Testing Out Windows Live OneCare

windows live onecare logo

Windows Live OneCare is a useful tool to help you easily manage your computers and your home network, covering virus scanning, spyware protection, performance tune-ups, automatic printer sharing, and most importantly, a centralized backup and restore function. It’s all part of a single package, too, to minimize hassle.

Key Features

Key features promised by Windows Live OneCare:

  • Enhanced security.
  • Virus protection.
  • Photo backup.
Rating: [starreview tpl=16]


  • Could encourage computer users to start keeping backups.
  • Basic software is free.


  • Very expensive for limited backup space.
  • Default settings don’t include remote backup.


  • www.Microsoft.com


Here is my full evaluation and review…

While all the functions are useful, we’re going to focus this review on the file backup capabilities.

OneCare offers a centralized backup function, which basically means you can backup files from your computers to a specific location, automatically. When you first install OneCare and run the backup, it will make a complete backup of every file and folder you have. Then it will periodically scan your computers for new or updated files and backup those files.

All you have to do is choose the backup location (which will most likely be a secondary internal hard drive, or an external hard drive,) choose the types of files to backup, and then schedule it. A secondary hard drive for backup purposes would be ideal, but you can also backup to CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, or even an Apple iPod, if you prefer.

Then, if you ever accidentally delete a file, or if your primary hard drive fails, you can restore from the backup copy. Restoration is easy on any computer, as long as it is running OneCare.

The problem you will run into, though, is that the backups are still stored on-site. If your computers get destroyed in a fire or flood, chances are the backup drive will be destroyed, too.

To combat this problem, OneCare offers an online photo backup service to go along with OneCare… except that it costs an additional $50. Worse yet, that $50 fee (for the year) only gets you 10 GB of online storage.


Final Decision on Windows Live OneCare

What I liked about Windows Live OneCare:
Cool all-in-one package.

What I did not like about Windows Live OneCare:
It has been shut down.

[starreview tpl=16]  
Windows Live OneCare Review Wrap-Up:
Overall rating: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by: Paul Ryan
Date of original review: February 8, 2007
Date last updated: November 1, 2011


Personally, solely for backup purposes, I’d just take the free 5 GB SkyDrive and then pay for a true, automated remote backup service like Carbonite or Mozy. (OneCare, with the online photo backup, comes to a whopping $99.95 per year with a mere 10 GB of online storage! That is way overpriced!)

However, keep in mind that this is more of a home computer network management package with anti-virus protection and more. If that’s what you want, this is worth a shot. You can try it free for 90 days with no obligation, so you can’t really go wrong. (Just don’t waste the extra $50 on the online backup!)

A word from Microsoft:

As of October 2009, Windows Live OneCare sales were discontinued worldwide. Product support ended on April 11, 2011, and billing support ended on or before June 30, 2011, depending on individual subscription end dates.

Looks like you will have to choose something different!

Official website: www.Microsoft.com


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