Not long ago, Acronis made its debut in the world of online backup solutions with its True Image Cloud solution. While Acronis had already established itself as a reliable option for backing up files, the company now offers users the possibility of backing up images of entire hard drives of their operating systems to the cloud. By allowing you to backup not only your data, but also your programs and operating system, Acronis gives you a comprehensive solution that will make things easy, even if your drive stops working since you won’t have to reconfigure your computer and applications. In this review, we will cover the most important features that Acronis Cloud offers.
The first step of the process is to download the lightweight installer, which then allows you to get the full software. There is a free trial that allows you to test the service for 30 days. If you confirm that the service is right for your needs, you can opt for an annual plan that costs over $70 USD for 50 GB of cloud capacity. In the past, Acronis offered users the chance to back up an unlimited amount of data from one computer and up to three mobile devices. However, they have updated their plan structure and now, you can only get up to 5TB of cloud storage for almost $270 per year.
Acronis is not the most affordable option and compared to other services that offer unlimited backup (such as CrashPlan), it may seem like an expensive solution. However, they offer discounts on a regular basis in all their plans. The software works with Mac, Windows, Android and iOS. Once you have installed the software, you will need to log in to your Acronis account or register for one. Your name, email address and a password are required to create an account, but you won’t need to provide your credit card details in order to take advantage on the free trial.
The first thing you will notice is that True Image Cloud offers a very simple, straightforward interface. There are different options available, including show backup status and change the priority of the backup process on the system. You can create a synced folder to get access to the files that have been updated recently. By default, your entire hard drive is backed up, but you can adjust the settings to choose specific files that you want to back up. If you want to select a folder, you need to mark a box over the file names, otherwise you will only see an estimated backup size, which will display as 0.
The next step is to select the destination for the backup. You can backup to the cloud, but Acronis also gives you the possibility of backing up data to an file folder or an external drive. It is good to see that Acronis includes local backup as part of its features, unlike other providers who only offer this as an add-on. Acronis’ cloud solution works in a very similar way to the True Image backup software. The only difference is the possibility of backing up to the cloud. With Acronis, you will be able to back up your hard drive to the cloud easily.
Once the initial backup is completed, the changes that take place after the last backup will be captured by incremental backups. Some system files that are not really necessary, are not included in the backup to ensure that you get the most out of the storage space. Backing up your entire hard drive can take a long time, but the process is easy to start and you can let Acronis take care of everything. To restore your data, you can sign into your Acronis Cloud account and choose the backup that you want to restore. It is possible to select the exact moment in time that you want to restore, as well as the recovery points for each partition. Again, Acronis takes care of the process and you will be able to recover your hard drive from the cloud without issues.
Performance and Security
In terms of speed, Acronis Cloud offers incredibly efficient results when you are backing up your data. However, the same cannot be said about the restore speeds. Since the restore speeds are almost half of what you can get when you are uploading the data, restoring your hard drive can take several hours, sometimes around 12, depending on the size. To protect your backups, you can use a password only known by you, which gives you full privacy when you are storing your disk images in their cloud. With Acronis, it is possible to select 128-bit, 192-bit or 256-bit AES encryption.
While Acronis is a good option for backing up your data, including your hard drive, it comes with some downsides. The price is high and the service is not the most convenient option when you only want to back up files and folders. The main advantage of Acronis Cloud is that it allows you to back up and restore your entire system. Its full disk imaging functionality is its biggest strength. The regular True Image backup solution (the non-cloud backup to external hard drives) is still the best product from Acronis, but the cloud option can be a good alternative for anyone who need to back up their system to the cloud.