Acronis True Image 2014 full review
You might think Windows has you covered with its own imaging/system backup, but there's still a need for programs such as Acronis True Image. Windows' built-in utility is extremely limited and reacts badly to new hardware. True Image handles bare-metal restore and diverse hardware without hiccup. Owners of recent versions of True Image probably won't find anything particularly compelling about this latest rendition, as only the online service is really new, but the new interface is a breeze to use. It also takes Acronis Backup to the cloud for the first time. See also: Group test: what's the best backup software?
If there's one thing that stands out about the latest version of True Image 2014, it's how friendly it is. Gone are the poorly rendered dialogs and oddly phrased instructions. The interface is clean, efficient, and simple. You can perform a backup without answering a confusing stream of questions. All the options advanced users want--including password protection, sector-by-sector backup (the program defaults to backing up only occupied sectors), pre- and post-run commands, splitting (or not) of files, and validation--are still present. They're simply hidden away in a very cleanly organized dialog.
True Image 2014: file and image backups
True Image 2014 can perform file and image backups, one-off backups, multiple tracked backups, incremental, differential, scheduling, notifications, and more. There's really no imaging trick from the last fifteen years that the program doesn't have in its bag. In addition, if your laptop lacks a boot-time recovery option, True Image will provide it. The SecureZone and Try and Decide options are still available, and there's a full list of secure erase options. You can even convert Windows backups to Acronis's format, and vice-versa.
In keeping with modern times, there's an online backup option in Acronis's own Acronis Cloud. You get one year of 5GB (enough only for data, not system backups) for free with the program, but after a year, or for more storage, it'll cost you for online storage: pricing is competitive.
Every imaging or backup program should feature the ability to create disaster recovery boot media--ideally, both CD (for older systems), and USB flash drive. The ponderousness of TI's older boot media forced me to abandon previous versions of the program, as it wasn't good for older, memory-challenged PCs. R-Drive Image is better for those. True Image 2014's rescue disc still requires 512MB of system memory, and the new interface isn't implemented, making it less friendly that the Windows UI. However, Acronis provides the means for adding it to a Windows PE boot disc, though it's not as simple a process as it should be. See all backup and recovery applications reviews.
Acronis True Image 2014: Specs
- Works with: FAT16/32, NTFS
- Hard Disk Drives
- Network Attached Storage (NAS)
- FTP Server
- CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, BD-R
- PATA (IDE), SATA, SCSI, SAS, IEEE1394 (Firewire), USB1.1/2.0/3.0 drives. Requires: Windows 8/7 SP1/Vista SP2/XP Home Edition SP3, XP Professional (X32 SP3/X64 SP2)/Home Server 2011
- Raw Image support