The main job of any backup service is to keep your files safe from data loss, theft or a fatal system crash. Beyond this, some services — including Acronis — go the extra mile by adding features like file syncing, antivirus capabilities and ransomware protection. Keep reading this Acronis True Image review to learn all about what the software offers.
Acronis True Image is an incredibly feature-rich online backup service that also boasts excellent speed, security and privacy. Its interface design is a bit cluttered, and the price-point is a bit higher than other alternatives out there, but these are minor flaws with what is an otherwise excellent backup provider.
If these flaws are deal-breakers for you, though, there are plenty of other backup options out there. You can start by looking at our list of the best online backup services, which will give you a comparison of Acronis True Image vs other backup providers.
If the file syncing features are what you’re interested in, then you might want to consider one of the best cloud storage providers instead.
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Great cybersecurity tools
- Excellent data security & privacy
- In-depth backup process
- A little expensive
- Complicated pricing scheme
- Unintuitive interface
- Client lags
Acronis True Image is one of the most feature-rich cloud backup services out there. It covers all the basic functionality that you’d expect, but it also includes a wide array of other features, from advanced security tools to things more common to cloud storage providers, like file syncing.
In terms of the core cloud backup features, Acronis True Image lets you run your backups on a schedule, either continuously or triggered by various events, such as the system startup or shutdown, user logins or whenever you connect an external drive.
Both backups and recoveries can be throttled by setting the operation priority. If you set the priority to high, it also enables multithreading if the client deems it necessary. You can upload files from pretty much every type of device or operating system, including Windows 10, Mac, iOS and Android, as well as external hard drives and NAS devices, but not servers or Linux computers.
Acronis also lets you create sync folders, which is a feature more commonly associated with dedicated cloud storage providers like Dropbox or Google Drive. These folders will be automatically synchronized across your devices, using whatever extra cloud storage comes with your plan.
There’s also an “archive” feature that scans your system, organizes your files by size, then lets you upload them to an external drive or the Acronis cloud. The files will still be available in file explorer (provided you’re connected to the internet or the external drive is plugged in), but they will no longer take up space on your hard drive.
Finally, the client comes with a bunch of minor features and tools, including things like the rescue media tool, a system cleanup utility and a drive cleanser. The rescue media tool can restore your system in the event of a fatal crash, and a drive cleanser will ensure that a hard drive is completely wiped after you delete the files stored on it.
What’s New in Acronis True Image 2021?
Although those of you who read our previous Acronis True Image review won’t notice too many changes, the newest version of Acronis does come with a group of new features focused on security. We’ll take a closer look at these new tools in the “security” section below, but they include antivirus scans, web filtering and video conference security.
You used to be able to sync social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram, but Acronis removed this functionality in 2019.
Acronis Cyber Backup Features
Acronis offers a separate piece of software that focuses on business backup. Besides being compatible with servers, Linux devices and older operating systems, like Windows XP, it also adds several features tailored to professional use.
This includes in-depth user and group controls that let you easily manage backups on multiple devices. Acronis Cyber Backup also supports a much wider range of cloud services, including VMware platforms, Microsoft SharePoint, G Suite and database formats like Oracle and Exchange.
Acronis True Image Features Overview
- 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: No
- Speed Throttling
- Block-Level File Copying
- Multithreaded Backup
- Courier Recovery Service: No
- Browser Access
- Mobile App Access
- Deleted File Retention
- Private Encryption
- At-Rest Encryption
- In-Transit Encryption: TLS
- Encryption Protocol: AES 256-bit
- Two-Factor Authentication: No
- Hardened Data Centers
- Proxy Server Settings: Acronis Cyber Backup
- HIPPA Compliant
- 24/7 Support
- Live Chat Support
- Telephone Support: No
- Email Support
- User Forum
- File Sharing
- Device Sync
- Free Trial: 30
Pricing varies greatly in the online backup field. Sometimes you pay for the amount of storage you get, while for other services you pay per device but receive unlimited storage. Some services like Backblaze or IDrive have very straightforward pricing plans, but Acronis True Image is a bit more complicated.
There are three main versions of Acronis True Image 2021: Essential, Advanced and Premium. These are priced at $49.99 per year, $89.99 per year and $124.99 per year, respectively. At the time of writing, Acronis offers a 22-percent and 20-percent discount for the Advanced and Premium plans, making them $69.99 and $99.99 per year with the price reduction.
The Essential tier only supports local backup, which makes it far less useful than the other two plans. With both Advanced and Premium, you can create a full disk-image backup — regardless of size — of up to five computers, as well as upload additional files using your allotted cloud storage, which is 500GB and 1TB, respectively.
