Carbonite is perhaps one of the most well-known cloud backup service in the market. And one of the most advertised as well. You can’t really go to any tech blogs without seeing at least one ads from Carbonite. Their focus on simplicity and providing unlimited space for users is quite well-known as well. In fact, we found their software and web interface among the most simple ones to use. Not only the web interface, Carbonite also provides mobile app on both iOS and Android, which allows you to access your backed up files anywhere.
Carbonite software is available for both Mac and Windows. However, among Home backup plans, the basic edition works on both platforms. But the two premium options will only work on Windows. Perhaps this is due to their software limitation, although we feel like this is a blow to Mac users. Carbonite offers free 15-day trial, without asking your credit card. This is really good move and you can try the service without any worries that you might forget to cancel it when you don’t really like it. Right now, Home backup plans offer unlimited storage, while Small Business plans give you 250GB and 500GB of storage, with additional storage packs available to purchase.
Currently, Carbonite offers three plans for Home and Home Office, and two plans for Small Business. Business plans have more features exclusive for businesses.
- Home and Home Office Plans
- Home: $59 per year for 1 machine. Available for both Windows and Mac. Unlimited storage
- HomePlus: $99 per year for 1 machine. Available for Windows only. Unlimited storage with external hard drive backup
- HomePremier: $149 per year for 1 machine. Available for Windows only. Unlimited storage with courier recovery service
- Small Business Plans
- Business: $229 per year. 250GB backup storage space. Unlimited computers. Available for both Windows and Mac with optional scheduled backup only on Windows
- BusinessPremier: $599 per year. 500GB bakcup storage space with Microsoft Windows servers support. Unlimited computers. Available for both Windows and Mac with optional scheduled backup only on Windows
- 50GB and 100 GB add on storage packs can be purchased for $46/yr to $89/yr
The pricing is in fact in line with its competitors in the industry. However, there are other contenders in this space that lets you backup more than just one PC, although most of them have data caps. Your subscription will be auto-renewed unless you manually cancel it. Plus point is that you just need an email address to get started.
Carbonite has impressive features but they cater towards simplicity and in fact, we find that their features don’t really confuse users. Let’s take a look.
For Carbonite Home Plans
- Schedule backups as well as automated backup
- Multiple version of same files. Carbonite allows you to backup up to 3 months of previous versions of a file
- Your own encryption key allows you to use one if your work regulation mandates it, or if you are just geeky like that
- Select priority files for recovery.
- Backup your data from an external drive to online
- Create whole mirror image of your computer, including your OS, to an external drive so that you can just switch hard drives in case your existing one fails
- Access to your files from Web, iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices
- Super easy restoration
- 30 days deleted file retention
- Courier recovery by shipping a copy of backup to you. *Only for HomePremier customers
- Unlimited storage
For Carbonite Small Business
- All features from Home plans
- Browser-based dashboard to monitor backup status for everyone’s computers in your company
- Support Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2011, Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, and Mac OSX 10.5 and above.
Carbonite doesn’t confuse users with too many differences in features. We actually find their software and web interface quite simple and straightforward.
Carbonite offers 128-bit Blowfish encryption which encrypt all your data before they leave your computers, and transmits them over SSL. Not only that, Carbonite’s data centers are highly secured, with guards on duty 24/7/365. The data centers are also arranged in a way that even when one data center fails due to any reasons such as Acts of God, your data will still be safe.
Not only that. Carbonite requires each of its data centers to an independent audit to ensure that each data center has a system of controls in place which are designed and operating effectively. Independent CPA firms which follow internationally recognized procedures established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants conduct all these audits. And Carbonite is quite open about their data security practices. You can even read their white paper on this subject.
Carbonite offers impressive customer service options. You can reach them via email/online ticket and phone during U.S business hours. They also have live chat, knowledgebase and blogs. Heck, they even have tutorials and video tutorials. However, a quick search on the web reveals that the customer service reviews from existing customers are quite mixed. Some loves them, while some hates them. However, we still haven’t seen any major issues with Carbonite though.
When you choose to signup, all it asks is just your email address, password and promotional code (optional) if you have any. Then you can immediately download the software. This is extremely pleasant and easy process. Once you are ready to buy then, you can fill in your personal details along with your credit card information in account control panel. But until then, all you need is an email address and you can start your trial. How nifty is that?
When you fire up Carbonite application, it will ask you to give a nick name to your computer so that you will know which computer your files are backed up from wen you review them on the Web.
After that, you can choose automatic backup or manual. Either one will let you choose if you just want to backup usual suspects such as documents, pictures and music, or more than that. You can change what files you want to backup by going to the program’s virtual drive.
The main interface of Carbonite is InfoCenter, and when you are not using the software, it will minimize and stay at your system tray. You can call it up by double-clicking on its system tray icon.
You can actually access to your backed up files from a virtual drive on your computer, not just from Web and mobile apps. Carbonite will add a virtual drive to your computer and you can see anything in your backup sets.
The web interface is quite simple and straightforward too, and now with a search option which is immensely useful if you are like us with massive amount of data backed up on the cloud.
If you are looking for an unlimited backup for your home computers or even for your small business, Carbonite may be what you are looking for. At its price point, the features and storage it offers are quite solid. But then if you are a Mac user, a lot of advanced features are not available for you yet. Considering that Mac users are multiplying at really fast rate these days, we still don’t understand why Carbonite won’t release Mac software with all features they offer now on Windows. There is no point in offering for both platforms while only giving basic level features to Mac users. However, if you are just looking for an easy backup solution, even the basic features in Mac software are pretty good. One downfall of Carbonite is not allowing you to backup additional computers. You will have to pay more for that, and there are competitors doing exactly that at lower price point but with limited data cap. Overall, we feel that Carbonite will fulfill many users’ needs for simple and unlimited backup solution.Visit Site »
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