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Carbonite Review – Summary
There are 2 very distinct options available with Carbonite.com which are apparent from the moment you land on the website. Carbonite for Home and Carbonite for Business. Carbonite.com offer online backup and cloud storage solutions for both personal and business users but they do make a clear distinction between the different needs of both.
Founded in 2005 they seem themselves as a pioneer of cloud data storage and online back up. There are based in Boston, Massachusetts with offices in Lewiston, Maine; Sunnyvale, California and Munich and Viersen in Germany. Across their many offices they have a team of over 800 staff whose priority it is to ensure that their clients’ data is stored securely and effectively.
They didn’t always offer a business solution, in fact, they started with personal data storage and evolved from there. Their story comes from their own personal experience of family members losing everything on their computers and they were determined to find a solution to prevent this happening again. Founded by two business partners when one’s daughter lost all of her data and the other partner’s wife lost her laptop they decided a solution was needed. As it was 2005 there weren’t the solutions that there is today and with a lack of choice they decided to launch their own online backup company.
So what features does Carbonite have to offer? Their motto is ‘set it and forget it’ with an emphasis on simplicity. The features of the site include the following.
- Simple plans – choose from 3 plans – Basic, Plus or Prime
- Unlimited Backup data – This is an unusual feature to find from an online backup or cloud data provider with no limits with any of the pricing plans.
- A mobile app that is free to all subscribers to allow greater control from a mobile device.
- Smooth process for restoring files.
There is an advanced backup option which allows the user to bespoke their backup process.
Ease of Use
Despite the fact that Carbonite was one of the pioneers in online backup they have kept their site fresh and up to date. Arriving on the site it is clear to see the distinction between home and business solutions. Simply choose the appropriate site tab to take you to the different solutions.
The site is user-friendly, easy on the eye and has a good mobile offering. If you sign up as a user you also get a free version of Carbonite’s app. You will need to download the software needed to run the program and you will be required to enter details including payment information when you sign up. Once you have signed up and downloaded the software the system will start backing up your data immediately.
The user can then choose between automatic and advanced settings – choosing automatic will mean that the site can backup your data without any intervention whereas advanced settings, although a little bit more involved, will enable the user to set their own backup schedule. It’s not the greatest site for being able to tell the progress of your upload so you will need to be patient as a backup can sometimes take hours.
There are 3 pricing plans available for personal use and 3 for business use. All pricing plans come with the unusual feature of unlimited data storage. No longer do you have to worry about how much data you want to backup and which plan fits your data storage requirements now you can choose the features that you require instead.
The personal plans cost $59.99 per annum for basic, $99.99 for plus and £149.99 per year for prime but there is a 15-day free trial available with a home package.
For business solutions, the prices are much higher but there is a 30-day free trial. Prices for business solutions are $199.99 for the Core package, $599.99 for Power and $999.99 for ultimate. Of course, the bigger the package the more services you can enjoy but data is unlimited across all packages.
As soon as you arrive on the site you get the feeling that there is not much emphasis placed on security. With many of the current backup and cloud data storage providers, you will find lots of information about security. There seems to be very little mention of it, in fact, we had to dig quite deep to discover that they only use 128-bit data encryption and not the 256-bit that is used by many online backup and cloud storage providers.
This came as a bit of a surprise to use especially as they state on their site that an online backup service is more secure than some of the well-known cloud storage solutions available. In fact, those that they mention as being less secure actually offer 256-bit data encryption. A little disappointing when they do so well with their unlimited data storage policy.
Support is very much restricted to office hours and unless you are operating between 8.30am – 9pm EST then you will have to wait until these times to get a response. There are various forms of support available starting with a live chat pop up when you land on the support page of the website. You get your own personal assistant to help you with your query.
Carbonite offers a ticketing support system which is available 24 hours a day however if you are outside of their opening hours then you will need to wait until support is open again to get a response.
It’s not hard to find the support section as it one of the main tabs of the site unlike many providers where they tend to hide it away at the bottom.
There are so many online backup and cloud data storage providers to choose from that you may wonder which one to choose. The answer will very much depend on what you are looking for from a storage provider. If you know what you want then you can use your requirements to help you to make a short list of contenders. To help you with your decision here’s a quick recap.
- Unlimited storage space for whichever pricing plan you choose. The prices are based on features rather than storage space.
- Choose between automatic and advanced settings when it comes to selecting how you want to back up your data.
- There is a clear distinction between personal and business and there are two sites within the one site to avoid confusion.
- Well established so clearly doing something right to be achieving longevity.
- Devised by real people with real experiences so they know what their users want when it comes to a data storage solution.
- Security uses 128-bit data encryption which is a shame when everyone else is using military style 256-bit encryption. This doesn’t seem to have deterred their millions of current users though and they have managed to grow at a good rate since 2005.
- The prices aren’t all that competitive when you consider all of the other options available although it is hard to determine a cost per GB as they have an unlimited storage option.
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