Review

Acronis Review


Review of: Acronis
Product by:
Miranda Overett

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On April 26, 2016
Last modified:September 2, 2016

Summary:

Acronis review from BestBackups, including info on features, data security, customer service, usability and value for money.

Acronis True Image Cloud offers a comprehensive range of features including both online and local backups, unlimited storage space, file sharing and end-to-end encryption. A few usability issues hardly detract from its appeal and professional finish, making it a strong contender in the online backup market. You can read a detailed review below or sign up now.

  • ProsPROS
  • Unlimited storage space
    Local and online backups
    Archiving
    End-to-end encryption available
  • ConsCONS
  • Can’t password protect shared files
    Complicated customer support

Visit Acronis »

Acronis Pricing Price Plans

Pricing

Acronis True Image Cloud offers three price plans incorporating both online and local storage. Each plan boasts the full range of features and unlimited storage space, with pricing plans based on the number of devices that can be registered to a single account.

Acronis-True-Image-Cloud-pricing

While all subscriptions are charged on a yearly basis, we’ve also broken down the costs into their monthly equivalents to help you calculate the cost, and converted the prices into USD for all of our American readers*:

1 computer +3 mobile devices – approx. $111.89 per year (equivalent of $9.32/month)

3 computers +10 mobile devices – approx. $178.99 per year ($14.91/month)

5 computers +15 mobile devices – approx. $223.75 per year ($18.65/month

*Prices based on exchange rate at the time of writing.

Free trial

There’s a 30-day free trial on offer, which you’ll only need to enter an email address to sign up for – making it easy to keep your personal details safe until you’ve decided whether or not to opt for a full subscription.

You’ll have access to the majority of features while using the trial, although Disc cloning, Universal Restore, phone support and WinPE media creation are not available.

Business subscriptions

Business and Enterprise users have access to an extensive range of services, including Cloud backups, disaster recovery, local storage, disk management tools, and more. With customisable options available for small businesses and larger organisations alike, Acronis offers some seriously comprehensive data protection, storage and recovery services, as well as extensive support. Prices are calculated on an individual basis.

Payment methods

Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB
PayPal, PayNearMe, WebMoney
Bank transfer, wire transfer, cash or check

Despite this broad range of payment methods, it’s worth noting that not all of them are available in all locations – so make sure to double check which options are available before you sign up.

How does Acronis True Image Cloud compare to the competition?

Acronis True Image Cloud falls within the standard price range of $5 to $12 per month, although as other providers allow you to backup from an unlimited number of devices for a similar cost, you’ll move into significantly pricier territory if you want additional licenses.

Visit Acronis »

Acronis Features Features

Online backup or Cloud storage?

Online backup

With unlimited storage space, automated backups and strong security features, Acronis True Image Cloud ticks all of the boxes of a traditional online backup service. However, with disaster recovery, archiving and disk management tools also available, it offers a distinctly different service to many of its competitors – moving away from typical backup and Cloud storage features, and into more heavy-duty data protection processes.

About Acronis

Acronis was founded in 2003 by Serguei Beloussov – an experienced entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience in helping companies (dealing in everything from electronics to automation software) to succeed on a global platform. Today, Beloussov holds the position of CEO and, along with President of Global Operations Yury Larichev, manages Acronis – now boasting more than 5 million personal users and over 500,000 business subscribers in 145 countries worldwide.

Acronis True Image and Disk Management

Acronis True Image Cloud is an extension of the Acronis True Image backup program, which is designed to automate backups to external hard drives. By signing up for True Image Cloud, you’ll be able to backup to local drives as well as making use of online storage.

Acronis also offers a number of disk management tools for True Image users, including Acronis Disk Director 12 – a program for managing storage drives, including partitioning,disk cloning, and data recovery techniques. You’ll also find tools for predicting hard drive failure and migrating data to new storage devices.

