There are number of companies which offer online data backup. However, most of them do not offer their services as advertised. Today, we are going to review the popular Carbonite online backup service. Before talking about Carbonite, let’s check out the advantages of online backups. Most of us still prefer to back up our data using conventional backup methods such as DVD or external hard disk. However, online backups have a number of advantages compared to conventional backup methods.
Online backups are automatically performed on a daily basis or on a frequency set by you. It runs quietly in the background so there is absolutely no need to worry about it. Moreover, it is less expensive and saves your valuable time. Conventional backup methods have a risk of losing all your data due to natural disaster or if your device is lost or stolen. On the other hand, online backup services allow you to easily get your data back with the click of a button in the event of data loss. Restoring your files is incredibly simple and it does not require any technical knowledge.
Recently, I was looking for a reliable online backup service which can back up most of my important files, images and videos at reasonable rates and finally zeroed down on Carbonite. First of all, Carbonite is one of the most trusted brands in cloud backup. Carbonite has already helped its customers to back up more than 300 billion files and recover nearly 20 billion files. The backup and restore process is extremely simple.
It allows you to back up pictures, documents and all your important files automatically to the cloud. Once you are connected to the internet, Carbonite will automatically start the backup process. Your files are encrypted before they leave your computer and are stored safely offsite at one of their data centers. Carbonite’s Home plans start at $59 per year, while the business plans start at $229 per year. Before purchasing the yearly plans, you can even try out Carbonite for freewithout spending a dime.
To get started, all you have to do is just visit the Carbonite’s website and sign up for a 15 days free trial. You won’t be charged anything for the first 15 days, however the service will cost you $59 per year for a single PC after the trial period. Once you have created an account, you will be asked to download and install the application on your Windows PC or Mac. After installing the application, you’ll need to name your computer or laptop. After that, you will be asked to select the automatic backup process or the manual backup process.
The automatic process will back up all your pictures and important files from desktop, document and media directories. On the other hand, you can select the manual option and add files and folders to store on the cloud. If you own a small business and need to comply with certain industry regulations – like HIPAA – Carbonite can assist with your compliance requirements. You can choose to manage your own encryption key for any Windows computer, NAS device or server. It is not recommended to set your own key unless you are experienced at managing encryption keys or have a special need to do so.
After completing the setup process, you will be greeted with the Carbonite Info Center. The application will prompt you to start the backup process immediately. Carbonite will back up all your photos, documents, e-mail, settings and everything on your desktop. However, it will not back up any videos, executable files and other files larger than 4 GB automatically. You will need to manually upload them by right-clicking the file in Windows Explorer or in the Mac OS X Finder.
You can activate the Carbonite Info Center from the desktop or click on the tray icon. Right-clicking the tray icon allows you to open the Info Center, freeze your backup or pause the backup process for a predefined set of time. Carbonite has a great marking system for the files and folders. You can easily know the status of backed up data on your hard disk. It will mark the backed up files and folders with green dot, awaiting backup with yellow dot and partly backed up folders with green donut.
Scheduling and Restoring Backups:
Carbonite will back up all your content by default. However, you can set the application to back up once a day or even exclude certain hours. Carbonite does not allow you to specify a file type for backup, which can be a major drawback for its customers. You can manage and access your backed up files from the Carbonite Backup Drive on your computer or directly from Carbonite’s website.
You can restore your files from the desktop application as well as from their website. To restore your files from your computer, open the Carbonite application and select the Restore tab. The restore tab has 3 options – search & restore, browse & restore and restore all files. To restore your files and folders from their website, just log in to your Carbonite account and select the restore files. From there you can select individual files and folders or you can select the complete restore option to get back all of your files and folders.
Carbonite is without a doubt an excellent service to back up your data online. Their plans are quite affordable,. Unlimited backup space is just $59 a year. However it comes with some limitations. You can switch to a premium plan which allows you to back up an external hard drive and uploads videos automatically. Carbonite also provides free mobile and tablet apps for devices running on Android, BlackBerry and iOS Operating Systems. These apps can be extremely useful to access all your files on the go. With unlimited backup space, affordable plans and extremely simple backup and restoration process, Carbonite is definitely one of the best online backup services that you can’t afford to miss!
Start your free trial (no credit card required) at Carbonite.com. Use offer code SUNNY13 and you’ll get two months free if you decide to buy.