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TopTenREVIEWS - Gold Award - Awarded for excellence in design, usability and feature set

Backing up your digital photos, videos, music and documents with an online data backup service ensures that your data won't be lost to a failed hard drive. For a lifetime of data, you need a service with truly unlimited backup storage and comprehensive backup features, like those offered by Carbonite. Since your data will be copied to remote servers, Carbonite secures your data from being copied or viewed by unauthorized people. For these reasons, Carbonite has earned the TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award for Best Online Data Backup Service.

Backup & Restore Features
Compare
10/10
Carbonite
IDrive
CrashPlan
SOS Online Backup
Acronis True Image Online
OpenDrive
SugarSync
Mozy
Dropbox
Box
10
8.8
9.4
9.4
8.8
9.4
7.5
6.3
8.1
5

Carbonite's best feature is the unlimited backup storage. Most online data backup services have limited backup storage, which may force you to eventually choose which files you want to keep and which files you'll need to delete in order to maintain the limited storage plan. With an unlimited backup storage plan, you never have to choose. You can be a digital hoarder of photos, videos, music and documents without fear of extra charges or having your account deleted.

Another great feature is the file archiving, which allows you to restore previous versions of a file. This is useful for documents that often change because your possible errors and changes aren't permanent – you can simply reverse the clock on the file to a point before you made the unwanted changes. Carbonite saves an unlimited number of file versions within a 90-day period. It deletes versions older than that. Most data backup services limit file archiving to either 30 versions or 30 days.

After you create your first full backup set, Carbonite works in the background to ensure your files are backed up at all times. It uses the incremental backup method to record changes continuously so that you never have to think about your backup sets. It also automatically reduces the bandwidth on your internet connection so that you don't experience a dip in your computer's performance.

One of the best features Carbonite offers is mirror-image backup. In addition to backing up all your files individually, it can take a snapshot of your hard drives once a week. Doing this backs up your entire system – operating system, installed software and configurations. If your computer fails or is stolen, you can use the mirror-image backup to restore your entire system onto another machine. Most data backup services only back up data like photos, videos, music and documents.

Another great feature is the external hard drive backup and restore. Not only will it recognize and automatically back up your external hard drives, but you can also send a filled external hard drive for quicker uploads. This courier service also applies to restoration. If you're in a situation where you need to restore data but you don't have an internet connection, you can have your backed-up files mailed to you via an external hard drive.

The only feature Carbonite lacks is public file linking. While you can sync your folders with other devices and even create share folders with other users, you can't publicly share files. However, this is a minor feature.

Security
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IDrive
CrashPlan
SOS Online Backup
Acronis True Image Online
OpenDrive
SugarSync
Mozy
Dropbox
Box
10
10
9.4
9.4
9.4
9.4
8.1
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10

Many people worry about having their personal files stored on mysterious servers along with millions of other personal files from strangers. To address these concerns, Carbonite has taken comprehensive safety precautions to ensure your files are safe from natural or manmade disasters and nefarious hackers.

To protect your files from hackers, the files feature Blowfish and Triple DES encryption for both the transfer and storage of the files. If a hacker were to break through the multiple firewalls of their server systems, that hacker still wouldn't be able to view your files. Also, because you maintain the encryption key, you are the only person who can decrypt the files. This means your files are even safe from potential third-party surveillance.

Carbonite's servers are temperature-controlled with uninterruptable power supplies and 24/7 monitored security. This ensures the life and safety of the servers so that your files are always accessible. In addition, your data is redundantly stored at each server location and geo-redundantly stored to preserve your data in the event that the server location is damaged or destroyed.

Another safety feature included with Carbonite is remote wipe. If someone steals your computer, the remote wipe option gives you the ability to delete the backed-up files on the stolen computer, minimizing the threat of having your identity stolen.

Mobile Access
Compare
8.8/10
Carbonite
IDrive
CrashPlan
SOS Online Backup
Acronis True Image Online
OpenDrive
SugarSync
Mozy
Dropbox
Box
8.8
10
9.4
9.4
9.4
8.1
9.4
8.8
9.4
9.4

There are two Carbonite mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, but this service lacks apps for Windows Phone. The first app is Carbonite Mobile – an app that backs up the photos and videos on your phone or tablet. Not only does this create a backup of your media files, but it also makes it easy to transfer those files to your computer. If you take a photo with your phone that you want to edit in Photoshop, you don't have to email the photo to yourself or remove a memory disk. Since it's backed up to your cloud account, you can easily access the photo on your computer.

The second app is Carbonite Sync and Share. This app is designed with collaboration and sharing as the priority. With this app, you can sync your files with friends and co-workers. They can edit the files, and the changes are automatically synced to your device. This allows you to access and collaborate on projects wherever you are. You can collaborate with anybody, anywhere, at any time.

Help & Support
Compare
10/10
Carbonite
IDrive
CrashPlan
SOS Online Backup
Acronis True Image Online
OpenDrive
SugarSync
Mozy
Dropbox
Box
10
10
10
9.4
9.4
8.8
10
9.4
7.5
8.8

For help and support, Carbonite makes sure you have the necessary resources to ensure your important photos, videos and other files are backed up and safe. This includes free telephone, live chat and email support for direct communication with a support team member. Many data backup services charge a fee for these support features. In addition, there are many educational resources, like a FAQs page and tutorials to walk you through the steps of various backup and restore tools.

Carbonite Summary:
9.8/10

Carbonite is the best data backup service because it combines unlimited backup storage with comprehensive backup and restore features. With the best security features available, all your important files are safe from being lost. The mobile apps are great for syncing and sharing files. The only downside is the lack of a Windows Phone app.

 

Carbonite

Pros
You get unlimited storage with comprehensive backup and security features.

Cons
It doesn't have a Windows Phone app.

The Verdict
: 9.75/10

Carbonite is the best online data backup service because it has unlimited storage, comprehensive backup and restore tools, comprehensive security features and excellent customer support.