I started off with Acronis (years back), changed over to ShadowProtect Desktop before zeroing on Paragon software. ( I use the paid version of Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2011 Suite,though.)
But for those who want a free version, I always recommend Paragon's Backup & Recovery 2012 Free - Free Backup Software: Paragon Backup & Recovery Free Edition - Overview
Try Both Macrium Reflect Free and also the Paragon Free and choose the one which you are comfortable with. (Since I do not use Macrium Reflect, I cannot give a comparative assessment.)
Acronis does not have a free version.
But if you have a Seagate or Maxtor Hard drive you can download the Disk Wizard - which is a version of Acronis. | Seagate
If you have a Western Digital Hard drive you can download Acronis True Image WD Edition. WD Support