The latest release of Acronis True Image 2017 is an interesting one that promises a faster user interface and some handy new features. Of course you can’t expect too much from backup software. It’s a kind of software that comes with a specific purpose; one that ATI has been delivering on for years already.
Despite this Acronis have managed to create and introduce several new features since 2015 following the use and acceptance of cloud based storage and the prevalence of mobile devices.
The following are the key features of Acronis True Image 2017:
- The design has been updated to give it a more crisp corporate appearance
- You can now backup your mobile to your computer
- Search and browse features that allow you to easier find the files you need
- Backup your Facebook account using Acronis Cloud
- Acronis Cloud is an extra feature with flexible pricing options
Acronis True Image 2017 Has a New Look and Feel
Acronis changed the look of ATI for the 2017 version to give it a completely professional and corporate feel. This improvement also makes the software as a whole a little bit faster. If you were bothered by the slower responses of the previous versions you’ll love this new responsiveness.
New Mobile to Local Backup Feature
There are several new features to enjoy but one of the best is that you can now backup your mobile phone to your local computer. It works in the same way that the mobile to Acronis Cloud feature works.
This feature allows you to backup your mobile device to your computer over Wi-Fi by scanning a QR code using your mobile device.
Just download the app on the app store of your choosing and modify where the backup is stored using the settings. It’s a quite simple process to go through and is much easier than the old Acronis Cloud 2016 backup. It used to take a long time to back the data up and the app wasn’t very good.
Acronis seemed to have learned from their mistakes and created an app that allows you to backup your mobile data with minimal fuss and effort.
There are some limitations to this feature:
- It’s impossible to view the individual files in the backup on your computer. This is because the data is stored as one large closed file. You can check the files using your mobile device. To have more control over your backup and view the data properly you’ll need to make use of the Acronis Cloud feature.
- It looks like you can only backup the data stored on the phone and not on the memory card. If this is the case it would be a serious error on the part of the creators.
Search and Browse Your Backups
New features allow you to search through your backup to find and recover certain files and folders instead of transferring the whole thing. This feature can save you a lot of time if you’ve used conventional names for your files and you have a lot of files but only need a few at the time.
You can also manually browse through your backup to find a particular item. This is a feature that wasn’t implemented until 2016.
Flexible Pricing Options Make ATI 2017 More Affordable
Acronis have implemented new pricing options for Acronis True Image 2017 that better fit your needs and budget. There are three pricing models you can choose from:
- One time purchase for a lifetime subscription
- 1 year subscription
- 2 year subscription
After choosing your model you also have the option to choose 1, 3 or 5 licenses, with incentives for buying more than one license.
The two subscription models also allow you to purchase up to 5TB of cloud storage. There isn’t a discount for purchasing more storage space however. Each 1TB of storage space will cost the same amount.
It looks like Acronis has done away with unlimited cloud storage for their products. There is a storage space discount for people choosing the 1-time purchase option though.
How Acronis True Image Works
ATI is a great suite for backing up and restoring your data. There are plenty of features thrown in along with different options for backing up your data such as file backup, creating disk images, cloning, mobile backup and using cloud storage.
The three main features of Acronis True Image are:
- File backup
- Disk imaging
- Clone disk
While the Acronis Cloud is quickly becoming a major part of ATI it’s still a separate feature that you have to pay for separately.
The basic file backup is probably the feature people use the most. It works how you would expect it to. All you need to do is follow three simple steps:
- Choose what you’re backing up (Files and Folders)
- Choose where the backup will be stored (Acronis Cloud, an external USB drive, or local/network storage)
- Choose any other options such as scheduling, the backup scheme, and any other advanced options
There are some other options that show up after choosing what to backup and where the backup will be stored. These include how and when the backup will be run.
There are five parts to the backup options section:
- Scheduling an automatic backup
- Choosing a backup scheme
- Advanced options
Scheduling allows you to choose when the backup will run. It’s pretty self-explanatory really.
This is where you choose how to create the backup. There are a couple of schemes that you can choose from. The schemes are how the data is compared and saved during the backup process.
There are some schemes that are pre-configured to make things easier for you and a nice little animation explains each scheme and what it does for you. These two schemes are:
- Single version scheme
- Version chain scheme
There are a few other schemes that you can use. These are the more common ones and they can be modified to suit your particular needs. They are the:
- Incremental scheme
- Differential scheme
Finally there is a custom scheme that allows you to create your own scheme and backup behavior by modifying the other schemes.
Disk imaging is a little more advanced. This disk imaging feature is one of the main features of Acronis True Image 2017.
It’s important that you familiarise yourself with disk imaging if you’re going to use ATI. This is because the feature isn’t known as disk image anymore. Now there are two different versions of it:
- “Entire PC”
- Disks and partitions
It’s important to pay attention to this when starting ATI 2017 because disk images are essentially a copy of every shred of data on your computer, including the operating systems, drivers, files, and everything else.
A disk image will also attempt to back up every bit of local data it can find including USB drivers and network drives. All of this can lead to a lot of data if you attempt to back up the entire PC. You can easily be left trying to back up over 5TB of data or more.
This “Entire PC” feature is worth your attention because ATI places a heavy focus on it, which can lead you to believe that it’s a simple backup feature when it’s anything but. There are some problems with creating a disk image over a basic backup, but more about that later.
Clone Disk is a feature that you can use if you need to copy all of the data from one computer to another hard drive. You can find the Clone Disk option in the “more tools” section as it is technically an independent program.
Something that is becoming more common these days is migrating to an SSD when you decide to make the switch from HDD to SSD. After making sure that your (most likely smaller) SSD drive has the room you need it’s simple to migrate the data across with this feature.
Potential Problems With ATI
The Progress Bar and Time Indicator Don’t Function Properly
While ATI does show a backup progress bar and the remaining time they don’t work properly in ATI 2017. This issue is more surprising because it was a problem with ATI 2015 and ATI 2016 so it really should have been solved by now.
There is a bug where the time indicator could tell you that there is less than one minute left as soon as you start backing up your data and stay that way until you’ve finished. The progress bar is just as erratic, tending to jump backwards and forwards and make you believe that the backup is almost finished.
If you use ATI a lot you’ll get a good idea of how long a backup should take so it becomes a bit less of an issue.
Acronis Cloud Integration
While Acronis Cloud is a nice touch it can be very confusing to get to grips with at first. When you try to load it up you’ll quickly end up with a lot of tabs open on your browser and you’ll find you have to sign into the cloud even though you access the cloud through the software itself. It presents an annoying and unnecessary hindrance.
Because Acronis has a great team of software developers at their disposal you’d think that they were able to create a central online experience where you can run everything easily from a single tab. This would make the product much better.
At least as of right now it’s impossible to backup the memory card in your mobile phone. It’s also annoying that you can’t use your computer to access the files in your mobile backup.
Despite there being a few flaws Acronis True Image 2017 is still an impressive piece of software that I can easily recommend. Even if you’re already using ATI 2016 you should consider getting the upgrade to 2017. Doing so also allows you to keep your upgrade capable status.
ATI 2017 is a professional piece of software that, even though Acronis have put it in their “home user” section, their backup and disk image suite can be used by a small business.
The improvements they have made to the design, user experience, and the implementation of new features make Acronis True Image 2017 a pleasure to use.
It’s true that there is still some room for improvement with the software but overall it’s a powerful program that you can use to keep your computer, and the data therein, safe and secure.