Carbonite Review – Protect Your Data

Carbonite Online Backup LogoIn the world of online backup, Carbonite is one of the most successful solutions. Millions of users have chosen this service to preserve their important files and to ensure that they can be restored even if their computer or external drives are stolen, damaged or lost.

One of the highlights of Carbonite is its ease of use and detailed setup guides that make the data backup process very simple. Carbonite was established in 2005 and the team behind this online backup solution, have managed to combine experience and innovation to deliver a high quality service that allows you to access your files from any computer or mobile device.

Personal Plans

Carbonite has plans designed for different needs including Personal and Business solutions. The Personal Basic plan is priced at $59.99 per year/per computer and it supports Windows (7, 8, XP and Vista) and Mac OS X from Snow Leopard – 10.6 to Yosemite – 10.10. It offers automatic cloud backup, as well as the option to sync, share and access files remotely with the free apps.

The Personal Plus only works for Windows and costs $99.99 per year/ per computer and in addition to the features supported by the Basic plan, it includes external hard-drive backup and mirror image backup. This is a convenient feature that enables you to create an exact copy of your computer, which is saved in a external hard drive.

The Prime option is available for $149.99 per year and it offers everything that is included in the previous plans, plus automatic video backup and Courier Recovery service. With this service, you can request a copy of your backed up files to be sent to you by email on DVD format or in a external hard drive. One thing to keep in mind is that you would need to pay $9.99 each time you use the Courier Recovery service. Furthermore, if you chose to manage your private encryption key, you would not be able to use the service as only you would have access to the backups.

There is also a free trial that allows you to test the service before making a purchase.

How Does it Work?

Even if you have never tried an online cloud-based backup service, you will not have any issues installing and using Carbonite. The installation is straightforward and only takes a few minutes and the interface is very clear. You will not have any issues managing your backups as all the options are easy to find. Carbonite lets you know how long a backup will take and how many files are yet to be backed up. It also allows you to manage practically every aspect of the backup process. You can select continuous or incremental backups, the latter would only take place if there are any updates to existing files, or if new files are added.

Files and folders are marked with different colors to help you determine if they have been already backed up, if only some files are backed up within a folder, or if they are awaiting backup. This is only one of the ways in which Carbonite makes things clear and simple when you are backing up your data. There is also an InfoCenter that provides an overview of the software’s performance, including backup set status and schedule. You can also manage options like pausing the backup upload, or stopping the backup process.

Like other convenient online backup solutions, Carbonite offers unlimited storage space, which allows you to back all the data on your computer. It is important to note that if there many files on your computer, the initial backup can take a few days to complete. Automatic backups are carried for all your files, except those that are under 4GB. By excluding large files, Carbonite can speed up the backup process. If you need to backup a file of this size, you can do it manually at a later stage without additional cost.

There are no file size limits imposed in the web storage option, meaning that you can upload any file to the cloud. Scheduling backups is also possible so you can set up the best time to make copies of your data. The backup process can also be stopped whenever required and you can also prioritize the files that you need to recover as soon as possible. Restoring is one of the most important aspects of online backup services and Carbonite offers multiple ways to retrieve your data.

In the InfoCenter, there are different options to restore your data including full restore, which requires Carbonite to be installed in the computer where you want to have your data restored. Bear in mind that if you perform a full restore in another computer, your Carbonite account would be transferred to that machine, meaning that it won’t work in the original computer. You can opt for restoring only certain files and the restore process can be carried through the Web option, or from Carbonite’s InfoCenter. It is possible to search the files by size, or by the last date they were modified.

Older versions of your uploaded files are kept for up to 30 days, which in most cases is enough time to restore a file. However, it is important to keep in mind that since your old files will be permanently removed after 30 days, Carbonite would not be a good solution for archiving your files as it doesn’t work as an additional hard drive. Still, if you are looking for a convenient option to share and sync files across your devices and with other users, Carbonite gets the jobs done. This makes it a convenient tool for collaborating as you can allow others to edit documents shared.

When it comes to security for your data, Carbonite makes sure that your files are protected against eavesdropping. Data is secured with 128-bit Blowfish encryption and it remains protected this way, even while it is in storage. SSL technology is used during the transferring process to enhance the protection for your files. You also have the possibility of managing your own encryption key, but this would limit your options as you would only be able to access your files from your computer. Also, as previously mentioned, you would not have the option to use the Courier Recovery service if you have a Prime plan.

Customer Service

Carbonite aims to offer a great experience for its customers through a reliable service and strong customer support. There is a great deal of useful information available on the website, including tutorials, a comprehensive knowledge base and a FAQ section. The desktop interface also gives you access to information resources. Carbonite also offers support via email form, chat and even phone, which is not something that all companies provide. Overall, Carbonite provides efficient and professional responses.


With Carbonite, you can enjoy affordable and secure online backup without storage limits. The customer support is excellent and the interface makes the data backup process simple. While Carbonite may seem basic when compared to other options that include a wider range of features, it can complete all the essential backup and restore tasks really well. If you don’t require advance backing up options (like external drives), the Basic plan is a convenient choice that allows you to safeguard important files and data for a very reasonable price.


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