- Full disk image backups
- Time Explorer previous file previews
- NAS, FTP and drive backup
- Remote backup scheduling for admins
- Free 30-day trial with 5GB storage
- Try & Decide
- Multilingual customer support
- Extra cost for additional devices
- One-off payment for the suite
- Extra cloud space expensive
- Expensive phone support
- Mac OSX not supported
Acronis True Image is an online and cloud storage solution developed by Acronis International, a company incorporated in Germany with 16 offices catering to 175,000 customers, operating with a clientele base across 90 countries and winner of the National 2013 Stevie Silver Award for Customer Service Department of the Year. Their Acronis True Image 20014 software was developed to recover, restore, and protect critical data from disasters, man-made or otherwise. The 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, unified file backup dialog, toolbar access to the built-in store, a Time Explorer compare-and-select preview of file versions, continuous PC backup, automatic file sync, and free online storage. And all of this is available with a 30-day money back guarantee.
For extra peace of mind, there is the 30-day free trial to take advantage of and to test out the various unique features of this software suite. You have 30 days to recover your data stored on the cloud if you decide not to take Acronis up on its offer. The plethora of information you will find in the knowledge base, product documentation section, YouTube video tutorials, and community forum, all of which are available to you the moment you sign up, are more than sufficient to get you started.
Acronis True Image is different from other online backup solutions in that it was initially built as a backup software for local backups. With the advent of cloud storage, the company introduced the option to choose to store your backups, or a selected amount of backed up data, to a secured cloud storage space using Acronis Cloud. So if you’re looking for a solution to combine local backups with backing up your most essential data in the cloud, Acronis offers an interesting solution.
By default, the Acronis True Image 2015 software comes with 5GB of cloud storage space which you can increase to up to 500GB should you want to store all of your backed up data to the cloud. You can back up files automatically, on schedule (in 1, 2, 4, 6 hours or sometime later), or remotely, to any storage device including external hard drives, NAS, Acronis Cloud Storage, and USB keys. All backups run smoothly in the background while you work, and they are kept safe and secure at all times with 256-bit AES encryption.
You can backup your entire disk image, including operating system and settings, not just individual files. That way, you can restore your entire system as it was on a freshly installed PC, so you can immediately continue working without having to go through hours of configuring your computer. The system can migrate from one computer to another and the Acronis True Image application can be used in WinPE (Windows Pre-installation Environments) mode. You can also back up and restore dynamic volumes onto hard disks and Windows Dynamic Disks.
Acronis allows you to set up either incremental or differential backups, which capture the latest changes that occurred since your last backup, instead of loading a back up from zero. The difference between the two is that the former archives older versions for faster backups, while the latter does not. The backup speed isn’t the fastest, but at least you have a progress viewer on your Acronis desktop manager.
Your cloud storage with Acronis comes with all backup, syncing and sharing features you would expect from a quality online backup service.
Viewing your files is as easy as ABC. Acronis’ desktop client and apps don’t come with their own players, so your own computer or device applications will be used to render files.
You have a maximum of 5 devices to use Acronis Cloud Storage with, including desktop computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets, and you can sync files between all of them. Every file change made from one device is pushed automatically across all devices.
Your files can be shared securely via links or copied to your clipboard.
You can restore your files at any time using a preview feature in Time Explorer that allows you to select the version you prefer to restore. A copy of all your critical files is stored in the online data center for immediate access.
Once you’ve backed up your data, you can recover it at any time using the recover button in your desktop backup manager.
Try & Decide
Try & Decide is a feature unique to Acronis that lets you preview software prior to installing it on your computer, so you can decide for yourself if you want it on your computer. This way you can prevent installing malicious software that could harm the security of the data on your computer.
You can protect your backup using passwords. Additionally, Acronis allows you to encrypt confidential data using AES cryptographic algorithms with three key lengths, 128, 192 and 256bit, and the data is transferred over a secured 2048-bit SSL connection. Opting for longer keys will give you extra protection, but it will also slow down your backups considerably.
Your data is split between numerous servers to make any data loss nearly impossible. Data centers are equipped with a very early smoke detection apparatus, dry pipe dual zone pre-action, monitors for temperature and humidity levels and video surveillance equipment with 90-day footage archiving. The UPS and backup generators ensure continuous power for up to 48 hours in case of power outages. For an additional fee, customers can use the Express disaster recovery service for urgent large-scale recoveries of data.
Devices and Operating Systems
Acronis is a Windows-only backup service that doesn’t cater to users with a Mac or Linux computer. The list of supported Windows operating systems includes all editions of the following: Windows XP Home and Professional, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and 8, and Windows Home Server 2011. Acronis software can be used with hard disk drives, Network Attached Storage (NAS), FTP servers, writable and rewritable CD, DVD (+), and Blue-Ray disks writable once, but also with IDE, SATA and PATA drives.
