At a Glance
- Only imaging for local backup
- Only HomePremium auto-selects video files
Very efficient, affordable online backup now offers local imaging and courier data retrieval for an additional fee.
Carbonite is an excellent online backup program/service–once
you have it configured. Version 4.0 assuages part of my mild
discontent with previous
versions by warning you on the very first page that .exe,
video, and files over 4GB in size are not automatically selected
for backup. Formerly, the lack of this warning meant that there was
a real chance that a user might think that their family videos were
being backed up while they were not.
I truly wish Carbonite had added an option to include these
types of files. As it is, all file selection other than the
automated selections is done via right-click in Windows Explorer.
Even you when you add a folder explicitly in this manner, Carbonite
skips the aforementioned file types. You must delve into the folder
and add them, which is tedious at best. If you add more files of
the excluded type to the folder you must again add them. There are
other interface oddities, but they’re all livable, and once you’re
acclimated, Carbonite is quite easy to use.
I think elements of the Carbonite interface are brilliant, such
as the colored dots on the Windows Explorer file icons that let you
know that files backup status. Also, the Carbonite drive found in
My Computer lets you easily see what’s being backed up and has been
backed up in one location. There’s now a dedicated restore routine
which takes a bit of guesswork out of the process and if you’re
restoring from say XP to Windows 7, it will place files where they
belong in the new OS. Friendly reminders are also forthcoming if
your backups don’t succeed for a few days.
Once you’ve configured Carbonite, it works great. In addition to
the Windows client, the company provides clients for the
iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, Blackberry OS, Mac, and Android phones.
There’s also Web access so you can download a file from virtually
anywhere. The service is also priced competitively: $55 per year,
per computer for unlimited backup. That’s cheaper than Mozy’s
Carbonite is a tough call for me. I truly like it, but the fact
that you can’t simply set it to watch a folder and be sure
everything in it is backed up means there’s a chance to lose data.
If you’re willing to do a little extra housekeeping, it’s otherwise
Note: The price given here is for an annual
subscription. This link takes you to the vendor’s site, where you
can download the latest version of the software.
–Jon L. Jacobi