The Easiest Backup Ever – Carbonite

Studies indicate that 43% of computer users lose irreplaceable files each year. I know that is true because I have had clients who have paid thousands of dollars to retrieve their data and others who went home crying because they had lost all their financial records or years of work on a family tree. If you don’t want to be one of them, click on the ad below and try Carbonite or read on and find out why you should do just that!

Those of you who have followed my past articles and reviews know that I consider backing up important data an essential task for all computer owners.

I’ve also told you about the various backup techniques that you can use. Today, I’d like to give you a little more information about a backup methodology called “online backup”. I’ll also tell you why you should try it and which backup service you should use.

Online backup is one of the easiest ways to back up because you don’t have to think about it. Since the backup is done over the Internet, you will need to have a broadband connection. After you sign up with a reputable online company, your files are backed up automatically to one of their servers. Every time you change, add, or delete a file, the backup is also changed. You don’t have to do a thing. You can think of this type of backup as an insurance policy that gives you peace of mind. After you pay for it, you don’t have to think about it unless you have a catastrophic event. Then you simply cash in on your insurance policy, or in this case, restore your files from the backup servers to your computer.

There are many companies providing online backup. However, this is a good time to stick with a trusted name. At the current time, the company I recommend is Carbonite.

I have been using Carbonite for my own data and I have interviewed David Friend, the president of Carbonite on my podcast, so I can highly recommend them. Carbonite can be used for Windows XP and Windows Vista. A Mac version is due soon.

There are many things that I like about Carbonite. One is that they offer a 15-day free trial with no credit card necessary. So you can backup some of your files and even try to restore them to test the program and see how it works. The second thing that I like about Carbonite is that it is easy. They have spent a lot of time to develop a clear and clean interface that is extremely easy to use. Every step of the backup process is explained in plain English.

Here’s a brief overview of how Carbonite works. After you install the program, the default backup will choose all the files that it thinks are important including email, data files from applications like Quicken, as well as your personal documents and photos. You can then add any other files that you feel you want to backup.

Once the backup begins, it runs in the background and doesn’t interfere with your using your computer. If you have a lot of data, the initial backup can take a day or even several days. It is best to leave your computer on during this time so that the backup can be accomplished as quickly as possible. After that, every time you change or add a document to the desktop or a folder that is marked for backup, it will be backed up. This is done quickly while you are working on other things.

The beauty of online backup is that you don’t have to think about it. You don’t have to do anything. Everything is backed up as you go. Carbonite has no limit on the amount of data that can be backed up, so you can back up as much as you like.

Carbonite puts a small colored circle in front of any file to show that it is already backed up or is in the process of backing up. So you can always see at a glance that the backup is working properly and if the file in question has been chosen to be backed up. You can right-click on any file or folder in Windows Explorer or My Computer to add it to or remove it from you backup.

Carbonite encrypts your documents as they leave your computer, and stores them on encrypted servers, so you don’t have to worry about having your data vulnerable at any time during the backup process. Carbonite has proven itself to be a company that you can have confidence in. As of the beginning of 2008, they were storing over 3.1 billion files on 2.7 petabytes of disk. They receive more that 30 million new files every day. Their service is also trusted enough to be the built-in backup service used by Microsoft Money.

If you ever have a hard drive crash or a problem with your data, it is easy to restore any or all files. Carbonite also keeps several versions of every file, so if you happen to need a version that you previously created, but have overwritten, you can usually retrieve just what you need. You can restore one or two files or, if your computer crashes or is stolen, you can retrieve all your data to another computer.

The only downside to this type of backup is that if you need to restore everything and you have a lot of data, that restoration can take a day or more to complete.

That makes online backup unsuitable as the only backup for a business that needs to get up and running quickly. However, it is usually perfect for a home user.

Even if you have to replace your hard drive, you can quickly restore your email, financial data, and files that you may need immediately, while the program slowly restores your photos and other documents that you don’t need right away.

Carbonite charges $49.95 a year or 2 years for $89.95, if you prepay. If you are lackadaisical about backing up, compare that cost to the amount you pay for your home or car insurance, and consider it a cheap insurance policy.

6 Comments

Elpaz 05-08-2008, 02:56

Hi Sandy,

Thanks for sharing this article.

My research also confirms your article in that Carbonite has been the top pick for several months at http://www.BackupReview.info

Cheers

Ken Viar 07-08-2008, 14:08

I read a lot about how great Carbonite is but no one mentions there is a glitch in their software that causes their program to constantly attempt to access the A-drive. I have complained to them on two occasions and have been told they are working on the problem. I am required to keep a floppy in the A-drive at all times to prevent the constant attempt at accessing it. Anytime I reboot I have to remember to remove the floppy or PC won’t boot up with it in there.
Perhaps you folks that are making these recommendations could apply a little pressure to get this change made with Carbonite techs.
Thanks
Ken Viar

Beverly 07-08-2008, 14:13

I have used this for four months and works great and gives total peace of mind of having to go through hassle of backing up onto disc which I would put off.

Marchien 07-09-2008, 14:31

I read about your recommendation of Carbonite in your last newsletter and went to the site and bought it. I am so happy to have found it. I can also put it on my laptop with $5 off the regular price.
Thank you
Marchien Marshall

Pretty Little 15-07-2010, 23:46

enjoyed this blog!

kado verjaardag 19-08-2011, 08:58

With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? My site has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do you know any methods to help prevent content from being ripped off? I’d truly appreciate it.

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