True Image 2014 Premium by Acronis Review

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Overview

I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing True Image 2014 Premium by Acronis. The full version of this software was provided at no charge to me by GeekBrainDump.com, in exchange for a review and opinion by myself. I have no affiliation with Acronis and have not been paid any compensation for this review.

True Image 2014 Premium is a software that allows you to create backup images of your hard drive, and also restore from those images.

Installation & Operation

The installation on my laptop went without issue.

Once the program was installed, I opened it. The main window has several tabs up top, including the default page “Get started”, “Backup and recovery”, “Synchronization”, and “Tools and utilities”. The “Get started” tab had 3 options on it, “Back up system”, “Recover data” and “Back up to Cloud”. It also had corresponding tutorials that would show you how to utilize these options.

I chose to dive right in and click on “Back up system”. A window popped up with several options. On the left I was presented with a choice of “Source” locations. There were several drives listed, including “ESP”, “DIAGS”, “WINRETOOLS”, “PBR Image” and “OS (C:)”. Everything except “DIAGS” was pre-selected. On the right was “Destination” locations, and I had a choice of either Local storage or Acronis Cloud. I chose local storage, and picked an empty external USB hard drive that I had connected.

Finally, I had the option of choosing a schedule for backups. I chose to turn this off, since I only wanted to do one single backup and that was it. That said, in a networked environment, where you have access to a large amount of network storage space, it might very well make sense to set this schedule.

There was also a button that I could click that said “Backup options”. This gave me some really granular options I could manipulate, like forcing the software to backup sector-by-sector, and creating validation checks. If I were using this software permanently, I would probably go through all these options and select all my preferences.

I clicked on “Back up now” and away the software went. From the very start, the program said that the backup would take 2 hours and 35 minutes. At this very moment, I’m sitting at 1 hour and 45 minutes left. So far, the countdown has been correct, which is nice to see. Too often I see software give an estimated time remaining, only to find out 20 minutes later that the “time remaining” had doubled. As most users and system administrators would agree, that’s highly annoying. For reference, about 250 GBs of data needs to be backed up.

Sure enough, ~2 hours and 35 minutes after starting the backup, it completed and a backup file was on my external hard drive. I began the “Recovery” process, which was as straight forward as the backup process. I went all the way until I actually began recovering, then backed out, since I didn’t want to actually complete it. None the less, the program allowed me to select the backup file from my external hard drive, and even gave me the timestamp of when that backup file was created (5:20pm).

I noticed that this program comes with features other than backup as well, including a “system clean-up” and “file shredder”. I did try the system clean-up, and it found and deleted unneeded log files.

Thoughts

One thing I did notice was that during the backup process, my laptop became sluggish at responding to others things I was doing (for example, typing this review). Every so often it would appear to completely freeze-up for a few seconds before responding again. I had a look at my hardware resources while the backup was being done, and CPU and memory were fine, but hard drive usage was always at 100%. This is to be expected, since the software is creating a backup of data. Also to keep in mind, my laptop at home is running a 5400 RPM hard drive, the slowest you can get. That said, a lot of hard drives are 5400 RPM, so it’s not like I’m using something that is unrepresentative of the average user.

As far as ease of use of the software, it’s pretty user-friendly. I thought the layout of all the menus was done well, and I found the overall package intuitive and easy to navigate.

I liked the option of scheduled backups, and the ability to keep the computer from going into sleep mode / hibernating / shutting down while backups are in progress. This would be a great feature for organizations and small offices, so they can run backups at night time when users won’t be affected by computer performance issues.

I did not try the cloud backup. Unfortunately, in my area, internet is expensive and usage caps are low. At home, I only get 50 GBs of usage allowance per month, and it’s $7.50 per GB over that. I know it’s not that much of an issue in more metropolitan-centric places, where the majority of users are, but none the less, it would be nice to see some kind of compression scheme so that cloud backups are faster and take less bandwidth to upload.

I found this software to be fully featured. Not only does it provide backup and recovery, but it also allows you to customize a lot of options and features, something that a lot of other backup programs don’t offer. As well, there were other utilities included, mostly for system optimization, which delivers a further value-add for your dollar.

Conclusion

In conclusion, True Image 2014 Premium by Acronis appears to be a solid backup solution for hard drive imaging. I have used Acronis software before, and have never had an issue with it. Acronis has always provided quality programs and utilities that just plain work. The cost of True Image is not very high, and for what you get, I would say that it’s a pretty good deal.

Author

Martin Lehner

Martin Lehner is an technology professional working for an IT services firm in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). He has been working in the technology field for over a decade. With a degree in Business Admin and numerous industry certifications, Martin leads a team of IT professionals that provide third party support for clients. Originally starting a company to offer web development services, Martin quickly realized that clients wanted the entire spectrum of technology services. When Martin is not at work (which is not often, since his company offers 24/7 support), he is busy at home spending time with his family.

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