Carbonite Review

Offering ease of use and unlimited backup for one device, Carbonite is without a doubt one of Cloudwards.net's favorite online backup providers. However, slow backup speeds are a big a concern. Read our full Carbonite review for the details.

By Branko VlajinWriter
— Last Updated: 07 Nov'18
2016-06-14T05:24:26-08:00
Table of ContentsRating
Features
80%
Good
Pricing
80%
Good
Ease of Use
84%
Very Good
File Backup & Restoration
87%
Very Good
Speed
40%
Terrible
Security
90%
Excellent
Privacy
94%
Excellent
Support
90%
Excellent
User Reviews & Comments

Good
Starts from $ 600 per month for Unlimited GB
Best Online Backup Reviews

Carbonite has been a part of the backup market since 2005, which is ancient in IT years. Still, it has a lot of experience and that shows. It’s great for personal users who want unlimited backup for one or more computers and don’t mind paying a premium to get it.

That said, completing your backup will take a lot of time because Carbonite is among the slowest services we’ve tested. You can’t make it faster by increasing the number of backup threads, but you can make it slower if it interferes with your system resources.

On the bright side, Carbonite’s easy to use whether you’re on the desktop client, web or mobile. Automatic backup will relieve you of the trouble of manually selecting files for backup and the straightforward restore process will help you get your files back.

You won’t have to worry about your files because Carbonite provides private encryption, along with other security features. It’s privacy protection doesn’t disappoint, either. In fact, it’s among the strongest we’ve seen.

If all that sounds like it’s up your alley, stick with us as we go into more detail in this Carbonite review. Otherwise, pick another service from our best online backup list.

Carbonite Review 2016 – Is It The Right Cloud Backup For You?

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths:

  • Unlimited backup
  • Backup by file type
  • External hard drive backup
  • Courier recovery service
  • Strong privacy
  • Private encryption

Weaknesses:

  • Slow
  • Could offer better deals
  • No monthly subscriptions
  • Limited mobile backup
  • No versioning for macOS

Alternatives for Carbonite

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Features

80% - Good

Unlike the best cloud storage services, Carbonite isn’t meant to reduce the amount of space taken on your hard drive or sync data across devices. As an online backup service, it helps you when disaster strikes by recovering your files. That’s useful because your hard drive might crash and take your data with it. Solid-state drives are better but experience more data errors.

If you need both, you can go with a service such as IDrive, which can backup your data and provide you with sync space. You can learn more about it in our IDrive review. If you’re not clear on the difference between online storage and online backup, read our explanation.

Carbonite provides unlimited storage space without secret data caps or limits on your transfer speeds. Because it’s unlimited, you won’t be able to backup unlimited devices. Instead, you can only backup one device or computer with a personal plan. That’s the usual trade-off when choosing between unlimited backup and unlimited devices.

That said, you can use Carbonite to backup photos taken with your smartphone. Consult our best unlimited online backup article to see how Carbonite compares to other unlimited backup services.

Carbonite Features

Besides unlimited backup, Carbonite’s features include backup scheduling, private encryption, automatic video backup, remote file access and versioning, which doesn’t work on macOS. Plus, all plans besides Carbonite Safe Basic can backup external hard drives.

Carbonite works with all common file extensions. Because it’s unlimited, it can automatically tag common file types for backup after you install it. That said, automatic video backup is only available for Carbonite Safe Plus and Carbonite Safe Prime subscribers. Basic users have to upload videos manually.

Carbonite also has a courier recovery service that sends you your restores in the mail, which can be much faster than downloading them. Most backup services don’t offer that.

Though Carbonite lets you backup your external hard drives, it can’t backup to external hard drives. That’s not a huge miss, though, because unlimited backup doesn’t work well with a limited number of external drives.

On top of that, Plus and Premium subscribers no longer have access to the mirror-image backup feature. Mirror-image backup takes an image backup of a computer’s operating system drive and backs it up to an external hard drive. That allows users to restore their computer’s OS and applications back to the same computer.

Carbonite says it removed the feature because versioning limitations prevent mirror-image backup from protecting users as well as file-based backup. That might be true, but the mirror image feature was valuable because it allowed for quick recovery of crashed hard drives.

