Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office: More than just a backup solution


The number of cybersecurity protection tools on the market is staggering, which makes it challenging to decide which to use. Acronis has one tool that stands out in the pack. Read on to see if this tool is right for you.

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Acronis has been known for its enterprise-grade backup solution for years. With their award-winning platform you could backup full servers, data collections, desktops and just about anything else.

But Acronis is more than just a company that sells backup tools. Case in point is the Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office application. Although this macOS and Windows desktop application does include encrypted cloud backup, it also adds real-time protection from viruses and vulnerabilities, ransomware attacks and malicious files. In this day of constant threats, having additional protection is a must.

SEE: Mobile device security policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office doesn’t stop at protection and backup. You’ll also find disk cloning and archiving in the application. As far as home and small business users are concerned, the two features that will get the most play in Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office are Protection and Backup.

Even so, one of the biggest positives for Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office is that it doesn’t try to do too much. Other tools of a similar nature tend to throw in the entire kitchen sink (with optimizers, firewalls, et cetera), most of which the OS itself should already handle. Those redundancies can often cause more problems than they’re worth.

With Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office, you’ll get only the features you need for protection and backup. That should be seen as a draw, because it vastly simplifies everything to the point where anyone can use this tool without much in the way of a learning curve. However, the number of available features does depend on the version you purchase.

How much does Acronis cost?

Essentials

Yearly subscription for $49.99/year. This includes full image/file-level backups, active disk cloning, quick recovery/universal restore, and ransomware protection. Phone, email, and chat support.

Advanced

Yearly subscription for $89.99/year. This includes all features found in Essentials, plus antivirus/anti-malware protection for both computers and backups, cloud backup, automatic replication of data in the cloud and Office 365 backups. Phone, email and chat support.

Premium

Yearly subscription for $129.00/year. This includes all features in Advanced, plus blockchain certification of files, electronic signature on files and the ability to add up to 5TB of cloud storage. Priority phone, email and chat support.

Other features available include:

  • Ransomware protection
  • Patch management for businesses
  • Anti-malware for corporate environments
  • IT disaster recovery
  • File backup and recovery
  • Data loss prevention (DLP)
  • Government and public sector (Acronis SCS)

For home users, either the Essentials or Advanced plan would suffice. For business users, the Advanced or Premium plans would be the best option.

How well does Acronis perform?

The first thing I noticed running the app on macOS Monterey was how quickly the tool opened. Because many similar tools are overly bloated, they can take a bit more time to load. Another issue I’ve found with related platforms is during a scan (Figure A) everything can slow to a crawl. Not so with Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office.

Figure A

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office running a full scan on macOS.

While running a full system scan, I was still able to use my MacBook Pro without noticing even the slightest dip in performance. For anyone who’s had to deal with such scans on production machines, you know how frustrating that can be. Well, Acronis has made it such that you don’t have to schedule those scans at times when you’re not using the computer.

Of course, because of Acronis’ history, the backup feature has to be considered and the desktop client makes setting up regularly scheduled cloud backups very easy. Scheduling, cleanup, error handling and even exclusions — which help prevent your backups from growing too large — are easy to set up (Figure B).

Figure B

Configuring Acronis Backup to exclude my Google Drive mounted folder.

When you set up a backup with Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office, the files are saved to your Cloud account.

Fortunately, Acronis thought to add a clean-up tool into the mix, which allows you to set how many backups to retain, as otherwise your cloud account would pretty quickly fill up. With this feature (Figure C), you can set a maximum number of versions and delete versions older than a set date.

Figure C

Configuring cleanup to prevent the backups from taking too much space in the cloud.

One thing to keep in mind is that only the Advanced and Premium plans include cloud storage. The Advanced plan gives you 500 GB of storage and the Premium plan starts with 1TB for free but allows you to upgrade to 5 TB. The pricing for each step in storage looks like this (for the Advanced plan for one computer/year):

  • 1 TB – $124.00
  • 2 TB – $164.00
  • 3 TB – $204.99
  • 4 TB – $244.00
  • 5 TB – $284.99

If you know you’ll need cloud storage, think carefully about how much space you’ll need. If you’re in doubt about whether 500 GB will be enough, I would recommend going with the Premium plan and selecting the amount of cloud storage you’ll need for the future, not the present.

Jack Wallen’s recommendation

If you’re looking for solid antivirus, ransomware and malware protection that also includes best-in-class cloud backup, you cannot go wrong with Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office. With a GUI interface that is as user-friendly as you’ll find and just the right mix of features, this tool is an outstanding option for anyone looking to keep their macOS or Windows machines both protected and backed up.

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