Deciding where to store your backups

First of all you should decide where to store your backups. Acronis True Image Home 2011 supports quite a few of storage devices. For more information see Supported storage media. Some of the supported storage locations are discussed below.

Hard disk drives

Since hard disk drives are now quite inexpensive, in most cases purchasing an external hard drive for storing your backups will be an optimal solution. An external drive enhances the security of your data because you can keep it off-site (for example, at home if you back up your office computer and vice versa) You can choose various interfaces – USB, FireWire, eSATA depending on the configuration of your computer ports and the required data transfer rate. In many cases the best choice will be an external USB hard drive, especially if your computer supports USB 3.0.

If you plan to use an external USB hard drive with your desktop PC, connecting the drive to a rear connector using a short cable will usually provide the most reliable operation. This reduces the chance of data transfer errors during backup/recovery.

Home file server, NAS or NDAS

If you have a Gigabit Ethernet home network and a dedicated file server or NAS, you can store backups on the file server or NAS practically like on an internal drive.

If you decide to use an external hard drive, NAS, NDAS, etc., you will need to check whether Acronis True Image Home 2011 detects the selected backup storage. You need to check this both in Windows and when booted from the rescue media.

To gain access to an NDAS enabled storage device, in many cases you will need to specify the NDAS device ID (20 characters) and the write key (5 characters). The write key allows you to use an NDAS enabled device in write mode (e.g. for saving your backups). Usually the device ID and write key are printed on a sticker attached to the bottom of the NDAS device or on the inside of its enclosure. If there is no sticker, you need to contact your NDAS device vendor to obtain that information.

Optical discs

Blank optical discs such as DVD-R, DVD+R are very cheap, so they will be the lowest cost solution for backing up your data, though the slowest one. This is especially true when backing up directly to DVDs. Furthermore, if your backup consists of several DVDs, data recovery from DVDs will require a lot of disc swapping. On the other hand, using Blu-ray discs may be a viable option.

Due to the necessity of swapping discs, it is strongly recommended to avoid backing up to DVDs if the number of discs is more than three. When there is no alternative to backing up to DVDs, we recommend to copy all DVDs to a folder on a hard disk and then to recover from that folder.

Acronis Online Backup

Acronis True Image Home 2011 allows you to use Acronis Online Backup service for safeguarding your most important files by saving them to a secure remote location. Because files are stored on a remote storage, they are protected even if your computer gets stolen. So the risk of data loss as a result of fire, theft, or other natural disasters is practically eliminated. If something happens to your backup image, PC, or external storage device, you can get your most important files back.

Deciding where to store your backups