We’ll talk in more detail about backup and security features below, so read on. Consult our backup library to learn more about cloud backup.

Pricing

80% - Good

Unlike cloud backup services that offer a single unlimited plan, such as Backblaze, Carbonite offers three: Basic, Plus and Prime. The plans are targeted at home and business users who don’t have many computers. Note that the plans only allow you to backup one internal hard drive.

Basic
  • Doesn't include external hard drives.
  • Unlimited GB Storage
1-year plan $ 6.00 / month
$71.99 billed every year
Plus
  • Includes external hard drive backup and automatic video backup.
  • Unlimited GB Storage
1-year plan $ 9.33 / month
$111.99 billed every year
Prime
  • Includes courier service.
  • Unlimited GB Storage
1-year plan $ 12.50 / month
$149.99 billed every year

Basic is $71.99 a year and provides unlimited backup with no additional features.

Plus gives you external drive backup and automatic video backup for $111.99 a year. It’s the most popular plan, but it’s expensive compared to Backblaze’s plan, which is just $60 per year and offers the same features. You can read more about Backblaze in our Backblaze review.

Prime is $149.99 per year. It adds courier recovery service on top of Plus’s features.

On any plan, you can save 5 percent if you subscribe for two years or 10 percent if you sign up for three. You can also buy Carbonite Safe Backup for up to 100 computers. If you’re not sure about Carbonite, you can use the free 15-day trial to make up your mind.

Ease of Use

84% - Very Good

The design of Carbonite’s web client is drab but functional. The main page shows the computers you have backed up. You can also view or restore your files, add a computer or reinstall Carbonite.

The menu on the left lets you navigate to your credit cards and subscription and personal information, as well as see your payment history and access support. If you have data in your backup, you can use the search bar to locate files or folders by name or with a specific extension.

The Carbonite desktop client works on Windows and macOS but not Linux. For Linux support, consult our best online backup for Linux article. Once you install it, it’ll guide you through the process of creating a backup. It’s simple and you only have to complete one step.

Carbonite automatically selects the most common file types to backup on a continuous basis. If you’re fine with that you can just start the backup process or you can delve into the advanced settings. Automatic backup is convenient because you don’t have to spend time manually selecting files and folders you want to save.

You can launch the client from the system tray icon. The client presents the most important information you need to see right away.

The left side shows an image of a computer and a link that displays the settings. The middle displays the status of your backup and lets you add files to it, turn on automatic backup or restore files. The right side shows the cloud and the option to view your backup.

The button to restore files is called “get my files back” and the link to preview files says “view my backup.” Those names won’t confuse anyone.

Carbonite Color Coding

Carbonite color codes your files, so you can see their status at a glance.

An orange dot on a file means it’s selected for backup, while a green one means the file has been backed up.

A yellow dot on a folder means files or subfolders in the folder have been selected for backup. A half-green dot means the folder is selected for backup and some files in it are backed up, while others haven’t been selected for backup. A green dot on a folder means all files in that folder are backed up.

The mobile app is minimal and easy to use. You can use it to access your backup, as well as save your backed up files for quick access and offline access. Plus, you can add more computers for backup, which means Carbonite will send you an email with a link you need to open from the computer you want to backup.

The app was last updated in October 2017, though, and it’s Google Play Store rating is a modest 3.7 stars.

File Backup & Restoration

87% - Very Good

After you install the Carbonite desktop client and start the initial backup, the client will scan your hard drive for files and begin uploading them.

As mentioned, you don’t have to pick the files you want because Carbonite selects them for you. Its selection is smart and it includes documents, pictures, music, email, browser bookmarks, financial data and “everything important.”

Carbonite excludes some OS and temporary files from the automatic backup. You can see which ones in the list of excluded file types on its website.

Initial backups often take a lot of time to complete. Once it’s finished, though, it’ll be much faster thanks to continuous backup, which uploads files when you change them. To do that, Carbonite uses a block-level file copying algorithm.

The algorithm only transfers the parts of the file that changed, rather than the whole file. We recommend using continuous backup . In this case, as in many others, it works without impeding the rest of the system. That said, if you prefer to schedule backups for when you’re not using the computer, you can do that, too.

