Small-business owners tend to have a lot on their plate, such as making sales, tracking inventory and keeping the books. There’s a lot of information coming at you at any given time and keeping it safe is critical to a business’ success. In this article, we’re going to take a look at how Carbonite is the best solution for keeping your business’ data secure.

What makes Carbonite stand out for SMB owners comes down to five basic factors: security, ease of use, customer service, mobile access and speed. Read on for a breakdown of how Carbonite excels in these areas and how it can help your small business run more efficiently and safely. For more information, make sure to check out our full Carbonite review.


Carbonite, like many other cloud services, has been the target of an attempted data breach. Back in 2016, a group of hackers tried to gain access to Carbonite users’ data by entering name and password combinations that had been stolen from other sites. Because many people use the same credentials for multiple services, this is an extremely effective method of data theft.

Fortunately, Carbonite intercepted the attack and took steps before anything was stolen. The service made all of its users reset their login information and it enhanced its existing security measures by including two-factor authentication as an account option. Carbonite also created an information portal for customers to learn about strong passwords.

Besides being proactive, Carbonite also has excellent security measures in place. All of your backup files are scrambled server-side with 128-bit Blowfish encryption, with the actual encryption keys stored on a separate server. Encryption helps prevent various types of cybercrime, including data breaches and man-in-the-middle attacks.

Carbonite also has an option for private key encryption, similar to IDrive. If you manage your own encryption key then it’s no longer stored on Carbonite’s servers. That means nobody but you can ever decrypt your files. Be careful if you choose this option, though: if you lose your password, Carbonite can’t reset it and you’ll have lost access to your backup entirely.

In addition to cyberthreats, Carbonite is also a great example of data center security. Carbonite’s servers are protected by 24-hour surveillance and server room access control. There are also on-site emergency backup generators and temperature control systems to maintain a stable server environment.

All of the above means that your data is safe, come hell or high water. In a world where cybercrime is becoming commonplace, Carbonite stands out for its excellent security.

Ease of Use

One of the nice things about using Carbonite is how intuitive the interface is right from the start. As soon as you install Carbonite, you’ll be prompted to name your devices and decide how to backup your current system. The setup wizard can decide what folders and files to backup for you, or you can opt for advanced options and have more control over what gets protected.

Once Carbonite has been installed and connected across your devices, it’s easy to use. Because your devices have nicknames, it’s simple to remember where crucial information is stored. You can also customize when Carbonite performs a backup, with its default setting being “continuous,” which will backup data in real-time.

Carbonite’s user interface is well organized and easy to navigate. It provides helpful notifications for when data is backed up, its progress and any critical information you might need.

Customer Service

Carbonite takes customer service and user experience very seriously. The service provides answers to common questions in an easy-to-use knowledgebase. You’ll also find helpful video tutorials organized by operating system, which cover a wide variety of topics.

If you need to ask a specific question, Carbonite’s virtual assistant, Cara, can provide guidance. Cara will help you narrow your search and suggest popular resources for frequently asked questions, including step-by-step instructions.

As a sample test, I searched Cara for “how to reinstall Carbonite” and specified that the search was for Carbonite’s mobile product. Here are the most relevant article titles that appeared:

  • “Using the lock feature on your android device”
  • “Getting started with Carbonite mobile”
  • “Uninstalling the Carbonite app”
  • “Carbonite mobile settings for an Android device”

The search didn’t just address the instructions requested. Instead, Cara also provided additional information to assist with situations that might cause a user to need to reinstall the app. This kind of intelligent support assistance is ideal for SMB owners who are short on time.

In addition to its knowledge center, Carbonite has a YouTube channel with playlists covering its various capabilities. Videos cover product reviews, practical applications and support.

Also included is a channel partners playlist that features topics of interest to business owners. Videos address how to protect HIPAA privacy when backing up data, how Carbonite supports FERPA compliance and how to stop a ransomware attack.

The crown jewel of Carbonite’s stellar customer service is its telephone support. Many cloud backup services, including Backblaze, don’t offer telephone support at all. Carbonite does, and has lengthy business hours ranging from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. EST.

As these hours seem almost too good to be true, I put it to the test myself and called Carbonite’s business products help line at 8:52 p.m. EST on a Sunday night. I got through after pressing just three buttons to connect to the right department.

Even better, there was no “your call is very important to us, please wait five hours for help” nonsense that you’ll find with many customer service lines. Carbonite’s customer help line had me talking to a friendly and knowledgeable real person in two rings. For any business owner who works nights or weekends, this kind of availability is invaluable.

Mobile Access

As businesses become more on-the-go than ever, your smartphone is an integral part of running it. With the ability to create and store sensitive business information on a cell phone, it’s important to have a quality cloud backup that supports mobile devices. Once again, Carbonite has you covered.

Carbonite’s mobile app backs up your phone data and lets you access information backed up on other devices. There’s no more need to frantically scramble for misplaced documents ten minutes before a meeting because, as long as they’re backed up on Carbonite, they can be easily accessed on your phone.

Carbonite’s free app is available on iOS and Android, while Windows Phone users will have to pay extra. My personal favorite feature of Carbonite’s mobile app is its additional security measures like fingerprint touch ID login. If your phone is somehow lost or stolen, your information stored in Carbonite will still be safe.

Download Speeds

Business owners often have a lot going on at once. Multiple projects can demand both your attention and your Internet bandwidth, so it’s crucial that your system resources aren’t tied up by your backup processes.

In our updated 2017 Carbonite review, we set out to determine whether Carbonite had dropped its previous throttling of upload speeds. The information on Carbonite’s support site suggests that it stopped this throttling likely due to multiple customer complaints. After our reviewer tested their own Internet speed, they managed to backup a 10GB test folder in just one hour and 18 minutes, with an average speed of 16.33 Mbit/s.

In addition to lightning-fast download speeds, Carbonite allows users to fully control how often and how much data is backed up daily. If data usage is truly an issue, just direct Carbonite to function while you’re at lunch or at the end of the day using its backup scheduler.

Bottom Line

Carbonite has become one of the most highly respected names in cloud backup for a reason. Ever since its debut in 2006, when it was the first cloud service offering a fixed price for unlimited backup, it’s been ahead of the competition in areas critical to SMB users like security, support, speed and mobile access.

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For a look at Carbonite’s unlimited consumer plan and how SMB owners can take advantage of it, have a look at the benefits of unlimited cloud backup for SMBs. Or, if you’re debating the benefits of cloud storage versus local storage, external HDs/NAS vs. cloud backup: a strategy for 2017, also featuring Carbonite, can help set you straight.

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