Acronis True Image Review 2020 Review

Acronis True Image has a lot going for it, almost everything, in fact, but it's hurt by its hard-to-use interface and complicated pricing.That said, it's fast and comprehensive, so worth checking out. Read our full Acronis True Image review for all the details.

By Aleksander HougenWriter
— Last Updated: 25 Jun'20
2020-06-25T12:42:46+00:00
Table of ContentsRating
Features
90%
Excellent
Pricing
75%
Good
Ease of Use
65%
Decent
File Backup & Restoration
90%
Excellent
Speed
85%
Very Good
Security
90%
Excellent
Privacy
100%
Excellent
Customer Service
100%
Excellent
User Reviews & Comments

Very Good
Starts from $ 417 per month for 200 GB

Acronis True Image is a feature-rich online backup service with excellent security, privacy and customer service. However, it is hurt by its clunky desktop client, poor interface design and complicated pricing scheme. Keep reading this Acronis True Image review to learn all about the strengths and weaknesses of the software.

With functionality like disk cleanup, ransomware protection and more, the service is incredibly rich in features, even though including all this means that it can be difficult to find what you’re looking for. This isn’t helped by the fact that the desktop client is often unresponsive, with severe delays occurring when attempting to open various windows.

That said, its security, privacy and customer service are all excellent, and despite a complicated range of options, the prices aren’t bad, either. The backup process itself is also well fleshed out, with various supported operating systems and options, such as scheduling, hybrid and image-based backup and throttling.

However, if ease of use and quick response times are big factors to you, you should consider looking for an alternative on our list of the best online backup services

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths:

  • Feature-packed
  • Great speed
  • Excellent security & privacy
  • Flexible data center locations

Weaknesses:

  • Messy interface design
  • The client lags
  • Complicated pricing scheme

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Features

90% - Excellent

While many backup services focus on providing a clean user experience over including a bunch of features, Acronis True Image goes in the opposite direction. The desktop client is jam-packed with functionality, including ransomware protection,drive cleansing, system cleanup and more.

Starting with its backup features, Acronis True Image supports image-based backups, meaning you can create a complete copy of your system on its servers. Additionally, mobile, hybrid, NAS and server backups are also all included, which we’ll go over in more detail in our “file backup and restoration” section.

Where the software really stands out is with its sheer number of additional features. This includes the ability to create a hidden partition to store local backups (called Acronis Secure Zone), a tool for creating a rescue-media device and full cloud storage synchronization that’s more in line with products like Dropbox and Google Drive.

The rescue-media device allows you to load your backup on a USB or other external device and perform a full restore of your system to a previous state. This also comes in handy when setting up a new computer, as you can instantly turn it into a clone of your old device.

This feature also comes with functionality called “universal restore.” In short, this gives you the ability to restore your system image on fundamentally different hardware without having to worry about compatibility issues.

You can also use Acronis to perform a system cleanup, which you can use to wipe sensitive information — such as passwords — from your device and ensure that all records are permanently destroyed (as opposed to regular deletion, where traces will still remain in the free hard drive space).

In a similar vein, the “drive cleanser” feature lets you completely wipe a drive or partition, ensuring that no one can recover any of the information that used to be stored there.

Acronis also comes with a feature known as “active protection,” which serves to protect you from ransomware and illicit cryptomining, in case you accidentally download some dodgy software.

Another interesting feature is the “try & decide” tool, which sets aside a certain amount of space on your hard drive as a type of quarantine to test out potentially unsafe software or files. Should anything go wrong, the negative effects are walled off and you can easily reset it back to the way it was.

Provided that you’ve signed up for the Advanced or Premium plans (more on this later), you can also make use of Acronis’ “archive” feature. Anything you place into the archive will be deleted from your device to free up space, but it will still remain visible in File Explorer just like it would normally, as long as you’re connected to the internet.

Although you used to be able to backup social media accounts, such as Facebook and Instagram, this feature was removed from the platform in August 2019.