- Storage: Unlimited GB
- Storage: Unlimited GB
- Storage: Unlimited GB
- Storage: 200 GB
- Storage: 200 GB
- Storage: 200 GB
- Storage: 1000 GB
- Storage: 1000 GB
- Storage: 1000 GB
All three plans can be purchased for one, three or five devices, and the Premium plan can add up to 4TB of extra space, priced at $40 per year per terabyte.
Is Acronis True Image Free?
Unfortunately, there is no free version of Acronis True Image, though there is a 30-day free trial that you can use to test the software before committing to a subscription. There used to be a version available for a one-time fee rather than a recurring subscription, but this edition was always severely limited and has now been discontinued.
This means that Acronis True Image is a bit more expensive than other alternatives, such as Backblaze and Carbonite, which offer unlimited storage for $6 per month. Acronis is still not terrible though, as the way that the plans are structured means that you effectively get unlimited storage for your main devices as well as some extra storage for phones and tablets on top of that.
Acronis Cyber Backup, the business version of the software, is priced differently for the regular version intended for personal use. Although the pricing structure for this version is too complicated to cover in-depth here, the basic version of the software provides unlimited storage for a single workstation for $99 per year or a server for $839 per year.
Ease of Use
Unfortunately, ease of use is where Acronis True Image falls a bit short. Its interface, although crisp, is far from intuitive, and the client as a whole suffers from some serious performance issues.
The client itself is divided into seven main tabs: backup, protection, archive, sync, tools, account and settings. In the first tab, “backup,” you can set up and manage your backup, which we’ll take a closer look at in the next section of this Acronis review. Next up is the “protection” tab, which contains all the various cybersecurity features that Acronis True Image offers.
The “archive” tab is where you can select files that you want to delete locally but keep a copy of in the cloud. Meanwhile, the “sync” folder one level down gives you an overview of all the folders you’ve set up to synchronize between devices.
The next tab, labelled “tools,” is where you’ll find all the minor features included in Acronis True Image, including disk cleanup, the rescue media utility and the drive cleanser. The “account” tab shows you how much of your storage space you’re currently using, as well as the status of your Aronis account.
Finally, in the “settings” tab you can adjust a few client-wide settings, such as battery saving, language and automatic login.
The design is something you can get used to once you’ve learned how to use Acronis True Image — it’s not ugly so much as unorganized — but there’s another issue with the usability.
When opening the settings menus, creating new backups or switching tabs, the client frequently hangs and lags for several seconds before performing whatever action you clicked on.
Acronis Mobile App
The mobile app is significantly simpler than the desktop client. The whole thing is just three tabs: backups, browse and settings. In the first tab, “backups,” you can set up your mobile backup, which can include your photos, videos, contacts, calendars and reminders.
In the “browse” tab you’ll see an overview of all of your backups, and the “settings” tab lets you enable continuous backup, limit the app to WiFi connections and adjust power-saving measures.
Finally, Acronis True Image also offers a web interface that you can access through your browser. The dashboard is fairly bare-bones, though it lets you manage your existing backups, recover your files and trigger an upload remotely, provided the device in question is connected and the Acronis client is running.
File Backup & Restoration
Despite the somewhat clunky interface, backing up and restoring your files with Acronis True Image is relatively straightforward. Both can be done via the client or the web interface, and mobile backup is supported on iOS and Android through the dedicated app.
Setting up your backup is as simple as clicking the “add backup” button under the “backup” tab, which will prompt you to choose the source and destination for your upload.
For the source, you can manually select files, create a full disk-image backup or upload files from a different device, such as a phone or external hard drive, as well as cloud services like Microsoft Outlook and OneDrive.
Meanwhile, you can set the destination as either the Acronis Cloud, an external hard drive or anywhere else on your local system. Once you’ve set the source and destination for your backup, you can either initiate the upload by clicking the green button in the bottom-right corner or fine-tune the settings in the “options” menu.
In the “options” menu, you can decide on the schedule of your backup, which by default is set to “daily.” You can also set up email notifications, file exclusions and encryption, as well as adjust the throttling and server location.
Once the upload is in progress, you’re given plenty of information about its status. This includes the actual progress, the current upload speed and an estimated completion time. Backups use a block-level algorithm, which means that you won’t waste time or resources uploading unchanged parts of a file.
Recovering your files is just as simple. To access the menu, you have to select the backup you want to restore from then move over to the “recovery” tab on the top of the client. Here, you can see a file tree of your backup, and you can select which files or folders you want to restore.
Once you’ve defined what you want to recover, you can adjust the destination and operation speed, as well as a few other minor settings.
If you ever need to revert a file to a previous state — either because of a mistaken edit or corrupted data — then Acronis True Image has you covered. When setting up your backup, you can decide how long a deleted file should remain on the server, as well as how many past versions of a file you want to keep. Both of these settings can be set as high as you want, which is excellent.
