Opening a cloud computing account has many advantages for the home and business user. You can use the cloud for document storage and for sharing documents with colleagues no matter where they are in the world.
Some cloud services allow you to backup your computer, or your company’s computers, to prevent data loss if the system or network crashes or there is a disaster at your location. If you have a Carbonite login, here are some of the services they offer their customers.
What the Cloud can Do
You may use cloud services every day without realizing it. Many services like Netflix, Google Docs, and email services depend on “the cloud," which is a metaphor for the internet, to offer their services to customers. Three categories of cloud hosting exist:
- Public Cloud
- Private Cloud
- Hybrid Cloud
Businesses pay for the infrastructure and network to offer their customers services from their companies. Customer accounts get protection with a password, but the network on which the account is on may contain millions of accounts.
Some of the services you may be familiar with that are on a public cloud are Netflix, Google, Microsoft 365, and your email account. Google has over a billion customers, so while you have a password to access your Google account, the infrastructure is shared by a billion others.
Businesses or organizations get private cloud accounts to protect their sensitive data. Many businesses in the banking industry, medical and legal fields are required by law to retain certain records for several years. Along with retaining them on their computers, they also keep them in the cloud.
A business with a private cloud account controls the infrastructure, but a vendor manages it. Many private cloud solutions include backing up company computer systems, so they do not lose important data if their systems crash, hackers access their systems, or a disaster destroys their physical infrastructure.
The hybrid cloud is a combination of both public and private cloud solutions. A business which offers services online may use the hybrid cloud to allow customers to access their accounts, but they keep their companies sensitive data on a private cloud account.
An example of this could be an eCommerce business. While they can offer their customers accounts to access their information, such as their payments or lists of what they bought, they keep customer and business financial data in private cloud infrastructure to make sure it is secure.
What is Carbonite and How does it Work?
Carbonite offers backup services for home computer users and businesses to help retain data. By providing private cloud infrastructures, they can keep data safe from losses like:
- Accidental Deletions
- Natural Disasters
- Hacker or Ransomware Attacks
- Hardware Malfunctions
They offer accounts for people with only one computer, organizations with multiple computers, and others who need to back up multiple computers and servers.
The company offers backup services for Windows, Macs, and for Android and iOS mobile devices. They also offer backup solutions for servers, so you don’t need to worry about losing data if a server crashes or sustains physical damage.
By being able to backup data, businesses can recover quickly after a natural disaster has hit their location, or the system has been shut down due to a ransomware attack. Home users can also protect their data, and they have a restore point in case something happens to their computer, whether internally or externally.
How Does Carbonite Work?
Carbonite offers continuous backup, which means if you need to add information or edit documents, they will back them up after the changes are made. They usually back up files after changes within 10 minutes, and then they do another backup 24 hours later.
By running a backup 24 hours later, the system retains the most up-to-date and accurate data from those systems. So, a company or an individual will always have access to the most recent data from their systems whether it is from a Windows or Mac computer or a mobile device like an iPhone or Android phone.
What Makes Carbonite Unique
While many cloud computing companies offer storage for document creation and sharing, as well as for backing up systems, Carbonite concentrates on backup storage only. It provides these services for the two most widely used operating systems, which are Windows and Mac.
The company also offers storage for backing up mobile devices, so you won’t lose data like call logs, text messages, or images taken with your phone’s camera if you backup the data. If you have a smartphone exclusively for work, backing up the data on it could be vital to an important deal.
Carbonite also offers a Courier Recovery service that provides your data that was backed up on a hard drive. There is an extra fee for this service, and if you don’t return their hard drive to them, they will charge more, but if a natural disaster like a flood or fire destroyed your computer system, receiving the information may be the best way to get a small company backup and running quickly.
Although the company began by offering services for home computer users and small businesses, it made some acquisitions in recent years to expand their business base. In 2016, they bought EVault from Seagate Technology and, in early 2018, they acquired Mozy from Dell Computers.
EVault was a business backup and recovery service that allows Carbonite to offer larger companies their services. Mozy is also a backup service for consumers and businesses. They have approximately 6 million consumer accounts and over 100,000 business accounts, which now belong to Carbonite.
Charged on an annual basis / $71.99 per year
Charged on an annual basis / $111.99 per year
Charged on an annual basis / $149.99 per year
The pricing for Carbonite services depends on how many computers and servers need backup and which services a company or consumer wants. They offer a Basic, Plus, and Prime plan for consumers or small businesses with only one computer to backup.
The price for the Basic plan is $6 per month, which is charged on an annual basis, which would make it $71.99 for the year. It includes unlimited automatic cloud backup as well as data backup from the computer.
