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Carbonite is among the most recognizable names in on-line backup. It is also one of many easiest-to-use on-line backup companies round, has respectable cellular apps, and is an effective worth on your cash. Nevertheless, Carbonite just lately eliminated its file sharing and folder-syncing options, limits you to a single PC or Mac, and restricts exterior and community drive backups to premium accounts. Carbonite is a stable “set it and overlook it” choice, however different companies similar to IDrive, SOS On-line Backup, and Acronis True Picture are extra succesful.

Worth Plans

Carbonite’s pricing is easy. For $59.99 per 12 months, the Fundamental plan will get you limitless backup house for one PC or Mac. The Plus improve choice ($94.99) provides the power to again up exterior drives and routinely add video. The Prime plan ($149.99) provides a courier restoration service, by which Carbonite ships you a replica of your knowledge on an exterior drive. That is necessary for when your arduous drive is destroyed or if you do not have the time or bandwidth to obtain lots of of gigabytes of restored recordsdata. You may wish to look elsewhere should you want assist for a number of computer systems, as every further laptop provides $60 to the worth. There’s an infinite computer systems choice, however this prices $269.99 a 12 months and solely consists of 250GB of storage. You may improve this plan’s storage in 100GB (every $99 per 12 months) increments.

Masking just one PC for the bottom value isn’t unusual, however Editors’ Alternative IDrive gives 2TB that you should use on as many computer systems as you want for about the identical value. Carbonite gives a free 15-day trial (with no bank card wanted), however there is no everlasting, low-storage free plan like these supplied by OpenDrive and MozyHome.

Getting Began

After downloading Carbonite’s PC software program, you employ a wizard-driven course of to arrange your preliminary backup. First, you select a nickname for the pc. That manner, should you add different computer systems to your account, you understand which one has the recordsdata you need. The wizard then gives to routinely select what to incorporate (paperwork, images, e mail, and music) and when to schedule the add. In case you do determine to go for the Again Up Every part choice, there is no simple method to deselect or take away knowledge from on-line storage throughout the desktop software. As an alternative, it is advisable to uncheck folders individually from the File Explorer. This can be a roundabout method to handle backups, however the File Explorer integration makes it marginally higher than Backblaze’s exclusion-based backup choice.

The Superior choice allows you to manually select folders to again up and their add schedule. You need to use it to fine-tune Carbonite’s default picks or to begin from scratch. In case you spring for the Plus plan, you possibly can again up a related exterior drive (just one, thoughts you). The upper-level plans additionally allow you to create a replica backup to native storage with the intention to get well recordsdata with out an web connection or in case of emergency.

Backup Scheduling and Safety

Subsequent, it is time to decide on when backups ought to happen. We just like the default choice, Steady. You too can merely inform the software program to again up as soon as a day. In case your web connection is not the strongest, it’s possible you’ll favor that, although you possibly can set Carbonite to not add throughout your busy hours. The Steady choice solely uploads file modifications and new recordsdata, nevertheless, so it should not tax your connection too badly. We might wish to see further choices for setting hourly or weekly backup settings, as effectively.

Understand that Carbonite employs an “all or nothing” strategy to scheduling, so you possibly can’t schedule completely different folders to add at completely different instances. Acronis True Picture 2018 provides you the choice to specify per-folder backup choices, which we favor.

Carbonite encrypts your knowledge earlier than sending it to its servers. By default, Carbonite manages your encryption key, however those that wish to lock down their knowledge can select to handle their very own key. Nobody at Carbonite can entry your recordsdata should you use personal encryption keys, even when compelled to by a search warrant. Nevertheless, it additionally will not be capable of get well your knowledge should you lose the important thing, both.


This super-secure-and-private choice additionally implies that you aren’t getting internet entry to your recordsdata. Mozy, in contrast, permits internet entry for accounts utilizing personal keys. In case you decide Carbonite, we suggest the still-secure, however much less restrictive, managed-key choice. We like that it allows you to arrange two-factor authentication throughout the account-creation course of and requires you to arrange safety questions.

Your last choices earlier than Carbonite begins making ready and importing your knowledge are to have the service stop your PC from sleeping throughout a backup and so as to add any recordsdata not coated routinely—movies, program recordsdata, and recordsdata bigger than 4GB. The setup wizard explains that the preliminary add may take a few days. It additionally explains Carbonite’s File Explorer dots. The software program provides a purple dot if a file’s ready to be backed up, a half-filled-in dot for folders in progress, and a inexperienced one if it is all set. You may right-click on any allowable file so as to add it to the backup set. IDrive and SpiderOak ONE provide related Explorer integration, which we admire.

Desktop Interface

We examined the software program on Home windows and just like the clear interface and clear indications of the backup course of, even when it does not provide as a lot info because it may. After going via the preliminary setup, the principle display reveals the standing of the present backup course of. There are icons for accessing backup settings, viewing your backup on-line, and restoring recordsdata. Throughout the highest, you possibly can entry fundamental account settings, however it is advisable to log in on-line to handle issues like funds and subscriptions.

