When it comes to data protection, Carbonite means business.
Carbonite was launched in 2005 which makes them one of the longest running cloud providers.
The Carbonite website proclaims they are pioneers in the cloud storage sector.
Their headquarters are in Boston, Massachusetts and they have offices in Lewiston, Maine; Sunnyvale, California. Their European offices are in Munich and Viersen, Germany.
They pride themselves on offering enterprise grade solutions, simple enough to meet the needs of small businesses and individuals at a reasonable price.
Carbonite have recovered over 40 billion files since 2005, 9 billion in 2014 alone.
The general website is not the most helpful, especially on the personal side. However, if you go into the knowledge centre it is very thorough.
Backup and restore features:
Carbonite offer 3 packages each for both business and personal with a good array of features. Pricing on the personal side is very reasonable but the business side is rather pricey.
There is no maximum file size limit, however, on personal plans any file over 4GB and on Business 1TB will not back up automatically and you will have to select the file manually.
On personal plans you get unlimited storage for 1 computer and on business you get unlimited devices but storage of 500GB with the ability to pay for extra.
Carbonite provide free mobile apps for Apple and Android devices but not Windows. You will get the most out of the Android app, in use alongside a personal plan. This will give you access to all your backed up files and the ability to back up your mobile device.
There are also a number of security features to protect your data in the event your mobile device is lost, including remote wipe of that device. If you have a business account or iOS device then you will only have access to your backed up files.
File versioning is another area where Windows users get more for their money. Carbonite do not currently offer file versioning for MAC users and will allow Windows users to recover 12 previous versions of any backed up file. Deleted files will be stored for 30 days on personal accounts and 60 days on business for both Windows and MAC.
Carbonite give you full and incremental backups which is pretty standard but they offer differential too which is not so common. You can schedule backups too. They also offer file sharing on the main business product and mobile apps. If you are a Windows user then you can also backup your NAS and external drives with business, or 1 external drive with Prime or Plus on personal. Again, Apple users get less for their money.
Unusually, Carbonite say they have eliminated bandwidth throttling in order to speed up backups whereas much of the competition hail throttling as a useful tool to avoid slowing down your network. However, you can go into the preferences menu and specify the maximum bandwidth to be used.
Carbonite seem to have a similar philosophy to Acronis as they are definitely more focused on Backup and disaster recovery. They offered a syncing app but this was discontinued on March 1st. There is an app for syncing photos on mobile devices but this is still in Beta. At the moment there does not seem to be a way to sync other files.
Carbonite is reasonably strong here. They own their own data centres all over the world. They do not mention Geo redundant storage but their multiple locations suggest this is likely to be the case.
All centres are well protected from fire, theft, extreme weather, power outage etc… and your data is stored on RAID 6 arrays.
Your data is encrypted before, during and after transfer. Data is transferred via an SSL tunnel and, interestingly there are 2 levels of encryption depending on whether you choose to manage your own encryption key. 128-bit if you allow Carbonite to do so and 256-bit if you choose to. MAC users do not have this option, so again Windows users get the best deal.
Carbonite strongly recommend that you allow them to store your encryption key and vouch for it’s safety. However, they are simply concerned that if you manage your own and lose it then your data cannot be retrieved. We believe that it is more secure to manage your own but do take their point. The advice Carbonite give is very good- if you manage your own key then make sure there are 2 copies and they are kept at safe and separate locations.
Supported Configurations and Mobile Access:
Carbonite supports versions of Windows starting with anything from Windows XP upwards and Max OS X 10.6 upwards, which puts them in line with most of the competition.
They also cover Android and iOS mobile devices but not Windows Phone, which is a shame.
Carbonite are pretty competitive for personal but business will work out pricey if you need a large amount of storage.
However, MAC users lose out here too as not all plans are available to them.
As well as reasonable pricing they offer a 15 day free trial for personal and 30 day for business.
Personal – Unlimited storage for 1 computer
Basic – Windows and MAC – $59.99 a year
Plus – Windows only (also gives you storage for an external hard drive and mirror image backup) – $99.99 a year
Prime – Windows only (gives you same as plus with automatic video backup and courier recovery service) – $149.99 a year
Carbonite offer a 25% discount if you sign up for 2 years and 30% if you sign up for 3.
Pro Basic – 250GB starter cloud storage for unlimited computers, NAS and external hard drives – starts at $269.99 a year.
Pro Prime – as with Pro Basic but 500GB of storage and includes support for Windows file servers – starts at $599.99 a year.
Advanced Pro Bundle – bare metal recovery for unlimited servers with automatic cloud backup for unlimited computers and 500GB cloud storage – starts at $999.99 a year.
You can buy extra storage at $99.99 per 100GB
Carbonite offer a good level of support for all customers. You can contact them by phone or have a live chat 8:30am to 9:00pm EST, 7 days a week. They also offer email support.
The knowledge base is very comprehensive and they are video tutorials too. You should never struggle to get the help or information you need.
If you are a Windows or Android user then this is a pretty good product. I would prefer to see file syncing available and confirmation of geo redundant storage.
However, the Android app has some brilliant features for personal users, especially the remote wipe. Unlimited storage on personal and unlimited computers on business makes this really good value for money.
Apple users and anyone with a Windows mobile device is unlikely to find this as beneficial.
Backup & Restore Features7.4/10
Help & Support9.7/10
Value for Money7.1/10
- User owned encryption key available
- Remote wipe for Android devices
- Good value for money
- Good support
- Many features unavailable to Apple users
- No syncing
- Mobile apps only work properly with personal plans.
- No Windows Phone Support