Acronis True Image 2016 Review
Acronis True Image 2016 Review.
I think (and I hope you agree with me) that the backup is the only reliable and universal way to protect your valuable data from irreversible loss by reason of hardware failure, accidental deletion of files or partitions, malicious virus attack, and so on. Needless to say that you can easily avoid such unpleasant situations; all you need is to have a good and functional backup utility. Acronis True Image 2016 is just this utility that safely protects your operating system and any kind of data. The new version is more functional, more reliable and safer. With the help of it you can perform any operations related to data backup and restore; it is still one of the best software applications on the market.
Download and Installation
For reviewing purposes Acronis web installer has been downloaded by me; it is not big, just about 6 MB in size. After clicking on the setup, a new page is opened and the program offers to download and install the latest version. There is no need to say that download time mostly depends on your Internet speed (as for me, I downloaded the program in less than eight minutes).
After downloading and unpacking all necessary files, the installation process begins which takes about 5 minutes. That is all; now you can start using the application.
In addition, three simple steps are required before opening the program; firstly, you have to accept the license agreement (just check the appropriate box), secondly, sign in to your Acronis account or create a new one (anyway, you can skip this step, but you will be unable to use Acronis Cloud service, sync your data between various devices and get free updates), and, thirdly, activate the program (just enter previously purchased serial number, or, if you have not got it, start a free trial for 30 days; the trial version is fully functional during this period; only some features are disabled, for example, disk cloning).
Acronis True Image 2016 is multilingual and it is available in more than 10 languages including English, German, Russian, etc.
The Interface of the Program
The main interface of Acronis True Image 2016 is very easy to use and navigate; it is divided into two panes- Sidebar and Action pane; all tools are located on the left side, i.e. on the sidebar. After selecting any of tools offered by the program, you can perform different actions and operations on the Action pane.
The Sidebar consists of seven buttons; they are as follows:
Backup– with the help of this tool you can backup entire PC, disk and partitions or files and folders, i.e. in other words, you can perform different backup operations.
Archive files and folders– it provides access to Acronis Cloud services and allows you to store your files and folders there. It should be noted that you need to have or create an Acronis account for using this cloud service.
Dashboard– this is a subscription service and it lets you manage all your family devices and recover and create backups using Acronis Cloud services.
Sync– here you have the possibility to share your data between all your devices easily. It also needs Acronis account.
Tools– in this section of the program you can find different tools for cloning disks, creating rescue media, and so on.
Account– it contains information about your Acronis account and services or subscriptions used by you.
Help and Support– through this section you can get access to Acronis help, send feedback, generate system report and select the preferred interface language.
The Main Features of the Program
Supported File Systems– FAT 16, FAT 32, NTFS, Ext2, Ext3, Ext4, ReiserFS, Linux SWAP.
Supported Storage Media– the program supports a wide variety of storage media devices such as HDDs, SSDs, FTP servers, Network storage, CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays, USBs, etc.
Backup and Restore
With the help of Acronis True Image 2016 you can back up everything what can be backed up. The program allows you to back up the Entire PC (i.e. the complete computer with the operating system, applications and data), Disks and partitions (i.e. individual partitions and disks) and Files and Folders (i.e. all your data). The backup process is very easy; every step and every action is performed with a step by step wizard. Let me describe every step of the backup creation fully.
The First step– Backup Source– in this step you should select the backup source, i.e. in other words, specify what you want to back up- the entire PC, separate partitions or files and folders. Practically, all of them are similar, so I will describe the backup process by taking as an example, Files and Folders backup.
The Second step– Backup Selection– you can select the desired files and folders to back up from the tree-like view.
The Third step– Backup Destination– You have the possibility to save created backups on Acronis Cloud server, any removable media, for example, external hard drive or USB stick or manually specify a custom location on the internal hard drive. In addition, Acronis True Image 2016 allows you to upload backups via FTP server.
The Fourth step– File Backup Options– before creating a backup, the program lets you configure some options and advanced settings.
Schedule– for convenience’s sake you can schedule a backup task and run it at specified time. Acronis True Image 2016 allows you to run backups daily, weekly, monthly, upon event (i.e. at user logon, logoff, system startup and system shutdown or restart) and non-stop (i.e. continuous backup of selected data at intervals of five minutes).
In addition, you can customize some additional settings, for instance, run the backup only when the computer is idle, and so on.
Backup Scheme– in this tab you can specify the desired backup scheme and method.
The program offers the following backup schemes:
Single Version Scheme– the simplest scheme in the program; a full backup copy is created each time and overwrites the old one, for example, daily, i.e. according to the schedule settings.
Version Chain Scheme– this backup consists of one full and several differential backups. After a specified period of time (by default, 6 months) old backup copies will be automatically deleted.
