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How many files do you have your hard drive? How many of those are important files, i.e., irreplaceable ones? We all have precious files, mostly photos and videos which we look at, to relive special moments from the past.
And it’s not just media files that we don’t want to lose. Almost everyone saves a copy of the software that they use in a backup drive. This is to ensure that they have the installer files handy in case they want to reinstall the applications, or even install them on new PCs. It is a good practice to get into, especially for premium software which you have paid for.
Personally I keep the installers of software which I buy, and those which are restricted to version upgrades, which after a newer release, gets taken off the developer’s website.
We have even seen scenarios, in which gamers backup their game files to their hard disk, so that they don’t have to redownload the entire thing, which could cost a lot of data, especially with all the bandwidth data caps that service providers impose upon their users today.
Now, let’s talk about an office related scenario. Would you save your documents on your work PC and nowhere else? That is not a good idea is it? Everything, from the smallest of receipts, to really important documents, and your projects have to be backed up, at least on to a cloud service, in addition to a local backup on a different disk.
In the digital age, which we live in today, it is unwise to rely on DVD and CD backups. These physical media disks, are prone to scratching and shattering, and the occurance of even one of those would mean that you have lost your precious data forever.
Computers aren’t that safe from harm either. Trojans, worms, viruses, and malware continue to wreak havoc on innoncent users, through various forms of attacks. Phishing emails not only steal your data, they even steal your identity. And these can even occur in a newer form of malware, which are injected into ads, aka malvertising.
Then there is the more dangerous threat, called Ransomware. These are advanced malware which lock your files by encrypting them. The only proper way to recover the files is to either wait for a decrypting solution from security researchers or antivirus companies.
Scary isn’t it? Of course you could format your hard drive, to get rid of the ransomware, but it comes at a hefty price, because you will lose all of your files and precious data.
Now, that should make it clear why backing up your data is not just good sense, but very essential too?
Never risk your data, either back them up to an online server or take backups and save them to your external hard drive. There are upsides and downsides to both. The biggest problem is of course, financial. You can spend hundreds or thousands of bucks on buying subscriptions for cloud storage accounts, which also needs an internet connection, which again is expensive.
The same can be said about hard drives, which are still quite the cash burner, and there is the chance that you will quickly run out of space.
And there is a burden of manually doing all the backups yourself, which demands a lot of time. Time is money, and is a heavy price to pay for saving your data.
If only there was a more easier way to take backups, with up greater ease and efficiency. What if we tell you there is a very user friendly application which lets you backup your data like a pro?
Allow us to introduce you to Acronis True Image. Why is it better than other backup software in the market?
Let’s begin by analyzing the GUI of the software. It is clean and simplistic, devoid of ribbons and clunky toolbars. Instead Acronis True Image has an interface which consists of two sections: a sidebar on the left edge, and a large pane on the right of the bar.
The sidebar has a lot of shortcuts for accessing the various options in Acronis True Image. There are buttons which have icons representing each function, which makes it easy to identify what button does what. There are a total of 7 buttons in all, and these are their names: Backup, Archive, Sync, Tools, Dashboard, Account and Settings.
Backup, is the primary function of Acronis True Image. This is what you use to save your data. And you can literally backup any file or folder you want.
There are two primary types of backups: The first one is the files and folders option. Clicking on it, brings up a really good looking File explorer. The UI of this explorer comprises of two panes, the left pane displays the directory tree, while the right pane, displays the folders in the slected directory, the files inside the folder, etc.
Once you have selected the source (data to be backed up), you can choose a destination for the backup to be saved. You can either save it locally, or an external hard disk or on the Acronis Cloud storage, for which you need to login to your Acronis account.
Choosing the cloud storage allows you to access the data from any computer, even one which does not have Acronis True Image installed on it. This is because you can access your Acronis account from your web browser.
Once you have backed up your data, you can restore them anytime you want to. Let’s say you want to restore just one or two files or folders, you can only choose them and the application will restore it for you. Acronis True Image lets you save 10 system states, to roll back to, in case some issues occur with your OS, and you can start over from the restore point you want to.
The second option in the sidebar, is Archive. It allows you to free up your hard drive’s space, by moving large files to the Acronis Cloud Storage, or to an external drive, or a NAS device, or network share. You can use the built-in
File Explorer and Finder, or a web browser to search for files in the archived backups. Archived backups support file encryption for additional security.
Similarly you can also search for files and folders, in backups stored locally and on the Acronis cloud.
The Dashboard can be used for managing your data which you have backed up to the cloud, from any computer. You can also access computers of family and friends who have connected to your account, and protect their data in real time.
But there is more to the Dashboard, for you can use it to backup your iPhones, iPads, and Android mobiles to your computer, and restore it to any device. The backups are done wirelessly and transferred to your PC at the same speed as your Wi-Fi.
No, we are not done yet. Acronis True Image’s Dashboard can even backup your Facebook content. This is done incrementally over time, and includes all the photos, videos, contacts, comments, and likes you have posted on to the social network, so you don’t lose your data even in case of attacks or hacks.
The third option in the sidebar, Sync allows you to synchronize your Cloud account and your computer, so your data is always up to date, and available on any of your devices. Acronis encrypts your data with 256 bit security, and the only person who has the key to decrypt it is you, which means nobody else can access your data.
The fourth option, Tools tab, houses the true power of Acronis, because it can backup your computer’s hard drive in its entirety.
Say, you were the unfortunate victim of a ransomware attack, and you decided to format the hard drive to get rid of the infection. You can be the brave soul who does that, but with the knowledge that your data is secure, in the form of a backup image taken with Acronis.
Yes, you can take a full disc image with the software’s Clone Disc option, which includes your operating system, the applications you had installed, etc. Think about the time you will save by otherwise installing the operating system and all the software one by one. That’s pretty impressive, isn’t it?
You can even use this for migrating from one hard disk to another, or maybe even from one computer to a new one.
What if your OS crashed and you didn’t want to start from scratch? Use the Rescue Media Builder option in Acronis True Image, using which you can create a bootable media, for accessing the PC when the OS won’t boot. Similarly, the Acronis Universal Restore Media option lets you migrate your data to a completely new PC with different hardware.
The Parallel Access option, is useful for accessing data from your phones, using your PC.
The following extra standalone apps are available from the Tools tab:
- Acronis System Report
- Activate Acronis Startup Recovery Mananager
- Add New Disk
- Bootable Rescue Media Builder
- Clone Disk
- Manage Acronis SecureZone
- System Clean-up
- Try & Decide
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