Carbonite online backup is one of the best known cloud backup services on the market today. But just because they’re well-known, does it mean they’re the best solution?
- Simple system for verifying which files are backed up
- One low price ($59/year) for unlimited personal or business accounts
- 10% Off Coupon
- 15-day Free trial with no credit card required
- When performing backup, system omits videos by default
- No option for monthly billing
Carbonite makes getting started backing up your data online easy. The installation process is simple, after giving your computer a name (useful if you have multiple computers in the same account) and choosing the type of computer you’re backing up (Desktop, Laptop, or Server), you can then have Carbonite automatically complete the set-up process (including which files to backup, when to backup, and how to encrypt the data (128-bit Blowfish encryption is standard)) or choose these options yourself.
Carbonite also, at this time, informs you of what types of files are not automatically backed up, which include videos, executable files, and files larger than 4GB. These files can be manually selected, and Carbonite shows you how.
Also, the installer tells you that files on your external hard drives will not be backed up, unless you’re subscribed to the HomePlus or HomePremier version of Carbonite.
Finally, Carbonite explains how you can tell if a file is backed up, based on the dot icon overlay in Windows or the Mac OS.
Note: During your free trial period, Carbonite does not automatically select your music or video files. When you upgrade to the paid subscription your music and short video files are added to the backup (if they were previously selected).
The settings tab within the Carbonite InfoCenter allows you to specify the backup schedule (continuously (recommended), once per day, or only certain different hours).
Additionally, you can choose whether or not you want the colored dots showing you what’s backed up (and what’s not), what files you’d like to backup, and how much bandwidth you want your uploads to use.
Backing up your data with Carbonite is straightforward – there’s not much to do here, except you have the option to freeze your backup, which is useful if you’re trying to do something else online (like chatting on Skype) and your backup is taking up too much bandwidth.
You can see your Carbonite backup running, and how many files are left to backup. There’s a quick link for “How long will this take?”, which directs users to this help file.
Carbonite uses colored dots as an overlay on your files, so you can quickly see what files are backed up and which are not. To add a file to the backup set, just right-click and choose Carbonite > Back this up.
If you need to restore data, you have a few options. You can either search for the file you need, browse your backup, or just restore everything.
Carbonite creates a virtual drive, the Carbonite Backup Drive, which shows you your backed up files and files that are pending backup. You can browse this drive, and your backed up files, just like navigating your own local computer.
Carbonite keeps old versions of your files for up to three months. However, it does not keep every single version over three months. One version of the file is kept for each day of the past week, plus one version for each week (of the previous three weeks) and one version per month (of the previous two months). Confused? This graphic will help:
If you happen to delete a file from your computer, you have 30 days to restore it, before it’s deleted from Carbonite’s servers. Remember, Carbonite is online backup, not online storage.
Carbonite’s mobile app allows you to browse, view, and share the files backed up to your Carbonite account. In addition, the app for Android & iOS (iPhone, iPad) backs up your photos & videos and the Android app allows you to protect your phone if it is lost or stolen.
Carbonite is a well-established company with readily available support. If you’re looking for an easy solution and a big brand name to go along with it, Carbonite is for you.