PROS / You can create mirror image and local backup sets.
CONS / The file-restoration process is not easy.
VERDICT / Acronis True Image Cloud features unlimited storage, but the value is just average, and the performance of the file restoration was poor.
Acronis is a popular brand when it comes to data backup software and cloud solutions built around data protection. Acronis True Image Cloud is the company's consumer-level cloud data backup service, which comes with unlimited storage for up to five computers. The desktop app is almost identical to the company's stand-alone consumer-level backup software. You get comprehensive backup and restore features that includes local backups and disk-image backups. However, despite the unlimited storage, the overall value was just average in our cost evaluation, and the overall performance was inconsistent.
To determine the relative value of each online data backup service in our review, we calculated the cost per computer to back up 1TB of data for a large family with at least five PCs, a small family with three PCs, and an individual with one PC. After grading the value at these three levels, we tested the desktop app's backup and restore performance by finding the average relative speed of each phase of the software and the ease of use from the perspective of a novice user.
Acronis True Image Cloud has three subscriptions, which are delineated by the number of computers you can back up. One subscription allows you to back up one computer, the next backs up three, the next backs up five. Each subscription comes with unlimited storage and comprehensive features. For a large family with five computers, the yearly subscription cost is $199, which is roughly $40 per computer. As such, the service received a C for value for a large family. The cost for three computers is $159.99, which received a C- in our evaluation because it costs about $53 per computer. At $99 a year for one computer, the best relative value is the individual subscription, which received a B in our evaluation.
In comparison, the service with the best value in our review has a subscription that costs about $60 per year and allows unlimited devices, which means the cost per computer is exceptionally lower at each level of our evaluation.
In our backup speed tests, Acronis True Image Cloud scored a B. After multiple tests, which we performed at various time throughout the day and night, the average rate we recorded with the app suggests it would take about 10 days to back up 1TB. This is about 11 days above the average rate in our tests, but it still doesn't compare to the fastest backup speed, which was recorded at less than four days. Of course, it's important to note that these speeds are meant to be comparative based on the average MB per minute gathered in tests performed on our network. You may experience different results.
Acronis' backup process received a B- for ease of use. The app has an uncomplicated design with relatively few steps in the backup process. However, the biggest issue is the lack of text signifying the features. Instead, the app relies on symbols. This means that a novice user has to learn what the symbols mean through trial and error, which adds a learning curve to the process. Once you've become familiar with the symbols, the learning curve is minimal.
Acronis True Image Cloud is one of the few cloud data apps with comprehensive backup features. As mentioned, it's nearly identical to the Acronis True Image backup software, which means that it comes with advanced features like mirror-image backup and local backups. Mirror-image backups allow you to back up your entire system, not just important files, while the local backup feature allows you to back up to external drives or a separate computer. These are features that require more expertise than a novice user has. As such, this app is ideal for intermediate or advanced users.
The app received a C- for the relative speed in our file-restoration tests. It recorded an average speed that suggests it would take about 17 days to restore 1TB of data, which was two days below the average rate in our tests. By comparison, the fastest restore speed we recorded was less than three days.
We gave the ease of use for the restore process a D-, primarily because of the many steps a novice user is required to make to restore files. It's disappointing that the app, which has a comprehensive list of features, doesn't allow you to restore data directly. When you click on the "Recover Files" button, the app opens your default web browser and redirects you to the web portal. You have to log in and choose the files you want to restore. Then you download a ZIP file of the chosen files, which you have to open and reorganize. You can't restore files to the original location.
As with the best online data backup services, Acronis encrypts your data with 256-bit AES encryption. You can customize your encryption key, which is an essential security feature if you're concerned with the privacy of your data. With the personal encryption key, you are the only person who can view your files, which means the service can't scan or view your files for any reason. The risk, however minor, to a personal encryption key is forgetting it. If you forget the key, the service can't reset it, which means you can't access your files.
Acronis True Image Cloud comes with unlimited storage, but the cost per computer with the three subscriptions provides just an average relative value. The desktop app has many advanced features, such as local backup and disk-image backup abilities. The backup speed was above average, but the restore speed was below average. Likewise, the app has above average ease of use for the backup process, but poor ease of use for the file-restoration process.