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Best Disk imaging software products - March 2019 Reviews List of 10 products

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  • Disk imaging software
(3)
$ - $
R-Drive Image
  • Pricing model

  • One-time License
  • Category

  • On-Premise
  • Operating systems

  • Pricing plans

  • $45/ License R-Drive Image Standalone
  • $300/ License R-Drive Image Technician

R-Drive Image is a simple and enjoyable program. It provides fast and high-quality disk imaging. The disk image file contains an exact byte copy of the hard disk or partition, and can be created with different degrees of compression in the background, during the standard operation of your PC. Disk Image, Disk cloning, Boot disk. Schedule. Space control.

Pros:

  • Broad range of options
  • Easy to use
  • Supports all file formats

Cons:

  • High price
  • Rather low speed
Hard Disk Manager
  • Pricing model

  • Subscription
  • Category

  • On-Premise
  • Operating systems

  • Pricing plans

  • $40.00/ Year Home
  • Trial 30 days

Hard Disk Manager is an excellent choice if you need to control your disk space and change it. This program also does a good job of creating disk images and system backups. It allows you to manage the size of your disks, change them, adjust the amount of memory and create new additional partitions - a very convenient feature if you have problems with free disk space. In addition, the program has nice functionality and satisfactory speed. The main features of Hard Disk Manager are: redistribute free space, change cluster size, convert to logical / primary, edit sectors, compact / defragment MFT, Backup files, Image Backup Space control

Pros:

  • Simple, understandable interface
  • Nice set of functions

Cons:

  • No advanced version
  • One-person use only
Iperius Backup
  • Pricing model

  • One-time License
  • Subscription
  • Category

  • On-Premise
  • Operating systems

  • Pricing plans

  • $0.00/ License Free
  • $32.99/ License Desktop - 1
  • $77.99/ License Essential
  • $168.99/ License Advanced Database
  • Show more
  • Trial 14 days

Iperius Backup is a program that allows you to forget about the problems associated with data loss of the system. It provides you with the option to create a disk image of the system that will automatically restore it with a few clicks, with minimal data loss. The program can also create automatic backups of the system, or individual files, and save it both on the device and on the cloud resources, with the help of 256-bit encryption. The main features of the program: Disk image, Disk backup, NAS, RDX, USB, Network, etc ..., Cloud backup, Incremental backup, AES 256-bit secure encryption, Zip compression, Scheduling,

Pros:

  • Convenient interface
  • Many languages supported
  • Different versions for professional use

Cons:

  • Compression quality is quite low
  • Rather unreliable restoration process
EaseUS Todo Backup
  • Pricing model

  • One-time License
  • Category

  • On-Premise
  • Operating systems

  • Pricing plans

  • $0.00/ License Free
  • $29.00/ License Home

EaseUS Todo Backup is a product that handles the tasks reliably and quickly. The program copes with its main function - the creation of backup copies and disk images. When creating a disk image, you can use two different disk partitioning modes: (MBR) and GPT. The main features of the program: Backup files, Image Backup, Boot disk, Schedule, Cloning, FTP and SMB / AFP, Continuous backup, System Backup, Email Backup, Encryption, Space control.

Pros:

  • macOS version available
  • Cloud storages available (even if it's a free version)

Cons:

  • Rather low speed during images creation
  • Lack of the detailed onformation on system failures
Acronis True Image 2019
  • Pricing model

  • One-time License
  • Subscription
  • Category

  • On-Premise
  • Operating systems

  • Pricing plans

  • $49.99/ License Standart
  • $49.99/ License Advanced
  • $99.99/ License Premium
  • Trial 30 days

Acronis True Image is a popular program for creating disk images, disk cloning, with a broad functionality and user-friendly interface. The program is constantly updated and adapted to market realities, expanding its potential and complementing it with new features. In general, this program is well-designed; it works quickly and does not overload the computer when creating copies or disk images. Main features: Full Image Backup, Active Disk Cloning, Back up when USB connects, Visual Control of Backups, Flexible Management, File and Folder Backups, Universal Restore, Non-stop Local Backups

Pros:

  • High speed
  • Numerous features included
  • Widows,MacOS,Android , iOS support

Cons:

  • Rather complex interface that might be difficult for the beginners
SmartDeploy
  • Pricing model

  • Subscription
  • Pricing plans

  • $240/ Year Basic
  • $640/ Year Premium

SmartDeploy is a good program that despite being slightly different in functionality from other programs on this list deserves to be included. The program uses a modern approach to disks cloning and creating their images, that improves the speed and quality of these functions. The program concentrates more on narrow specialization and does not attempt to cover all the functions of programs of this type. We would say that this program is intended more for general office use.