Acronis True Image Features Overview

Starts from$ 417per month for 200 GB

Backup

Backup Scheduler
Continuous Backup
Incremental Backup
Image-Based Backup
External Drive Backup
NAS Backup
Server Backup
Hybrid Backup
Mobile Device Backup
Unlimited Backup
Unlimited Devices
Speed Throttling
Block-Level File Copying
Multithreaded Backup

Restore

Courier Recovery Service
Browser Access
Mobile App Access
Versioning
Deleted File Retention

Security

Private Encryption
At-Rest Encryption
In-Transit Encryption
TLS
Encryption Protocol
AES 256-bit
Two-Factor Authentication
Hardened Data Centers
Proxy Server Settings
HIPPA Compliant

Support

24/7 Support
Live Chat Support
Telephone Support
Email Support
User Forum
Knowledgebase

Misc

File Sharing
Device Sync
Free Trial
30

Pricing

75% - Good

Acronis True Image features a somewhat unusual pricing model, as the Standard package only requires you to make a one-time payment, while the Advanced and Premium plans operate as subscriptions billed on a yearly basis. Although it might be difficult to wrap your head around all the different options, the actual pricing is very reasonable.

The Acronis True Image Cloud operates essentially as an unlimited backup service for a set number of devices. You can perform a full image-based backup for one, three or five devices, regardless of size. 

Provided you need to backup only a single device, the price point of $59.99 is roughly on par with other unlimited backup providers, such as Backblaze and Carbonite. Better yet, the Standard plan requires only a single payment, rather than a recurring subscription. 

Although we have no reason to believe that Acronis will pull the rug from under its customers, the recent fiasco relating to Zoolz’ lifetime subscription does make us wary of these kinds of offers (read more about this in February’s State of the Cloud).

However, you can’t backup files or folders individually, so if you’d like to be more selective with your backup process, you’ll need to opt for either the Advanced or Premium plan.

Standard One Computer
  • Unlimited GB Storage
Standard Three Computers
  • Unlimited GB Storage
Standard Five Computers
  • Unlimited GB Storage
Advanced One Computer
  • 200 GB Storage
1-year plan $ 4.17/ month
$49.99 billed every year
Advanced Three Computers
  • 200 GB Storage
1-year plan $ 6.67/ month
$79.99 billed every year
Advanced Five Computers
  • 200 GB Storage
1-year plan $ 8.33/ month
$99.99 billed every year
Premium One Computer
  • 1000 GB Storage
1-year plan $ 8.33/ month
$99.99 billed every year
Premium Three Computer
  • 1000 GB Storage
1-year plan $ 12.50/ month
$149.99 billed every year
Premium Five Computers
  • 1000 GB Storage
1-year plan $ 13.33/ month
$159.99 billed every year

In addition, Advanced and Premium users have the option of increasing their cloud storage capacity beyond the default allotment. The Advanced plan includes 200GB by default, but you can increase this to 500GB for an additional $20 per year.

Meanwhile, Premium users receive 1TB of storage included in their plan and have the option to increase this to 2TB for $40, 3TB for $80, 4TB for $120 or 5TB for $160.

Acronis True Image also offers a very generous free trial, which provides you with 1TB of storage for a full month, giving you plenty of opportunity to decide whether or not you want to pay for the service.

Ease of Use

65% - Decent

Because it’s so packed with features, navigating the desktop client of Acronis True Image can be a somewhat confusing affair. Add to this a tendency to lag when users click on various interface elements, and you get a piece of software that can be a pain to use, especially for first-time users.

The desktop client — available for Windows XP and later and OS X 10.10 and later — is divided into nine main sections arranged in a menu on the left side of the window. First is the “backup” section, where you can manage and initiate your backup, tweak the settings and recover your files from the server.

Next is the “archives” menu, which is where you can organize your archived files, meaning they’re deleted from your device but remain accessible through the regular File Explorer.