You can choose to backup once per day at a specific time or set it up to not backup during certain hours. Though that’s convenient, Carbonite has fewer scheduling options than other services. For example, Acronis True Image lets you run backup twice per day at specific times, every one to eight hours, weekly, monthly or upon an event.

You can read more about Acronis True Image in our Acronis True Image review.

Carbonite keeps your content in data centers that use RAID. That means your files are located on multiple servers for redundancy, which helps keep them safe if a server malfunctions. Carbonite has at least three copies of your backup on 15 hard drives.

Restoring files with Carbonite is easy. Click the “get my files back” button in the desktop client. The next window lets you choose to restore everything or specific files or folders.

If you need to restore all files, you have the option to choose between restoring to their original location or downloading to a new folder on your desktop.

If you choose to restore specific files or folders, the desktop client will open the Carbonite website to help you locate the content you need. That’s useful if you need to restore something quickly and don’t have time to do a full restore.

The web client displays your content based on your file system, so you shouldn’t have issues finding it. If you do, you can use the search bar to find files by filename and extension. Once you’ve located your content, click the download button beside it to download it or select multiple files and folders using the check boxes, then click “download.”

Carbonite Versioning

Carbonite supports file versioning for Windows but not for Mac. Versioning lets you retrieve previous iterations of files, which means you can undo accidental changes to them. Versioning also protects you against ransomware, which can corrupt your files and demand payment for their restoration.

Carbonite keeps at least the three most recent versions of a file, regardless of age. Besides that, it keeps old versions of your changed files for up to three months. Plus, one daily version of the file for each day of the past week, one weekly version for each of the previous three weeks and one monthly version for each of the previous two months that the file was backed up.

Its file retention policy says it keeps deleted files for 30 days. If you’re a Carbonite Safe customer living in the U.S., you can use a courier service to restore deleted files. Prime subscribers have courier recovery included, so they only have to pay $9.99 per recovery. If you’re using Basic or Plus, you have to pay $99.99.

Regardless of the plan, you have to return the hard drive to Carbonite to avoid paying the non-returned drives fee, which is $130 or $300, depending on the size of the device.

On top of that, users who manage their private key need to upload it before they request courier service. That’s understandable because Carbonite needs to decrypt your data before you can use it, but it’s still a privacy concern. We’re going to talk more about it below.

You can see the pricing information for the courier service in a table on this page.

Speed

40% - Terrible

We said that initial backup can take a long time, but considering Carbonite’s results, it might take more than that. How long it takes will depend on your connection speed and how close you are to Carbonite’s servers. The rule of thumb is that the transfer speed will be better the closer you are.

You can go to the settings in the desktop client and check the box that reduces Carbonite’s internet usage, but you can’t increase the number of backup threads to increase the speed.

We use a 1GB zipped folder to test upload and download speeds. We ran our Carbonite tests using an Ethernet connection in Belgrade, Serbia, with an upload speed of 6 megabits per second and a download speed of 100 Mbps.

Those speeds imply that it should take about 21 minutes to upload our test folder and just over a minute to download with no overhead. Our tests results were far from that, though. Our folder took more than an hour to upload and more than seven minutes to download.

We weren’t close to the U.S., where Carbonite keeps its data centers, and the results reflected that, but they’re still poor compared to other services.

 First attempt:Second attempt:Average:
Upload time:
00:59:5001:25:0001:12:25
Download time:00:03:1100:12:2200:07:46

Security

90% - Excellent

Carbonite uses the 128-bit SSL protocol to protect files against man-in-the-middle attacks, which occur during the data transmission process. It encrypts files at rest on its servers with AES 128-bit encryption. That’s not as strong as its heavier cousin, AES 256-bit, but it provides ample security. As far as anybody knows, no one has cracked it.

By default, Carbonite handles your encryption key for you. That enables the company to reset your password if you forget it, but it also presents a privacy risk because a rogue employee could use it to read your files. To avoid that, you can turn on private encryption.

If you do that, use a password manager to avoid losing your password. If you don’t know of any, you can pick one from our best password managers of 2019 roundup.

When you turn on private encryption, Carbonite switches to AES 256-bit. Because you have the private key, the company can’t read your files or supply them when required to by law.

