Acronis just launched the 2018 version of Acronis True Image software. I attended the media launch on 23 August and was finally given a detailed look at this software product.
If you, like me, have little knowledge about Acronis, please read this post and you will soon learn that Acronis is a Singapore tech company and the software is more than just backing up or copying your computer partition.
Acronis True Image has evolved from 2002 and now the software does more than just backup of computer hard disk image or partitions. When it comes to cloning hard disks during upgrading or occasional, I use free software like EaseUS that seems to do the job. Acronis True Image goes way beyond that and after installing the software on my desktop, I was delighted with the feature list.
Acronis has done sufficient research to determine what users want from data protection: reliability, ease of use, security. And Acronis meets each of them.
True Image 2018 is able to backup the entire PC, disk and partition, and selected folders. These are standard features many software support, but here’s the special thing: True Image 2018 can also backup mobile devices and your social network, like Facebook and Instagram! Also, if you have backed up the system partition on local drive, you can convert to Virtual Hard Drives and run the backup within Hyper-V virtual machine.
The standard edition with one-time license allows you to backup on local devices or NAS or FTP (NAS backup available only for mobile devices). Advanced and Premium editions offer cloud storage and goes by annual subscription. With a cloud storage data centre located in Singapore, my backup speed is so fast, easily hitting the maximum throughput of your broadband network (my maximum throughput over Wi-Fi Extender to my desktop is about 450Mbps).
As for security, True Image 2018 Premium edition lets you encrypt the backup data using Blockchain technology and electronic signature. You can then verify the signature to ensure the data remains authentic. Backups are done incrementally, and the software allows to schedule the backup in several options, for each different backup groups.
This feature lets you move large or old files from your PC to external drive or the Acronis Cloud. The software comes with analysis to scan your drive and recommend files that you could select to archive. Once selected, the files will be moved out from the local storage to the remote destination.
This feature works like Dropbox and OneDrive, that is, select the folder that you want to enable sync. On all other devices, install the Acronis True Image software and the data will be synced.
It’s better to enable sync with Acronis Cloud first (Advanced and Premium licenses), which will then propagate the sync to other devices. This option allows the synced folders to be accessible from the web browser or mobile app. Choose to sync to other PCs will result in a peer-to-peer sync, where it is dependent on whether the devices are online or not before files can be synced.
Mobile Access and Recovery
This is the favourite part of the backup experience: once I backup the files onto the Acronis Cloud, I can access and recover the files over web browser or mobile app, just like Google Drive or OneDrive. On the smartphone app, I can only open the files but not save a copy on the smartphone. To download, I have to access Acronis Cloud from the web browser.
Active Protection Against Ransomware
Ransomware is the new threat for computers, and Acronis has it covered. True Image 2018 actively monitors for any anomaly and blocks attempts to encrypt files illegally. It uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) plus advanced backup and recovery capabilities to protect computers and data.
Here are some standalone tools that expands the usefulness of True Image 2018:
- Try & Decide – perform any unsafe operation in this mode, before deciding whether to keep it or discard it.
- Acronis Secure Zone – create a special partition to store the Acronis backups
- Clone Disk – clone existing hard disk data to a new drive. Supports active cloning within Windows session.
- Rescue Media Builder – create a rescue media to recover your PC
- Acronis Universal Restore – create a media builder to recover data backed up with Acronis
- Parallels Access – access computer remotely from mobile devices
- System Clean-Up – remove temporary files in your computer
- Acronis DriveCleaner – permanently destroy data
I really enjoy the speedy backup process to the cloud storage because the Acronis data centre is located in Singapore, currently the only data centre in Asia. For a complete list, visit here.
Acronis True Image does not result in any visible impact on performance after installation. My desktop spec is i5-4670K, 16GB RAM, 128GB SSD.
I find the following features extremely useful:
Acronis True Image supports non-stop backup, which runs incrementally every 5 minutes. I can create multiple types of backup, like entire OS, selected folders, etc. Each backup action can have its own set of rules, like frequency, backup destination. And when I choose to backup on Acronis Cloud, it does not slow down my PC performance which occurs when doing data transfer across different media.
Because the data server is in Singapore, the backup and retrieval speed is very fast. The speed goes up to my maximum Internet bandwidth.
By picking selected folders to backup to cloud storage, I can also access the files from any web browser or smartphone. It gives me even more reason to backup some of my media files, so that I can conveniently retrieve them on the go. The retrieval speed is so fast, thanks to the geo-location of a data server in the same country.
Syncs like Dropbox
If I subscribe to True Image Premium at $139.99 per year, I get 1TB of cloud storage data which I can use to sync folders across multiple devices. Because the connection speed is so fast, it took me about an hour to upload my entire 160GB music collection to Acronis Cloud, from which I can access from my mobile device or from another computer.
I have yet to spend a single cent on cloud storage provided by Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive. Here is what I find when I compared with the other popular cloud storage providers:
- Acronis Standard (1-time perpetual license without cloud storage) S$69.99
- Acronis Premium 1TB S$139.99 per year, or S$11.67 per month
- Google Drive 1TB S$13.99 per month
- OneDrive 50GB S$1.99 per month (1TB S$39.80 per month)
- Dropbox Plus 1TB US$8.25 per month (S$11.14 based on 1.35 currency conversion rate)
Acronis turns out to be the second cheapest in the list. The file access functionality is different from Google Drive or OneDrive as they are built for collaboration and supports mobile smartphone sync which Acronis True Image does not. But if your intention is primarily data backup (which is the case for me), then Acronis works best. The secondary benefit is that files backed up on Acronis Cloud can also be accessed individually. Thirdly, you do have option to create a public URL link to share folders and files to others.
Facebook and Instagram Backup
Acronis lets me backup my Facebook timeline, albums, videos. But I found several tagged photos do not appear in the backup view. The number of photo albums tally, though I did not count the photos on each album. Incidentally, this backup exercise gave me an opportunity to review some old photos that were buried in the Facebook timeline. Each backed up content contains a direct link to the original content on Facebook.
Instagram backup is not yet enabled at time of review.
Does It Replace Internet Security Software?
Acronis True Image complements Internet Security software, which only monitors internet traffic for malicious activities that could infect your computer with malware that generates illegal data traffic, like DDoS. These activities might not affect your personal files. Acronis True Image detects illegal activities that lock up your computer, like ransomware, and further ensures your data is recoverable by offering effective backup capabilities.
There may be several other cloud backup providers with competitive pricing, but I am happy to recommend Acronis True Image 2018 if you reside in Singapore (or other countries where the data centres are located). The benefits are:
- Fast backup of any OS, disk drive, or folder
- Convenient access and restore over web browser or smartphone app
- Sync folders across multiple computers
- Archive folders to save local storage space
- Advanced features that protect computer data, like AI-based anti-ransomware, “Try & Decide”, Acronis Secure Zone
- Facebook Backup
- Competitive subscription price comparable to Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive
30-day Trial with 1TB Cloud Storage
Download Acronis True Image 2018 to try without obligation. The trial offers you 1TB cloud storage to experience the convenience. Some features like Clone Disk is not available for trial. Download link
This review is made possible thanks to a complimentary licensed copy of Acronis True Image 2018.