Pros:

  • Intended for mass use
  • Narrow specialization

Cons:

  • The subscription for at least 50 devices
  • Takes much space
Macrium Reflect
  • Pricing model

  • One-time License
  • Category

  • On-Premise
  • Operating systems

  • Pricing plans

  • $0.00/ License Free
  • $69.95/ License Home
  • $75.00/ License WorkStation
  • $275.00/ License Server
  • Show more
  • Trial 30 days

Macrium Reflect is an excellent choice if you need a good program for creating disk images, backing up data and cloning data. The program also supports backup on local, network and UZB drives. The program shows good speed when cloning files, creating disk images and restoring backup files. The main features of this program are: Disk Image, Create live images of a running Windows OS, Direct disk cloning, Incremental backups, Encrypt your backups, Restore non-booting systems. Schedule your backups with flexible templates

Pros:

  • High speed of work
  • Useful functions

Cons:

  • High prices
  • Difficult for the beginners
AOMEI Backupper
  • Pricing model

  • One-time License
  • Category

  • On-Premise
  • Operating systems

  • Pricing plans

  • $0.00/ License AB Standard
  • $49.95/ License AB Professional
  • $199.00/ License AB Server
  • $499.00/ License AB Technician
  • Show more
  • Trial 30 days

AOMEI Backupper is a program for creating disk images and backup copies to restore the system. Its functionality allows you to create backup copies of disks, folders, files, partitions. The program has a good speed and an option for trial version. The program provides the ability to manage your disks and system efficiently and quickly. Wide functionality and high speed of work are things that make this program really good. Choose. File Backup, Disk Backup, Partition Backup, Schedule Backup, Disk Restore, Disk Clone, Create Bootable Disc.

Pros:

  • Free version for personal use
  • Stable work during disk images creating
  • Simple interface

Cons:

  • No FTP, SMB/AFP transferring

Handy Backup is a nice program that is  designed mainly for creating backup copies of systems, and can also make disk images (this option is implemented very well). The convenient interface allows even an inexperienced user to use the potential of this program from the first minutes of working with it. The program allows you to store and upload your data to cloud storage for remote and secure keeping, with the ability to access it at any time. The main features of this program are various backup types (Full, Incremental backup, Differential backup), System Recovery, Disk image backup, Synchronizing local files and folders, Mirror synchronization, Backup with ZIP compression, Backup encryption (128-bit) and this is only a small part of all the features of the program

Pros:

  • Fast working process
  • Multitask

Cons:

  • High prices
  • No disk cloning
Active@ Disk Image
  • Category

  • On-Premise
  • Operating systems

Active@ Disk Image is a good and high-quality program that provides the option to create disk images, support and save them. It allows you to keep your data safe. But the functions of this program do not end there. There is also the option for planning the creation of discs (date and time, etc.) that allows you not to worry about their relevance. Active @ Disk Image works stably and quickly, and is able to compress your data considerably, to save hard disk space. Main Features: Image Backup, Image Compression, Rescue bootable media, Scheduled backups, Image Encrypting (AES-128, AES-192, AES-256).

Pros:

  • Wide set of functions
  • Strong compression, with nice speed

Cons:

  • High prices
  • Only Windows version

More about Disk imaging software

What is disk imaging software?

This is a type of software tools that allow users to create an image of the hard drive or the whole system - as a backup option, or to clone it. In its initial idea, this process involves creating an exact copy of the disk, with all installed programs and settings, and then storing it in a special compressed format. With the help of this option, users can safely install an exact copy of the system on another computer or hard disk, in case of unpredicted failure - be it a virus attack, system crash, or some external problem.

Why use disk imaging software?

With uprise of virus and hacking technologies, and overall broadening of PC functionality, security issues have become even more relevant. Many viruses can destroy or damage your system, which can lead to its failure or complete collapse. For such emergency cases, we can use disk imaging software that will allow to restore data, with all the settings and programs preserved, with minimal data loss or even without it. Also, most imaging programs allow creating media storages, that later can be used to extract, unpack, restore a backup, even if the computer does not boot from its own disk. Usually, they are flash drives or CDs.

Key features

Disk imaging is the key function of course. Note, that the speed of process and the size of output files are important. For basic understanding, disk imaging is the process of creating an exact copy of a disk for its backup recovery. During it, one large file (usually compressed) is produced, which is later used for recovery process. Disk cloning is the process of cloning all the data on disk, and the output file will be the same size as the initial one. Although it might seem similar to creating a disk image, there are certain differences. Cloning creates an exact functional copy, so it can be replaced and used as the main one if something happens to the original version.

