There are many services that can backup your data, and, in this article, we’ll take a look at two possibilities. We’re going to compare the pairing of CloudBerry Backup with Amazon S3 vs. Carbonite and see which comes out on top.
We chose Amazon S3 because it has a global network of servers, enabling users to reach fast speeds. Its pricing scheme is complicated, but the service isn’t expensive and charges you per gigabyte. That means you can set the size of your storage the way you want. You can find more information about the service in our Amazon S3 review.
CloudBerry Backup has a partner because it’s not a run-of-the-mill online backup service and doesn’t provide storage space or store your files. It works like a control center that helps you manage backup plans on other cloud storage services.
Carbonite is a standard service, but it’s also on our list of the best online backup solutions.
Using cloud backup is smart because you can’t be sure how long your hard drive will last and you could lose your data due to malfunctions or crashes. You can use data recovery software to try to recover your files, but that’s not a reliable method. You can’t rely on solid state drives, either, as they experience more data errors, even if their failure rate is less than 1 percent.
Over five rounds, we’re going to see how the services compare to each other to help you choose one. At the end of each, we’ll name a winner. After the bell, we’ll do a recap and declare the overall winner.
Getting more for less money is good value, and you have a better chance of finding a plan that fits your needs if there is a wide selection of them. It’s great if the provider offers a free plan or trial, too, so you can test the service. If you’re looking for unlimited backup, check out our best unlimited online backup list.
Most cloud backup providers charge you by number of computers and gigabytes of space, but CloudBerry Backup is different. Since you don’t get storage with it, you only have to buy a one-time license. The cheapest license is called Desktop and costs $49.99, while the most expensive one, Ultimate, runs $299.99.
It doesn’t end there, though, because you’ll also have to pay for your backup of choice. For 250GB on Amazon S3, you’ll have to dish out $5.75 a month. Its prices are per computer.
In total, that’s not the best value on the market, but it’s not the worst, either. Before paying for a license, you can use the 15-day free trial period to give it a go.
Carbonite offers three plans for unlimited storage: Basic, Plus and Prime. Basic costs $71.99 a year and provides bare-bones unlimited backup. Plus is the most popular plan and it adds external drive backup and automatic video backup for $111.99 a year. For $149.99 a year, Prime gives you a courier recovery service on top of the rest.
Before subscribing, you should use the 15-day trial to test the service. If you decide Carbonite is a good fit, you can get a 5 percent discount for paying for two years or 10 percent for three. Currently, new customers who purchase a two-year or three-year subscription on any plan get a 20 percent or 30 percent discount, respectively.
The service lets you backup multiple computers, too. Carbonite Safe Backup Pro starts at $287.99 per year and allows you to backup as many as 25 computers and provides 250GB of backup space.
Even paired with Amazon S3’s cheap deals, CloudBerry Backup isn’t a match for Carbonite’s inexpensive unlimited backup. Carbonite wins this round.
Strong security will keep your backup safe. Its strength depends on the encryption used in transit and at rest, which protocol protects your files during transfer, etc. In the best case, the service qualifies as zero-knowledge, which means only you can read your files. Two-factor authentication is important, too, because it helps if someone steals your password.
CloudBerry Backup supports those security methods, but it depends on the partner service, too. With a compatible partner, CloudBerry Backup supports up to AES 256-bit on the client side. Many services only support server-side encryption. If you have it on the client side, only you can control the encryption key and read your data. If you choose to use client-side encryption, be sure to memorize your password as CloudBerry Backup won’t be able to reset it.
During transfer, the service uses the SSL protocol to protect your files.
Amazon is compatible with client-side encryption because it provides you with its own using Amazon Key Management Service. It also gives you two-factor authentication.
Amazon’s server facilities undergo third-party audits and limit access based on the principle of least privilege. They also use detection systems, multi-factor authentication, surveillance and more. The buildings are able to endure floods, earthquakes and fires, too, thanks to responsive equipment, automatic sensors and data redundancy measures.
Carbonite encrypts user files with Blowfish 128-bit encryption before transferring them to the cloud using the TLS protocol.
The service then secures data on its servers with AES 128-bit encryption and stores your key in a protected data center so its employees can’t read your data. You can also enable private encryption if you’re a Windows user and manage the key yourself. In that case, the service will switch to AES 256-bit, but won’t be able to reset your password if you lose it.
