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Acronis True Image 2013 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £29.95
inc VAT

Precious little has changed from the last version, but True Image 2013 remains our pick of backup software



True Image supports several schemes for managing backups, each of which uses one or more of the available backup types: full, differential (everything new since the last full backup) and incremental (everything new since the last backup of any kind). Should disk space allow, there are more foolproof options, such as adding only a set number of increments before creating an additional full backup.

Clean Up Settings
You can set rules for cleaning up old backups; it’s good to keep at least two version chains if space allows

Previous backups can be left to gather dust on a disk or can be cleaned up automatically based on their age, size or the number of full versions that need to be retained. You can also run scripted commands before or after a backup, and validate the backup on a regular basis. This is handy if you want to know if a problem has occurred.

Non-stop Backup
Non-stop backups are a great way to guard against destructive edits

Even though disk and partition backups will suit many users, True Image also caters for those who just want to back up groups of files or folders. You can define multiple backups, each of which can run to its own schedule, allowing, for example, a full backup once a month with more regular jobs to cover just media files or documents. For those who can’t afford to lose a moment’s work, Nonstop Backup runs constantly to back up files or partitions to a local drive, preserving historic versions of updated files and thus allowing you to restore an earlier version of a file. This is useful if you made an ill-advised edit to a file and didn’t immediately realise it.

Online Backup Settings
True Image supports online backups; £40 per year buys you a whopping 250GB of space

The backup types described so far all store data on local or network disks, or on optical discs, but the software can also create backups on Acronis’s cloud servers. There’s no free storage and only one subscription level, though: £4 per month or £40 per year for 250GB of space. The same space is used to provide a synchronisation feature through which data can be shared between more than one computer or mobile device, and there are free apps for iOS and Android. While this is useful, it isn’t as flexible as specialised services such as SugarSync. You can create multiple folders in your Acronis online storage, for example, but you can’t then be selective about the device to which they’re synchronised.

Acronis 2013 Android App
The slick Android app handles synchronisation, but we prefer dedicated services such as SugarSync


Restoring a backup can be as simple as clicking the Recover button in the list of backups, selecting the disk or partitions to restore then clicking the Recover Now button, but this will restore the entire backup to its original location. The Recover files option lets you browse the backup’s contents and various versions for files or folders to restore, and set whether to restore them to their original location or a new one.

Like previous versions, True Image 2013 comes with a comprehensive set of tools for protecting your computer and recovering from various problems, including the excellent Try&Decide mode which lets you experiment with potentially destructive changes in a safe environment where mistakes can be reverted. There are some subtle improvements to the utilities, not least to the Clone disk function which, like the rest of True Image, now supports disks using the GUID Partition Table (GPT) – essential to modern PCs with large bootable disks.

Overall, the changes in True Image 2013 are even more subtle than those in 2012, but it is an improved product. In particular, we found it was rock-solid during our testing on a variety of machines, something we haven’t always found with previous versions. It remains very easy software to use, providing a clear and consistent interface that should help even the inexperienced to create reliable backups, but a bit of digging reveals a wealth of options that let experienced users tailor it to their demands. SugarSync has it beaten for online synchronisation and sharing, but for local and online backups True Image 2013 remains hard to beat.

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Price £30
Rating *****

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