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Carbonite Pro Review

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PROS / All data is encrypted before it leaves your computer.

CONS / This provider does not offer Salesforce or Google Apps integration.

 VERDICT / Carbonite lacks branding capabilities and important online functionality, but the plan variety, security and support features are excellent.

Editor's note: Carbonite Office is now available. The manufacturer lists this new version as offering automatic backup, one-click recovery and other features. We will evaluate Carbonite Office when we next update the Business Cloud Storage reviews.

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With a wide variety of plans and pricing options, Carbonite business cloud services is a good fit for a wide variety of small businesses cloud storage needs. Business-sized plans start at 250GB, but you can add additional storage to any account, depending on the needs of your company.

After the initial backup process, your files are stored in the cloud, including the older versions of them. This business cloud storage provider does not offers to keep unlimited versions of files for an unlimited amount of time: its system keeps old versions of frequently updated files. Carbonite keeps a version of each file for each day of the past week, one version for each of the previous three weeks and a version for each of the previous two months.

You have control of the intervals at which Carbonite backs up your data, and you can control what amount of bandwidth you invest in that. You can also set Carbonite to do backups when your machines are idling.

Privacy features include the ability to establish your own encryption key, which has the added benefit of helping you comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It means that no one outside of your company, not even the Carbonite staff, has access to your customer data. Even if you don't deal with the type of sensitive health information protected by HIPAA, this is a nice feature. One reason business owners sometimes hesitate to store data in the cloud is their fears about security. Knowing you hold the key to your data can offer peace of mind.

Carbonite's data centers offer a lot of physical protection for your data, too, with biometric scanners and electronic key cards. Also, the data centers are guarded around the clock, every day of the year.

This business cloud storage service enables collaboration with mobile phone applications for both iPhone and Android so you and designated teammates can access Carbonite-backed files on the go. This service lacks integration with Google Apps or Salesforce nor does it have any branding tools, all of which would make collaboration even easier. The learning curve with Carbonite is one of the highest. We found the user dashboard was hard to navigate and difficult to use. The online platform does not have drag-and-drop capabilities, and the icons did not help us intuitively back up or restore our files.

Carbonite is among the best for customer service. The support is available by email, phone or chat, and response times are very good.

Summary

Carbonite doesn't keep deleted files indefinitely, and it could make collaboration with teammates and clients easier with a more intuitive platform and Salesforce and Google Apps integration. However, this service is a solid choice for business cloud storage in many ways.

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