Carbonite Online Backup

Everybody who knows me a little bit will admit it: I am a lazy person. Because I am so lazy I work in the IT industry, dreaming about automating all those boring tasks. Of course, automating tasks is hard work, but I don’t want to think about that.
One of the problems I wanted to automate for a very long time is making backups of my PC. I know that it is very important to backup my files, and usually after tweaking my backup system I backup every X days. But after a while I loose interest, and days become weeks, and weeks become months,…
Media choice is another problem with backups, as the amount of data I have is growing exponentially. Back in the MS-DOS days, all important data fitted on e few floppy disks. As I started my studies and got involved in Jong Nederland I produced more documents and changed to ZIP disks for my backup. When I started ripping MP3 files, I was forced to change to CD’s and DVD’s. And now that I am creating my own video’s I need even more than that. I thought about buying a USB hard disk, but the thought of spending a lot of money for a medium that will be outdated within two years kept me from going to the store.
And then I found Carbonite Online Backup. Carbonite is a little application that will **automatically** backup my files to a server on the internet, without any user interaction. The best part of Carbonite is its price: $5 per month for **unlimited** storage!!! So for only $5 per month I can sit back and relax, knowing that my files are safe, and I won’t have to worry about running out of space in the future.
I quickly downloaded and installed the demo version (15 days free), which promptly began to upload data. Now there was a little problem, as our broadband connection is ADSL, and the A stands for Asynchronous meaning that you can download at high speeds, but have less bandwidth available for uploading. It took me two days to get all my files to the Carbonite server.
When checking what files were present on the Carbonite server, I noticed that there was a lot of crap. In the installation procedure, I had selected that I wanted to backup _My Documents_ and the _Desktop_, which Carbonite had interpreted as being the whole _Documents and settings_ folder, including cached files, etc. I tweaked the settings a little bit, and was able to reduce the backed up volume by one third. I also added some other files such as my ActiveWords database and my Trillian preferences (both installed under _Program Files_).
I’ve got the whole system up and running for some weeks now, and am very happy with it. My backups are always up-to-date and I don’t have to think about copying files anymore. The only problem I have found is my mailbox. As I typically have e-mail open during the whole day, the inbox file changes continuously. Besides that, the file is rather big, taking a while to upload. The result is that this particular file is hardly ever backed up. I am still looking for a solution, possibly using another tool to create a local copy and adding this copy to Carbonite.
In short: Carbonite is a very good product giving great value for its money.

5 thoughts on “Carbonite Online Backup”

  1. Somehow this page seems to attract sales pitches! Where is the independent third party making such a comparison? On your ‘smackdown’ SystemSafe seems to be a nice product, but it might end up being 10 times as expensive as Carbonite!

  2. Nice sales pitch! 🙂
    Of course I went to the site of IBackup to check out this product. The first thing I looked at was the pricing. For my current usage, IBackup would be four times more expensive than Carbonite, and in the future as my amount of data increases even more.
    IBackup offers some functionality that Carbonite haven’t got, but these are features I won’t need. I don’t need to schedule backups, as they are copied automatically.
    Versioning could be a nice feature, but not important enough to pay that much.

  3. You can also take a look at IBackup for Windows for safe and reliable backups of your personal and official data stored in your computer.
    With IBackup for Windows you can backup all your important files and folders either interactively or schedule them for a future time. But Carbonite does only automatic backups of all your data when your computer is idle. Scheduling backups of important files and folders are very easy with IBackup for Windows through a number of user-friendly wizards and features. Another disadvantage of Carbonite is that it is compatible with Windows XP only, whereas IBackup for Windows is compatible with platforms like Windows 98 and above.
    IBackup for Windows has `Snapshots’ technology that allows an IBackup account holder to view files and folders stored in his IBackup account during the previous days. These old versions of files stored in the IBackup online account during the previous days under newly created directories can be restored easily by a simple drag-and drop or button click. You can even restore files and folders from your IBackup account to their original destination on your local computer.
    On the other hand, Carbonite keeps only the latest version of a modified file and removes all other versions from your account.
    You can also backup open files like Outlook files (.pst), QuickBooks, MS-Excel etc. The open files will be safely backed up to a temporary location on your computer. IBackup for Windows, by default, does not consume too much bandwidth as it compresses data during transmission and transfers only modified portions of changed files. For more on advanced tasks like backups of MS Exchange and MS SQL server databases, please check their website.
    Other products offered by IBackup are IDrive that maps your IBackup online IBackup account as a local drive on to your computer allowing you to drag-and-drop and edit files in your online backup account, as if they were on your PC. IDrive Multimedia streams multimedia files backed up. IDrive for Mac is an excellent desktop interface for working with your IBackup account and Mac. IBackup supports backups for UNIX and Linux based computers using rsync, the open source utility that provides fast incremental transfers.
    In order to share data with your friends and partners, you have to use Webmanager. All you have to do is to create sharable links and then email these links. You can also ‘private share’ data using Web-manager. This cool feature allows instant sharing of selected data with another IBackup user. To get a hang of IBackup’s products and features, try their free trial.

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