Backup and restore options

Unlimited storage space
Local and Cloud backups
Continuous, manual and scheduled backups
Backup and restore files, OS and application data

Acronis True Image Cloud offers both online and local data storage, with unlimited storage space available in the Cloud. Unlike many of its competitors, Acronis doesn’t just store user-created files – it also supports the backup and restore of system files and application data, meaning that you can retrieve your entire operating system should disaster strike.

You can also manually choose which files you want to store or download, and there’s the option to schedule regular backups at the time of your choice. Having said this, there are some strange restrictions on basic processes. For example, the locations for initiating uploads, file restoration and file sharing aren’t the same – you’ll need the desktop app to perform backups themselves, while downloads and file sharing can only be performed from a web browser.

It’s a minor inconvenience in the scheme of things, but given the increasing flexibility of most leading backup providers today, it does set Acronis back from much of the competition.  

Which operating systems is it compatible with?

Desktop: Windows (including optimised version for Windows 10) and Mac OSX

Mobile: iOS (for iPhone and iPad), Android, and Windows Tablet

File sharing

Basic file sharing
No option to password protect shared files
Withdraw sharing permissions at any time
Share to social media

File sharing runs from your online dashboard, and is achieved by copying a public link to the document or folder of your choice, or sharing directly to Facebook or Twitter. Be warned, though – the file management pages of the Acronis dashboard can be really slow, so getting to the documents you want to share can take a frustratingly long time.

Sadly, you’ll also find a disappointing lack of security features here – so you won’t be able to set passwords to determine who can and can’t access your documents once you’ve made them publicly available. On the plus side, however, you can withdraw sharing permissions whenever you feel like it.

File versioning and deleted file recovery

Full system versioning
Restore 10 most recent system states
Restore individual files
Applies to both online and local storage

Like many online backup providers, Acronis offers file versioning, which lets you restore copies of your files that have since been saved over. However, while most providers do this by simply saving previous drafts of individual files, Acronis keeps the 10 most recent snapshots of your entire system – an excellent technique if you need to restore your entire system after being attacked by a virus or suffering hard drive failure.

If you’re concerned about how much space this will take up, never fear – you can choose to save your system images to an external hard drive or NAS device. Alternatively, you can also choose to only record changes made since the initial image was created – thereby saving both storage space and processing time.

If you prefer, you can also restore previous versions of individual files from your online Dashboard, simply by selecting the document in question, clicking the settings icon, and choosing ‘view versions’. You can then select the time and date that you want to restore the file from.

It’s also worth noting that file versioning doesn’t just apply to data that’s stored in the Cloud either – you can restore local backups to their earlier states too.

Archiving

Available.

If you’re interested in long-term storage or freeing up space on your hard drive, Acronis can also act as an archive. It does this by retaining all uploaded files, regardless of whether or not they’re also saved on your hard drive – unlike some providers that simply create a mirror of everything on your PC, removing files from the Cloud whenever you delete them from your computer.

Once archived, you can view and restore your files from any device (PC, mobile or tablet), and can even select which of Acronis’ data centers you would like to store your files in, based on your preferred location.

Visit Acronis »

Acronis Security Security

256-bit AES encryption
Optional end-to-end encryption
Option to set a private encryption key

Acronis has a range of reassuringly thorough security measures on offer, and places decisions about encryption largely in the hands of its users. During setup, you’ll be able to choose between encrypting your files with a 128, 192, or 256-bit AES encryption algorithm – although be warned that these settings can’t be changed once they’re set.

While we appreciate that users have extra control over their security setup, it’s hard to see exactly why Acronis have chosen to do it this way. While using a longer encryption key will slow things down a bit, it’s unlikely to make a really significant difference to your backup performance and, as longer is usually better under these circumstances, we’re not sure why 256-bit isn’t just offered as default.

