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Use and Don't Lose Your Cell Phone Data

Conclusions: Are You Up-to-date?

Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, Microsoft and Apple use proprietary data synchronization solutions. All of the data transfer and synchronization solutions for cell phones and mobile devices we tested worked well. Every solution allows synchronization of calendar and phone book entries with Outlook or Outlook Express. Some offer more options than others, and you have to be prepared for occasional problems.

You have to select a suitable connection first. Bluetooth offers the best flexibility and is supported by almost every phone model available today. Because of its rather slow performance, we recommend Bluetooth for data synchronization, but not for transferring large amounts of data. Connecting the phone to a computer via cable is an option as long as the phone manufacturers supply the appropriate cable. We advise against buying the cable separately - spending the money on a Bluetooth stick for USB is a much better investment.

Synchronization of calendar events and phone book entries generally worked smoothly. However, no solution supports revisioning. If you synchronize multiple phones you might overwrite a new phone book entry with an outdated one.

We suggest you backup your cell phone data at least once a quarter - or more frequently, depending on how often you modify your phone book and calendar. You might even want to burn the backup to a CD or DVD according to the importance of the data. Backups take 15 to 30 minutes, which is reasonable considering that you are protecting data in your phone against failure or loss.

Don't forget to turn off the Bluetooth function after you finish the synch process. Besides saving battery power, this is the best way of preventing others from wirelessly grabbing your personal data.