September 18, 2009

Carbonite – Keep Your Data Safe


It happens when you least expect it. You turn on your computer, and there’s nothing but a black screen and a flashing cursor.

If your situation ends like mine did, you just lost a lot of data. My hard drive died, and I wish I had backed up my information somewhere—anywhere. My mind jumped to question what exactly was lost and what were the implications. Data loss can also come from other directions, such as having your computer stolen. Regardless of your profession or how you use your computer, more than likely you’ve got some important files stored. What we all need is a safe, secure option to painlessly back up files. Carbonite Online Backup provides you exactly with that option.

Carbonite is easy. It installs a small program onto your computer which works in the background without taking up too much space. The program then constantly checks for newly created or altered files, and backs them up to remote servers. Carbonite will only run while your computer is idle so you never have to worry about it hampering your use.

In the terrible case that you do need to retrieve your files, all it takes is a few clicks on Carbonite’s website and you can restore some or all of your backed up files in a few hours to a few days (depending on the size of your data).

Practical uses:

  • Back up your small business’s expense reports and other critical financial files
  • Retrieve your years worth of photos after losing your computer in a fire
  • Create a backup of your college student’s laptop to ensure he doesn’t skip a beat after dropping his laptop off the 2nd floor balcony

Insider Tips:

  • You can backup an unlimited amount of information but large amounts of data need extra fast internet connections or the process could take months
  • Determine what’s backed up and what’s not by color coded buttons on each file icon
  • Check out the Carbonite blog for tips and tricks on maintaining safe computing habits

What we liked:

  • Accessing information is secure yet simple
  • Files are encrypted twice before entering Carbonite’s system
  • Discounted prices are available when signing up for additional years
  • Free 15-day trial

What we didn’t like:

  • Since Carbonite only backs up during idle time, a crash while you’re working could cause some data loss
  • As with all online backup solutions we’ve reviewed, the upload process is painfully slow for large backups


Company Info:

  • Launched: May 2006
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: Boston, MA
  • Founded by: David Friend and Jeff Flowers
  • Web site:


  • One year is $54.95, two years is $99.95 and three is $129.95

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