Having said that, it’s hard to find any major criticism to level at Acronis’ data security. Files are encrypted whilst still on your computer, and encryption keys are based on a user-generated password which is then hashed using SHA-256 to create a key. The original password is only ever known by the person that created it – it’s never sent to Acronis or saved as part of your backup data – so you can be sure that the only person that’ll be able to decrypt your files is you.

This is an excellent way of ensuring that your data remains safe – but be warned that it also means that, should you forget or lose your password there’s no way to restore it, so you’ll lose access to your data forever.

Acronis Customer Service Customer Support

Resources

Community forums
Knowledge Base
Documentation

Acronis offers plenty of resources for its users, although they’re not all very accessible to less experienced users. In particular, its Knowledge Base and forums are packed full of technically-focused troubleshooting advice, which are excellent if you’re well-versed in backup jargon, but which don’t leave much space for more simple issues or general product information.

Acronis-customer-support

Fortunately, that’s not all there is – you can also take a look at their Documentation page, which contains guides for different OS and specific functions. They’re not very pretty, but you can find lots of useful info here, whether you’re an advanced user or relatively new to the process.

Contacting staff

24 hour customer support
Forums
Live chat
Email support

Although Acronis’ Live Chat and email support services were prompt and gave us in-depth responses to our questions, we weren’t too impressed with the amount of information required to submit a request of any kind. Before even getting through to a tem representative on Live Chat, you’ll need to give your full name, email address, phone number, country of residence, and a full explanation of the issue you want to raise.

Acronis-support-form

This makes requesting any support a long and complicated process, and is more than a little off-putting if you just want a quick solution to a minor problem.

Response time and quality of service

We received prompt responses to our email requests, and Live Chat conversations were helpful and to the point. All of the information we were given by Support staff was concise and helped us to resolve the issues in question.

Visit Acronis »

The Process

Getting started

Getting set up with Acronis True Image Cloud is fairly simple – you’ll just need to give some basic information (name, email and country of residence), then download their software. Installation is straightforward too – just a matter of clicking through a few steps and then telling the program which data you want to upload. You can choose to select individual files or folders, or just backup everything you’ve got.

Using the software

Although the Acronis True Image Cloud desktop application is fairly straightforward, their website is a little confusing as, with lots of products available (along with True Image Cloud, you’ll also find Acronis True Image, Disk Management, and three Business plans), it isn’t always easy to identify which one the information is related to.

From the desktop app, you can change your backup schedule, start archiving files, manually select which data you want to upload, create rescue media, manage file sync, and

edit the number of file versions that Acronis retains, and how long they’re kept for. The online dashboard is reserved for simpler processes – backing up and restoring files, and viewing existing backups, archives and synchronized files.

How to cancel your account

There’s no automated system for cancelling your Acronis account – instead, you’ll need to fill out one of their complicated customer support forms and request that your account is disabled. There’s no category specifically for this kind of request, so you’ll have to get a bit creative, but your message should reach a relevant member of staff eventually.

Account expiry

If you decide to cancel your Acronis subscription, you’ll be able to keep uploading files for five days after your account’s official expiry date. After that, you’ll have 30 days to restore your data, after which it will be permanently deleted.

Acronis Conclusion Acronis Review Conclusion

We liked

  • Supports both online and local backups
  • Optional end-to-end encryption
  • Unlimited storage space
  • Extensive features

We weren’t so sure about

  • No password protection for shared files
  • Complicated customer support process

We hated

  • Nothing

Acronis True Image Cloud is an excellent extension of their True Image product, smoothly combining an existing local backup service with well-developed Cloud storage features. Although there are a few minor issues with processes such as file sharing and reaching customer support, they are outweighed by Acronis’ professional and efficient service, which boasts a broad range of features well worth the consideration of both home and small business users alike.

Visit Acronis »


Published on: April 26,2016.
Miranda Overett Miranda has been chasing the writing dream for several years from London, Thailand and now Budapest. She loves to travel, and is a self-confessed film buff.

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