Though cracking your private key may be next to impossible, that’s not the case with your passwords. A weak password is easy prey for brute force attacks, so create a strong one. That said, even if your password is strong, you should turn on two-factor authentication.

Once you do, your login process will have an additional layer of protection to help keep your account safe. Whenever you enter your credentials, you’ll be asked to enter a security code. You can receive it via text or phone call. You can learn more about Carbonite’s security approach in its security whitepaper.

Carbonite holds your data in hardened data centers. Such data centers are designed to withstand natural disasters, such as fires and earthquakes, as well as physical and virtual attacks.

Access to its data centers is controlled by a combination of biometric scanners and electronic key cards. Closed-circuit television surveillance is available, along with temperature control, uninterruptable power supplies, backup generators and server access controlled with electronic key cards and PIN codes. Guards are active 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Privacy

94% - Excellent

Carbonite’s privacy policy is straightforward and doesn’t have the suspicious clauses some cloud services do. Carbonite’s privacy policy is clear and states in a direct manner what types of data it collects, which include data provided by users, such as name, address, email, credit card and other information required for registering and purchasing a Carbonite product.

Besides that, Carbonite stores your filenames, sizes and extensions, along with information about connected devices. It also collects data about your IP address, browser type, device type, internet service provider, referring or exiting pages, OS and date and time stamps.

Carbonite says it uses the data for various purposes, such as sending marketing materials with the consent of the user or customer, facilitating backup and restore of data, archiving, providing technical support and complying with the law.

The service says it won’t sell personal information to marketers or other vendors and it doesn’t access data stored by customers. That said, Carbonite sometimes shares information with third parties, but only to ensure internal products will run.

If you don’t want to receive marketing materials, you can opt out by emailing [email protected], contacting customer support at 1-877-222-5488 or the appropriate geographical phone number found here.

Under applicable data protection laws, customers and users have the following rights in regard to personal data handled by Carbonite:

  • The right to access personal data held by Carbonite.
  • The right to request correction of personal data that’s incomplete, incorrect, unnecessary or outdated.
  • The right to request erasure of personal data that’s incomplete, incorrect, unnecessary or outdated within a reasonable period of time.
  • The right to request restriction of processing personal data for certain reasons
  • The right to get a copy of personal data from Carbonite in a structured, secure, commonly used and machine-readable format.
  • The right to withdraw consent for personal data to be processed at any time if that data is being processed based solely on consent and not any other legal basis.
  • The right to contact the relevant data protection regulator regarding Carbonite’s handling of Personal Data.

Carbonite also adheres to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield frameworks. It also complies with the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, that’s in effect for EU citizens. Read more about it in our GDPR guide.

Support

90% - Excellent

If you get stuck, your first option is to browse the Carbonite knowledgebase. It lets you filter help topics by product and device. Once you choose a product and device, you get a list of common topics and popular articles. There’s also a video library that has several tutorial videos on popular topics. You can search the knowledgebase, too.

If that doesn’t help, there’s an FAQ section that has answers to common questions. If that still isn’t enough, you need to contact technical support.

Unlike many services, Carbonite provides phone support to all customers. Phone support isn’t available 24 hours a day, but you can call any day of the week, excluding U.S. holidays, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.

Email support is available, too, and Carbonite says responses generally come within 24 hours. To test that, we asked questions using the contact form. Carbonite’s response came in under six hours, which is great. It was detailed and had links to help us learn more.

On its customer care page, Carbonite claims to have more than 200 agents who have a Microsoft Technology Associate certification. Carbonite’s customer service has won 64 awards over the last five years.

The Verdict

Carbonite does a good job of providing unlimited backup. Considering the deal from Backblaze, Carbonite isn’t as cheap as it could be, but it’s not among the most expensive services, either. It’s easy to backup your files and restore them thanks to a fine desktop client. If you’re on another computer, you can use the browser client to view and restore your backup.

The files in your backup are protected by strong security features among which private encryption is king. A clear privacy policy ensures your privacy, too. That said, Carbonite is slow, doesn’t have versioning for macOS and could be cheaper. If that breaks the deal for you, consult our online backup reviews to find an alternative service.

