вторник, 19 ноября 2013 г.

The clue is in the title: Acronis Backup and Security is actually a compilation of two separate products: there's TrueImage Home 2011 with Acronis Online Backup for backups, and Acronis Internet Security 2011 offering protection for your computer. All three are wrapped up in an integrated installer, but ultimately you're buying two unconnected products. The cost of buying both together in this compilation is significantly less than purchasing either independently, making them a competitively priced option for those needing both backup software and a decent security option. Back up your computer The star of this package is undoubtedly Acronis TrueImage Home 2011. It's one of the best backup tools there is, and has long since developed beyond being simply a capable drive-imaging tool. There are options for backing up files and email, plus tools for providing continuous backups and a protected environment for testing applications before deciding if you wish to keep them or not. The online backup tool – which although a separate product is accessible from the TrueImage interface – comes with 5GB complementary online storage space. If that's insufficient, there's also an option to upgrade to 250GB for an additional $20 per year, an extremely competitive premium when compared to dedicated online backup services. Take an image Launch TrueImage for the first time and you’ll be presented with a splash screen offering three options: back up my critical data, use the backup assistant, and go to the main program. The first option simply provides three options for backing up: system partition, documents and other personal data, and the choice of backup destination. Click Backup Now, and you’re off and running. The second option allows you to choose between backing up your system drive using the imaging tool, selected files or folders or your email. The final option lets you access any of the tools – including the more advanced features like Try & Decide – and is worth exploring should you want a greater degree of control over what is backed up. Everything is designed to be as simple and as understandable as possible, and with options like Nonstop Backup, your backups will be updated almost continuously, giving you access to the latest version of your data and system whatever happens. This latter option is a little restrictive, making it difficult to locate older versions of files, so more advanced users will probably trade in the higher level of protection for the greater flexibility offered by the main tools. Effortless rollback TrueImage boasts a handy feature called Try&Decide. Switch this on, and you're able to effectively enter “sandbox” mode, allowing you to perform actions that can be rolled back effortlessly should you run into problems. It’s of most use when testing software, performing sensitive tasks or opening your computer up to potential security breaches. Once the experiment is complete, decide to accept or reject the changes – choosing the latter reverts your PC back to its previous state, and unlike System Restore everything is rolled back, not just system and program files, so use with care (or keep your data stored on another partition). Try&Decide is a useful tool, but quite slow when implementing changes, and when it's enabled other drive-imaging tools (including the continuous protection feature) are disabled, which detract from it slightly. New features There’s not an awful lot new in the 2011 version to recommend it to those using the 2010 version. The most notable new feature is better integration with Windows 7 – including automatically backing up the contents of your Libraries – along with the ability to convert TrueImage backups into standard Windows backups and vice versa for compatibility purposes. But for those looking for their first all-in-one backup solution, it offers the best blend of usability and features currently available on the market. Stay protected Acronis Internet Security 2011 is actually a rebadged version of BitDefender Internet Security 2011. That’s not in itself a bad thing – BitDefender does have a reasonable track record after all, but it means the protection offered is good rather than great. Its main strengths lie in the privacy side of things, with excellent anti-phishing protection, but this is countered by slightly disappointing results when dealing with malware – either in terms of blocking it, or removing infections already present. The 2011 version is more streamlined than its predecessor, which means it’s faster and lighter on system resources, so installing it won’t bring your computer grinding to a halt. It can be used in a set-it-and-forget-it capacity, or you can dig a little deeper to take advantage of advanced tools and options. These include parental controls, a gaming mode that reduces the program’s footprint further and disables intensive operations such as scanning when switched on, and a file vault. This latter option allows you to create an encrypted container on your PC that’s mounted like a real drive, allowing you to store sensitive files securely, protecting them from falling into the wrong hands. Competent, but unspectacular Acronis Internet Security 2011 falls into the middle of the pack when it comes to PC protection, excelling in some areas, but lacking in others. If you’re the kind of person who is still plagued by malware then choose a package like Norton 2011 instead, but if privacy concerns – particularly when it comes to being scammed or phished – are paramount, this is the tool of choice. At $69.99, Acronis Backup and Security 2011 doesn’t look particularly cheap, particularly when it only pays for a single year’s protection and online backup, but it's still far better value than marrying TrueImage with any other security product. Also, the licence can be used on up to three PCs in the home, which obviously adds to its value. Your money will buy you a top-notch backup tool and decent, if not earth-shattering, security. It adds up to being a good choice for those who understand the importance of both forms of protection, but who want simple solutions that won't demand time or attention to set up.

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