Making regular backups is an essential part of your data protection strategy and there are many ways to implement it, depending on your infrastructure, backup needs, and available tools. Some commonly-used strategies are disk cloning and disk imaging.
Out of these, we’ll talk in-depth about disk imaging in this article, including the tools you can use to implement it.
Here’s our list of the best disk imaging software:
- Acronis True Image This is a popular disk imaging tool that seamlessly backs up your data and also protects you from possible data loss. Its advanced features ensure that your data is safe at all times.
- Macrium Reflect This image-based and backup cloning tool creates precise images of your hard drive in the cloud for easy accessibility and retrieval. It comes in many editions as well.
- Manage Engine OS Deployer OS Deployer takes snapshots of your drives and partitions and stores the same in an Image Repository for on-the-fly deployment.
- Paragon Hard Disk Manager Paragon Hard Disk Manager combines four different tools to safeguard your data and at the same time, gives considerable flexibility in retrieval as well.
- R-Drive Image This backup and disaster recovery solution efficiently backs up your files, operating systems, and data.
- EaseUs ToDo Backup This is a simple backup tool that works well across many operating systems
- AOMEI Backupper Backs up, clones, and restores data and applications quickly to prevent any loss in the event of a crash or failure.
- Iperius Backup Automatically backs up data across Windows, Linux, and Mac systems.
What is Disk Imaging?
Disk imaging is the process of creating a replica of your hard drive, so you can copy the contents in the event of a hard drive crash. The data is stored as a large image file, often in the cloud or on an external storage device because of its large size.
Disk imaging gives you a lot of flexibility as you can choose to do either an incremental backup snapshot to save space or a full backup of all the files. Also, you have the option to save these files in a remote location and can even compress them for some additional space.
Another advantage is there are many disk imaging tools available today, so all that you have to do is choose the appropriate tool, create the necessary space, and schedule the backup process. It’s that simple!
But before that, let’s look at some of the best disk imaging software, including their features and cost, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.
The best Disk Imaging Software
Let’s take a detailed look into each of these tools.
1. Acronis True Image
Acronis True Image is a disk imaging tool that combines backup and anti-malware to give excellent protection to your data not just from hard drive crashes, but also from cyberattacks. It is a comprehensive disk imaging solution that comes with many advanced features as well.
Some of the salient features of this tool are:
- Helps you to leverage the Acronis cloud infrastructure to store your backups and applications
- Replicates your local backup to the cloud automatically, so you have a readily-available offsite copy.
- Makes a replica while the system is in use, so there’s no drop in productivity
- You can retrieve data anywhere and at any time from the cloud storage
- Fast, reliable, and highly stable
- You can monitor the backup progress, statistics, and even cybersecurity metrics through the intuitive dashboard
- Comes with a bootable media and driver injection technology to restore your system quickly
- Backs up Mac, PC, and even NAS devices automatically when they are connected to the Wi-Fi network
- You can set backup schedules, change configurations, and customize them the way you want.
- Performs quick or full antivirus scans
- Sends messages to your desktop tray, so you can monitor the progress of your backups
Acronis True Image offers three pricing plans and they are:
- Essential ($49.99/year) – Provides flexible backup, active disk cloning, tech support, and ransomware protection.
- Advanced ($89.99/year) – In addition to the features of the Essential plan, it offers Microsoft 365 backups and automatic replication of data in the cloud.
- Premium ($124.99/year) – Advanced + electronic signatures on files, blockchain certification, and ability to add up to 5TB of cloud storage.
Click here for a free 30-day free trial.
2. Macrium Reflect
Macrium Reflect is an image-based backup and cloning tool that is known to create an accurate image of your hard drive on the cloud. It’s available both for personal and commercial use.
Here’s a look at the features of Macrium Reflect.
- Comes with a central management console that makes it easy to backup, restore, and monitor networked computers.
- Supports accurate and reliable backup and recovery
- Protects documents, data, and operating systems
- Minimizes downtime
- Easy to install
- Cost-effective, flexible, and scalable
- Uses super-fast imaging technology
- Restores images to dissimilar hardware
- Backs up files and folders to a single compressed archive file
- Recovers partitions and the contents of the entire disk with just a few clicks
The cost depends on the resource you want to backup.
- Backing up 10 Workstations cost $608
- Five servers cost $925
- Five VMs cost $580
- One server and five workstations cost $489
Contact the sales team for custom pricing
Click here for 30-day trial versions of different resources.
3. Manage Engine OS Deployer
ManageEngine OS Deployer is a disk imaging tool that creates images of OS and data partitions and stores them in an Image Repository, so they can be deployed when needed. It also comes with many advanced features and options to meet your backup requirements.
Some of the advanced features of this tool are as follows.
- Allows you to set the image compression level to optimize the storage space
- During imaging, information about drivers are automatically collected and stored
- You can select the memory usage for each imaging process
- Eliminates disk size incompatibility errors
- Supports both online and offline imaging
- Stores the WinPE component inside a bootable media
- You have the option to select the image compression level.
Contact the sales team for a custom quote.
Download the free version.
