Friday, December 31, 2010

Top 5 Tech Purchases For 2010—#4



Acronis True Image Home.

Yes, I know #5 was also a backup solution. What can I say? Backup is important.

Unlike Crashplan, Acronis True Image does full system backups. Once set up the system runs in complete “set it and forget it” mode. You can tell it how long to keep backups around, how often to run them, etc. It does a mix of full, incremental, and differential backups to minimize space requirements and maximize reliability. Like Crashplan and Carbonite, Acronis does have an Online Backup offering. It’s pricey, though, at $50/yr. for a mere 250 GB of storage. Need more than that and you’ll probably want to do some combination of Acronis and Crashplan. And now you see why they’re both on the list.

True Image has a continuous method too, that seems to be incredibly quick and doesn’t chew up your disk space.

I did have some problems with it not pruning old backups automatically for me, but I recently got an updated version (updates come down automatically), and the problem seems to have been resolved. The real problem for me is that I have so much data that needs to be backed up, and my external backup drive is only 2 TB. That doesn’t allow for many backup versions to be stored. I think I’d be ok with a 4 or 5 TB drive, but those just aren’t available. If you’re not a disk hog like me, you should be fine.

Acronis also offers a family pack which contains three licenses for Acronis True Image. The current pricing for this is $60 which is a great deal. Deal expires today, though.

Pros:

  • Set it and forget it
  • System backup
  • Continuous option
  • Automatic updates
  • Automatic pruning of backup sets

Cons:

  • Offsite storage is pricey and limited in size.

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