Back It Up Today With Hard Drive In The Cloud: Review of Carbonite

Storage space. We always seem to want more of it. There is always a shortage of storage space, in our homes, offices, and on our computers. So we buy external hard drives and create a daily and weekly backup plan. Not. Confess in the comments if you start your new year with thoughts of backing up all your data, on a regular basis, and then don’t do it. Even if you are not willing to confess, you will want to read this review about Carbonite and its online backup service. It may just save your small business from a big, big headache.

Carbonite is a remote, not on your premises, cloud-based hard drive. As you can see from the screenshot of their home page, they are laser-focused on making it easy to try it out. Pricing right on the splash page (home page) and two calls to action. That alone pushes it to the top of list, in my book. Make it easy, easy, easy on a small business owner and I’m seriously interested.

You can buy a large multi-terabyte external hard drive for around $120, give or take $20. It will be shiny and cool looking on your desk. But you will have to exercise serious discipline to back up your data each day or week. If you don’t think you’ll do it, spring for Carbonite and enable their automatic backup process. The “Home” option is for home offices and 1-2 person businesses, so if you fit that description, click “Try Home Free” first.

How it works:

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When you sign up, you have to download a small application (8.7Mb) and install it. This small package enables the communication between your machine and Carbonite’s servers. The download, install, setup process took less than two minutes. Then the service asks you a few questions and if you want an automatic full backup or an “advanced” backup which allows you to select which folders and files to backup. But, they even make that super easy and have a “default” option to include standard folders like Documents, Pictures, etc.  I chose full manual as I’m really only testing their 15-day free trial, but I will say it looks very, very user friendly and compelling as a time-saver. With plans starting at $59 for one year, it may be one of the handful of services that I choose to buy for my company after my review.

Then, it asks you to choose a continuous backup (meaning consistent and regular) or if you want to choose a schedule that fits you. That’s the main thing to remember: Carbonite strives to really fit their service to your needs. That’s not a comment to make for a nice review; they really have thought about you and me in the tedious process of backing up data. It is impressive. Normally, i have a what I liked section and what I’d like to see improved. I can’t find anything to improve, except that it took me so long to test this service and alleviate my concerns about a failed future hard drive.

Now to the last point you might be thinking about — what do I do if I have to restore a file or folder or drive? You can look at the Carbonite drive as if it was a hard drive on your machine. You can choose to “restore” the drive, or just a folder, or even one file. You can restore that file in its original location or put it in a new folder on your desktop.

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Learn more about Carbonite and how you can securely back up your small business computer hard drives.


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