Geo Redundant Backup Mar07

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Geo Redundant Backup

cloud20Carbonite Review – Online Backup Service.

Pros:

•Easy to use for most users
•A bargain for unlimited storage
•Good support
•Supports PC and Mac
•Remote access
•No complex interface to learn
•Idle Backups – runs only when your computer is idle

Cons:

•Files over 4GB (Gigabytes) are not automatically backed up.

Carbonite is compatible with both PC and Mac and, like most online backup services, requires the installation of a small program to operate. This program automatically selects the most common files and folders on your system and adds them to the backup set for uploading to Carbonite’s data center. You can add other files manually by right-clicking on a folder or file and selecting “Back This Up” on the menu.

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Carbonite does not automatically select for backup any file that is larger than 4GB (Gigabytes), even if you manually select a folder containing files larger than this size limit. You will have to manually add these to what Carbonite will backup, one at a time. While not a problem for most users, this is important to note for those who work with and store video, or other large files on their systems.

While Carbonite backs up your data automatically, it runs only when you are not actively using your computer. When you begin to use your computer again the Carbonite software stops running. This helps to prevent your system or your internet connection from slowing down while you are trying to use them.

So, what is equal in importance to actually backing up your data?

Being able to restore your data when you lose it. With Carbonite, restoring your data is quite simple. It allows users to recover specific files or all the files they have backed up with just a few clicks.

Carbonite gives you full access to your files from any computer with an internet connection. All you will need is your email address and password. Whether you are traveling, at school, or at work, you always have your files when you need them.

Carbonite Security

Your files will be encrypted not once, but twice before they leave your computer. They remain encrypted at Carbonite’s data storage center. This method of securing data is on par with what many banks use to secure online data transfer and storage.

You have the option to create and keep your own encryption key (password) with Carbonite. But remember, the only way to access to your data is with this key. So, if you utilize this advanced feature make sure that you keep your key somewhere safe–no key, no data.

Some advanced online backup services offer what is called “geo-redundancy”. This means that your data will be stored at more than one data center location. If one data center suffers a catastrophic event, your data will be safe in another location some distance away. While Carbonite does maintain a first-class data center, it has only one.

Amount of Storage/Price

There are other online backup services that offer features similar to Carbonite, but they are not as easy-to-use, and usually cost more. Carbonite offers unlimited backup space for $54.95 per year.

If you would like to try Carbonite before you buy it, they offer a 15-day unlimited trial. There is no obligation and you will not need your credit card to sign-up. You cannot backup music files during the trial period.

Ease of Use

The Carbonite program itself integrates with your operating system allowing you to control which files or folders are backed up by right-clicking on them and choosing from the options in the context menu.

The program automatically detects new and changed files within your backup set and backs them up to your Carbonite account.

You will know on sight which files are part of the backup set because Carbonite adds small colored dots to the file thumbnails, or icons, right in windows, or your Mac operating system. The color of the dots change based on whether the file or folder is currently up-to-date, or if it is queued for backup after a change.

Getting your data back takes just a few clicks. If your computer fails, or is lost, stolen or damaged, all you have to do is log in to your account at Carbonite.com, using a standard Internet browser, and begin downloading your data.

Carbonite Support

After the backup process, and the recovery process, what is the third most important thing to consider when choosing an online backup service?

The kind and quality of help you will receive when you have problems with the service.

Compared to many online backup services, Carbonite has a very good selection of support options. They provide well designed tutorials for the most common tasks as well as a robust FAQ section (Frequently Asked Questions) that is both categorized and searchable.

If those two options do not satisfy, then you can submit your question via e-mail. Only after you begin this email process will you have access to their live chat feature and the number for phone support.

Conclusion

Carbonite offers the average user a simple, affordable, and automatic online backup solution with unlimited storage space for the very reasonable price of $54.95 per year. With no new interface to learn, and its automated features, it should definitely be considered by technophobes and beginners. However, it maintains a good level of customization options for the more advanced user. Did we mention that it costs just $54.95 per year for unlimited storage?

See our full Carbonite online backup review, and the rest of our online backup service reviews at OnlineBackupTopTen.com. If you have questions about online backup services you can ask one of our consultants via email or phone.

We at OnlineBackupTopTen.com hope this Carbonite review will help you make the best choice for your online backup needs.

Etsel Skelton is a Computer Consultant in Los Angeles, California.

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