The third entry on the list is the “synchronization” feature, where you can designate specific folders to sync between devices and with the Acronis cloud itself. This is a feature more commonly seen in cloud storage services like Dropbox, and it is incredibly useful for making sure that you have instant access to important files across your devices.

Next up is the “tools” menu, where all the miscellaneous features mentioned earlier in our review — such as the rescue-media builder tool, system cleanup function and the Acronis secure zone feature — are located.

After the tools menu is the panel for the “active protection” system, which you can enable to allow Acronis True Image to block software and files that contain ransomware and/or code that uses your device to perform cryptomining.

By switching over to the “activity” tab, you can see if anything has been stopped, and the “manage processes” tab lets you designate specific processes that need to be watched and/or blocked from starting in the first place.

The next menu down gives you an overview of your account, including your current subscription plan and how much space you’re using. The general settings are under that menu, where you can change things including throttling based on battery level, your mobile backup location and notification settings.

Finally, in the bottom-left corner there are two more sections. The first is simply there for upgrading your account, in case you feel like you need more space, and the other is a help center where you can access the knowledgebase, generate a system report or send feedback to the company.

As we mentioned briefly in the beginning of this section, the Acronis True Image desktop client is, unfortunately, sometimes incredibly sluggish. On multiple occasions we clicked on a tab, only to wait for as much as 10 to 20 seconds before the application actually responded and took us to where we wanted to go.

This is a huge problem because it makes the client quite frustrating to use, especially when you’re new to the service and haven’t quite figured out where everything is.

Acronis is also available on mobile operating systems, with apps available for download in both the iOS app store and Google Play Store. The mobile apps are straightforward and easy to use, especially compared to the bloated desktop client, as all you can really do is set up a backup plan for your mobile device and manage existing backups.

Although there is a web client available, it is incredibly sparse. It consists of three sections, which allow you to download and delete existing backups, manage sharing links and see how much free space you have left.

File Backup & Restoration

90% - Excellent

This is probably the most important criterion for an online backup service. Luckily, the actual backup and restoration process itself forms the core of Acronis True Image’s functionality, and it is an area where it does well. All sorts of devices can be backed up, from mobile devices to entire servers, and you’re given plenty of options for how to go about the process.

With Acronis, you have the choice of either backing up individual files and folders, or doing a complete system-image backup of your entire device. You can set this up to happen on a schedule, which can be either daily, weekly, monthly or on a continuous basis, meaning the client checks every five minutes to see if any changes have been made to your selected files.

Backups are done using a block-level algorithm, which means that the client won’t waste your connection or system resources uploading the entirety of a changed file. Instead, it will scan for the precise changes and upload only those parts that have been altered.

In addition to your desktop computer, you can also backup servers, NAS devices, external drives and mobile phones. On iOS, you can backup your photos, videos, contacts, calendars and reminders, while the Android app also gives you the ability to backup text messages.

If you want to keep a local copy of your backup handy, Acronis gives you the option (when you first set up your backup) of choosing a location on your current device or on a connected external drive, instead of the Acronis cloud. Although your information should be perfectly safe on the cloud, this provides an extra level of redundancy, just in case.

In terms of versioning, Acronis can retain an old version of a changed file for an unlimited amount of time, or you can set the client to delete any past version that has reached a specified age. By default, this is six months, but you can disable this entirely if you want.

The actual process of setting up your backup plan is straightforward. All you need to do is click the “add backup” button in the backup section of the desktop client. Then you can decide what you want to backup and where you want it to be stored. 

By pressing the “options” button in this view, you can decide the schedule, enable private encryption for increased protection and set up exclusions based on file types or location. 

You can also choose what data center your files will be stored in, set up throttling to lower the software’s impact on your connection and decide how long you want to retain an old version or deleted file.

