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Acronis True Image Online Unlimited 2016 Review

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PROS / The app allows you to create mirror image and local backup sets.

CONS / It's not easy to restore files.

 VERDICT / Acronis True Image Cloud has a very versatile cloud backup app with access to unlimited storage, but the value is just average, and performance of the file restoration features is subpar.

Acronis has many software and cloud applications for backup and data protection purposes. Acronis True Image Cloud is the personal subscription version of the online backup service. As such, the desktop app is very similar to the stand-alone software of the same name, sans the "Cloud." It comes with comprehensive backup and restore features, like local backups and disk image backups. However, despite the unlimited storage, the overall value was average in our cost evaluation, and the overall performance was inconsistent.

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To find the relative value of each online backup service in our review, we considered the cost per computer to back up 1TB of data for a large family with at least five devices, a small family with three devices, and an individual with one computer. Next, we performed multiple tests to gauge the app's backup and restore performance by grading the average relative speed and ease of use from the perspective of a novice user.

There are three subscriptions to choose from with Acronis True Image Cloud. Each subscription comes with unlimited storage and the same features. The delineating factor is the number of computers you can back up. At the base level, it costs $99 to backup one computer, which is why the service earned a B in our value tests. For a small family, it costs $159.99 a year, which is roughly $53 per computer each year. This is why it received a C- in our cost evaluation. For a large family with five computers, the cost is $199 or roughly $40 per computer, which received a C. For comparison, the best value in our reviews costs less than $60 for five computers, which is less than $12 per computer each year.

In our performance tests, Acronis True Image Cloud received a B for backup speed. Based on multiple tests, it recorded a speed that suggests it would take about 10 days to complete a 1TB backup. For comparison, the fastest speed we recorded would complete the same backup in less than four days.

For ease of use, the backup process received a B-. It's not a terribly difficult app to navigate, but it relies heavily on symbols instead of text to signify features. This means that a novice user has to learn how to use the app through trial and error. But once you've figured out what the symbols stand for, the number of steps is minimal.

One of the advantages with Acronis True Image Cloud is the comprehensive list of backup features. Unlike most cloud backup services, you can treat the app like standalone data backup software by backing up to a local computer or a friend's computer instead of your cloud account. You can also create disk image backups, which protects your entire computer by creating an exact copy of your hard drive, though this is an advanced feature.

For the file restoration process, Acronis received a C- for relative speed. The average speed we recorded suggests it could restore 1TB of data in about 17 days. By comparison, the fastest restore speed in our tests was two days.

The ease of use for the restore process was disappointing for an app with such comprehensive backup features, which is why it received a D-. You can't use the app to restore files. Instead, the app redirects you to the web portal through your default web browser. Once you log in, you have to select the folders you want to restore, then you download a ZIP file, which means you have to reorganize the files after you open it up.

Acronis provides good security. Like most cloud backup services, your data is encrypted with 256-bit AES encryption. You have the option to maintain the encryption key. This is a critical security feature, especially if you value privacy because it means that the service can't scan your files for user information. In addition, the service provides the option for a two-step verification. This security feature protects against hackers gaining access to your data if they have your password because it requires your immediate attention. After logging in, the service sends you a second PIN, which is delivered to you via text, phone or email.

Summary

Acronis True Image Cloud has many advanced features like local backups and disk image backups that you'd get in the standalone backup software. You also get unlimited storage. However, the overall combination of value and performance is just average with a significant learning curve for the restoration process. This is a cloud backup service that's ideal for a more advanced user as a result.

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