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Carbonite Mobile App Review

Carbonite Mobile at a Glance

Pros:

  • Free account.
  • Automatic upload of photos and video.
  • Extra security services like locate, lock, ring and remote wipe.
  • Options for controlling when files are uploaded.

Cons:

  • iPhone and iPad version have less features. Apple restrictions not Carbonite.

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Full Carbonite Mobile App Review

The previous Carbonite mobile app was a pretty standard access only application that many of the online backup services offer. The latest version of the Carbonite app however changes all of that and takes the online backup service from just being about backing up your desktop or laptop computer to backing up your iOS or Android device. For this review I was using the Android version of the app since I have regular access to an Android device and only occasional use of an iOS device.

Installation
Installation of the Carbonite app starts with a visit to either iTunes or Google Play. You can also install from your mobile device if you prefer. Installation is pretty straight forward and once the app is installed you will have the choice to either create a new account or login to your existing Carbonite account.

Once you have logged in either with your existing Carbonite account information or by creating a new account the Android app gives you the choice of what you want to do with the app. You can simply access your backup or protect your device from loss or theft and backup your photos and videos. Just select what you want to turn on and the app will walk you through setting each feature up.

Backing Up
The nice thing about smartphones is much of the data is stored in the cloud already the exception to this is often the new data you create by taking photos and video. Those are often the most important files on a mobile device these days and contain photos of the kids, family and moments that were precious. The Carbonite app helps to protect these files by making sure they are backed up to the Carbonite servers.

Once I installed the app it discovered that I had 1239 photos and videos to backup and started copying them to the Carbonite servers. You can set the app to backup only on wifi or over wifi and your mobile data plan. You can even choose if you want the app to backup when your device is on battery or not. Lots of control over when the files are transferred. For the initial backup you might want to make sure it backs up only when on wifi and plugged in. I left my device plugged in overnight on my wifi network and it had completed the initial backup in a night.

Once your initial backup is done you might want to change the settings to backup on battery and maybe even over your data plan. The app is very good about telling you what is going on. When you take a photo and you are not connected to wifi the app gives you a notice that it is waiting for a wifi connection to backup your photos. Several other apps are not so forthcoming with what is going on. It can get slightly annoying but it is nice to see. It might be nice to be able to turn off some of those notifications after awhile.

You can also easy access your photos and video from inside the Carbonite app. Although it is not as nice as using the built in gallery apps that come with your device it does allow you to see what has been backed up.

Web Access
Part of the new Carbonite app is the extra web based features that you can access from the Carbonite website. You can access all of the files you have backed up from your mobile and if you are using the Android version of the app you have access to other security features.

In the event you lose or have your Android device stolen you can use the web access to control your device remotely and even locate your device. The locate feature is very similar to the locate your computer feature that Backblaze offers. Click the locate link and the current location of your device will be shown on a Google map. It is fairly accurate and if you left your device somewhere it will certainly help you locate it. It was a few houses off when I tried it but close enough that I knew where I would have left it. Of course if you just can’t remember what room your device is in making the phone ring will help you locate it as well. I did not try the lock or wipe features but they would be useful in the event your mobile was stolen.

Accessing your files from your mobile is handy as well over the web interface and allows you to download them all if you want local copies of them all on your local computer.

Overall
The Carbonite mobile app is a strong additional feature to the Carbonite online backup service. It is certainly a step up from the previous app that just allowed access to your desktop files. The app is probably best used along with a desktop account to backup your desktop or laptop but it does allow you to backup your mobiles photos and videos if that is all you need.

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