Pros / The basic plan comes with unlimited storage.
Cons / The backup is very slow and buggy on a Mac.
Verdict / Carbonite's basic subscription provides excellent value with unlimited storage for one computer, but the performance is subpar.
Carbonite is one of the most recognized and trusted names in data backup. When we tested the service on a Mac in late 2015, it was extremely buggy. The most recent updates removed the previous issues we experienced, but the service was still among the slowest-performing Mac online backup service in our tests. The only subscription that Carbonite has made compatible with a Mac is the basic plan, which lacks many features of its higher-tiered subscriptions.
To find the best Mac online backup apps, we evaluated the subscription value for a large family with at least five computers, a small family with at least three computers and an individual. To compare performance, we tested the relative backup and restore speeds of each service. Finally, we evaluated the ease of use for each service's desktop app. In almost every category, Carbonite disappoints.
At $59.99 per year, the basic plan's value is excellent if you're an individual with one computer. average. But the value dramatically decreases with every computer you add. For a small family and a large family, the relative value is a D+. This is because services like IDrive cost much less per year and allow you to back up multiple computers on one subscription. Consider this: With IDrive, the yearly cost per computer for a large family with five computers is less than $15, but Carbonite's cost per computer remains fixed at $59.99.
In our tests, Carbonite had one of the slowest average backup speeds. We ran multiple backup sets with varying file types, and after applying the average rate for a 1TB hard drive, it received a D, and this despite a great improvement over the tests we ran in 2015. The Mac version of the desktop app doesn't have a scheduler and requires you to manually add videos to the backup set. The restore speed was even slower, receiving an F in our tests. The average speed that Carbonite recorded suggests that it would take over 25 days to restore 1TB. For comparison, the fastest speed in our review would restore the same data in less than three days.
Another downside to Carbonite is the security features. For the Mac version, you don't get a personal encryption key as you would with the PC version. Owning your own encryption key is one of the most important security features, because it means that you're the only one who can view your files. In addition, your files only receive 128-bit Blowfish encryption. While this is still very strong encryption, it's the weakest encryption level in our review. It simply doesn't compare to 448-bit Blowfish encryption or 256-bit AES encryption.
Carbonite's basic subscription is the only plan available for a Mac, which limits many of the features. The value is excellent for an individual with one computer, but the value decreases dramatically with every computer you want to protect. The performance didn't fare well either, posting some of the slowest backup and restore speeds in our tests.