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Understanding Acronis Licensing: Perpetual vs Advanced Subscription vs Premium Subscription

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Beginner
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This is what I've learned from talking to Sales Support. Please correct me where I'm wrong?

I've also been referring to the following documents...

https://www.acronis.com/en-us/personal/true-image-comparison/

https://www.acronis.com/en-us/support/lifecycle/business.html

Perpetual Licenses
===============

If you have a perpetual license you are allowed "updates".
An "update" means a minor update and not a new version.

If a new version comes out, you can still use your old perpetual license - forever.
You can still use the Acronis help files and this Acronis forum - forever.
You can still get support for Activation problems or Recovery problems - forever. (This is right, isn't it?)
But chat/email support stops for backup problems.

Say you buy a perpetual license on the 1st of September 2018 for $29.
Then if a new version of Acronis comes out any time during the next 30 days, you will be entitled to a free upgrade to that new version.
But if a new version comes out in 31 days time, then you will lose chat/email support for backups.
You will still be entitled to Activation and Recovery problems. (This is right, isn't it?)
So if you need help with backups, you will have to purchase a new Perpetual license.

There is no way of knowing when a new version of ATIH will come out. If you look at the lifecycle link above, you will see that the "Mainstream Support End Date" is To Be Decided for the 2019 version. This would imply that Acronis themselves do not know when a new version will come out. So you cannot know when your support for backups for your perpetual license will end.

Advanced Subscription
==================
The main benefit of an Advanced Subscription (for 1 year for example) are that
You get unlimited updates including version updates for the period of 1 year
You have unlimited support for the period of your subscription (That is right, isn't it?)

In addition to that you get
Facebook + Instagram backup
Cloud backup 250GB included (up to a max of 500GB for which you have to pay more)
Phone support (in addition to chat/email)

However, it is important to know that you are only allowed to have one incremental backup scheme per hard drive that you backup to the cloud. 
For example, 1 full backup + inc + inc + inc + inc
If you would like to have a 2nd full backup + inc + inc + inc + inc, then the previous backup chain has to be deleted from the cloud.

You can also only have 1 such incremental backup scheme per hard drive.

You cannot have a differential backup scheme to the cloud.

The cloud for an Advanced Subscription only has 250GB. 

You can purchase another 250GB. 
But 500GB is the maximum you can buy with an Advanced Subscription.

After your 1 year subscription has ended, you need to purchase another new subscription. 
I think your Acronis will stop working if you do not buy a new subscription (That is right, isn't it?)
On the other hand a Perpetual License will work indefinitely (you would lose support for backups if a new version was introduced - but you would still get support for Activation and Recovery problems - That is right, isn't it?).

Premium Subscription
=================
In addition to the features of the Advanced Subscription above you get 
Blockchain certification (not sure what these are - please let me know)
Electronic signatures (not sure what these are - please let me know)

The other main difference between Premium and Advanced, is that with Premium
You get 1TB cloud storage included

You can buy up to 4TB extra - making a total of 5TB.

The same restriction applies in terms of backups. You can only have one incremental backup scheme for each hard drive you want to backup.

Question 1:
=========
Is this understand of the licensing strategy for Acronis True Image Home accurate?
Please let me know where I have misunderstood the Sales Support agent?

Question 2:
=========
Which Acronis True Image Home do you buy?
And why did you decide to buy your particular version?
What use cases are best served by a Perpetual license, an Advanced subscription license or a Premium license?

:-)

 

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Legend
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Jack, in essence there are really only 2 types of license for ATI.

A Perpetual license allows you to use ATI for as long as it will work, assuming that you meet the system requirements for the product.  So there are users who come to these forums who are still using ATI version 2009 through to the latest 2019 version. 

Support for a Perpetual licensed version is restricted to a period while the product is current, i.e. normally is the key product being advertised by Acronis, and will end around 30 days after the next new product is released.

All the features of the product will remain working regardless of the support status, so you can continue to make backups, do recoveries, clone drives etc.

The second license type is Subscription (which comes in 2 flavours, Advanced and Premium, each with different tiers of Cloud storage).

The key difference with a Subscription license is that it is for a defined time period of 1 or 2 years, after which time the product will stop working apart from being able to recovery an already existing backup.  Data stored in the Cloud will be deleted 30 days after the end of the subscription.

Subscription users do get free upgrades to new versions, and support from Acronis for the period of their subscription etc.

You can also only have 1 such incremental backup scheme per hard drive.

You cannot have a differential backup scheme to the cloud.

The first statement is not strictly true.  I currently have 2 identical Cloud backups from my laptop of the exact same source data but with different names.

The key difference between a Cloud backup and a local / network backup, is that the backup to the Cloud works differently to local / network backups.  An initial full backup image is required for all backup types, but for the Cloud, the backup then uses a delta comparison algorithm to determine exactly what has changed and upload only that.  This is akin to an incremental backup but not exactly the same, as Acronis uses a versioning scheme for the Cloud that allows them to remove the oldest versions without compromising the integrity of the whole backup data.

