PROS / You can receive unlimited data backup at a low cost. This is one of few storage services with unlimited data backup.
CONS / You can’t create public links to share your files with a large audience.
VERDICT / Few online services give you the unlimited data storage and security that Carbonite provides. If you want a strong yet simple backup service, we highly recommend Carbonite.
Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Online Storage Services here.
Carbonite is an online storage service that makes the complex and often tedious process of data backup simple and straightforward. This is one of the few cloud storage providers that offers unlimited storage space for a low cost.
Price & Value
Carbonite is one of just a few online storage services that provides completely unlimited storage space. If you are the type of person who backs up every single file on your computer, Carbonite is a good option because you can truly store as much data as you want. The initial computer backup can take a few days to complete, depending on how many files you have on your computer. To speed up this process, Carbonite will not back up any file larger than 4GB. However, after your initial backup is complete, you can go back and manually upload any file that is 4GB or larger. This web storage has unlimited file size uploads, so there isn't a file size too big to upload to the cloud.
Carbonite gives you complete control over when and how you back up your system. You can schedule your computer to continuously or incrementally back up your system. Incremental backups only occur if you've made changes to existing files or added new files. You can also schedule your backups to happen at a certain hour of the day. This can be particularly helpful to schedule your backups when your computer isn't in use, as they tend to use up your bandwidth.
Carbonite saves older versions of your uploaded files for 30 days. If you update a file and decide that you liked the older version better, you can restore the older file for up to 30 days. After 30 days, Carbonite deletes the old file versions. Since this cloud storage doesn’t archive your files past 30 days, you can't use Carbonite as a hard drive per se. Carbonite is meant to back your files up, not free up space on your hard drive. When you remove backed-up files from your hard drive, you will only have 30 days to recover those files before they are permanently deleted from Carbonite.
This secure cloud storage allows you to share and sync files between other devices and Carbonite users. Once you download the share-and-sync app, you can easily share your files. You can allow other users to edit shared documents, or you can restrict them to only view documents that you've shared. Carbonite does not allow you to create a public link to your files. Public links can be helpful when you want to share your files via social media or with the public.
Carbonite offers only annual storage plans, not month to month. This can be problematic if you don’t want to be tied down to the same service for a full year. Carbonite also only provides one computer per subscription. This means that while you can access your saved files from any computer, you can only fully back up one computer under your Carbonite subscription.
Carbonite takes the security of your files seriously. When you upload your files, they are protected by a 128-bit encryption and stay encrypted even when they are in storage. This secure cloud storage allows you to manage your own encryption key, but if you choose this security option, you can only access files using your computer. Using your encryption key raises your personal security, but limits your mobile accessibility.
Carbonite also uses redundant storage so your data stays safe and secure. It uses RAID 6 redundant storage, which is a group of 15 independent disk drives that store your data. In the unlikely event that one of these disks fails, you can swap them out immediately without any data loss.
You can download the Carbonite mobile app for both iOS and Android phones. This app lets you access files on your phone that you have synced from your computer or laptop. It also lets you back up photos that you have on your phone, but you can't sync music or videos from your phone to your computer.
Help & Support
Carbonite posts quite a bit of information online in its FAQs, video tutorials and searchable knowledgebase. You can submit an email form for support with Carbonite, which will also give you access to telephone and chat support. Through the desktop interface you can also search topics and view tutorials.
Carbonite offers inexpensive unlimited data backup if you are looking to safely back up your computer or external hard drives. Though you can't create public links, you can share your files with other Carbonite users and rest comfortably knowing that your data is safe and secure. Carbonite is the best online storage provider available.