If you want to backup files that you may need access to immediately, speed becomes a crucial factor when picking the right service. If you’ve uploaded large amounts of data and your local copy fails for any reason, having to wait hours, days or even weeks to get your files back can have terrible consequences.
|First attempt:||Second attempt:||Average:|
When testing the speed of backups and recoveries, we uploaded and downloaded a 3.6GB folder over a connection with a download speed of 50 Mbps and an upload speed of 10 Mbps. This means that the best speeds we could possibly see are 48 minutes for the upload and nine and a half minutes for the download.
With that in mind, these results are excellent. The data transfer rates were only a few minutes slower than the theoretical limit of our connection, which is pretty much the best you can hope for.
A major contributing factor to these results is the wide range of data centers located in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania, meaning you’re likely to be close to at least one of Acronis’ servers. We performed our test from London, UK, to a data center located in Germany, which is reasonably close.
Security is the third main pillar of online backup, along with features and pricing, and is an area where Acronis True Image really goes the extra mile. Besides doing a good job protecting your actual backups, the service goes further by offering a bunch of extra security features, such as ransomware protection, virus scans and real-time web filtering.
The most important part of cloud security is encryption. Acronis True Image follows the best practices by using AES 256-bit encryption as well as SSL/TLS to protect your files while in transit, which protects you against man-in-the-middle attacks.
As we mentioned at the start of our review, practically all of the new additions to the latest version of Acronis True Image are security focused. First up is the “active protection” mode, which identifies and stops files containing malware, illicit cryptomining and ransomware attacks.
If your system is running Windows 10, this mode also performs real-time web filtering for any website you visit. Essentially, this means that the client will detect when you visit a site that contains malware, fake news, phishing schemes and other scams; Acronis will first give you a warning about the website content.
On top of the real-time protection offered by the active protection setting, the backup software can also run scheduled antivirus scans of your entire system. When put together, these features essentially mean that you get a fully fledged antivirus client included with your backup service, which makes it a lot more reasonably priced if you’re already paying for something like Avast or McAfee.
When you combine all these extra tools with the already excellent security that Acronis offers, you get one of the most secure backup solutions on the market. The lack of two-factor authentication is the only missing piece, but given all the other security focused features, we’re willing to overlook this.
In many ways, privacy is the same issue as security, given that the most important factor for both is encryption. Beyond that, though, the handling of your encryption keys decides whether a service is zero-knowledge, and privacy policies can give you an idea of how the company will handle your data.
As we mentioned, you can manually enable encryption for your data. Acronis claims that it doesn’t store your password or encryption key when you set this up, which is also why it can’t recover your password if you forget it. For this reason, it’s a good idea to pair the service with a password manager to make sure you don’t lose access to your files.
By far the best part of Acronis’s privacy is how many options you have for the physical location of your data. Instead of leaving you with no choice of which data centers to use, Acronis lets you pick between servers located in eight different countries.
Even though two of these servers (Switzerland and the UK) aren’t available to everyone, it still includes countries with solid cloud privacy laws, like Germany.
This is a huge advantage for Acronis True Image because most providers force you to store your data in the United States, where laws like the Patriot Act or not-so-covert programs like PRISM make it easier for authorities to get a hold of your data.
Although there is no phone support available, Acronis still offers excellent customer service. This is an important quality for a backup provider that often gets overlooked, which can have disastrous consequences if there’s a backup-related emergency.
The first place you can go to solve problems with Acronis True Image is the extensive knowledgebase hosted on its site. Most common problems with the software are covered here, but you can also reach out to other users and moderators on the forum for more detailed assistance.
Finally there’s both a direct chat and email option for contacting Acronis itself. If you prefer a different language to English, you can also receive support in Mandarin, German, Italian, Spanish and French. The live chat is open 24/7, and when we tested the responsiveness of its email form, we heard back within 24 hours.
If it wasn’t for the unintuitive interface and slightly high price tag, Acronis True Image would probably sit on the top spot for our favorite backup software. Even with these flaws, Acronis True Image is one of the best options out there, especially for users concerned with security and privacy, and who don’t mind paying a little extra for some peace of mind.
Although there isn’t a huge difference between this iteration of Acronis and Acronis True Image 2019 or 2020, the new security measures are a welcome addition to what was already an excellent backup service.
What did you think of our Acronis cloud backup review? Do you agree that the service provides top-notch security and privacy, but falls a little short because of its messy interface? Or do you think we were too hard on the design of the software or the price tag? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.
Acronis True Image FAQ
What Does Acronis True Image Do?
Acronis True Image is a backup and recovery software that protects your data by making copies to the cloud, and it comes with several other cybersecurity measures.
Is Acronis a Russian Company?
No. Although the founder and current CEO, Serguei Beloussov, was a Russian citizen before gaining Singaporean citizenship in 2001, Acronis itself is not a Russian company. The company is headquartered in Switzerland and Singapore.