Acronis True Image 2018
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.