A Quick Review of Carbonite

Dave
4-3-2012

We`re all well aware of how important third-party, cloud-based online backup and storage can be in this day and age, but many aren`t sure of where to begin due to the almost limitless options available. There`s Dropbox, Mozy, SugarSync, iCloud and SkyDrive, to name just a few. Those are great services and worth a look by anyone in need of reliable cloud storage, but today we`ll review an old favorite, Carbonite. One of the first cloud storage services to gain widespread acceptance on the web, they`ve offered their own unique brand of online backup to Windows and Mac users since 2006.

Carbonite Features & Performance

There are essentially two basic backup packages offered by Carbonite for home backup, the Home Office plan and the Small Business plan. The Home Office Plan is designed with the individual in mind and provides unlimited backup for one PC for a mere $59 per year. It supports file and folder backup as you`d expect, and offers mobile and desktop access via a downloaded client program. The Small Business plan is more full-featured, offering 250 GB of storage for any number of computers you`d like starting at $229. Adding more computers and users to your plan will ratchet up the price incrementally.

Ease of Use and General Operation

Once you sign up for a plan, you`ll be directed to download and install the appropriate client for your operating system. Afterwards, the initial setup wizard will guide you through the backup process, prompting the user to select folders and files that they`d like to copy. If you select general folders, Carbonite will automatically backup data files like documents, images, music, videos and more. It won`t automatically sync executable files and programs, or any individual files over 4 GB, such as disk image ISOs.

User Reviews & Feedback

When you compare Carbonite`s pricing scheme to its primary competitors, you quickly realize it`s one of the best overall deals online as far as backup is concerned. Though the financial calculations make Carbonite appealing, a better way to evaluate any cloud storage service is to go straight to the users to see how well it performs in real life. The user-generated feedback demonstrates that Carbonite`s dedicated customers are more than satisfied with the service. Mainstream critical response is similarly positive. According to the Boston Globe: "Carbonite is just about flawless. Just install it, launch it, and forget about it."

The Verdict

When you take into account Carbonite`s reputation, incredible value and excellent user reviews found online, it`s tough to make the argument that Carbonite isn`t every bit as good as its rivals. Though it may not be the trendy cloud storage service all the hip kids use like Dropbox, it`s arguably the best available at the moment. If you need more than just a few GBs of storage space for an extended period of time and a service you can count on to safeguard your data no matter what, Carbonite`s the cloud backup service for you.

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