Wednesday, 10 February 2010 22:57

Acronis arcs up with new Internet security offering plus backup

Well known backup software provider, Acronis, has branched out into the world of anti-virus and Internet security, challenging the existing status quo while offering attractive pricing - but is the security effort Acronis' own, or a product licensed from someone else?

Acronis is a company that is very well known for its consumer, business and enterprise backup and disaster recovery solutions, so it comes with some surprise to see that a brand new product offering has emerged: Internet security!

We don't yet know who is actually doing the Internet security for Acronis, whether it's Acronis themselves who have undertaken the investment to compete in the challenging and time consuming security space, or if they have licensed the security components from someone else.

After speaking to Acronis' PR people earlier today, we've lined up an interview with the local Acronis MD tomorrow to find out, and while there's no guarantee we'll get to find out the answer, as it may be commercially sensitive, one thing is certain - the Internet security components have to be top notch to survive in a world of Norton, McAfee, Kaspersky and everyone else, wherever they come from, or the move into security won't be successful.

Thus the onus is on Acronis to ensure its security suites deliver not only protection to consumers, but compete strongly in the various AV and security tests that the industry as a whole subjects its products and services to, so it will definitely be interesting to see what the future results of 'AV Comparatives' type tests are and where Acronis ranks.

There's no doubt that Acronis knows this and took it all into consideration when deciding to release an Internet security line of products, so we certainly do expect solid performance, and as noted, we'll be looking forward to independent test results when they next arrive.

So, what has Acronis actually released? Well, there are three products available now, and a fourth coming soon.

Details on page two, please read on!

The top-of-the-line product is Acronis Backup and Security 2010. This takes Acronis' 'True Image 2010' software, adds 5GB of online storage space, and blends it with Acronis' new Internet security offering.

Retailing for AUD $79.99 per year and able to be installed on up to three computers, it handily competes in price against the existing well known Internet security suites.

Acronis says that 'Backup and Security 2010 software is one of only a few solutions to provide comprehensive information protection that combines award-winning backup and recovery with Internet security, offering a compelling alternative to existing point solutions.

The description continues: 'Users can back up their systems locally for fast recovery of both data and their entire PC, which protects them against user error, disk failures and system failures. In addition, online backup provides remote location data protection in case of theft or physical disaster.'

The Internet security component is described thus: 'Acronis Backup and Security 2010 gives home users the peace of mind that they can protect their PCs and those of their family members against data loss and security threats including the many viruses, spam, phishing and identity theft attacks that threaten home computers every day.

'Users can securely bank, shop and surf the web, keep personal information and conversations private, enable parental controls and block unauthorised access to their wireless networks by using Acronis Backup and Security 2010 software.'

So far, this sounds very similar to competing suites, and while Acronis would likely argue that its backup technology is superior to that found in competing suites, the real test will be in how advanced its security technologies are. 

According to the spec sheet available at the Acronis website, there's also a 'premium' version of the Acronis Backup and Security 2010 that extends the included 5GB of online storage to a whopping 250GB, but the price for that version is as-yet unknown, while the version itself won't arrive until March.

So, what are the other two new security products from Acronis? More on page 3...

As part of the pitch to new customers, some of whom would no doubt already be well aware of Acronis' data protection strengths, and exsting customers who already use some of the Acronis product line, Acronis' CEO, Jason Donahue says: 'At their core, both backup and recovery and security are focused on information protection. 

"Whether a file is deleted, corrupted or infected, the user is impacted. Customer feedback has shown there is a convergence of traditional disaster recovery with security under the umbrella of total information protection. Acronis' expanded family of products meets this need, and gives users security from a company they already know and trust.'

The next two products are essentially cut down versions of the high-end product, at lower price points, meeting the needs of those who already have a backup solution but want Internet security.

Number two on the list is 'Acronis Internet Security Suite 2010', which, as you'd imagine, provides 'a personal firewall, parental controls and protection from viruses, spyware, and phishing.'

This sells for AUD $69.99 per year and installs on up to three computers.

The final new product is Acronis Antivirus 2010 which omits the firewall and parental controls, offering protection from viruses, spyware and phishing attacks. This software sells for AUD $49.99 per year and likewise protects up to three computers.

More from Acronis tomorrow when we interview its Australian MD and ask him some of the questions we posed at the beginning of this article!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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