4. Paragon Hard Disk Manager
The Paragon Hard Disk Manager is an advanced tool that provides data safety and security for your data. Also, it is a combination of four tools, namely, Backup and Recovery, Partition Manager, Drive copy, and Disk Wiper. All four tools share the same interface, thereby scoring high on both flexibility and usability.
This tool comes with the following features.
- Works well on both Windows and Mac, though you’ll have to download separate versions for each
- Handles basic partitioning such as creating, formatting, and deleting hard drives
- Performs many advanced tasks also such as split or merging partitions, redistributing the free space, converting to primary drives, connecting VD, and more.
- You can copy partitions, operating systems, or even the entire disk.
- Offers many backup options depending on your needs
- Restores an entire hard disk from backup images and containers
- Performs an unlimited number of backup jobs automatically
- Sends email notifications
For personal use, there is a one-time license cost of $79.95 and it covers 3 PCs. The Business license costs $99 per computer.
Get a 30-day free trial.
5. R-Drive Image
R-Drive Image is a backup and disaster recovery solution that helps to restore your files, operating system, applications, and data in the event of a fatal crash, virus attack, or even a hardware failure. It is often used for both duplication and backup, depending on your needs.
Here are its important features.
- Provides advanced drive imaging that can be written to any storage device
- Creates images on-the-fly and doesn’t require any system or application restart
- It copies partitions, drives, and any number of disk objects.
- Uses volume snapshots to create consistent disk images
- Supports data integrity checks
- You can schedule these backups to run automatically at specified times or intervals
- The interface is simple and intuitive
- Supports S.M.A.R.T warnings
The cost depends on the product you’re buying and the price is for a single license.
- R-Drive Image: $44.95
- R-Drive Image Technician: $299
- R-Drive Image Commercial System Deployment: $499
- R-Drive Image OEM Kit: $399
Start a 30-day free trial.
6. EaseUs ToDo Backup
EaseUs ToDo Backup is a simple backup solution that takes the effort out of manual backups. It can take an image of the drive or the entire system and works well across many operating systems.
The salient features of EaseUs ToDo Backup are explained below.
- Allows you to schedule automatic backups
- Restores system and data instantly, so there’s no productivity loss due to waiting
- Gives the option to do a full, incremental, or differential backup.
- Sends real-time reports
- Comes with a streamlined interface
- Has many advanced tools for added security
EaseUs ToDo Backup comes in three editions and they are:
- Free edition – This edition is 100% free and is used for backup and restoring personal data like systems, files, disks, and partitions.
- Home edition – This edition is for home users who want to do disk imaging to backup and protect data on their home computers.
- Business edition – This edition is for businesses of all sizes. It protects data and reduces downtime on Windows Server, MS SQL, and Exchange databases.
Contact the sales team for pricing.
Download the free edition.
7. AOMEI Backupper
AOMEI Backupper specializes in backing up, restoring, and cloning your Windows systems to ensure that your critical data and applications are not impacted during a crash or failure. It is geared to meet the growing data volumes and can scale well as needed.
Let us take a look at some of the features of the AOMEI Backupper.
- It combines data protection and disaster recovery for both PCs and laptops
- Supports full, incremental, and differential backups
- Syncs local files and folders to a USB drive
- Creates a WinPE or a Linux bootable disc for unbootable computers
- Supports most Windows editions
- Scales well to meet the growing data needs
- Simple to use and has an intuitive interface
AOMEI Upper has two editions for home use and four for business use. Let’s briefly look at all the editions.
- AOMEI Backupper Standard (Free) – This is a basic version that protects files and folders for home users.
- AOMEI Backupper Professional ($49.95) – Backs up data automatically to the cloud or external storage devices
- AOMEI Backupper Workstation ($59.95) – Comes with a PXE tool as well
- AOMEI Backupper Server ($199) – Supports more Windows versions
- AOMEI Backupper Technician ($499) – Provides technical billable support as a service
- AOMEI Backupper Technician Plus ($899) – Comprehensive and comes with many advanced features
Click here to download the free version.
8. Iperius Backup
Iperius Backup is a popular backup tool for Windows PCs, servers, databases, and virtual machines and supports the automatic backup of all data to external storage devices.
Some of the salient features of this tool are:
- Provides full system backup and disaster recovery for all workstations and servers
- Supports offsite backups to Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and other cloud solutions
- Automatically protects the contents of unlimited mailboxes while backing up Exchange On-Premises and Exchange Online.
- Comes with a centralized dashboard for easy management
- You can use a dedicated app or the web to access it
- Allows you to customize the backup schedules
- Gives the flexibility to run backup jobs remotely
There are four editions and the cost mentioned below is for a single license/device.
- Desktop – 29 Euros
- Essential – 69 Euros
- Advanced – 219 Euros
- Full – 269 Euros
Click here for a free download of Iperius Backup.
Choosing a disk imaging tool
To conclude, disk imaging is a popular strategy used for backing up data and many tools will use this technique to safely back up your data to the cloud and other external storage devices. We hope our above list gives you comprehensive information about each tool and will guide you to choose a tool that fits your needs.