Acronis Backup and Security 2011

Backup and Security 2011 is essentially a pair of Acronis programs – Internet Security and True Image Home – slung together in a single box to offer a wide backup features alongside anti-virus, anti-phishing, anti-spam and a firewall.

Given that Windows now includes so many of the features and functions that utility software makers used to make hay from so successfully, it’s worth asking whether the programs offer anything that is not already included in Windows.

Here, the answer is a firm ‘yes’ – especially in terms of backup – and while you might be able to cobble together something similar from Windows’ own utilities and reputable freeware programs and services, the equivalents offered here are more wide-ranging and sophisticated.

It includes various types of backup: you can choose to copy individual files and folders, specific disks and partitions or a non-stop option, which backs up the files of your choice continuously, and it will even back up your emails if you like.

In addition, 5GB of online storage is included in the price or you can upgrade to 250GB for only £10 a year. Backup novices (of which there are plenty) can use the backup assistant to help them choose the most appropriate type of backup. We found the backup features impressive – you can encrypt or compress the data and it plays nicely with Windows 7 and lets you use the Libraries feature to create a backup from similar files even if they are scattered all over the hard disk.

We were less taken with the Internet Security product (which is just a re-badged version of Bitdefender’s Internet Security 2011). There were problems installing it and dire warnings of ‘critical’ security alerts when we started the program for the first time, all of which were unnecessary. After that it appeared to slow our test PC down, especially the anti-phishing toolbar which plonked itself above the main web browser window. We missed the light touch of the free AVG software.

However, it’s well priced especially when you consider that you can install it single product on up to three PCs.