Acronis True Image 2012 Review
Update 2012/10/06: Announcing Acronis True Image Home 2013. It's finally here!!! Currently we are working on Acronis True Image 2013 review, so please read the below previous version's review. It explains how Acronis True Image disk imaging works and why it's completely different than standard backup software (and why it's critically important to understand this concept).
Have you ever wanted to upgrade to a newer, larger hard drive and have all your data moved over, but didn't know how?
Has your computer ever been infected with spyware / malware and it made Windows inoperable or full of errors? Did you feel hopeless and have to pay someone a small fortune to get your computer back up and running the way it should be?
Have you ever accidentally deleted an important file and wished you could get it back?
Will you be upgrading to Windows 7 or 8 in the near future?
Are you looking for a complete disaster recovery program for your PC, home, or office?
If you answered "Yes" to any of these programs, Acronis True Image is exactly what you need.
How True Image is Different than Standard (Simple) Backup Programs
Built for Full-Scale Disaster Recovery, Acronis True Image works by imaging your *entire* hard drive -- sector by sector, byte by byte -- so that everything on your computer gets backed up -- including the operating system (MS Windows).
True Image backs up all your software drivers, all your installed programs, all your documents, pictures, music, personal data; when disaster strikes, you can make a few clicks and recover fully, almost as if you turned back time.
In terms of migrating to a new operating system (example: from WinXP to Win8): you can use True Image to backup your entire hard drive. When you install a new version of Windows, you can format the drive and start fresh (which is always the recommended way to go); then, simply extract the files you need from your backup when the new Windows system is installed.
It's always recommended you backup your entire system before a major upgrade (even a Service Pack), in case something goes wrong. If the upgrade / installation fails, you can use True Image to revert your entire system back to the way it was previously. This is the ultimate backup protection and simple file backup programs cannot do this.
In terms of cloning / copying / transferring a hard drive to another: True Image has a special cloning function built right into the program. The types of backups True Image makes ("disk images") are very similar to a full-scale hard drive clone.
In terms of malware and spyware infections: you can use a disk image backup to revert your ENTIRE system to a previous, healthy state, as if nothing ever happened. Once again, very few programs on the market can do this.
Data Snapshots and Disk Imaging Technology
In order to explain how Acronis True Image compares to simple backup software, let me explain what True Image does.
First, Acronis uses something called a disk image to make a backup of your C drive (for example). This is effectively a "snapshot" of your entire hard drive at a particular time and day. It includes a copy of the operating system and it's stored it into a single, archived backup file.
In comparison, most other backup programs simply backup user data; they cannot backup or restore your computer's operating system (whereas True Image does).
Inferior backup software programs focus on information such as your photographs, documents, emails, and other data files. That's it -- no settings, no applications, and none of the personalization that makes your computer work the way you want it to gets backed up.
When your system is hit with a virus or malware infection and you need to "go back in time", simple backup software leaves you hanging. But that's not the case with Acronis True Image.
True Image is capable of reverting your *entire* PC to an earlier state when everything was in perfect working order. Simple backup software simply fails when you need it the most.
Acronis True Image 2012: New Features
NEW: Extended support for the latest hardware, including large disk support (2+ terabytes) and full support of latest UEFI hardware technology. With Acronis Extended Capacity Manager, you can now 2TB+ partitions to store all your backups. And you can restore from it just as easily -- as you can with any other hard drive. This feature is particularly useful if you want to use an extra-large-capacity hard drive while running Windows XP.
NEW: File Synchronization: This new capability allows users to replicate documents, videos, photos, and all your other digital content no matter where they are stored -- PC, USBs (external hard drives, for example), NAS (network attached storage), as well as in the cloud via Acronis True Image Online. If a change is made in one location, it is automatically updated in all the others, meaning you can access your most up-to-date data anywhere, any time.
NEW: Interface: New and redesigned interface that makes Acronis True Image software easier than ever to use.
NEW: Enhanced NAS (Network Attached Storage) support: Instead of having to dig through network shares to locate your NAS device manually, Acronis automatically detects it and lists it for you. This makes it easy to back up multiple network-based PCs to a safe and reliable storage site. Also NAS is supported as a location for storing Nonstop Backup changes.
UPDATED: Acronis Nonstop Backup: Backup your files in real-time. You can undo changes made to a document or file -- minutes, days, or weeks later. Now you can also protect your nonstop backup data with a password, and can save it to a remote storage location, including the Acronis Online storage and NAS.
Scheduling function: allows you to make backups during a shutdown, or have the computer wakeup for a backup during sleep / hibernation periods.
Try-and-Decide Mode: allows you to safely install a program, try it on your PC, and then (if you don't like it or it doesn't work properly) revert your entire system back to the state it was in before you installed that program. This is also a very practical capability for when you are browsing potentially dangerous websites.
Selective / Simple File Backup: allows you to archive emails, documents, pictures, and whatever else you need backed up.
Fully integrated Acronis Online Backup: Acronis Online Backup is integrated into Acronis True Image Home 2012 interface. When you create a Online Backup task, it is shown in your backups list along with all your other backup tasks.
NEW: Deeper integration with Windows 7: Shortcut menu on Windows taskbar icon allows you to easily run Acronis Online Backup and Acronis Nonstop Backup.
Testing Acronis True Image Home 2012 On My PC
When you first start Acronis True Image Home 2012, you're greeted with a new interface and a "Get Started" icon that leads you through helpful tutorials, which include answers to the following important questions: "How to back up?", "When to recover?" and "What is sync?".
Users having a little more experience with backup software can bypass the tutorial and jump immediately to the "Backup and Recovery" tab, which leads to a number of handy options.
The interface presents you with the option to create disk partitions, save data online, and email information to another party. The controls are easy to manage and, thanks to a 'check box' style interface, very easy to understand.
Streamlined Backups an Appealing Part of Acronis True Image Home 2012
Beyond these options, you can also establish backup schedules and protect your files with passwords.
Backups run seamlessly in the background and, because the program's processing requirements are relatively low, rarely affected your computer's handling of other tasks.
Because of its easy-to-navigate interface and the sheer importance of regularly and accurately backing up every bit of your computer's data, it's hard not to recommend Acronis True Image 2012.
For newcomers, the program will provide an awesome portfolio of capabilities. Some seasoned PC pros who already have robust backup plans in place may not find anything particularly new here, but will nevertheless appreciate the software's power and ease of use.
Novice and moderately experienced computer users will appreciate this software suite for its wide variety of easily navigable options that can (and when disaster strikes, will) prevent any significant data loss.
Simply put, Acronis True Image is a utility that you most definitely want to have on your box full of goodies to make your computer complete. You can use it to backup your operating system, personal files, or even transfer from a smaller hard drive to a larger drive. And most importantly, True Image is especially useful if you're upgrading to Windows 7 from XP or Vista.
Special Offer for Infopackets Readers
We've negotiated directly with Acronis to acquire a special limited-time offer for Infopackets readers. Here are the details:
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