The mobile app is downloadable free of charge from the Google Play and Apple App Store, and is compatible with Android and iOS-operated devices. Synced files have versions copied and stored on the Acronis Cloud. You can sync, share and backup multiple files at once and you can also use the PhotoSync feature to sync files from your gallery or camera roll automatically on your other devices and on the Acronis Cloud. You can also access files offline if you’ve added them to the favorites folder or pinned them, depending on the type of device you own.
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. You will be asked for an e-mail address and you will be given a password and trial serial number. Installing the application requires that you close all other programs and that you turn off the antivirus on your computer for a few minutes, but all in all it’s a speedy and easy process for all types of users alike. When your 30-day trial period expires, you can choose to upgrade to a paid account.
The backup speed can be disappointing, but you could always adjust the encryption to speed things up a bit. There is a progress monitor on your desktop app that lets you know how long it should take. You have all your basic settings and features on your desktop application, such as browsing through backups, recovering, restoring, syncing etc. Furthermore, you can set up your preferred language from the get-go and the list includes: English, German, French, Spanish and seven other languages.
Plans and Pricing
There are two versions of Acronis True Image: the standard version and Premium. Both versions are available for one to three PC’s and come with a 30-day free trial that gives you instant access to the default 5GB of cloud storage, which can be upgraded to up to 250GB. Acronis charges a one-off payment for these suites, and throws in 5GB cloud storage for free for one year.
The cheapest package is $49.99 for the Acronis True Image 2015 version useable on one PC. Upgrading to the Family Pack for three PC’s raises the price to $79.99, which is exactly what the True Image 2015 Premium price is for one PC. If you need the Premium service on three PC’s, you can take advantage of a $99.99 offer, considerably less than buying three standalone packages. The two plans offer similar features: complete computer disk image, continuous file backup for 1 to 3 PC’s, instant restore and comparison for up to 99 versions, 5GB cloud storage space, advanced user backup schedules, and syncing across 5 devices.
The Acronis Bundles include 250GB Cloud Storage for only $74.99 or $89.99 when added to the Acronis True Image Standard and Premium package, respectively. For extra cloud storage space, another 5GB will cost you $9.99 per year, whereas 50GB cost $29.99, 250GB cost $49.99 and a whopping 500GB can be added to your account for $99.99 per year. If you commit to these annual plans, you save two months’ worth of payments. Otherwise, you’d pay $2.99 per month for 50GB, $4.99 for 250GB and $9.99 for 500GB every month.
Acronis accepts credit card payments (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB), PayPal, Bill Me Later, checks, money order, and wire transfers via Digital River online. Purchase orders are also accepted for certain companies, and the company lets you choose whichever currency you prefer for the transaction.
Acronis is the proud winner of the National 2013 Stevie Silver Award for Customer Service Department of the Year. Their customer support services are available in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Japanese. There is a downloadable customer handbook for personal and business users with a step-by-step guide to submitting and following-up on a helpdesk ticket, while there’s also a knowledge base with FAQs and previous ticket submission examples.
The Acronis Forum is available to all account holders and you can only access the posts if you use your Acronis user login. Live Community will provide instant help and advice from MVPs and customers, while the online Product Documentation section gives you downloadable PDF user guides, EULAs and web help displayed on your default browser. The quickest way to speak to an Acronis customer care representative is to use the live chat feature. You will be asked to fill in a form prior to speaking to a representative, but they strive to reply within 2 minutes. Otherwise, you can write via e-mail for a response within 72 hours.
You can also call any of the 16 Acronis offices with sales inquiries, but unfortunately technical support over the phone comes at a whopping $20 per incident. Acronis’ online presence consists of a Facebook, a Twitter and a YouTube account. The Acronis Twitter page will occasionally post special offers and the YouTube page is packed with how-to video tutorials.
Overview of Acronis True Image 2015
Acronis True Image 2015 is an image backup solution packed with features, including some unique ones like the Time Explorer for version comparison and selection and the Try & Decide for protection against unreliable websites and software installations. But the most intriguing feature is the full disk image backup and restore feature, which could prove very handy if the worst happens to your PC. The Acronis suite comes with discounted one-off payment plans and useful price cuts on upgrades and add-ons, which you can spread across several months if you find them slightly pricey. Although that one-off payment for the software is appealing, it is however inconvenient that you have to update the software yearly to the latest version. The fact that phone support for technical inquires is a costly extra shouldn’t be a major issue, given the alternate means of communication offered. Acronis True Image is different from most other online backup services, which is why it is certainly wise to make use of the company’s 30-day free trial with 5GB of cloud storage so you can see if this service is right for you.