Horcrux Email Backup
By Suhas Tech
Open the Mac App Store to buy and download apps.
Horcrux lets you automatically backup your mails from any IMAP supported email accounts with great ease. The best part is, you have an option to restore the backed up emails to any other email account, retaining all your tags/folder hierarchy.
"Horcrux is handy since you don't actually have to think about it when it's running" - Lifehacker
Note: This is a background app, it resides on the Mac menu bar called "H". Click on that to get back to the preferences.
- Tested with iCloud, Gmail, Google Apps, Microsoft Exchange. It should work on most email accounts.
- Incremental backups
- Automated backups at multiple locations (server and local) using the Hooks functionality.
- Supports multiple email accounts
- Add the accounts, set the backup frequency and it'll unobtrusively backup emails in the background
- Native Email Browsing interface where you can undelete specific emails (in case of user error)
- Independent IMAP Server to Server migration utility
- Emails can be archived as a ZIP file making your data portable
- Clever restore process that'll skip already existing emails
- Stores emails in open format (.eml) which can be opened in clients like Apple Mail
- Can export emails in open format as .mbox
Please feel free to contact us in case of any problems https://thehorcrux.com/support
Note: Google and Microsoft are trademarks of their respective owners.
What's New in Version 2.5.1
* Health Manager that lets you verify the integrity of a snapshot and fix it if needed.
WARNING: DO NOT USE THIS APPLICATION
Updated for: Version 2.5.1
Original review: Version 2.4.1
We do not give this warning lightly, but we have spent a long time testing this application since we first noticed problems.
A backup application, especially one which runs automatically in the background, has to be robust - its very raison d’être is to be there when other things break. For example Time Machine is robust against computer sleep, network failures, etc.; and if a situation arises when it fails to make a backup it informs the user.
Unfortunately Horcrux Email Backup is not robust, it is UNRELIABLE AND SILENTLY FAILS.
Version 2.5.1 introduces a new "Health Check" Verify & Fix option as an “ambulance at the bottom of the cliff”. This system appears to be fundamentally flawed, incorrectly reports it has fixed issues, and can lock Horcrux into a cycle of failure.
== Version 2.4.1 Details ==
Horcrux can omit individual messages, complete mail folders, and even full accounts from a backup without any warning to the user - who will be blissfully unaware until they need the backup and find its not there.
It is not easy to determine if Horcrux is failing, you need to know exactly what is on your mail server to determine if it has all been backed up correctly. You might look at all the messages that have been backed up and assume it is working - it looks like it is after all - you might even manage a few test restores of particular messages, but this doesn’t tell you everything is there.
We were fortunate enough to be setting up Horcrux to backup a whole family’s email accounts, and running checks when we spotted a discrepancy. In the months that have followed built a test setup; with specially created email accounts, automatic scripts to send email from one account to another so we know exactly what is in each account, etc.; and have run many tests to verify Horcrux’s actions. We have worked with the publishers, Suhas Tech, receiving pre-release builds to test.
Sadly they have not yet been able to fix the problems, despite quite a few releases being made over this time. We cannot say why this is or if they will eventually be able to, but we are not hopeful this will happen anytime soon.
If you system never sleeps, the account running Horcrux never logs out, your network connection is 100% reliable 24/7, and your mail host never has outages, etc. then Horcrux *may* work for you.
If you live in the real world it probably will not.
== Version 2.5.1 Details ==
Suhas Tech have taken an "interesting" approach to addressing the unreliability of Horcrux, rather than address it they have provided a manual "Health Check" option which the user can use after-the-fact to check whether an automatic backup was successful, and if not Horcrux can be requested to "fix" the problems.
The first problem with this approach is quickly apparent, as Horcrux remains unreliable and silently fails, how does the user know to manually open Horcrux and run the health check in the first place?
One clue that something is wrong can be found when trying to find an old mail message. You open Horcrux, switch to Browse, scroll to find the message you are seeking, and then select "Show in Finder" – at this point an error occurs and you discover the Browse function lists what *should* be in the backup, not what *is* in the backup. Oops.
Having decided there might be a problem you quickly hit the second problem. You go to Health, select Verify, and the marker turns red to indicate a problem – no further indication as to what the problem actually is is provided, Horcrux does not favour giving the user messages. However knowing there is a problem you press "Fix", and a short while later the indicator goes green - all is apparently now well...
...but it isn't. You return to Browse, find the message that you wanted but which was missing, and try to "Show in Finder" again – it still fails! How can this be, Horcrux has verified the backup and says it is OK!
An example will show what has gone wrong:
• On Tuesday you receive an email, Horcrux runs, and silently fails to backup that message.
• On Wednesday you accidentally delete the message for your mail program, and hence your IMAP server.
• On Thursday you go looking for your message, find you've accidentally deleted it, but are not worried as Horcrux will have a copy... but then you find it silently failed, so you use Health Fix, and Horcrux tries to fixe it... which it does by asking your IMAP server for the now deleted message... which isn't there... which Horcrux silently ignores and shows the green OK indication.
This is when the fundamental design issue with Horcrux Health & Fix system becomes obvious, it relies on being able to turn back time, which unsurprisingly it cannot do.
But wait, there's more... :-(
Behind the scenes Horcrux seems to know its "fix" has failed. The next time Horcrux runs it silently tries to "fix" again, fails, and then gives up backing up the mail account until the next run...
...at which times it tries the fix again, fails, gives up...
While we cannot say it will do this forever, it did it as long as we tested for until we took action to stop it.
We stopped the cycle of failure by examining Horcurx’s internal files and doing a little editing – which is clearly not an operation any user should ever have to do. Destroying all the backups and resetting Horcrux should also work.
== Conclusion ==
Horcrux is still UNRELIABLE AND SILENTLY FAILS.
It’s new health check and fix appears to be fundamentally flawed. It may "work" - provided you are not attempting to recover deleted messages, but when it fails it can silently locks itself into a cycle which prevents the whole mail account from being backed up in future.
Zero Stars :-(