If you’re looking for a low-cost online data backup service with an unlimited storage plan, take a look at Carbonite. It features a very easy-to-use control panel and will securely back up both Macs and Windows PCs. However, the entry-level price is for a single computer, so you’ll need to move up to the Plus or Premiere editions to add more computers, and those plans only support Windows computers.

This online data backup service has a scheduler that comes with the Carbonite app, which allows you to set up and perform automatic backups at a date and time of your choosing. Once you’ve backed up your computer, you can then configure this service to back up your new and updated files by the hour or the day.

It’s simple to know which files have been backed up with a simple, colored status dot. A green dot on a folder signals that Carbonite has backed up all the contents of that folder, while a yellow dot means that the folder contains files with pending backups. It’s a simple way to know the backup status of every file and folder on your hard drive.

You can also adjust Carbonite's settings to automatically back up your files when your computer is not in use, or when it is using few resources, so it doesn’t use bandwidth resources when you are actively using the internet. You can restore files individually, all at once or restore only missing files to any computer with internet connectivity.

One drawback to this online data backup service, however, is that it only backs up the most recent version of each file; it does not support file versioning, and it does not offer an archive folder for preserving previous versions of files.

You can access any files you back up using Carbonite from any computer with internet access. It also has a mobile device app for Apple iOS, Android or Blackberry smartphones that allows you to access specific files and email them to other computer users.

This storage service supports redundant storage and provides double encryption before your data leaves your computer. To access your files, you must enter your password, and remote access may require additional security information such as answers to several security questions and an approved email address. You can also use your own encryption code if you desire. By default, Carbonite transmits your files using an SSL connection, and not even Carbonite staff members can see the contents of your file backups.

Essentially, you can set up one computer to have unlimited backup space on Carbonite’s servers for an affordable annual price. If you have a second computer, and it must be a Windows PC, you will need to pay for a second annual subscription. Carbonite also has options for businesses that require multiple computer online data backups.

Carbonite online backup service is easy to use and installs quickly. After installation, you can simply choose an automatic process or the option to store only specific files or folders you choose to back up.

We installed Carbonite’s software onto a computer running Windows and chose the manual file storage option. Using manual file storage, the software will automatically store the files you select to Carbonite's servers. When we attempted to back up large image files over a wireless connection, we found that they transferred very quickly.

Carbonite has posted an extensive FAQs section on its website, along with video tutorials and a searchable knowledgebase. In addition, after submitting an email form, Carbonite will also give you access to telephone and chat support. Through the desktop interface, you can search help topics and view tutorials.

Carbonite Summary:
8/10

Carbonite offers great automatic backup tools at a very low price. It also provides exceptional security measures for your data, and you can access your backup files and folders from any computer, not just the one you used to back up the files.

 
 
 

Carbonite

Pros
It’s easy and affordable to back up your Mac or Windows PC.

Cons
The multiple-computer backup plans only support Windows PCs, not Macs.

The Verdict
: 8/10

This is an affordable, unlimited backup solution for Mac and PC users.