These days all of our photos, documents, music and videos are stored electronically. As a result, it has become extremely important to have our files safely stored and backed up, as data losses are unacceptable. Many people believe that their data is safe on their hard drives, and that as long as it’s stored there it’s safe. This is wishful thinking, as there are myriad ways in which data can be immediately and permanently lost.
Is your data really safe?
If we consider the facts listed below, it will be clear that data loss can occur anytime, and leaving it up to chance is not the best solution.
- 43% of all the computers had ‘accidental’ file deletion this year.
- 13% of the new hard drives fail every year.
- Only 3% of all the stolen laptops are recovered.
- Every year countless computers are lost in fire, floods and other natural disasters.
These statistics make it clear that any important data on your hard drive should be backed up for safety and security reasons. The most convenient and cost effective way to back up your data is through an online backup service like Carbonite. Named after the fictitious substance that held Han Solo captive in Star Wars, Carbonite offers online backup storage for both individuals and small businesses. In the following paragraphs I’m going to discuss the features of Carbonite, as well as go over the strengths and weaknesses of their storage solutions.
So what does Carbonite do?
Carbonite is one of the most popular online backup solutions. They offer unlimited backup storage for digital files of all types starting at only $59 per year. That’s only $5 per month to store as many files as you like.
Though there are many backup services online, Carbonite has earned a spot at the top of the list. Carbonite uses triple encryption on all of the files uploaded to their servers, and they can only be unencrypted when you log into the system with your secure username and password. Thus, your data remains safe even if stolen, as the encrypted files will be useless to data thieves. This is the same method used for data security in banking and financial institutions. This ensures that even the savviest of hackers will not be able to crack the encryption and access your private data. You can relax knowing your files are completely secure.
Do I have to be tech savvy to use Carbonite?
Carbonite can be easily installed on any computer in just a few minutes. Once you choose your storage package and submit payment you are directed to download the Carbonite client. Simply follow the easy installation instructions provided and you’re ready to start backing up your files. Simply choose the backup parameters you’d like Carbonite to follow and it will automatically back up the selected files or directories. It’s very easy to use, and requires no technical skills whatsoever. If you can read simple instructions, you will have no problem using Carbonite.
Carbonite has become quite popular, and ease of use is among the features users comment on most often. Even users who have never used online backup software should have no trouble installing and using Carbonite. Users are thrilled to be able to start backing up their files within minutes of purchasing a subscription.
Will I have to back up my new files every day?
Your initial backup with Carbonite could take several hours depending on the number and size of the files being stored and the speed of your internet connection. Once the initial backup is complete, Carbonite will record any changes to your files and directories on a daily basis. Since Carbonite is totally integrated with your computer, it backs up your files automatically at intervals you select. Any change to your files is automatically monitored by Carbonite and the changes are reflected in your stored backup data. Carbonite works whenever your computer is on, and records all changes to your data, no matter how small. It’s a ‘hands-off’ process that Carbonite takes care of for you.
Are my files safe with Carbonite?
Carbonite doesn’t disappoint when it comes to security. After all, over 150 million customers already trust Carbonite with their data. The company has an impressive lineup of security features to protect the data of their clients. It has a full-proof backup system that protects your files from both physical and virtual threats. That is of the utmost importance to users, and Carbonite has pulled out all the stops in this regard.
Carbonite’s advanced security protocols ensure that your data is safe as it leaves your hard drive, while it’s stored on their servers, and when you retrieve it. Carbonite uses 128-bit Blowfish encryption, and the transmission of data is done on a secure SSL-encrypted Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) connection where the digital files remain encrypted on their servers.
When you need to retrieve your data, the process is quick and easy. All you have to do is log on using any computer with an internet connection and you get access to your files immediately. You can do this from anywhere and at anytime, 24/7 and even on holidays. Just remember to keep your Carbonite username and password secure.
So is Carbonite the perfect solution?
Like all the online backup services, Carbonite also has had its share of problems. Some customers have experienced difficulty in recovering their data. Glitches in the Carbonite software sometimes cause the backups to be delayed, which could present problems. Some users have commented that the customer support can stand to be improved, as they have not always received prompt responses to their inquiries.
The verdict is…
All in all, I have to give Carbonite 4 ½ stars out of 5. It’s not perfect, but all online backup services struggle with data retrieval from time to time, and most customers report being satisfied with their Carbonite subscription. The good news is you can try Carbonite for free before purchasing it and see for yourself if it meets your needs.