Incremental Scheme– this is a default scheme of Acronis True Image 2016. At first the program creates a complete backup copy and then adds individual small backups (by default, 5 small backups). After that an old copy is removed and a new completed copy is created again and the process repeats.
Differential Scheme– i.e. such kind of backup when only new files are added to the earlier created full backup.
Custom Scheme– it is a fully customizable scheme created according to your defined settings and configurations.
Acronis True Image 2016 lets you use three different backup methods- Full, Incremental and Differential.
Full Backup, i.e. you can create a backup of entire partition, drives or computer; all files are backed up which are specified by the user.
Incremental Backup, i.e. such kind of backup when not all files are backed up, but only those that have changed since the last backup. This type of backup is very good when you want greatly reduce the backup size and access the different versions of the same backup file created at different times.
Differential Backup, i.e. such kind of backup when only new files are added the earlier created full backup.
In addition, you have the possibility to turn on automatic cleanup of backups and specify some options, for instance, creation of incremental versions, old version deletion rules, and so on.
Notifications– in this tab you can configure email notification options, for example, when free disk space is less than 100 MB, etc. Acronis True Image 2016 allows you to configure email server settings, and so on.
Exclusions– you have the possibility to exclude some file types from the backup process by using a predefined list or adding and specifying your own one.
Advanced Options– with the help of Acronis True Image 2016 you can configure and apply some advanced settings to the backups, for example, protect with a strong and reliable password (using the most popular encryption methods- AES 128, AES 192 and AES 256), split into several parts (for example, 650 MB, 4,7 GB, and so on), create a reserve copy, adjust removable media settings, etc.
Clone Disk– with the help of Acronis True Image 2016 you can clone the hard disk, i.e. saying in other words, create an exact copy of it including the operating system, applications, files and folders. But why do we need to clone disks? There are several reasons for disk cloning; for example, your hard drive is too small and you want to replace it with a disk which has got a greater capacity or you have just bought a new SSD disk and wish to transfer the operating system to it, and so on.
The advantage of this tool is obvious because it allows you to transfer the entire operating system to a more capacious hard drive or a new SSD disk while the system remains intact and fully operational. The cloning process does not require extraordinary skills; everybody, even unexperienced computer user can do it because every step and action is performed with the help of a step by step Wizard. Only a few easy steps are required for successful disk cloning, namely, firstly, you should choose a clone mode- Automatic and Manual (during Automatic mode the program will adjust and configure all cloning parameters automatically without your intervention while during Manual mode you have the possibility to adjust your desired parameters and settings), select the source and destination disk. In the final step you should select the required restoration method (you have got two options, namely, copy partitions without changes or copy partitions and use a disk as non-system) and exclude some folders and files for cloning process. That is all. After that the cloning process will start; the duration of this process depends on speed of your drive and its capacity. Do not forget to reboot the computer to apply all changes.
After reboot you will get a fully functional new disk with the operating system and all files and folders.
Rescue Media Builder– Of course, Acronis True Image 2016 is a great program for reliable protection of your entire system or individual files and folders. But what can you do if the system does not boot and you cannot use the program and created backups? Do not worry because the program’s developers have covered this unpleasant case, too. Acronis True Image 2016 offers a special additional tool called Rescue Media Builder that allows you to create a bootable USB stick or optical disk, boot from it and restore the corrupted system.
The program offers two different bootable media types- Acronis Bootable Rescue Media and WinPE-based media with Acronis plug-in. The former provides you with everything in order to create such a rescue media quickly and easily without additional components. All you need is to choose desired media destination. The program allows you to create a bootable CD or DVD and USB flash drive on the one hand and simply build an ISO image file and store it on the computer for further use on the other hand. The second bootable media type is more complex and intended for advanced users only. You need additional components to create it, namely, Acronis Media Add-in (it is available for download from the official Acronis website) and Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK) or Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) (the links to the both applications are provided in the program; just download them and you will be able to build your own rescue media).
In addition, you have the possibility to add some startup parameters to achieve better compatibility with different hardware by using command prompt options.
Acronis Universal Restore– sooner or later you understand that your computer is too old and you need to buy a new one. Of course, it is not difficult to buy a new PC, but it is more difficult to transfer the Windows operating system and use it on a new computer because, as a rule, it contains dissimilar hardware components and drivers. Fortunately, now, thanks to Acronis True Image 2016 you can easily solve this problem for it contains a special tool called Universal Restore which will help you to recover the system even to dissimilar hardware.
Before you start creating Acronis Universal Boot Media, you need to download a special application from the Acronis official website (the link to it is provided) and install it. After that you will be able to create it.