If you don’t use private encryption, you can rely on two-factor authentication to help you protect your account. You probably won’t have to, though, because Carbonite has strong password requirements.
Carbonite stores your files in secure data centers. They can endure virtual attacks, as well as disasters such as earthquakes and fires. Their security measures include redundant power distribution unit diversity, battery backup, on-site generators, climate control systems, 24/7 guard patrols, biometric scanners, electronic key cards and closed-circuit TV surveillance.
Both services have strong security. Though CloudBerry Backup uses the SSL protocol and the ability to encrypt on the client side and at rest changes with the partner service, it has great security when it is coupled with Amazon S3.
Carbonite provides private encryption and uses the TLS protocol, which is stronger than SSL, so it wins this round, too.
The initial backup with any service can take a long time. How long depends on your internet service provider and how close you are to a server. The closer you are, the better your connection will be. Services get more points if they allow you to tweak transfer settings, throttle speeds and use a block-level transfer algorithm, which helps after the initial backup.
With CloudBerry Backup, transfers go directly to the third-party service, which, in this case, is Amazon S3. It’s a good partner for CloudBerry Backup because it has a global network of servers, meaning you probably won’t be far from one and will be able to achieve fast transfer speeds as a result.
Carbonite didn’t perform well in our tests, which were conducted outside Boston, Massachusetts, as it took more than three hours to upload a 1GB folder. While the initial upload may be slow, subsequent uploads will be faster thanks to block-level copying. Download speeds were fast, too.
This round goes to CloudBerry Backup as you can complement it with a service that has a global network to reach faster upload and download speeds.
Ease of Use
Setting up your backup, as well as subsequent ones and recovering your data, should be straightforward. To ensure that, desktop clients should work on most systems and their interfaces should be intuitive, attractive and easy to use. That goes for web and mobile clients, too.
That’s not the case with CloudBerry Backup as setting it up is difficult. You have to add your account with the partner service you’re using manually and create the backup plan, which requires you to choose between many options. If you like to dabble with settings, you will love it, but mainstream users will want to steer clear.
If you’re part of the latter category, read our how to use CloudBerry Backup with Amazon S3 guide. It’s especially helpful because Amazon S3 requires you to create buckets, which can be complex in the beginning.
Recovering files is complicated, too, but it enables you to create an intricate backup plan that suits your needs.
The desktop client for Windows has a clear interface that’s similar to Microsoft Office, but it’s not the most attractive we’ve seen. That said, it’s on our list of the best cloud backups for Windows. There are also clients for macOS and Linux.
Those who have a Linux distribution without a graphical user interface can access the web interface from the desktop app. It has an attractive, flat design that is clear and lets you find what you need quickly.
There’s a web interface that you can access via the CloudBerry website, but it only works with Amazon S3.
Carbonite’s desktop client is simple and doesn’t overwhelm you with options. Most of the process is automated, so you only need to perform one step to initiate backup. It’s available for Windows and macOS, but not Linux.
The service color codes your files, so you can check their status easily. It excludes some files and extensions and doesn’t backup files larger than 4GB by default, so you need to select them manually to include them.
If you click the “view my backup” link, you’ll be taken to the web interface. It’s drab, but functional, and lets you check your backup status, access files and manage your account.
You can do the same with the mobile app for Android and iOS. Its interface is clear and minimal, so it won’t confuse you. It can store files and backup photos from your phone automatically. That only works for photos, but it’s unlimited so it’s still a good deal.
It’s clear that those who like to tinker with settings will feel at home using CloudBerry Backup but others will not. Though it’s not available for Linux, Carbonite is much easier to work with and its mobile app lets you backup unlimited photos. It wins this round.
CloudBerry Backup and Carbonite are on our list of the best online backup services. CloudBerry Backup is closer to the top, but Carbonite is the overall winner in this comparison because it provides unlimited backup for cheap, has strong security, is a breeze to use and its mobile app lets you backup unlimited photos.
Still, CloudBerry Backup is no slouch. If you’re a power user and want to tweak your backup, you should look no further. It also integrates with many providers, so you don’t have to choose Amazon S3. Read about good alternatives in our best cloud IaaS for file hosting piece.
What do you think? Do you agree that Carbonite is the better choice? Which service do you use to backup your files? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.