Be­yond Backup

Acro­nis True Im­age 2018

HWM (Singapore) - - TEST - By Zachary Chan

Acro­nis True Im­age has al­ways been com­pe­tent at do­ing what it ad­ver­tises it­self to do, and that’s a sim­ple, one-click cloud backup so­lu­tion. Mind you, this is not the same as cloud stor­age like Drop­box, where you con­stantly ac­cess your data like a lo­cal drive. A full backup is some­thing you setup and for­get, ac­cess­ing only in times of cat­a­strophic fail­ure; when your whole PC crashes on you and you need to per­form dis­as­ter re­cov­ery.

In that sense, this is not the sex­i­est piece of soft­ware to re­view. And that was true un­til last year’s ver­sion rolled out. With the True Im­age 2017 New Gen­er­a­tion up­date, Acro­nis threw in a whole suit of tools that make the soft­ware more than just a one-off back­ground backup so­lu­tion.

Chief among these in­clude No­tary, a ser­vice that uses blockchain tech­nol­ogy to en­sure that im­por­tant les in your back­ups have not been changed to tam­pered with, and ASign, a ser­vice that al­lows you to let mul­ti­ple par­ties elec­tron­i­cally sign les.

The New Gen­er­a­tion up­date also in­tro­duced Ac­tive Pro­tec­tion, an an­ti­ran­somware de­tec­tion en­gine that runs in the back­ground to de­tect and block ran­somware

ac­tiv­i­ties. This in­cludes be­ing able to re­store ran­somware-en­crypted les in­stantly.

And now we’ve come to Acro­nis True Im­age 2018. At rst glance, the head­liner im­prove­ment in this ver­sion is an up­dated Ac­tive Pro­tec­tion. Ac­cord­ing to Acro­nis, the an­ti­ran­somware en­gine is now AI en­hanced, con­nected to a cloud-based ma­chine learn­ing net­work that is con­stantly re­view­ing both ma­li­cious and le­git­i­mate le ac­cess pat­terns. This helps im­prove Ac­tive Pro­tec­tion’s de­tec­tion ac­cu­racy and pre­dic­tion mod­els to pro­tect against even un­known, or ze­ro­day ran­somware at­tacks. Un­like the old ver­sion, Ac­tive Pro­tec­tion in True Im­age 2018 is turned on by de­fault and is avail­able on both the stand­alone and sub­scrip­tion ver­sions of the soft­ware.

Now, all these val­ueadded fea­tures are great, but True Im­age is a backup ser­vice right? I men­tioned in the be­gin­ning that it’s ac­tu­ally com­pe­tent in what it does, but one of the rea­sons the ear­lier ver­sions didn’t ap­peal too much to me was be­cause the con­sumer edi­tion of True Im­age felt very ba­sic and util­i­tar­ian.

With True Im­age 2018, Acro­nis has nally made a backup tool that a power user would be proud of. Firstly, the desk­top app dash­board is now a lot more in­for­ma­tive with a new ac­tiv­ity tracker tab so you can see what’s go­ing on with your back­ups. I still feel there’s too much switch­ing be­tween the app and web-dash­boards for di er­ent ac­tiv­i­ties, but the prod­uct feels more in­te­grated now.

You can also do more with your back­ups with True Im­age 2018 such as ac­tive cloning, which can clone your cur­rent Win­dows sys­tem into an ex­ter­nal drive on-the-y, and then boot­ing di­rectly from that snap­shot. Full snapshots can also be turned into vir­tual hard drives, ca­pa­ble of be­ing mounted and run on a vir­tual ma­chine. If you go into the Tools sec­tion of the desk­top app, you might be sur­prised at all the op­tional fea­tures you can play around with to test, pro­tect or wipe your data. And some of these tools are con­stantly get­ting up­dates. The me­dia builder for ex­am­ple can build a WinPE en­vi­ron­ment now.

In terms of ac­tual back­ing up data, con­tin­u­ous in­cre­men­tal backup has been added as a sched­ul­ing op­tion so your data can be kept as cur­rent as you need. How­ever, this fea­ture can only be used if you’re back­ing up to a lo­cal ex­ter­nal de­vice. You can­not en­able con­tin­u­ous in­cre­men­tal backup for cloud back­ups. True Im­age can also de­tect that you’ve got other cloud stor­age in­stalled like Drop­box or OneDrive. You can choose ex­clude those les, re­duc­ing over­all backup size and avoid have so many ver­sions of the same le all over the place.

In the pre­vi­ous ver­sion, you could backup your en­tire Face­book ac­count, posts, pic­tures and all. In True Im­age 2018, Instagram backup has been added as well, which is a great fea­ture since there’s no easy way to down­load Instagram posts. True Im­age 2018 copies ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing likes and com­ments, which you can then browse through on the web-dash­board.

All in, True Im­age 2018 is still a sim­ple, one-click backup if that’s all you need, but power users will nd a lot to like with its snap­shot man­age­ment tools. Se­cu­rity fea­tures like Ac­tive Pro­tec­tion doesn’t re­place the need for an anti-virus though, and ideally should work in tan­dem with one. You can buy True Im­age 2018 as a per­pet­ual li­cense, or as a sub­scrip­tion model with cloud stor­age up to 5TB.

CON­CLU­SION Not just backup, True Im­age 2018 is a com­pre­hen­sive per­sonal data pro­tec­tion suite.

You can now backup your en­tire so­cial me­dia feed on Face­book and Instagram.

Ad­vanced tools for disk cloning, sand­box test­ing and boot me­dia cre­ation are avail­able too.

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