Acronis True Image 2013 review
Acronis's True Image has been our favourite backup software for some time, so we were keen to see how the latest release, True Image 2013, improves on previous editions. It's available as a single licence, or as a 'Family Pack' which, at £60, is a decent discount over the cost of buying three individual copies. True Image 2013 retains the interface improvements introduced with True Image 2012, and it still supports backups to local or network disks, optical media, and Acronis's cloud servers, but it introduces a couple of new features, the most timely of which is support for Windows 8.
When first installed, the program presents the user with a simple ‘Get Started’ screen that outlines its backup, recovery and cloud storage features. It also offers quick buttons to configure them. These are friendly, if simplistic, but the full range of options are distributed between tabs covering Backup and Recovery, Synchronisation, and Tools and utilities. Once familiar with the product, users are more likely to spend their time working from these.
The Get Started tab is friendly for beginners, but you'll quickly get the hang of the more complete controls if required
The aptly named Backup and Recovery tab displays the software's core features, with a group of icons at the top of the window for setting up various backup and recovery options. Underneath is a list of the backup jobs you've already created. If you had an earlier version of the software installed, this should include existing backups, which are imported automatically.
Several backup types and destinations are available. The most basic, Disk and Partition Backup, is designed to backup the disks within your computer or the partitions on them, to a local, optical or network drive. It's a simple way to configure a comprehensive backup, with detailed scheduling, backup type, performance and advanced options only a couple of clicks away. Schedule options include a range of set timings and event triggers, and you can set a delay between the system booting and any events starting. This is a useful way to ensure network connections are established and drives are available before a job starts.
It's possible to browse manually for old backups that aren't picked up during the installation, but when we tried this True Image didn't automatically discover the settings we had previously used, suggesting that these aren't packaged within the actual backup files. The menu option to recreate a backup's settings proved only partly effective, but once we'd recreated them manually our next backup worked perfectly, updating the existing data rather than starting again.