Unless you’ve experienced the sheer devastation of data loss it’s a subject you’ve probably not put much thought in to. As a business owner you have a responsibility to ensure your data is protected – not only to keep your business safe but to keep your customers safe too. Today I’ll show you how easy it is to perform a UK cloud backup with Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office.
I’ve covered purchasing Acronis in a separate article so I’m assuming you’re up and running with Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office installed and ready to go. As per usual this article may contain affiliate links – more information here. If you’re planning on purchasing an Acronis product it would be really appreciated if you could use the links from this page as it helps us create more free content for you. Thank you!
Overview of the Acronis user interface
Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office has a very simple interface but there are quite a few features you’ll probably never use. I’ll be focusing on a UK cloud backup solution for small businesses. Remember Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office is really aimed at home users, micro-businesses, startups, freelancers etc. If you have a slightly bigger business (i.e. you employ staff) then I would consider using Acronis Cyber Protect instead – yes, this is a completely different product with a very similar name!
Acronis UK cloud backup overview
You’re probably mainly using Acronis as a UK cloud backup so that’s what we’ll focus on today. First of all, with the Backup tab selected on the far left, your backup jobs are located here:
Another critical screen to keep an eye on is the Activity tab at the top. This will tell you if your backups have been successful and how much data has been backed up:
Acronis anti-virus protection
Underneath the Backup tab you have the Protection tab. This is where everything related to virus and malware protection is configured. I’ve honestly never changed this from the defaults and it seems to work fine:
Other Acronis tools
As I say, there’s then a bunch of other tools built in to the application. This includes disk cloning software, rescue media creation and a load of other stuff you’ll probably never use. It’s all in the Tools tab on the left if you need it.
I’ll brush over Archive and Sync as I’m struggling to think of a purpose for them. Pretend they’re not there, unless you specifically need them for something. I’ll perhaps cover these in more detail in a separate article.
How to backup your computer to the cloud with Acronis
Let’s set up a brand new backup job. Our ultimate aim is to have an encrypted backup, it should look a bit like this. Not the ‘Encrypted’ label below ‘Acronis Cloud’:
Add a new backup job
You can have multiple backup jobs all backing up different stuff and running at different times. Let’s set up a new backup job. Make sure you’re on the Backup tab (on the left). The ‘Add backup’ option is slightly hidden away towards the bottom of the screen. Why this isn’t a BIG BUTTON is beyond me, but hey… click ‘+ Add backup’:
What do you want to backup?
By default Acronis will try to backup your entire PC. This is fine but it can take a long time and may use up a lot of extra space on the Acronis cloud. If you click on the picture of a computer screen you can change the Backup source:
Most of the time you will probably want to backup Files and folders. This allows you to pick specific folders from your computer that need to be backed up:
You are given a slightly non-standard file browser interface but it’s relatively easy to use. Select the data location in the middle panel and then tick the folders you’d like backed up from the right-hand panel:
How to rename an Acronis backup job
Once you’ve ticked the boxes of everything you’d like backed up, click OK. It’s worth noting that for some strange reason this is the one and only time you can rename your backup job, otherwise it will default to… well, that gets a bit weird:
- If you select one folder to be backed up, the backup job will default to the name of that folder
- If you select two folders to be backed up, the backup job will default to ‘My folders’
- If you select three or more folders to be backed up, the backup job will default to ‘My files’
Weird, I know. If you want to rename your backup job to something more sensible do it now by clicking the drop-down next to the backup job name. Once the backup job is fully created you can’t rename it. The only option is to delete the backup job and start again – this has all sorts of implications, so don’t do that unless you know what you’re doing.
IMPORTANT: Keep a note of how big your backup is likely to be. In the above example it’s 5.9GB, as can be seen under the folder icon in the middle.
Where do you want to send your backups?
You then need to decide where to send you backups. Click the ‘Select destination’ option:
As we’re talking about a UK cloud backup, you’re probably going to backup your data to the Acronis Cloud. Make sure you have enough space! As we mentioned earlier in this example we’re only backing up 5.9GB of data and we have 462.5GB free on Acronis Cloud. So just click ‘Acronis Cloud’ to continue:
Configure Acronis UK cloud backup options
Before you’re finished you need to set up a few options for your backup job. Click the ‘Options’ button towards the bottom of the screen:
You’ll then see 4 extra tabs at the top – Schedule, Notifications, Exclusions and Advanced. Here’s what each does:
- Schedule – when do you want your backup to run?
- Notifications – do you want notified about each backup?