File backup is used to make restoration possible. An important function when a user has to take care of security of just some parts/folders/files, but not the whole disk. This option is often found in disk imaging programs, which is not surprising, because it is similar to what is required to create disk images, but on a smaller scale.

Boot disk option is the creating of a device to boot a disk image. Since disk image usually takes a lot of space, it is usually stored on external resources for convenience and data security. This function allows users to create a "boot disk" out of external devices, which when connected automatically allows to restore data.

Encryption while making a disk image is applying encryption methods to protect data from intruders. Made possible via password that is added to access a disk. Also, this function is important when there is an option for transferring data to external resources, so that during the process no one could interfere.

Scheduling is intended for creating updated versions of disk images regularly, or according to user's preferences. To get the latest versions of a disk, you can set creating or updating (for already existing image). A user spicifies date, or day of the week / time period, when the program will automatically update. The task is to decrease the chance of data loss to minimum.

Cloud backup allows uploading data to cloud resources. And since a disk image usually takes a lot of space, it is a common practice to store it on 3rd-party resources for the practicality's sake. It is also important that data would be saved even if the system is physically malfunctioning, so that you can transfer it to other devices. Some disk imaging software tools offer access to own cloud servers, for an additional payment.

Pricing

Usually, disk imaging programs offer a trial period, and suggest a paid subscription afterwards. A typical trial period is 30 days, but there might also be shorter variations. Most companies offer to buy a program for a period from one year. Depending on needs and number of devices, subscription options will differ: the average price for home version is about $30-$60. In addition to the standard version, most vendors offer professional, advanced and other types of products with advanced or extra features. Those prices may vary from $40 to $100-125 on average, although there are exceptions for $300 and more. 

Top examples

The following disk imaging tools proved efficiency during series of tests, offer complete functionality and speed of work:

How to select imaging software

Today, cloud storage instead of external physical device for data becomes more and more relevant. People want to be able to use a backup copy at any time. Therefore, when choosing a program, pay attention to this aspect. Another important function is data encryption while transferring it to cloud servers, to ensure it will be unusable for hackers if they get hold of it.

Many disk imaging tools can operate in the background and utilize minimum amount of PC resources. So, it is worth paying attention to whether a program can run in the background or not. Also, when choosing a disk imaging app, consider its sale offers. The fact is that some companies, for example, SmartDeploy, offer their product only as wholesale, and subscription starts with at least 50 devices. 

Its also good to find out whether or not the disk update schedule is available. Most programs contain this feature, but nonetheless. Data transfer via FTP, SMB/AFP would be a handy option for companies with PC networks. All in all, it is recommended to start with trial and determine whether a tool suits or not. MacOS users will need to look thoroughly for disk imaging software for Mac specifically, as those are scare.

FAQ

What is a disk image?

Disk image is a copy of the entire contents of a storage drive. The disk image represents the content in the same way it appears on original drive, including both data and structure information.

Why do I need data backups/disk images?

Backup copies of disk images could become really helpful, when breakdowns or other force-majeure circumstances arise - to recover data without loss. They can also be used when a user plans on setting up multiple PCs with similar or identical settings.

What is the difference between disk imaging and disk cloning?

Disk imaging software is often referred to as disc cloning software. While these two processes basically do the same – copy disk data, there’s a difference. Disk imaging copies the contents and creates a bootable OS on a hard drive, and disk cloning only makes a backup copy of hard drive contents.

What encryption methods do disk imaging programs use?

Usually, these are AES-128, AES-192, AES-256 bit encryption.

What is the most popular OS for disk imaging software?

More than 70% of all programs, related to disk imaging, are designed for Windows OS. Some operating systems, such as Linux and macOS, have built-in virtual drive functionality, althouh Windows 8 and 10 have it as well.

What file format are disk images in?

In most cases, file format is tied to a particular software package. Programs define and use their own, often proprietary, image format, though some formats are widely supported by open standards - ISO, IMG, AA, AFF, BIF, BIN, CDM, CUE, etc.

What is the best disk image software?

In this category (directory above) you will find some really good disk imaging tools, such as Active Disk Image, Hard Disk Manager, R Drive, EaseUS Todo Backup.

Is disk imaging and backup basically the same thing?

No, but they are similar in their purpose. Many disk imaging apps include the option for backups, and vice versa. With expansion of all kinds of software, these two features are often offered in one package, but not always, as there are programs only for backups or only for disk images.