Acronis Backup to Cloud Review
Acronis Backup to Cloud Review
Acronis Backup to Cloud isn’t really a piece of software, it’s a service that is available. If you have taken a look at any of the software reviews we’ve done for Acronis ‘Home’ products, such as True Image, you’ve likely heard the Acronis Cloud mentioned a few times already. Now it’s time to take a closer look at the Cloud offerings designed for businesses.
Acronis Backup to Cloud has a software component that you’ll need in order to make use of their service. There is a free fifteen day trial for the software and a thirty day trial (250 GB) for the cloud. This discrepancy is a bit odd but can work out if you want to try the advanced version of the software for the last fifteen days. The software is included in the cloud subscription price but is limited to creating backups to the cloud. It should be purchased separately if you want to use it for local backups as well. The installer for the related software is a bit larger than those of the personal product line with sizes of about 1 GB to 1.84 GB. Depending on your needs you may also want to check out the more detailed write-ups on Acronis Backup and Acronis Backup Advanced which we will soon cover in their own reviews!
Acronis Backup for PC to Cloud
The subscription licensing starts off with small business in mind covering workstations such as Desktops and Laptops. Each PC can be covered for $99.00 a year and includes unlimited storage.
Acronis Backup for AnyServer to Cloud
Next in line is the small or medium business license which covers servers such as Windows, Linux, VMWare, Hyper-V and more. This Server to Cloud subscription starts at $499.00 per year.
Acronis Backup to Cloud:
Last but not least there are also ‘Volume Subscriptions’ for larger organizations available starting at $799.00 each year. This subscription does not limit the number of devices that can be protected so if you replace or add devices to your business they can still be protected as well with no additional cost.
The installation is standard but will vary depending on the device and its OS. In order to grab a few screenshots and test the cloud out I opted to use Acronis Backup and a Windows 8.1 Workstation as a quick test bed.
Even though I had come to appreciate the new interface of True Image 2015 it quickly became obvious that they aren’t pushing these changes onto the business product line- at least not yet. I for one was glad to see a much more familiar setup.
While the software itself isn’t exactly within the scope of this particular review it doesn’t feel right to bypass it all together as it is related. I’d like to show you a couple sections that are relevant to the cloud, the account setup and subscription windows.
First of all you’ll want to double check the country you have set in your account profile to ensure that it is correct. Once a Subscription has been activated there isn’t a way to change the data server location that your backups will be saved to. Then fill in the information for your account in Acronis Backup. This is accomplished through the menu ‘Actions > Activate cloud backup subscription’.
Yes it’s that easy, after you’ve established a link to your account you simply tweak the options available for the (connected) machine. Volume License subscriptions won’t need to be manually activated like the picture above (account information will still be required) and will be added once a backup to the cloud is started. Once you have a backup plan (schedule) in place the software can take over and begin duplicating the entire device, specific disks or even just certain files and folders that you indicate should be saved.
The backup will only be saved to the cloud if you specify that it should be in the ‘Where to back up’ (location) section of the previously mentioned areas. It can of course create local backups as well if you are using the trial or have purchased Acronis Backup or Acronis Backup Advanced.
If you have a proxy you’ll need to set this up through the menu ‘Options > Machine Options > Cloud backup proxy’ and enter the required information.
There are quite a few other options available in the Acronis Backup software to aid you in tweaking things to your needs but sadly that isn’t what this particular review is meant to be about.
Acronis is based in Switzerland but they maintain data servers across the world. This means you can choose the one closest to you for faster connections or select one in a separate country. Perhaps the home office is located elsewhere and you would prefer to keep the data closer to it for quicker access on demand? No problem, just be sure you have the correct location set before activating the machine in question.
The ‘Acronis Cloud‘ can be accessed from just about any device with an Internet connection and a browser. For file level archives you can also download specific files through the Acronis Web Application without needing Acronis Backup installed in order to recover them. You can not browse inside of ‘Full Disk’ backups using the Web App however.
When you are using Acronis Backup or Acronis Backup Advanced you can view the contents of a backup or even select specific files to restore rather than an entire archive.
With the help of Bootable Media, which the software will allow you to create, you can restore full backups to any computer that has an internet connection without having to reinstall the Operating System first.
The bootable media also includes ‘Universal Restore’ which will enable you to restore a backup to a completely different computer, eg if it needs to be replaced entirely. You’ll likely need some drivers for the new system so that it can do its job but it is still very helpful.
One of the options available is to protect your backups with a password using AES 128, 192 or 256 bit encryption. Using this ability will prevent anyone, ~including Acronis~, from being able to access information contained in the archives -even on the cloud. Don’t forget or lose the password though, there is no way to reset it or recover the data without it!
They use 2048 bit SSL encryption for your sessions including authentication as well as backup uploads and downloads to their data centers. On top of that every backup stored by Acronis gets encrypted (again) with their own key to ensure that your data stays secure.
You can throttle the network bandwidth used to ensure the backups don’t dominate your traffic. This will obviously increase the time required to upload the data but can be useful when speed is not an issue. You will need to define the speed in KB/s for cloud uploads.
For larger backups and restorations there are extra services you can make use of called ‘Initial Seeding’ and ‘Large Scale Recovery’. The ‘Initial Seeding’ is useful if you want to ship them a drive with a full backup which they can then transfer to the cloud for you saving time and network bandwidth. The Large Scale Recovery is essentially the opposite, you order a drive which they will then transfer your data onto and ship to you overnight.
If you don’t have the account set to auto renew your license and it expires Acronis won’t delete your data immediately. In fact they’ll even give you a grace period and let you continue backing up for five days. Your data still won’t be deleted after that period and you can still save (download) or restore your archives for up to thirty days from the time the license expires. Only after the thirty day grace period is up will they remove your archives from their servers.
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Final thoughts and conclusion:
Be they hardware or software related something is bound to go wrong with at least one, if not more, server or workstation at some point. If that isn’t enough we also must include the ever abundant Exploit and Malware or Virus attacks that have become common place. More recent attacks have started encrypting important files such as documents and demanding a ransom in order to unlock them. In addition to that there are other factors which must be considered such as fires, flooding, etc. The fact remains that you can’t anticipate most issues. While Acronis products don’t prevent such problems they can aid you in recovering from them quickly instead of being left with a catastrophe.
Having a copy of your important files or systems saved offsite is crucial to ensuring that both your data and in turn your business are protected from loss or extended down time.
Acronis Backup to Cloud makes it easy to protect one device, or even many computers, and is worth checking out if you are in need of a place to keep your data safe and always available.
For more information concerning a small business solution check out Acronis Backup for PC.
Click here for more about a home user solution Acronis True Image 2015 for PC.
Happen to be a Mac user? We haven’t forgotten you! Click here…Acronis True Image 2015 for Mac.
Easy to use but still very effective.
Includes a broad range of options to tweak for your backups.
Several licenses to choose from.