Unfortunately there is no option for multithreading, which is something you get with several competitors, such as Cloudberry and BigMIND Home. There’s also no courier recovery service (meaning the shipping of a physical device when restoring a backup), so if you’re planning on recovering huge backups over a slow connection, you might want to consider IDrive instead.

Speed

85% - Very Good

Speed is a critical aspect of backup services, given that users often backup large amounts of data. With a slow service, this can mean days or even weeks of uploading files. 

This is especially true for the initial backup or a full system-image upload, where the size of the upload can easily be quite large. As you’ll see, Acronis True Image features excellent speeds both during uploads and downloads.

For the purposes of our test, we uploaded a 3.51GB folder containing several different file types, including video, text and images. The connection used for the test had a download and upload speed of 25Mbps. 

While in theory this means that the upload and download could finish in about 20 minutes, we’d more realistically like to see them come in at roughly an hour to an hour and a half.

 First AttemptSecond AttemptAverage
Upload1:43:000:57:001:20:00
Download1:25:001:41:001:33:00

As you can see, these results fall squarely within our expectations, with our second upload actually doing even better than we expected. 

Our backups were performed in Asia, meaning we were uploading our files to the data center in Singapore. Although this is geographically close to us, it is still further away than the Europe and North American data centers are to customers in those regions. 

This means that if you’re located, for example, on the U.S. East Coast or in Western Europe, you should experience even better results. 

Security

90% - Excellent

Given that backup providers are entrusted with potentially sensitive information, it’s imperative that any backup service take significant steps to ensure its security

Whether it’s managing virtual threats in the form of cybercriminals or more tangible dangers, like physical theft and natural disasters, Acronis does everything it can to make sure your information is safe in its hands.

In terms of virtual threats, Acronis True Image utilizes AES 256-bit encryption to secure your data and TLS to make sure no one intercepts it in transit (known as a man-in-the-middle attack). 

This is excellent, especially because the encryption can be made entirely private. This means that even Acronis itself won’t be able to sneak a peek at your files. If you want to get into the nitty-gritty of this topic, check out our description of encryption to learn everything you need to know.

However, it’s important to remember that if you enable private encryption, Acronis will not be able to recover your password, should you forget it. Thus, it is best paired with one of the best password managers to ensure that you don’t permanently lose access to your data.

Unfortunately, there’s no option for two-factor authentication, which would’ve been a nice additional layer of security. If this is critical to you, consider something like CloudAlly instead.

On the physical side of things, the company’s data centers have security personnel on-site 24/7, as well as biometric security scans and video surveillance that maintains logs for 90 days. It also has systems in place to monitor and control humidity and temperature, as well as backup generators that can run for up to 48 hours, in the event of a power failure.

Privacy

100% - Excellent

Privacy is another area where Acronis True Image does very well. Its private encryption, flexible data center locations and clear, concise privacy policy are all part of this, as well as its compliance with several regulations, such as GDPR.

As mentioned earlier, it provides protection via private AES 256-bit encryption, which is excellent because it means that the company can’t access your files even if it wanted to. 

However, it does collect some basic personal information, including your name, email address and so on. According to its privacy statement, this information is only shared with trusted partners, such as vendors or resellers, or in compliance with a law.

When you first set up your backup plan with the software, the client will pick the nearest data center to your location. If for some reason you’d like your information to be stored in a different location, you can easily change this during the initial setup process. However, once the backup has been created, there is no going back.

You have a lot of options to choose from in this regard, as Acronis True Image uses data centers in the U.S., UK, Europe (Germany, Switzerland and France), Japan, Singapore and Australia. 

This stands in stark contrast to many other backup services, such as IDrive, where the only option is a data center based in the U.S., which is a country notorious for its poor digital privacy laws.

As mentioned earlier, the company complies with GDPR, as well as a host of other regulatory frameworks, such as HIPAA, and various data destruction standards, like the German VSITR.

