Macrium Reflect review

Seamless backup for your personal computer

Website screenshot for Macrium Reflect
(Image: © Macrium Software)

TechRadar Verdict

This backup utility software provides good features but doesn’t do much to stand out from the competition.

Pros

  • +

    Free version available

  • +

    Strong encryption

  • +

    Lifetime license

Cons

  • -

    Windows only

  • -

    No cloud backup

  • -

    Expensive

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Macrium Reflect (opens in new tab) is the product of Paramount Software UK Ltd (trading as Macrium Software), a British software company as its name suggests. It was founded over two decades ago and is currently based in Manchester.

Macrium released the first version of Reflect in 2006 and the most recent update in 2022. The software enables users of Windows-powered PCs or servers to create data backups and retrieve them when needed.  

It's a multi-lingual backup software available in over a dozen languages, helping it maintain its position as one of the most popular backup utilities for Windows users globally.

Macrium Reflect: Plans and pricing

Macrium offers a free version of Reflect that anyone can download for personal or commercial use. Just head to the website and provide an email through which you’ll get a download link. This free package gives you the basic data backup and recovery features but has many limitations compared to the premium package. 

You can choose between two tiers of the premium version; Home, for personal use, and Workstation, for commercial use. Home costs $70 for a license for each computer or you can buy a bundle of 4 licenses at a discounted price of $140. The commercial version costs $75 for a license for each computer, $299 for each server, or $599 for an advanced “Server Plus” license.

Every license is perpetual (indefinite), so you only need to pay once for each device and never again, which we consider a great advantage even though it’s relatively expensive. Macrium provides a 30-day free trial period for every version to enable users to test them before making their final purchase decision.    

If you’re not satisfied after purchasing a premium plan, there’s a 30-day window to request a full refund from Macrium. 

Macrium Reflect 1

(Image credit: Macrium Software)

Macrium Reflect: Features

Setting up Macrium Reflect is pretty easy. First, head to the official website to download the setup file. You’ll need to input an email to which Macrium will send a unique registration code. After downloading the setup file and running it on your PC, you’ll need this registration code at some point during the installation. 

During our test, the installation was pretty slow, which was odd given the file size was relatively small (less than 200MB), but it could have been a network problem.

After installing the app, the first feature you should notice is creating a file or folder backup. Look for the button that aptly says “Create a File or Folder Backup” and click it. Doing this will open up a menu where you can choose individual files or folders that you want to back up. The backup entails uploading them to local storage or an external storage device (CD, DVD, USB stick, etc), where you can easily retrieve them later. Unlike many competitors, Reflect doesn’t let users back up files to cloud storage services, which represents a major drawback with the software. 

Managing frequent backups can be stressful, and to reduce this stress, Reflect lets you schedule backups ahead of time and have them perform automatically, giving you more space to focus on your work. If you're using the commercial version, you can sync multiple schedules to ensure all devices within your network get backed up simultaneously. 

Macrium Reflect 2

(Image credit: Macrium Software)

Instead of backing up individual files and folders, you may choose to back up entire disks, which is referred to as an image backup because you create a full “image” of the disk containing all the associated files and settings. Hence, if you experience data loss for any reason, you can simply restore the disk image and have your device working exactly as before. Likewise, you can back up specific partitions of a disk instead of the entire thing.

You can also employ Macrium Reflect to create bootable drives, which refer to a removable storage medium from which a PC can boot an operating system or specific utility program. A bootable drive will be a lifesaver if your PC can’t boot normally due to errors or if the internal boot disks need to be removed at some point for repairs. 

This software employs data deduplication to compress the size of backup files as much as possible as you move them to external storage mediums. This feature helps users save storage space and, consequentially, costs. 

You can use encryption to secure your backup files to prevent unauthorized access. Macrium Reflect provides different grades of encryption, including AES-128, AES-192, and AES-256. The platform also lets you use a feature called Image Guardian to protect your files from unauthorized modification. 

If you’re using the commercial version and working with different computers or servers, Macrium lets you control all the backup processes from a central console. From this console, you can monitor backups, create alerts, schedule remote backups, and keep backup logs for compliance purposes. 

Macrium Reflect 3

(Image credit: Macrium Software)

Macrium Reflect: Interface and in use

 We didn’t experience any noticeable difficulty when testing Macrium Reflect. It has a user interface that’s pretty simple to understand. The only drawback is that the interface looks a bit archaic, but this factor doesn’t interfere with the functionality.  

Macrium Reflect: Support

Macrium offers direct technical support to paid users through email and telephone. Every license includes one year of technical support, and you can renew it for a fee every ensuing year. 

On the other hand, free users can only access support resources through the official forum or Knowledge Base with detailed articles and guides concerning every Macrium product.      

Macrium Reflect: The competition

Macrium Reflect significantly lags behind the competition because it doesn’t support cloud backup and is exclusive to Windows users. These days, you can find many popular alternatives that support multiple operating systems and let users upload files to private or public cloud providers, e.g, Acronis Cyber Protect (opens in new tab) and EaseUS Todo Backup (opens in new tab).   

Macrium Reflect: Final verdict

This backup software does its job well but it doesn’t do much to differentiate itself from the competition. To make it worse, it’s only available to Windows users, limiting its reach. The lack of cloud storage is also a turn-off to many potential users.   

Stefan has always been a lover of tech. He graduated with an MSc in geological engineering but soon discovered he had a knack for writing instead. So he decided to combine his newfound and life-long passions to become a technology writer. As a freelance content writer, Stefan can break down complex technological topics, making them easily digestible for the lay audience.