- Exclusions – anything you DON’T want backed up?
- Advanced – versions and encryptions
There are other options hidden away in the above, but that’s the most important features covered. There’s two things we’re going to configure at the moment – a backup schedule and encryption.
How to configure a schedule for Acronis backups
It’s generally good practice to run the backup outside ‘office hours’ for various reasons I’ll not go in to here. In this example I’m setting the backup to take place at 10pm daily:
How to encrypt your Acronis backups
It’s generally a good idea to encrypt your backups, unless the data being backed up isn’t in any way confidential. That way if Acronis’ servers are compromised in any way then your backed up data should be safe and unreadable. The downside of encryption is that without the encryption key (password) your data cannot be recovered. SO MAKE SURE YOU KEEP A SAFE COPY OF THE ENCRYPTION PASSWORD!!
To configure encryption go to the Advanced tab -> Backup protection -> Use encryption and enter a password or pass phrase. Completely up to you what you use here, just don’t lose it!
You also need to put some thought in to backup versions, using the ‘Acronis Cloud cleanup’ option, but we’ll touch on that later on.
How to perform a UK cloud backup to a UK datacentre?
Another option worth checking is the Data centre being used. It should default to UK if you’re in the UK, but it’s worth checking. Obviously if you’re backing up computers that aren’t in the UK then select an appropriate location – normally the physically closest location to the computer being backed up:
How to manually run an Acronis cloud backup?
That’s it! You’re all up and running. Your backup should run at the scheduled time. Remember the first backup may take a while if you have a lot of data to backup. After that the system will automatically just backup new files or files that have changed.
If you don’t want to wait for the schedule, you set it going straight away by selecting ‘Back up now’:
Once the backup is complete you should see a nice green tick and it should tell you the backup has successfully completed. It will also show you the volume of data backed up. You can check the Activity log for more details to check everything is running as it should. After that first initial backup everything should run as per your chosen schedule.
How to delete an Acronis backup
If you’ve set up a backup job by mistake or perhaps you no longer need a particular backup since you’ve archived the data elsewhere, then you may want to the delete the backup job.
WARNING: DELETING A BACKUP JOB WILL DELETE ALL BACKED UP DATA FOR THAT JOB – YOU WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO RESTORE ANYTHING FROM THAT BACKUP
To delete a backup job simply click the drop-down next to the backup job name and select ‘Delete…’:
How do you restore data from backup?
To restore data simply select the relevant backup job, click the ‘Recovery’ tab at the top and then select the data you’d like to restore.
Select the data to be restored from your UK cloud backup
What version of a file would you like restored?
“Versions? What are they?” I hear you ask. Probably a bit too much to cover in this article, but you can select which version of the file you’d like to restore from the ‘Version’ drop down:
Generally speaking you’ll probably want to restore the latest version, but there may be situations where you want to restore a file from 2 weeks ago. For example if someone deleted something from your main accounting spreadsheet 2 weeks ago and you’ve only just noticed. This is where the ‘Acronis Could cleanup’ comes in to play so you need to put a little bit of thought in to ‘versions’.
Acronis Cloud cleanup – what are versions?
Think of it like this. Every time a file changes it will be backed up (as per the schedule you set). Online backups give you the flexibility to restore any specific version of a file.
So if you have a file that changes every day (an accounts spreadsheet, for example) and your backups have been running every day for 15 days, then you’ll have 15 different versions of that file backed up. After a year you’ll have 365 versions of that file. This is excessive, impossible to manage and uses up unnecessary storage space. We control all of this with versions:
By default (at the time of writing) Acronis stores 20 different versions of a file with a retention time of 6 months on the versions. You can configure this to anything you like but obviously storing additional versions means paying for more storage space on the Acronis cloud.
Should I restore data to a different locations?
It’s generally considered good practice to restore the data to a different location, if possible. For example to an external USB drive. That way if you’ve mucked things up you stand less risk of overwriting things that shouldn’t have been overwritten!
Obviously if you want to just restore the data to the original location that’s fine. Just a bit of a gamble – especially if you’re restoring more than one file. There are additional options to control all of this by clicking the ‘Recovery options’ button. Just check and double check everything!
How do you buy Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office?
I’ve written a separate article explaining how to buy Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office here. At the time of writing it’s only £62.99/year for full online backups with 500GB of storage. This is an absolute bargain and easily enough to get you started. When you click through to purchase just accept the various cookie warnings and make sure you’re on the UK version of the site.
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Last Updated on 19 July 2023 by Andy Mac