PROS / Its data compression abilities were among the best in our tests.
CONS / The ease of use is very poor for both the backup and restore processes.
VERDICT / StorageCraft ShadowProtect is mostly used by IT managers, which is clear in the design – it offers a lot of control but little context to the control.
StorageCraft’s ShadowProtect is a data backup app that comes in many versions, though most are aimed at IT professionals. We reviewed the desktop version, which is the one a basic consumer with a home computer would use. While this app has a lot of very advanced features, it lacks the ease of use and speed the average consumer needs.
We tested each data backup app in our review on the same computer, using the same data. During the backup tests, we evaluated the ease of use while we recorded the backup speed, compression and CPU usage. We did the same for the restore process and then compared and graded the results.
ShadowProtect’s biggest fault is its ease of use, which received a D-plus grade. As soon as you launch the app, it’s easy to see that the interface is not designed with a novice user in mind. The homepage is loaded with features that most users would never dream of using. The backup process has more steps than that of any other software in our review, and most of the steps have many options and settings that only make it more difficult for a novice user to navigate. As such, this app is clearly not recommended for someone who doesn’t have a lot of technical knowledge.
Another downside is the backup speed, which also received a D-plus. This was the slowest app in our tests. Part of the problem is that you can’t back up single files or individual folders – you can only back up full volumes, partitions and disks.
On a positive note, ShadowProtect’s compression was excellent, receiving an A-minus with a total compression percentage of 6 percent. Most of the other apps we tested compressed the same data by less than 1 percent. This means that this app saves a lot more storage space on the backend; for example, 6 percent of 1TB is 60GB. Of course, some files are more compressible than others, so you could experience even better compression based on the files you back up.
Like the backup process, the ease of use and speed for the restore process were below average. It was easier to restore a backup image than it was to create the backup image, but the process was still among the most difficult in our tests. Again, this app is not designed for novice users, so this is not surprising. The restore speed was the slowest in our tests.
ShadowProtect has a lot of advanced features and gives you fine control over how your data is backed up, but it’s also missing some key backup features. The app doesn’t integrate with cloud backup. It also only has one encryption option, though the app doesn’t tell you its level of encryption.
StorageCraft’s ShadowProtect is a data backup app designed for the IT professional and not the basic home computer user. Even the desktop version of the app requires a high level of technical aptitude to navigate effectively. The backup and restore speeds were among the slowest in our tests, but the compression rate was excellent. If you’re a technical user, you’ll appreciate the control this app provides. Otherwise, there are much easier data backup apps available.