Carbonite Review

Pros:

  • ChooseWhat Check (badge)Yearly fee equates to less than our Market Standard of 10 cents per GB per month
  • Offers high quality customer support
  • Online backup company has been in business for at least 5 years
  • Offers a "Restore Wizard"
  • Professional plan offers server backup

Cons:

  • Only offers a yearly plan
  • Does not offer a free personal storage account

Conclusion:

[Updated 11/6/2014]

Carbonite is a great online backup service that offers unlimited storage for a low price. They even offer several comprehensive business plans if you need to back up more than just one computer.  However, unlike many other online backup providers, Carbonite does not offer a free personal account; instead they have a 15-day free trial. Also, Carbonite charges annually rather than monthly, so you are required to pay for a full year of service in advance.  We found Carbonite’s customer service to be of high quality and enjoyed their extended phone support hours.

Features

Carbonite’s online backup service operates by giving you downloadable software for your computer, which makes copies of your files and uploads them over the Internet to Carbonite’s  storage servers. After your initial backup, which may take a long time, depending on the total size of the files you’re backing up, Carbonite runs continuously in the background of your computer, performing automatic incremental backups. Incremental backups save you bandwidth by saving a file only when it has been altered or newly created, instead of repeatedly backing up your entire system.

Carbonite also allows you to store multiple versions of the same file,so that, when performing a restoration of files, you may access a range of file versions as opposed to just your most recently saved copy. Carbonite does not offer a streamlined file sharing service. They offer a “Restore Wizard” program that guides you through the process of restoring lost files up to 30 days old to their original location on your computer. Carbonite offers mobile apps for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry so that you may access or save files located on your smartphone as well. Carbonite is compatible with both Mac and PC operating systems.

Professional Options

In addition to personal online backup options, Carbonite offers a business solutions upgrade that does not require you to upload your files again. Carbonite offers their Business plan with 250 GB of storage for $229 per year and their Business Premier plan with 500 GB of storage for $599 per year. You can test any of these levels out with Carbonite’s 30-day free trial (the personal account free trial is only 15 days). Carbonite's Business Premier plan will back up computers with Microsoft Windows server operation system. Carbonite’s professional plan also allows access to an unlimited number of computers and lets you back up external drives, which is not offered with the personal plan.

Customer Support

Carbonite provides phone customer support weekdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST and weekends from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST. Live chat and email support are both available 24/7. During testing, we found all three of their support services to be of very high quality. Carbonite offers FAQs, tutorials, and a searchable knowledgebase, which we found very helpful and comprehensive, but they do not offer user forums for discussing their service.

Security

Carbonite, Inc. has been in business for seven years, which indicates that they are a stable company.  This very important to consider when evaluating an online backup solution, as you want to pick a company that is reliable. Carbonite’s data encryption offers bank-level privacy protection.

Pricing

Carbonite’s personal plan offers unlimited storage for $59 per year, which works out to $4.92 per month. They also offer discounted prices of $109 for two years and $139 for three years, which boils down to $4.54 per month and $3.86, respectively. As mentioned above, Carbonite offers their Business plan with 250 GB of storage for $229 per year and their Business Premier plan with 500 GB of storage for $599 per year. While they don’t offer an indefinitely free account like other online backup services, Carbonite does offer a 15-day free trial with unlimited storage that does not require a credit card to sign up.

Carbonite News

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Carbonite Releases iPad App

Carbonite recently announced the release of Carbonite Access for iPad and Carbonite Access v2.0 for the iPhone and iPod Touch. They also introduced an updated version of the Carbonite Acess app for BlackBerry smartphones.

Carbonite Access for iPad is now available for free in the App Store. The new app lets Carbonite subscribers browse, view, and share all of their backed up files that are supported by iOS. You can also stream any music that you have stored in the cloud to the tablet PC.

"Carbonite's mobile applications make it possible to carry all of your digital files in your pocket," said David Friend, CEO of Carbonite. "Other cloud services invite you to upload a subset of your files, but Carbonite has everything, even if you back-up multiple computers. You never have to worry that the file you need is not in the cloud. That's the advantage of unlimited backup with anytime, anywhere mobile access."

Customers can download the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch and BlackBerry app from the Apple App Store, BlackBerry App World, or the Carbonite website.

Carbonite's Pricing

Unlimited

$59.99 per year

Annual Discount

N/A

Free Account

N/A


Carbonite's Features

Professional Options

Yes

Automatic Backup

Yes

Scheduled Backup

Yes

Incremental Backups

Yes

File Sharing

No

File Versioning

Yes

File Restoration

30 days

System Compatibility

Windows, Mac

Mobile App

iPhone, BlackBerry, Android

Phone Support

M-F 9a-5p, Sa-Su 12-4p EST

Live Chat Support

24/7

Quality of Customer Support

High