PROS / Help and support options are comprehensive, giving you plentiful resources if you need assistance backing up your digital files.
CONS / Storage is not geo-redundant.
VERDICT / Carbonite is among the best cloud backup services. Offering unlimited online backup and a user-friendly dashboard interface, it makes the task of uploading your digital data to the cloud painless.
Carbonite is an online data backup platform that earns its positive reputation by providing truly unlimited cloud storage and a broad array of file management capabilities. Winner of our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award for best data backup service, Carbonite Basic is a solution that offers a stable platform, good security and the ability to access your files from remote locations using your smartphone.
Backup & Restore Features
One of the key features of Carbonite that maximizes its value is the fact that you get an unlimited amount of cloud storage space. Once you install the Carbonite software, the program goes to work automatically to determine which files on your computer to back up. Although Carbonite does not upload files larger than 4GB by default, you can easily override this by selecting larger files manually. Once you have, those files will back automatically in the future.
Carbonite comes with a file versioning feature that gives you the ability to access up to 12 versions of previously overwritten files. You can access the previous 12 versions of a saved file for up to 90 days. This is far fewer than some online data backup services that store an unlimited number of file versions. Deleted file recovery is also somewhat limited. If you delete a file from your Carbonite cloud storage, you have up to 30 days to recover that file. Other services give you an indefinite period to do so. These shortcomings aside, Carbonite has a comprehensive host of backup and restore features that make it a standout data backup service.
Since it runs in the background, files continuously back up to the cloud while you work. Employing a method called incremental backup, Carbonite instantly records changes that you make to a document, ensuring the most recent version is always backed up to the cloud. These changes are also synced out across all of your connected devices so that if you sign in to your online storage account from another computer or from a mobile device, you will always have access to the most updated version of your files.
Even though Carbonite operates in the background, you can override this function by accessing your dashboard preferences. For example, if you want to free up bandwidth, you have the option of telling Carbonite not to run during certain times of day. You can also schedule data backups to occur at specific times on certain dates, or on a recurring basis. Doing this ensures your computer isn't bogged down when you rely on it to perform the most.
Carbonite security gets a near-perfect ranking for its use of effective encryption methods that keep your personal files and sensitive information safe from theft. Before they even leave your computer, Carbonite encrypts your files. Once your files have been encrypted, they are uploaded using a Secure Socket Layer connection. Once your files have been successfully uploaded to Carbonite's data center, they're once again encrypted and protected against a variety of threats, including viruses. Additional security measures, like an around-the-clock security staff and emergency power generators, safeguard the data storage facility itself.
Like many of the best cloud backup services, Carbonite owns and operates its own data centers, which means it has control over the kinds of measures implemented to keep your files secure. File data is stored redundantly within Carbonite's single data centers, but true geo-redundancy is not offered. Geo-redundant storage is the practice of storing mirror copies of data to other centers in separate geographical locations, which is considered to be the absolute best security scenario.
A free Carbonite app is available for Android and iOS mobile users. This app gives you access to all of your uploaded files on your smartphone or tablet. Mobile sync compatibility ensures that updated files are available on all of your connected mobile devices. Carbonite's mobile backup function lets Android users automatically upload photos and videos to the cloud. Although mobile backup is currently not available to iOS users and only works on Android devices, both device types have equal access to uploaded content.
Help & Support
Carbonite customer support is available 24 hours a day, thanks to its broad ranging scope of coverage that includes everything from phone support to in-depth tutorials. You can reach Carbonite tech support seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST. Live online chat is also available during those times, and after hours you have the option of sending an email inquiry. There are also how-to guides and video tutorials available to help you find answers to technical questions.
The unlimited online backup that comes with Carbonite Basic means that you never have to worry about running out of space. Most importantly, you will also not have to pay extra for additional storage if your account exceeds a stated limit. A wealth of effective backup and restore features, combined with excellent customer support and strong security measures, makes Carbonite Basic a worthy choice for the home user seeking a simple and automatic method of backing up important digital data.