The second statement does not apply as stated above, Cloud backups are not either incremental or differential, but a hybrid of both using the delta comparison.

The final choice of what version and what license type you purchase for ATI is down to the individual.  For myself, I have been using ATI going back to version 9.0 and have had perpetual licenses for most versions since that time, up to ATI 2018 currently.  I have a Premium Subscription license for ATI 2019 by virtue of my being an Acronis MVP, and in order to allow testing of the product and support for users via these forums.

I doubt that I would choose to buy a subscription license in other circumstances as having a Cloud backup is only as good as your internet connection speeds.  I get 100MB download speed but only 5MB for upload, so backing up a whole disk drive to the Cloud can take several days!

Both ATI 2018 and 2019 bring Ransomware protection with the Acronis Active Protection feature which was one reason I upgraded from my earlier version for my 2018 perpetual licenses.  Beyond that, each new version brings support for newer hardware and devices, plus includes fixes for some issues that were simply too big to bring as an update to an earlier version of the product.

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But if a new version comes out in 31 days time, then you will lose chat/email support for backups.

While chat and email support disappears, you still have access to the MVPs via this forum.  I have found that more valuable than the chat or email support (which I think I have used only once).

Legend
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Jack, see also KB 61590: Acronis True Image 2019: Licensing and Upgrade FAQ - which should answer many of your questions with the official Acronis statements.

Patrick, thank you for your kind words about the MVP's - your own contributions are always of good value to all of us users here in the forums.

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Steve Smith wrote:

Patrick, thank you for your kind words about the MVP's - your own contributions are always of good value to all of us users here in the forums.

Patrick, like Steve I appreciate your kind words and your own contribution to the Acronis Forum and beta testing.

Ian 

Beginner
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Thanks Steve for the very clear clarifications! Could you please help me with these questions?

If you have a Perpetual License and a new version of ATIH comes out, you will lose chat/email support, but will still have access to these forums.
But you can still get unlimited support for Activation problems or Recovery problems.
Is that right?

What happens if you have either an Advanced subscription license or a Premium subscription license and your subscription expires.
Can you still use the ATIH software at all?
Is there any support for recovery problems?

Thanks very much.

 

Legend
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If you have a Perpetual License and a new version of ATIH comes out, you will lose chat/email support, but will still have access to these forums.
But you can still get unlimited support for Activation problems or Recovery problems.
Is that right?

Chat/Email support is only available for products still within their support lifecycle, as defined by Acronis.  See webpage:  Acronis Support Lifecycle Policy for Consumer Products - for specific information.

See also KB 25191: Acronis Customer Support Handbook

Acronis published a specific forum topic on Support back in 2013 which stated how support was to be delivered according to different scenarios, including activation & recovery issues. 
See topic: How to get Technical Support: Tips, Tricks and Useful Information - this used to be quoted a lot in the forums.

See KB 6031: List of support options for Acronis products - which has the following initial statement that would cover activation issues:

Free support by e-mail and chat is available for Customer care issues (license/serial number, web navigation, download and presales questions).

What happens if you have either an Advanced subscription license or a Premium subscription license and your subscription expires.
Can you still use the ATIH software at all?
Is there any support for recovery problems?

See KB 61593: Acronis True Image 2019 licensing - which should answer your questions above - see in particular the paragraph copied below:

After your Acronis True Image subscription expires, all product functionality will be blocked until further subscription renewal, however, the backed up data is still accessible:

  • For 5 days after subscription expires you can continue making backups to Acronis Cloud storage.
  • During 30 days after subscription expires you can restore data from Cloud Storage. Thirty days after subscription expiration the data in Acronis Cloud storage is destroyed.
  • Local backups remain available for restore.

Note: I cannot find any KB document that explicitly states that Acronis will provide unlimited support for Recovery issues.  The 2013 forum topic referenced above stated this, and if Acronis are still telling users that this is the case, then I would hope that this remains true.  In reality, most users will come to the Forums for help with recovery issues and we will try to help them as best we can.

 

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Steve Smith wrote:

Note: I cannot find any KB document that explicitly states that Acronis will provide unlimited support for Recovery issues.  The 2013 forum topic referenced above stated this, and if Acronis are still telling users that this is the case, then I would hope that this remains true.  In reality, most users will come to the Forums for help with recovery issues and we will try to help them as best we can. 

I can confirm that support for recovery issues is provided for any product version of Acronis True Image (A solution or workaround will be provided. An upgrade is considered a valid solution if no other options are available https://www.acronis.com/en-eu/support/lifecycle/consumer.html)

Recovery Issue entitlement does not apply to:

  • Corporate products
  • Image Deployment;
  • Cloning issues;
  • Issues with disk management leading to unbootable system.

Assistance with all licensing and customer care related issues is also provided free of charge regardless the product version (via email and chat).  Assistance with activation issues is provided free of charge for all the product versions which are listed in the table "Support Lifecycle of Consumer Products" (currently, the oldest product version that we support for activation issues is Acronis True Image 2015). 

Legend
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Thanks for confirming / clarifying Ekaterina.