker?, here’s a response from Victor Bishop of Intego:
Thanks for reviewing Backup Express! It’s always good for users to hear how important backing up really is. In fact, when customers call us, we stress that no Mac is secure without a backup plan, in fact in many cases we recommend it as a first step. (We’d recommend it for all, but, TimeMachine is a fantastic option for many of our customers.)
From a feature standpoint, your article was spot-on. However, I did want to point out some things about Intego and our products that you might find interesting, in light of some points you made.
Intego has been offering a best-of-class product called Personal Backup for many years. It used to sell in Apple Retail Stores, and, was marketed as a standalone product. It is currently bundled with LaCie hard drives. Personal Backup is still included in our Internet Security Barrier X6 suite, and, trusted by large enterprise customers.
Backup Express is a Mac App Store version of Personal Backup. The feature set is a bit different, as the App Store has some restrictions. So, I would have to disagree with you that it’s a “me-too”.
As to opportunistic – We probably are – in the sense that we try to make profit for our owners by selling an end-to-end suite of security software for the Mac. Intego develops only for the Macintosh and has been doing this for over 12 years.
Believe me – if opportunity was all we cared about – we’d have been developing for Windows, where there is a lot more opportunity on the security front. As an aside – the real opportunists in this scenario are the traditional Windows security vendors who have recently come to the Mac security marketplace with unMac-like products that don’t perform well.
As to no free sample – Yes. You are right. The Mac App Store doesn’t allow that at this time. However, we do offer free downloads of all our products (as mentioned earlier, Personal Backup is part of the Internet Security
Barrier X6 product suite).
As to your suspicions about a “malware scanning and tracking apps company cashing in on the backup trend”- We could just as easily be described as a” backup company cashing in on the security market”. Intego prides itself on providing a complete line of products aimed at protecting your computer and family.
Yes. We also offer a best-of-class Parental Controls and Filtering product to keep your family safe from the dangers of the internet. We also offer encryption and anti-spam products.
Sorry for the length of this – I just wanted to make sure you saw Intego in a true light. A longtime Mac-only developer. Our products all look like and function like Mac products should.
Thanks again for your article, and, feel free to contact us at any time.
That’s a superb response from an experienced and worthy Mac app developer. My snarky attitude stands corrected.