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Acronis Access Connect
Seamless Mac to Windows integration.

Acronis Access Connect

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Acronis Access Connect
Acronis Access Connect
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The Challenges of a Mixed Mac-Windows Environment

If your organization is one of the estimated 80% of enterprises which have Mac users in need of accessing files and documents in a mixed Mac-Windows environment, you know firsthand that Windows and Macs communicate with one another differently. When Mac users try to access Windows file and print servers they typically experience performance, data integrity, search slowness and many other issues, and your business is impacted in many ways:

  • Cripplingly-slow, filename-only search of file shares
  • Mac users struggling with file corruption, file permissions, application incompatibilities, files disappearing, locked files, file naming issues and disconnected sessions
  • Mac users experiencing issues with the same access to file and print resources as PC users
  • Reliability issues mounting and accessing shares from servers and NAS within the enterprise
  • High levels of help desk calls because of the above

What is Acronis Access Connect (formerly ExtremeZ-IP)?

Acronis Access Connect (formerly ExtremeZ-IP) is the best file and print sharing solution for integrating Macs into the Enterprise because it eliminates SMB protocol issues, performance and compatibility problems once and for all. Leveraging over 15 years of engineering, Acronis Access Connect is the only solution that presents the full Mac experience users demand while maintaining compatibility with Windows infrastructure required by IT.

At its core, Acronis Access Connect is an Apple File Protocol (AFP) file sharing service that runs on your Windows server. It lets Macs connect to file shares and NAS via AFP instead of the Server Messaging Block (SMB) protocol.

What’s New in Access Connect 10?

Acronis Access Connect expands beyond Macs to provide fast, seamless file access for mobile devices, including those for iOS, Android, and Windows phones and tablets. The Access mobile clients provide rich file browsing, full content searching, file previewing and editing, as well as automatic synchronization for working offline.

key Benefits:

Acronis Access Connect provides three main benefits for Mac users in a Windows environment:

  • Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) solution to Server Messaging Block (SMB) problems
  • Nearly instant Spotlight searching improves productivity
  • Mac to Windows integration

AFP Solution to SMB Problems

Mac OS X has always supported two network protocols:

  • AFP (Apple Filing Protocol) is Apple's native file sharing protocol for Mac.
  • SMB (Server Messaging Block) is the native file sharing protocol for Windows and is typically used for NAS storage.

With each OS X update, Mac SMB compatibility has evolved. But even with the SMB3 protocol support introduced in OS X 10.10 Yosemite, Mac users continue to report frustrating problems, especially with key applications such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite.

Acronis Access Connect can overcome common and critical Mac SMB problems with improved AFP support, including:

  • Long delays mounting shares, browsing folders, and opening files
  • Slow file searches and lack of file content search capabilities
  • File corruption
  • Disappearing files
  • Crashing applications
  • Permissions problems
  • Non-functional Windows shortcuts
  • Disconnected sessions
  • Locked files and file naming issues

IT managers in thousands of companies have found that by connecting to file shares with the native AFP protocol, their Mac users can stop suffering from these SMB problems, improving productivity while reducing frustration and help desk calls. This ultimately results in the lowering of costs and higher profitability.

And since Acronis Access Connect is a server-side solution, all Macs are automatically supported, whether they're running older or new versions of OS X.

Fast Spotlight Searching

When Mac users connect over SMB to a Windows or NAS file share, they lose the fast Spotlight filename and content searches they're used to when searching locally or against an OS X Server.. Acronis Access Connect solves that by linking Spotlight searches to a server-side index. For files on Windows servers, it links seamlessly with the native Windows Search service. Since the Windows Search service can't index NAS shares, Acronis Access Connect now includes a new indexing option: Acronis Content Indexing, which can index filenames, content, or both on any file share, including supported NAS devices, making searches hundreds of times faster.

Either way, Macs connected to file shares over AFP can then search filenames or content across very large collections of files to quickly find the files they need.

New! With the new mobile device support in Acronis Access Connect 10 users can even search Windows-based file shares from their phones or tablets.

Mac / Windows Integration

Acronis Access Connect is designed from the ground up to integrate Macs with any size Windows environment, from workgroup servers to clustered VMs and NAS.

It's fully integrated with Active Directory and NTFS permissions - Mac users can log in with their standard credentials and get the expected permissions to their files.

And with the Acronis Access Connect Network Reshare feature (enterprise subscription license required), Macs can use AFP to access files on other Windows servers and NAS devices, through a single server.

Acronis Access Connect easily integrates with key Windows infrastructure elements expected by IT, including:

  • • Kerberos / Single Sign On • DFS / Network Reshare • Home directories • Clustering • Quotas • File name policies • Advanced logging

It also supports the features and rich experience Mac users expect:

  • Fast Spotlight Searching
  • Time Machine backups
  • Unix / ACL permissions
  • Print queue support
  • Domain password change (through the AFP connection dialog)


Achieve Enterprise Harmony: One Secure Network Serving Mac and PC computers Take a closer look "under the hood" of Acronis Access Connect, the most trusted solution for complete compatibility between Mac desktops and Windows servers. While the following are minimum systems requirements, the recommended systems requirements for a particular implementation or application can vary. Please consult with your Acronis Access Connect team if you have questions or need assistance.

Server Requirements

  • Operating System: Windows Server. 2012 R2 or 2008 R2 recommended. See System Requirements for more details.
  • Processor: Dual or quad core recommended
  • RAM: 1GB minimum; 4GB recommended
  • Acronis Access Connect volumes must be on NTFS formatted drives

Mac Requirements

  • Supports Mac OS X 10.2.3 or later, including 10.9 Mavericks and 10.10 Yosemite
  • Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan
  • No Mac software installation is required.
  • Optional Dashboard widget


Download the Acronis Access Connect Datasheet (PDF).