The creation of Universal Restore Media is not complicated; it includes several easy steps and performed with the help of a step by step Wizard. In the first step you should select the bootable media type (Linux-based media or Windows PE); in the second step specify bootable parameters and finally, choose those Acronis components that you want to place on the bootable media on the one hand and required drivers on the other hand.
You have the possibility to burn created media on a CD or DVD disk or record it to any removable media, for example, USB stick or external hard drive.
In addition, you can also upload it to Acronis PXE server and Microsoft RIS server or create an ISO file and store it on the computer.
The created bootable media will help you to recover the operating system to dissimilar hardware.
There is no need to say that this tool is of use and greatly increases and enriches the functionality and usefulness of Acronis True Image 2016.
Parallel Access– with the help of this tool you can access your computer remotely using any Android or iOS devices, for example, smartphone, iPad, tablet, etc. For activating this feature, you need to download and install a special third-party application.
Dashboard and Sync
Acronis True Image 2016 allows you to protect all your devices and manage created backups by using one easy to use dashboard on the one hand and sync all your data across all your devices on the other hand. All you need is to sign in to your Acronis account or create a new one in order to take full advantage of these tools.
Acronis True Image 2016 contains some additional tools; they are as follows- Startup Recovery Manager, Add New Disk, Drive Cleanser, Secure Zone, System Clean-up and Try and Decide.
Startup Recovery Manager– the main purpose of this tool is to protect your system against a failure; with the help of it you can define and activate a special function key F 11 and recover the unbootable system.
Add New Disk– modern hard disks have got a relatively big capacity and you can store a lot of files. But, it is more than probable that even 1 GB disk will run out of space someday. This tool is specially created for such cases. With the help of it you can add a new hard drive without any problems and configure it using a step by step wizard.
Drive Cleanser– it is very important to keep important files away from prying eyes. That is why Acronis True Image 2016 offers a very necessary tool that allows you to destroy sensitive and confidential data permanently and without any possibility to restore them even using the most advanced recovery applications.
With the help of Drive Cleanser you can erase any data using just three easy steps.
The first step- just select the desired drives or partitions to erase.
The second step- simply specify a data destruction algorithm; there are two different options at your disposal. You have the possibility to select one of seven provided predefined methods (the program offers all well-known secure wiping methods, for example, U.S. Standard DoD 5220.22 M, Peter Gutmann, Bruce Schneier, and so on) or create and use your own algorithm (the program allows you to adjust and define your own parameters, for instance, the number of passes, random length and value, etc.).
Data erased with Drive Cleanser cannot be restored even with the most powerful and advanced recovering methods or algorithms; all confidential information will be erased for good.
Secure Zone– do you care about your created backups and you want to keep them safe from unauthorized access? If it so, you can take full advantage of this excellent tool. Acronis True Image 2016 allows you to create a special protected area on the computer and safely store all your backups there. All you need is to allocate desired space (you can manually define the size of the partition) and optionally protect this safe zone with a strong password. That is all. Nothing and nobody can access it without entering a correct password and you will be completely secure.
System Clean-up– a lot of privacy traces are left after using the operating system. With this tool you have the possibility permanently clean all these traces; it allows you to clean recycle bin, temporary files, recently used documents, Windows run list, opened or saved files, Windows prefetch directory, and so on.
Try and Decide– this tool allows you to create a special virtual disk on the computer, i.e. saying in other words, secure and temporary workspace without installing any virtualization application. Using this virtual disk you can perform various operations without worrying that they may cause any damage to the operating system or your files.
You can use this tool, for example, open unknown files or mails from uncertain senders; install and try new applications or visit websites with potentially unsafe content, etc.
After using this tool you have the possibility to apply all changes (of course, if they are safe) or undo them.
Windows XP- Windows 10
Processor Pentium with minimum 1 GHz
1 GB of RAM
1.5 GB of free disk space
What is new in Acronis True Image 2016?
Family data protection
Try and Decide is back
Single multilingual build
User interface improvement
Windows 10 support
After testing this new version, now I can summarize some facts in a few words.
There is no need to say that Acronis True Image 2016 is still one of the best backup applications on the software market. It still includes and offers a wide range of tools and features. Firstly, it offers different and reliable backup options which allow you to perform any backup task ranging from a single file or folder to the entire operating system; and, secondly, by buying the program you will get a lot of additional and useful tools such as Secure Zone, try and Decide, and so on.
Without any exaggeration Acronis True Image 2016 is the best way to avoid problems related to the backup and restore; the program is specially designed and created to help you to protect your operating system and important data from unexpected and even expected problems.
It supports all types of backup methods- full, incremental and differential
It has got a lot of different tools
It provides a very useful Acronis Cloud service for reliable storage
And much more
None. I have not experienced any problems.