Keeping your important data backed up is crucial, yet it’s a fact that the vast majority of folks don’t seem to grasp – until, of course, the inevitable happens. I’ve personally lost data over the years, and I’ve known way too many people who’ve experienced the same. I have multiple solutions in place now to make sure all of my important data is going to be available somewhere in the event of a disaster, and part of my configuration relies upon Acronis’ True Image.
I’ve been using True Image for over a decade at this point, adopting it not long after SSDs hit the market, when I had to transfer a hard drive OS over to an SSD. Kingston bundled in a scaled-back version of the software with the SSD I had, and I’ve been a bit of an addict since. In Windows, I use True Image to keep my primary SSD completely backed up to Acronis Cloud, while I also use the bootable media to capture and restore our OS test images.
In 2020, Acronis has enhanced its “Dual Protection” feature to allow users to adhere to its “3-2-1” backup rule easier. That rule implies that there will be 3 copies of each piece of data. Aside from the source location, a secondary spot would be another local storage option, like an external hard drive or network storage appliance. The third copy of the data would of course be stored on remote servers. Ultimately, if data is backed up in the same building that goes up in flames, it’s not going to do you much good. Cloud storage can come to the rescue in a big way here.
Acronis says that TI 2020 brings over 100 enhancements, so it’s impossible to cover them all here, but fortunately, the company lays out a bunch of them at its website.
There are of course a handful of features that are worth pointing out specifically. What catches my eye quickly is the fact that the backup format Acronis uses has been optimized for performance, which will directly impact the browsing speed of cloud backups as well as local ones. Data deduplication is also being employed to save on disk space when backups have redundant data. Similarly, restores from the cloud should be a lot quicker, which is great to hear, since I have found performance there to be a bit lacking.
Naturally, the latest TI also bundles in Acronis’ latest anti-ransomware technologies, which builds itself to be effective by utilizing machine-learning algorithms to detect issues. Ransomware is one of the worst types of malware out there, designed to take your data hostage unless you provide a key. With Acronis’ solution, your data will be safe even in this case, allowing the user to simply restore their PC from backup, or grab the relevant fresh data from other backups.
A new addition in 2020 is the tray notification center, which uses Acronis’ own notification solution to deliver updates about the goings-on of your backups. For laptop users, improved power management will prevent a huge backup process from draining batteries.
Acronis is retaining similar pricing with 2020 as before. It’s $49.99 for a standalone version that will work indefinitely, but it lacks certain features of the subscription version. That version also costs $49.99, but annually. That price includes replication of backups in the cloud, Office 365 backup, and cloud backup support. It also provides 250GB of cloud storage, which can be upgraded to 500GB for an extra $20/yr.
For those who need as much functionality and space as possible, the premium version costs $99.99, and includes 1TB of cloud storage as well as support for blockchain certification and electronic signatures. All versions offer significant discounts when support for multiple PCs are added (eg: 3 PCs on the advanced package for $80, vs. $50 for 1.) You can read more about the differences in pricing at the official site.