Throughout add, Carbonite’s interface reveals you the present file within the add queue, together with an total progress bar. A system tray icon allows you to launch the principle Carbonite software, Search and Restore knowledge, or enter Recuperate mode. The Settings tab means that you can flip off the Explorer dots, change the backup set and schedule, and scale back bandwidth utilization, although there are not any fine-tuned choices for bandwidth management as there are with Backblaze.


We want there have been one other method to choose folders and recordsdata on Home windows so as to add to the backup, somewhat than simply right-clicking them within the File Explorer. Carbonite’s Mac software program has a file-tree system constructed into the desktop software, so we’re undecided why that did not make it over to the Home windows model. There’s additionally no fast method to delete objects from a backup. After you deselect a file from backing up with Carbonite, it takes 72 hours for that file to vanish from on-line storage.

Backup Pace

For efficiency and bandwidth testing, we timed how lengthy it took Carbonite to add two 100MB units of combined file sorts and sizes. We used PCMag’s superfast 100Mbps (add velocity) company web connection in order that bandwidth would not be the limiting velocity issue.

We have been stunned by how shortly Carbonite accomplished the backup take a look at till we checked to see if all of the recordsdata have been current. Oddly, Carbonite unnoticed a couple of audio recordsdata and images from the backup, despite the fact that they have been nowhere near the 4GB restrict. After manually including all of these recordsdata to the backup and calculating the mixture, Carbonite ended up finishing the add in a good 1:22 (minutes:seconds). That is near the quickest we examined and a lot better than SugarSync’s three:37 and MozyHome’s 2:43. For comparability, Editors’ Alternative Acronis True Picture accomplished the add in zero:51.

Online Backup Upload Speed

Restoring Recordsdata

Carbonite’s desktop app makes it simple to revive recordsdata. There is a distinguished Get My Recordsdata Again button, which helps you to select between grabbing particular recordsdata and downloading all the things out of your present on-line backup. Whenever you seek for recordsdata to revive, you possibly can both substitute them of their authentic location or obtain them to a brand new folder. One drawback we now have with Carbonite is that should you delete a file on the backed-up PC the service solely retains the file for 30 days. SOS On-line Backup retains these recordsdata perpetually.

Carbonite saves a number of variations of recordsdata as you edit and save them. They’re stored for a bit longer than deleted recordsdata—three months. Nevertheless, you are restricted to 12 variations, in contrast with SOS’s limitless variations. In our assessments of a doc we up to date a number of instances, Carbonite appropriately saved all variations.


Observe that whenever you do a full restore to a brand new machine, you lose the power to again up the unique PC, for the reason that service solely covers one PC per account. In any other case, you possibly can simply save all of the recordsdata to a separate folder. A search field within the Restore window allows you to specify the actual folders and knowledge you want first. Carbonite estimates how lengthy the restore will take, and you may entry already-processed recordsdata any time throughout the restoration.

Internet Interface

Carbonite’s internet interface is practical, although its inconsistent inexperienced accents and previous Home windows-style icons detract from its total attraction. The principle view reveals a sortable file tree and a fast search field, in addition to a facet menu for accessing account settings and assist pages. To obtain a file, all it is advisable to do is click on on it. Nevertheless, file-version selection and file-sharing options are lacking from the net interface. You may’t create a direct hyperlink to a file or lengthen modifying entry, as you possibly can with a number of on-line backup companies. Nor are you able to play music or movies from the net UI, although you possibly can view images.


Navigating via the folder tree is painfully sluggish. There’s noticeable lag when shifting between folders, and picture thumbnails took some time to show. Additional, it takes a very long time for newly backed-up recordsdata to point out up on-line, even after the desktop app says all the things has been backed up. Surprisingly, solely the search perform labored effectively.


Cellular Apps

Carbonite gives cellular apps for Android and iOS; the latter ran effectively on a Google Pixel in our assessments. The principle display lists all of the gadgets related to the account, whereas massive button tiles within the app provide entry to Footage, Paperwork, Music, and Desktop folders. We have been capable of view images and paperwork, and even play uploaded music proper contained in the app. File sharing on cellular works the identical as with all different app and depends on the companies you have already got put in in your telephone. You too can set it to routinely again up images and movies out of your machine within the app settings.

Simple, Limitless On-line Backup

In case you simply wish to again up your PC recordsdata to organize for the occasional disaster, Carbonite is a stable selection. It stands out within the crowded on-line backup house with a easy “set it and overlook it” philosophy, limitless storage, and steady backup. In opposition to these strengths, nevertheless, it’s a must to weigh the absence of sharing options and it is missing interfaces. If these are considerations, you are higher off with one of many PCMag Editors’ Alternative on-line backup companies, similar to SOS On-line Backup for its highly effective options, IDrive for its limitless variety of computer systems per account, or Acronis for its add speeds.

In case you favor to maintain your backups offline, take a look at our roundups of the perfect native backup companies and exterior arduous drives to see your greatest choices.

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