Customer Service

100% - Excellent

Given the critical nature of backup services, it’s important that they offer several different avenues for customer support, as well as a high level of responsiveness when you reach out to them with a problem. Acronis blows it out of the water in this category, as there are numerous ways to get help — in several different languages — with its products.

First, there’s an extensive knowledgebase featuring all the most common problems and their solutions. This is the first step in any troubleshooting process, and the knowledgebase is easy to navigate so that you can quickly find out how to fix the problem you’re having.

If the knowledgebase isn’t able to help, you can turn to the forum, where you can reach out to other users to see if they have experienced a similar problem and how to go about fixing it.

If you still can’t find a solution to your problem, there are several ways you can go about directly contacting the support department. You can send an email ticket — which we tested and received a response in less than 24 hours — or contact the support department in real time through the live chat option, which is available 24/7.

These options are not only available in English (obviously), but also in Mandarin, German, Spanish, French and Italian. Unfortunately, there is no phone number you can call, but this is hardly necessary, given all the other options you have for support.

The Verdict

With that we’ve reached the end of our review. Without a doubt a strong option for online backups, Acronis is nevertheless held back by its cluttered and often sluggish desktop client. That said, it performs its main task — backing up your data — very well, featuring excellent speed, security and privacy as well as top-notch customer service.

What did you think of our review? Do you agree that the sluggish and over-designed client drags down what is otherwise an excellent and reasonably priced backup service, or do you think that the number of features makes for a bloated piece of software? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.

Acronis True Image FAQ

  • Is Acronis True Image Good?

    If you’re looking for a feature-rich backup service to store a full system-image of your device, then Acronis is an excellent choice. With its Standard plan, you’re given unlimited storage (though not unlimited devices) for a one-time purchase, something very few other backup services provide.

  • What Does Acronis True Image Do?

    Acronis True Image is an online backup service, meaning that its primary purpose is to create a copy of your system (or individual files and folders) and securely store it on a remote server so that you can access it at a later date. On top of this, the software also comes packed with tons of fairly random features, such as protection against ransomware and drive cleansing.

  • How Much Does Acronis True Image Cost?

    You can see a detailed breakdown of the pricing model in our “pricing” section further up in this review. In summary, Acronis True Image offers three different plans priced at $49.99, $59.99 and $99.99 for a single computer.

  • Is Acronis True Image Free?

    No, it is not free. Although there is a free trial available, you need to pay a subscription fee in order to keep accessing the service after the initial month.

Starts from$ 417per month for 200 GB

Backup

Backup Scheduler
Continuous Backup
Incremental Backup
Image-Based Backup
External Drive Backup
NAS Backup
Server Backup
Hybrid Backup
Mobile Device Backup
Unlimited Backup
Unlimited Devices
Speed Throttling
Block-Level File Copying
Multithreaded Backup

Restore

Courier Recovery Service
Browser Access
Mobile App Access
Versioning
Deleted File Retention

Security

Private Encryption
At-Rest Encryption
In-Transit Encryption
TLS
Encryption Protocol
AES 256-bit
Two-Factor Authentication
Hardened Data Centers
Proxy Server Settings
HIPPA Compliant

Support

24/7 Support
Live Chat Support
Telephone Support
Email Support
User Forum
Knowledgebase

Misc

File Sharing
Device Sync
Free Trial
30

Acronis True Image Cloud Review

A lot to like, but the interface is a bit rough.

One of the best backup services out there today, Acronis True Image offers a wealth of features and amazing speeds.
Starts from$ 417per month for 200 GB
Visit Acronis True Image Cloud

7 thoughts on “Acronis True Image Review 2020”

  1. Right now my needs are limited. I see there is Acronis 16 and 17. Big difference? Just uploading some Photoshop stuff. Pictures, Audio of child. Why would i get this?

    Backing up operating system in case of massive system failure. Keeping External HD at house in Fire Safe. Your thoughts? I heard it takes Back Blaze 30 days for 1st back up. Long time?

