Carbonite was founded in 2005 and is one of the most experienced companies in the industry. They are headquartered in Massachusetts. The company boasts several awards and is very well known in the industry. The company offers their services to businesses and personal users. Users are able to receive true backups of their files, and with some plans, even have the option to mirror drives or backup system files.
Carbonite offers all new customers a 15-day full featured free trial so that they may determine if the service is right for them. In order to receive the free trial, users simply need to register with Carbonite; there is no billing information required.
The free trial period with Carbonite is less than for many of their competitors, but should give the user ample time to decide if they want to continue the service. Carbonite does not offer a fully free account.
Businesses are offered a free 30-day trial.
Carbonite runs automatic backups by default. By doing so, files remain backed up in their most current version in the cloud. This process requires that users determine which files that they want to back up and perform an initial backup "seeding." This file is usually a large and and takes time for the initial upload to be completed. However this method is also preferred by many because rather than backing up entire files, the software performs smaller, incremental backups which reduces the demand on computer resources.
Users can elect to performing backups on demand as well or schedule them in advance.
Since Carbonite performs continuous backups of file cahnges, there are a few situations unique to this method of backups. Users must maintain original files on their machine. Carbonite is not an archiving service. When the software detects that a file which was previously backed up is missing from the account, they keep the last version for 30 days. Users who do not restore these files to their machine will find that the files will be deleted after the 30 period.
Carbonite also keeps file versions - up to 12 file versions of each file which has been changed. These are also deleted after 30 days.
Carbonite uses a TLS 128 bit Blowfish encryption. Many companies use the 256-bit AES SSL encryption. Both methods are used by financial institutions to protect customer data. Carbonite stores customer files in multiple locations, protecting against data loss from natural disasters, etc.
Carbonite offers customers the additional ability to select a personal key to protect their files. It should be noted that when customers elect this security measure, that even Carbonite employees cannot assist customers if they lose their password. No password reset requests can be performed at any time for accounts with the additional security key enabled.
In an industry which is filled with poor customer service, Carbonite is an industry leader in providing accessible and helpful personal customer service. While many companies boast about their customer service, Carbonite actually delivers. Both prospective and current customers can contact Carbonite via phone, email, or online chat. Live customer service is available 8:30 am to 9:00 pm, Eastern time. For after hours support, a comprehensive knowledgebase is also available.
Carbonite users subscribing to the Prime Plan may elect to have a physical copy of their backed up files mailed to them via expedited service for ease of restoration. This feature, while it makes sense to many is only available from a small percentage of companies.
Carbonite offers three personal plans - Basic, Plus and Prime.
Carbonite offers three backup plans for businesses, the Pro Basic Plan, Pro Prime Plan and Advanced Pro Bundle.
Pro Basic Plan
Pro Prime Plan
Advanced Pro Bundle
Carbonite lacks a monthly payment option which is offered by most of their competitors. The additional features offered in the upgraded plans, especially the courier recovery service, are not in the standard features from many other providers. Carbonite's courier recovery service allows users to receive their recovery files shipped to them if needed.
Carbonite is more expensive than some of their competitors who offer additional features, like file sharing or the ability to work with Mac and iOS devices.
Carbonite is behind their competitors in the file sharing arena. They do not offer file sharing or collaboration. When asked about these options, a representative of the company stated:
We do have a feature on our website called Anytime Access which will let you browse the backup and download individual files, but it would require your account login information to access it.
There are obvious problems with this method of sharing files. Other companies allow users to create secure links to share their files and some even allow the file owner to set password protection. Carbonite is not a service for those who want to share their backed up files.
Independent speed tests found that Carbonite was one of the slower services which was tested. A mixed file type folder of 100MB took 3 minutes and 10 seconds, which was nearly four times the speed of the leading companies. Users can find companies which are faster than Carbonite. Tests were performed on a high speed line, which is much faster than the average user's ISP connection, so actual speeds might be considerably less for some.
Carbonite offers free Android and iOS apps. They do not offer a Windows app at this time. Only Android files may be backed up. The apps are more basic than many of their competitors, in that they can only be used to view files or view media. Carbonite's apps mirror many of their web offerings, but are still behind in comparison to other companies.
Carbonite's web interface includes a setup wizard which runs at startup, assisting customers in selecting which files to backup. This is helpful for those who are concerned that they might miss a file. Additionally, the interface offers customers the option to search for their files using a convenient search tool. WHile it seems as though this particular feature should be standard among backup providers, it is not the case with many.
Again, while Carbonite's offerings are adequate for many, they pale in comparison to other online backup providers.
Have had service for 4 years. Had to do one BIG backup. It was a good experience as phone rep walked me through the process so I was confident and comfortable.
I have had 2 crashes in the last couple of years. CARBONITE WAS WONDERFUL. i think everyone should have CARBONITE. They go out of their way to help you. Hope that you never use the service, but having it , is such peace of mind. I do not work for Carbonite, I am an elderly, non tech person. They are also very kind. GREAT COMPANY. Thanks, Donna Ware
I thought Carbonote was backing up my files the last 4 years because they were charging me every year. No, they have not backed up one file and then they blamed it on me. AND THOSE 4 YEARS OF RECORDS ARE GONE. Sad, sad company and very rude manager who talked to me. BACK UP YOUR OWN FILES. Do not make the mistake I made in using a company like this.
Fantastic peace of mind!
Linds Ridge Johnson
I changed my laptop OS after Microsoft ended support to Windows XP. The technician asked if my files were backed up & I said, "Yes!". He saved the software information keys, uninstalled these along w/the old OS, loaded newly-purchased OS & Carbonite restored thousands of important doc, photo, music, personal business & income tax receipt files overnight! Whoo-hoo!