- Full disk image backups
- 30-day free trial
- Bult-in anti-ramsoware
- End-to-end encryption
- Multilingual customer support
- Yearly subscriptions only
- Expensive extra cloud space
- Intel-based Macs not supported
Acronis True Image software was developed to recover, restore, and protect critical data from disasters. Its wide array of file backup, sharing, syncing, and recovery options is one of the most comprehensive on the market. Acronis rounds off its package with a unique set of features, such as Try & Decide, dual protection, incremental and differential backups, continuous PC backup, automatic file sync, and free online storage, just to name a few. All of this is available with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and for extra peace of mind there is a 30-day free trial to take advantage of for testing out the various unique features of this software suite. If you decide not to take Acronis up on its offer, it provides 30 days to recover data stored on the cloud.
Acronis True Image was initially built as software for making local backups. But with the advent of cloud storage, the company introduced the option to store backups to a secured cloud storage space using Acronis Cloud. It's possible to back up files automatically, on schedule, or remotely to any storage device, including external drives, NAS, or the Cloud.
Multiple sources can be backed up: an entire PC, external drives, partitions, specific files and folders, mobile devices, and Office 365. Backing up a PC creates a full disk image, including the operating system and settings. This way, users can restore an entire system to a freshly installed computer and start working right away without the need to spend time configuring the device. Furthermore, backing up and restoring dynamic volumes onto hard disks or Windows Dynamic Disks are also possibilities.
Acronis allows you to set up either incremental or differential backups, which capture the latest changes that occurred since the last backup, instead of loading a backup from zero. The difference between the two is that the former archives older versions for faster backups, while the latter does not.
All critical backed-up files are stored in the online data center for immediate access. This way it's possible to restore files at any time using a preview feature in Time Explorer. Users can set the number of files' versions and choose which one to restore.
Although Acronis True Image is a backup service, there are various extra features that put it on another level. The synchronization feature enables users to sync all computers with Acronis installed, or to any device by using the power of the cloud. Still using Acronis Cloud, users can also share files by creating public links that can be shared all over the internet.
Another neat feature is Try & Decide, which is easily accessed through the tools tab. It lets users preview software before installing it on the computer. This way, it's possible to prevent the installation of malicious software that could harm the security of the machine.
Acronis uses end-to-end encryption, whether it's on-site, in transit, or in the cloud. It applies AES-256 encryption to prevent anyone from accessing your files – even Acronis itself. Users can also add their own password. Of course, encryption doesn't help if the Wi-Fi is compromised, which is why Acronis lets you choose specific networks to back up your files.
Another thing that encryption does not protect computers from is ransomware. However, Acronis offers an integrated anti-ransomware solution that uses machine learning-based technology which detects and stops ransomware while automatically reversing its effects.
Backed-up data is split among numerous servers to make data loss nearly impossible. Those servers are located in data centers that have armed guards, 24/7 video surveillance, biometric access, etc.
Devices and Operating Systems
At its core, Acronis is a Windows-only backup service. It works on Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, and Windows Home Server 2011. However, Mac OS and Linux users can back up their systems through a sector-by-sector approach, although these backups may become unbootable after recovery. It also can be used with hard disk drives, Network Attached Storage (NAS), and FTP servers, just to name a few.
When it comes to mobile, Acronis True Image also provides free apps for both iOS and Android. It's possible to sync, share, and backup multiple files at once. Users can also use the PhotoSync feature to sync files from the gallery or camera roll automatically to their other devices and to the Acronis Cloud. Files pinned or added to favorites can be accessed offline as well.
Ease of Use
Acronis True Image's desktop client is available instantly as a free download when you sign up for a free trial account. Users need to provide an email address and password, which is then used for logging into the website. There, it's possible to download the program. The exe file is around 600MB, so it may take a few minutes to download.
Unlike some of its competitors, Acronis don't start the first backup right when it's installed. Instead, users are encouraged to go through the settings first, and then they can start backing up their files. One configuration setting that needs special attention is performance. Although we didn't experience any problems, users with a slower internet connection or an older computer can throttle upload speed or change how the app runs. This way, there isn't a slowdown while Acronis is working in the background.
Acronis True Image offers three different service tiers: Standard, Advanced, and Premium. The first is a one-time purchase, while the last two are subscriptions. Acronis' Standard version only offers local backups, which means that to get all cloud features, users have to go for Advanced or Premium. Premium users also get blockchain certifications and electronic signatures on files.
Since the Standard tier does not use the cloud, there's no limit to what you can back up. However, that's not true for Advanced or Premium. Advanced starts at 250GB and can be upgraded to 500GB for $20 per year; Premium starts at 1TB, and users can go up to 5TB. Unfortunately, subscriptions only come with a yearly billing cycle: Advanced costs $49.99 per year, and Premium $99.99.
Regardless of the package, it's always possible to add up to five computers, and each added device decreases the price per unit. For example, users opting for the Advanced package with 250GB for five computers will have to pay $99.99 per year. This means that each device will cost only $20 – a 60% discount.
Acronis offers a 30-day free trial so that users can test the product. When the trial finishes, users who don't commit to a paid subscription have 30 days to retrieve their backed-up files until they are deleted. Users that do commit to a paid subscription will still have a 30-day money-back guarantee to try the service risk-free.
Acronis True Image offers a meticulously written knowledge base that can be accessed through the app. It's available in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, and Japanese, and provides multiple FAQs to go through. There is a ticket system in place that all users can use to report any issues, but Advanced and Premium members can also reach customer support by phone. It's also possible to contact Acronis through social media. The company has a Facebook account where people can send a message, and a Twitter profile where it occasionally posts special offers. Finally, there is also a YouTube channel packed with how-to video tutorials.
Acronis True Image is a backup solution packed with features, including some unique ones such as Time Explorer, Try & Decide, and built-in anti-ransomware. But the most intriguing feature is the full disk image backup and restore function, which could prove very handy if the worst happens to your PC. There is the option of getting Acronis True Image with a one-time payment that offers discounts on future updates. However, getting the yearly (and cheaper) Advanced subscription for $49.99 per year will not only get you future versions of the service for no extra cost, but also gives you access to cloud features. Of course, before committing to a paid package users should take advantage of the 30-day free trial with full functionality. What’s more, even after purchasing the service there is still a 30-day money-back guarantee to ensure you're happy with the product and you're getting your money's worth.
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