  2. I am having a major problem with my cloud backup (via Acronis 18)
    The web dashboard tells me that I have a back up of 2.2TB, however the desktop tells me that it is 1.5TB (which matches what is in the folders being backed up).
    I have run the online “Clean Up” and the dashboard tells me that the space is now 1.5TB, great!
    However, as soon as I run the backup again (no change in data on PC) the dashboard again reports 2.2TB) meaning that I have lost 700GB of cloud storage.
    Acronis tech support tell me that the only way that I can free up this space is by deleting the whole cloud backup and starting again. This is clearly unreasonable as such a large backup takes weeks and during that time I no longer have a complete backup.
    Lots of emails and repeated “do this and it will fix it” and today back to “delete the backup and start again”!.
    Been going on for months now.
    Really frustrating!

  3. Acronis TrueImageCloud: It does work BUT….
    March 2018. I was just called in to assist a small company hit with Ransomware, all data destroyed on their server. I initiated the Acronis Cloud Recovery they used and it is not yet at 50% – THREE DAYS LATER!!!
    It needs to restore around 800GB spread across three drives from their HP Proliant Server. I guestimate they will be down for a whole solid week or more. This service is really only good for an additional layer of protection. Do not even think about using this for Disaster Recovery unless a really small quantity of data needs to be restored. It is just WAY TOO SLOW!

  4. Not sure what all the hype about “fast” is in this review? My initial upload of 18GB is taking about 3 days. Wouldn’t call that fast…or even average. CrashPlan,Carbonite, and Idrive were all much faster, BackBlaze was faster as well. This is the slowest upload I’ve ever experienced.

    By the way, my internet is 250Mbps download, 10Mbps upload. Settings in Acronis are “Maximum” speed and “high priority”. Bottleneck is not on my end.

    I was expecting a LOT better from this review. This is my third day of uploading day and night, and it says it will finally finish today. I’ll believe it when I see it. About ready to give up on it at this point.

    If the download (restore) is as slow as the upload, I won’t be buying this one. I’ll test the download before paying, for sure.

    1. Yes, the bottleneck is clearly on your side. 10 Mbps of upload is clearly very little, and it is this one that matters, not the download. With 90 Mbps it took me a little less than three days to back up more than 110 GB

  5. Started using in 1/18. Initially worked fine. But it took forever to upload my files, but probably due my wanting to mirror my hard drive.
    This past May, the email notices whether the backup succeeded stopped coming. Their tech support is on my phone & remote access repeatedly. Lately, it is daily! They send test emails which work, next day no emails even though the backup succeeded. Today, the emails are coming, but the backup fails over & over and they were on remote access over 3 hours!

    I imagined a backup service where I did not have to baby sit it. Not very encouraging that if I did need a recovery, that it would work.

  6. Acronis True Image Review 2020 User Rating

    Synchronization NOT supported on Macs. A showstopper for me unfortunately as I would have purchased it otherwise.

    I signed up for the trial version of Acronis True Image 2020 based on this positive review (thank you btw) and thought I had finally found the best solution for me after testing many other providers. Unfortunately, the Mac version of their desktop application is a pruned down version of what they offer for Windows (the screenshots above on this review are of the Windows version). The Acronis technical support couldn’t tell me why such a basic feature was not offered for Mac users other than that it was not supported on Macs but that they will pass along my feedback.

    The sync feature for Windows is unique and designed well though. You can create multiple ‘syncs’ in the desktop application similar to pCloud and then can join the syncs from other computers instead of recreating the sync relationship (which I unfortunately couldn’t test as it’s not supported on Macs).

    Now I need to decide between sync.com and pCloud.

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Acronis True Image Cloud Review

A lot to like, but the interface is a bit rough.

One of the best backup services out there today, Acronis True Image offers a wealth of features and amazing speeds.
Starts from$ 417per month for 200 GB
Visit Acronis True Image Cloud
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