TECHNOLOGY

Acronis True Image 2018 Review: Next Level Backup Software

An incredibly robust backup solution with all the features you expect and some that you don’t

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BY Rahil Bhagat - 04 Oct 2017

In a Nutshell

Acronis True Image 2018 is an incredible piece of software. In one simple package you have an incredibly robust backup solution with all the features you expect and some that you don’t. It’s a bit of a system hog and it’s a bit on the pricey side, but for all intents and purposes, the 2018 edition of True Image is best all-round backup solution on the market.

The Good: Feature-rich

While it is true that True Image 2018 comes with loads of interesting features, Acronis has made sure that its core feature, hard drive to hard drive backup, is still top notch, allowing for a truly complete backup of your system. Every version of True Image gets access to Acronis’s disk backup utility that allows users to backup individual files and folders or even an entire OS filesystem.

This service works with a single click and restoring from a backup is as seamless as it’s always been. Kudos to how fast the whole process is, in my test where I restored a backup of core programs to a new PC, the whole process took less than 15 minutes.

The cloud backup integration is better than ever with a clearer UI making it easier than ever to backup your files to Acronis’s cloud for remote access.

Built into the core backup service is every imaginable option--from simple scheduling, boot-time recovery, partition selections and even the ability to backup your mobile device and amazingly, even your Facebook and Instagram accounts.

The Instagram option in particular, is very well conceived with everything from photo captions to chronological order maintained. This is especially awesome since Instagram makes it very hard to save photos from the service to a local storage option.

Another big push for the company has been in the realm of security with new anti-ransomware and security dashboard features being included with all editions of True Image 2018.

Acronis says that True Image does this by observing patterns in how data files are being changed on a system. One set of behaviors may be typical and expected. Another set of behaviors may signal a suspect process taking hostile action against files. True Image then looks at these actions and compares them with malicious behavior patterns. This push towards machine learning is an interesting one by Acronis and one I hope more security vendors adopt.

Another feature I quite liked was the new WINPE Media Builder. This is, of course, subjective because as someone who likes tinkering with computer hardware with a variety of different builds across different platforms, having the ability to deal with driver issues or OS corruption thanks to WINPE is a godsend.

The Meh: Pricey

There is no doubt that True Image 2018 is an incredibly robust package with everything you could want and more. The downside to this kitchen sink approach is that the software isn’t exactly cheap. The basic edition of True Image 2018 will, here in Singapore, set you back 70 bucks while in the states, it retails for $49.99.

There are three versions of the software: Standard, Advanced, and Premium.

The standard edition ($49.99) is a one-time purchase software meant for people looking to buy a product once and forget about it. You get all the backup utility goodness and security software but the lack of cloud backup and the rather excellent social media backup makes this option for people interested in pure local storage.

The more feature-rich Advanced Version ($49.99 per 1-year subscription) gives you everything in the Standard tier along with cloud and social media backup as well as free upgrades as long as your subscription is active.

The Premium edition ($99.99 per 1-year subscription) ups the ante by adding blockchain supported certification of files by capturing electronic signatures and creating a blockchain-supported audit trail.

For the general user looking to backup old documents, photos and other forms of media, you should look no further than the Standard or maybe the Advanced versions of True Image 2018. You’ll be getting the best that Acronis has to offer and all the backup features you will need.

The Bad: A Bit of a System Hog

It is very hard to criticize a piece of software this good, but if I had to point something out, it would be the True Image 2018, like its 2017 predecessor, is a bit of a drain in system resources. I tested it on a variety of systems including a beastly gaming desktop, a standard office laptop, and a ultraportable running an intel U series processor and it became quite clear, especially on the ultraportable that True Image 2018 was using a noticeable share of system resources.

Of course, it is understandable in light of all the functionality on offer that True Image 2018 needs processing power. And it is not as if any of the systems became obviously laggy, but I would love to have a profile feature where I could manually or even automatically enable and disable certain modules to free up system memory.

Summary

Overall, Acronis True Image 2018 shows why Acronis has become synonymous with world-class data backup solutions. The software is robust, simple to use and gives users an immense amount of options on how to deal with their backup. The price might be a bit high, but for the features on offer, it is hard to find anything better.