You’re only ever one ransomware infection, theft or accident away from catastrophic data loss, so it’s always a good idea to back up your more valuable files to physical discs. CyberLink Power2Go 12 (opens in new tab) is a comprehensive burning and backup suite that contains everything you need to back up your most important files to physical media – whether they're videos, photos, music or any other kind of data.
CyberLink Power2Go's interface is clear (with just a couple of exceptions – more on those later) and well organized, so you’ll be at home instantly – even if you’ve never used dedicated burning software before.
Power2Go can burn to CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, with preset options for data, video, music and photo gallery discs, taking the guesswork out of choosing the right formatting options.
Selecting files to burn is a simple matter of dragging and dropping from one panel to another – much as you would with a traditional FTP client. You can browse your PC for files, perform searches, and apply filters to help track down specific file types within mixed folders. The ability to preview files before selecting them would be a welcome addition, but that's a minor quibble.
It also would be helpful to have full descriptions of some of the burning software's more technical settings(a new user might be unfamiliar with ‘buffer underrun protection’, for example), but the process is otherwise simple to configure.
Among the many options are the ability to add tags, auto-run a particular file, split content by disc capacity, and make multiple copies. Your settings will be saved as a Project, so you can return to them and make more copies later.
Security is also a consideration, with options to encrypt the entire disc or create a smaller password-protected area – a cost-effective option if only a few of the files you want to back up contain sensitive data.
Burning large files can take a long time, so there’s the option to shut down your PC automatically once the process has finished. Otherwise, the disc will be ejected once burning is complete.
Back up online videos
With CyberLink Power2Go, you can also back up data from online sources like YouTube, so you don’t lose them if you forget your login details, the service ever goes down, or your account is hacked. You can back up data to a writable disc, or your PC’s hard drive.
Before you begin, the software warns you to pay attention to YouTube’s terms of service before downloading and burning content. It’s only intended to make it easier to back up your own videos. You can also back up your videos from Facebook, Flickr or Vimeo.
Thumbnails make it easy to find the videos you want, as does the search bar at the top right (it's a little hard to notice at first, but functions just like YouTube's own built-in search).
Once you’ve found the video you want to save, simply drag it into the download area at the bottom of the interface. You can mix and match videos from different sources, and add as many as the capacity of your disc will allow.
When you’ve added all the videos to be burned, the process is much like making a disc from files on your PC, with a few important differences. You can set a ‘retry’ limit, which will attempt to re-download a video if the connection is interrupted, and choose the number of threads used to download the files.
Burning the disc might take a long time, depending on both the speed of your drive and your internet connection, but it’s extremely easy and an great way to back up your videos to physical media.
Backup and burning extras
CyberLink Power2Go also includes a set of other backup and burning tools, including an excellent disc copier. You could easily pay good money for this alone, and although it won't remove DRM from copy-protected discs, it's an extremely useful tool to have around.
Power2Go also offers a comprehensive media file converter, with preset profiles for mobile devices, and options for both video and audio files. Again, a premium tool like this could easily cost several dollars/pounds.
You can also erase a disc’s contents, make a recovery disc or USB stick (always a good idea in case you ever find yourself unable to boot to Windows), and save money by combining audio files and data backups on a single recordable disc.
The interface would benefit from being a little more self-explanatory in places, but CyberLink Power2Go is otherwise a brilliant backup and burning suite, and the price makes it extremely good value. An superb tool for protecting your most important files.