Over the years, we’ve advocated the benefits of image-based backups on Windows. The idea is a cracker – create an image-based backup, or in other words a “snapshot” of your computer, regularly and should something go awry you won’t be faced with staged re-installation of your operating system, updates, apps. data and settings. The kind of recovery you need to set aside hours, if not days, to complete.

No, with a backup image, you simply recover your computer directly from the image in one hit – everything’s as it was, just as you left it when you made the snapshot with recovery taking a matter of minutes.

Windows PC users have had no excuse to adopt image-based backups – there are a plethora of backup options available that can create and recover your PC using an image. The in-built Windows Backup feature for one, then add small server solutions such as Windows Home Server or Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials which allow multiple PCs to be automatically and incrementally imaged every night. As you’d expect, a number of third-party apps are also available, with Acronis True Image one of the more popular options.

To date, Apple Mac OS X users have mostly relied on the in-built Time Machine backup feature to protect their data. It’s a solution that works really well for data, but you’ll still be left with the inconvenience of a staged re-installation of your Mac if the system volume goes pop.

However, today Acronis announced the release of True Image Backup for Apple’s Mac OS X, which will offer a full image-based backup solution for the operating system. The application allows both local backup as well as backup of your images to the cloud for off-site protection (additional fees apply for that one). It will also look out for any Time Capsule devices on the network and will take advantage of that additional storage for backups.

Versioning and incremental backups are both supported (after a single full image is captured, only changes to that image are subsequently captured, reducing storage requirements) and Parallels users will find that their Windows virtual machines will also be protected.

Features include:

  • Full system Image backup and recovery, both locally and to the Acronis cloud
  • Recovery of a complete Mac image or just the specific files or folders you require
  • Advanced Parallels Desktop support, backup and recover Parallels machines in their active state
  • Smart backup scheduling including automatic backups
  • Personal Key Encryption for improved privacy of data
  • Recovery media creation
  • Versioning and incremental backups
  • A unique but familiar user interface specifically designed for Mac OS X Users

If you’re a Mac OS X Mountain Lion 10.8 or Mavericks 10.9 user seeking to add extra protection to their systems, you should definitely take a look. Note that Bootcamp and Fusion Drive are not supported, sadly, and neither is OS X Server. Acronis tells us that they will look to support Apple’s Server platform at some point in the future, but certainly not this year. We can expect to see OS X Yosemite supported this autumn.

Acronis True Image for Mac is now available for £39.95 for a single computer licence.  Multiple Macs can purchase a 3 Mac license for £59.95. Acronis Cloud storage options start at £2.45 a month for 250GB.