If the customer also wants automatic video backup and backup for an external drive, then the cost for the Plus plan is $9.34 per month, which is $111.99 for the year. The Prime service also includes Courier Recovery service for $12.50 per month or $149.99 per year.
These plans can also be bought in two and three-year increments. The cost for the Basic plan would be $136.78 for two years and $194.37 for three years. The Plus plan is $212.78 for two years and $302.37 for three years. The Prime service is $284.98 for two years and $404.97 for three years.
For businesses or consumers with multiple computers, the backup service is for 25 computers, which includes automatic backup for computers, external storage, and Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. These are devices that store and share data among multiple computers.
The plan, which includes 500 Gigabytes of cloud backup, is $24 per month, which is billed on an annual basis, which is $287.99 per year. For two years, the plan costs $547.18, and for three years, customers will pay $777.57. Additional cloud backup is available for $99 per 100GB per year.
There are two plans for backing up for multiple computers and servers. They include automatic backup of computers, external hard drives, NAS devices, and servers, and 500GB of cloud storage backup. The first plan is the Power plan for 25 computers and one server.
The Power plan costs $50 per month, which is usually $66.67 per month, and its annual cost is $599.99. For two years of the Power plan, the price is $1,139.98, and the three-year price is $1,619.97. Both the Power and Ultimate plans offer additional cloud backup storage for $99 per year per 100GB.
The Ultimate plan is for 25 computers and unlimited servers, which costs $84.34 per month, which is a discount from its normal price of $108.34. It costs $999.99 per year. For two years, companies will pay $1,899.98, and for three years it is $2699.97.
Public Perception of Carbonite
The reviews regarding Carbonite are generally good, and many reviewers list them among the best backup services available. However, some don’t list them as the best, but only services that consumer and business users should consider.
PCMag.com notes that while the service Is easy to set up, has unlimited backup storage, and has good mobile apps, and Carbonite doesn't offer a free service for potential customers to try. They do offer a 15-day free trial if a consumer or company is considering buying a plan, but there are not any free plans.
The website also notes that the service features a slow web interface and that both the web and desktop interface lacks advanced options for backup. Their overall rating for the service is 3.5, which is they consider "Good."
Tom’s Guide, tomsguide.com, rates the service at a six out of 10, which is worth considering. The website notes that Carbonite offers unlimited storage, but there is a limit on the number of files that they back up. They also note the simple desktop interface that is easy for customers to use.
However, they mention that the company doesn’t sync systems and they don’t provide online sharing of files, because Carbonite is strictly a computer and mobile device backup service. Two of their main competitors, IDrive and Backblaze, allow for both online sharing of data and syncing.
The cost of Carbonite’s services can be pricey as well for what they offer. If you need to backup video files on a single computer, then the user needs to buy a Plus plan for $111.99 per year. This cost is more expensive than both IDrive and Backblaze, who provide backup for video files without needing to buy extra services.
User comments indicate people are not happy with the service, especially their helpdesk and customer service. There were many comments from users who were going to change companies because they didn’t receive any help to resolve issues, such as losing data. However, some of the users had the service for a few years before they had problems.
How it Compares
The two main competitors of Carbonite are Backblaze and . Backblaze, which is also a computer backup service, offers both personal and business computer backup, as does Carbonite. However, they also provide cloud storage for developers.
Like Carbonite, they don’t offer a free plan, just a 15-day trial to see if the user likes the service. Their basic backup plan, which is for Windows, Macs, iPhone, Android devices, and iTunes, costs $50 per year, which is less than Carbonite and includes external USB Drive backup and recovery services. It is also less expensive than IDrive.
Comparing Carbonite to IDrive isn’t fair because IDrive is a hybrid backup and cloud storage service. They offer syncing of files and document sharing that Carbonite does not. Their price structure is only $2.50 less than Carbonite’s Basic plan as well.
What We Think
Although Carbonite offers plans that are “worth considering” for personal and business backup storage, there are better plans available. IDrive and Backblaze both include backing up external hard drives that Carbonite does not unless you pay extra for it.
Also, Carbonite only provides encryption for Windows files and not Macs. The problems users experienced with customer service need to be taken into consideration as well. Since they do offer a 15-day trial, you can use the service before you buy it to see if it is right for you and then make a final decision about their plans.
If backup storage is all you or your organization needs, then Carbonite may be a good service for keeping your data safe. However, use their free trial before committing to it because some of their plans can be expensive.
Along with servicing consumers and small businesses, they can now offer a Carbonite login to larger businesses to backup data from computers and servers. Their desktop interface is easier to use than some of their competitors, like IDrive, so their backup service may be right for you, or your organization’s needs.