Acronis True Image 2021 Review: Fully integrated backup and cybersecurity

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With real-time protection, Acronis True Image is now one of the most comprehensive data backup and security solutions on the market.

True Image backs up data

Acronis True Image 2021 Premium is arguably one of the most comprehensive backup and computer security solutions for Windows systems on the market. While the combination of anti-malware and backup might seem a bit odd at first, the ability to trigger a backup or cut off access to previous backups when malware is detected ultimately makes a lot of sense.

On the design side, Acronis True Image sports a simple and attractive interface that is easy to use. In terms of functions, the program keeps its promises by creating image files from drives or partitions, as well as selected files and folders. These can be full (everything), incremental (everything since the last backup) or differential (everything since the initial backup). It is also possible to back up files from your phone or files from remote shared network locations and use Blockchain to authenticate backed up files with the premium version.

Acronis True Image

Many options are available to manage the method as well as the scope of the backup. (credit: Acronis)

Some delays

True Image allows scheduling backups, automatically (or manually) deleting old backups when space is low, splitting backups, sector-by-sector or data-only copying, validating backup after running, execute commands before and after the operation, and much more. In short, just about every option invented in the backup world has been implemented. The program also backs up almost any type of destination: optical, 1TB cloud storage provided by Acronis, hard drives, network locations, etc. It will optionally place a version of the program on removable media for use during restore operations. Are you super old-school? The tape is unfortunately not supported. Other related features include hardware-independent (USB/optical) recovery media creation, disk cloning, OEM-style recovery partition creator, system cleanup tool, and secure erase utility.

When setting backups and performing other tasks, a few difficulties arose. For example, after clicking the “Add Backup” button, the initial creation process is so slow that one ends up clicking it again unnecessarily. Additionally, if credentials (username and password) for a network destination are not provided, it is not possible to double-click on that location to re-enter them before exiting and re-entering. the job of creation. We can also hope one day that True Image allows several destinations for each job. Most end users have a set of data and want to save it in different locations for redundancy. These are all minor details that do not, however, affect the outstanding overall usefulness of the program. There are three versions of True Image, the Premium version at 80€ HT [qui fait l’objet de ce test, NDLR] with 1 TB of cloud storage, a €56 excl. VAT version without blockchain and electronic signature functionalities (with 500 GB of online storage), and a €40 excl. VAT version without cloud storage and associated functions such as cloud backup replication and Office 365 backup. Note that these are one-year subscriptions.

Focus on performance

Generally speaking, True Image is as fast as it gets. With a 2.5 GbE network, the backup speed to and from NAS enclosures is particularly appreciable. Backing up local folders to hard drives, optical (a single BD-R/M-Disc) and some files to the cloud is also on point. During our test, everything went quickly and without incident. On the other hand, the startup speed of the program is very slow. Part of this power-on delay is undoubtedly due to communication with Acronis servers. A little more flexibility in the system tray applet, like the ability to get rid of it, would also be welcome.

As you can see above, True Image has a large system footprint and spawns 12 background processes. Either way, little impact on system performance remains low. With a relatively recent computer, no particular concern should be noted. True Image enumerates network locations very quickly and also automatically remembers your login details. A significant point. True Image provides a complete incident prevention solution for €100 per year. Considering its vast capabilities, it’s quite reasonably priced. Of course, the scope of the program and the number of processes it keeps running aren’t for everyone. Best practices will suffice for many, although security is difficult to discuss.

Acronis True Image

All functions enabled, the 12 main background processes do not impact the performance of True Image. (credit: Acronis)

Upgraded anti-malware protection

A few years ago, Acronis added ransomware protection to True Image. It has now extended its capabilities to protect against general malware, corrupted websites, and other risky behavior such as code injection into applications. This obviously requires real-time intervention: this is the big addition of this 2021 edition. To test the anti-malware capabilities of this solution, the tests provided by Acronis were run, as well as the content of Wicrar (Acronis provided links), followed by surfing certain unsavory areas of the web. True Image captured it all. As efficient as possible, real-time protection remains optional and can be disabled if needed.

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