What do you think of Carbonite? Is it suitable for you? Do you use another services? Tell us in the comments below. Thank you for reading.

Starts from$ 600per month for Unlimited GB

Backup

Backup Scheduler
Continuous Backup
Incremental Backup
Image-Based Backup
External Drive Backup
NAS Backup
Server Backup
Hybrid Backup
Mobile Device Backup
Unlimited Backup
Unlimited Devices
Speed Throttling
Block-Level File Copying
Multithreaded Backup

Restore

Courier Recovery Service
Browser Access
Mobile App Access
Versioning
Deleted File Retention

Security

Private Encryption
At-Rest Encryption
In-Transit Encryption
Encryption Protocol
AES 256-bit
Two-Factor Authentication
Hardened Data Centers
Proxy Server Settings
HIPPA Compliant

Support

24/7 Support
Live Chat Support
Telephone Support
Email Support
User Forum
Knowledgebase

Misc

File Sharing
Device Sync
Free Trial
15

Carbonite Review

An easy to use, affordable provider of unlimited backup

Offering ease of use and unlimited backup for one device, Carbonite is without a doubt one of Cloudwards.net's favorite online backup providers. However, slow backup speeds are a big a concern. Read our full Carbonite review for the details.
Starts from$ 600per month for Unlimited GB
Visit Carbonite

81 thoughts on “Carbonite”

  1. So, based on a couple of reviews I’ve read throughout the web and in some forums I decided to give Carbonite a try. First, let me tell you that I have no experience in the backup field I just felt that storing files on an external hard drive couldn’t be enough.

    I have heard some Carbonite commercial, I think it was on a radio show or something like that, and that was when I heard the word online backup for the first time. I couldn’t really believe the ‘unlimited’ claim so I wanted to try it out. By now means do I have a lot of data, a couple of photos and videos that I cannot afford to lose.
    The software was very easy to use, though I must admit I was a little baffled by the setup procedure: did it really select all my files I wanted to backup? Which files are excluded? Then the backup felt really slow, I have no idea what’s fast and what’s slow but it took a couple weeks until everything finally had been transferred. Now they tell me that this is normal – but who knows?

    That’s why I can only give Carbonite 3 stars out of 5.

    1. I am a long-time Carbonite user and need to let everyone know that over the years their servers have degraded to the point that you are no longer sure your information is getting backed up.

      Billing is also an issue – and potentially a criminal issue. This last renewal someone at carbonite decide I need another $799 worth of storage and ordered for me without any sort of confirmation. Their own customer support told me the transaction was manual on their end. It took two weeks to get a refund from them and I got hit with $120 in overdraft fees before I could cover their fraudulent charge. I’m now working with my bank to see if criminal charges should be pursued against them.

      So, bottom line, I would not recommend Carbonite to anyone and will not be renewing my subscription when it expires. It’s really a sham, they had a chance but couldn’t handle their explosive growth to the point the company should just close their doors before they get in any more trouble.

    2. Turns out Carbonite does not back up the hard drive. I never keep anything on the hard drive. Everything is on removable flash drives. I wasted my money. one star.

      1. It states in the review that external drives are not backed up on the lowest tier plan. You’re a bit foolish keeping everything on flash drives anyway – they’re nowhere near as reliable as hard drives. You should be saving to the hard drive and backing up to flash media if you feel you need to have a copy on a more transportable device.

    3. I found out today that Carbonite only backs up one internal drive and defaults to C:. I have not figured out how to change that but no matter- goodbye Carbonite.

      1. Right click on the drive in Windows Explorer and the context menu has a CARBONITE menu.

  2. A Carbonite user here. It’s quite hard to judge a product if you’re not that knowledgable about backup and data storage in general so I can just tell you my experience of how this product feels. Thank god my hard drive are still running smoothly and I have not needed Carbonite yet to restore my files. I see my subscription as some kind of fire insurance for example: you’re glad you have if you need it but if you don’t you don’t want to think about it either.

    Carbonite is extremely easy to use. I have heard backblaze is even more easy but I ended up with Carbonite because it appealed to me more and my situation: I have 50GB of files so actually I don’t need an unlimited online backup but I took your advice and planned for a bit more to come in future. Also, as far as pricing goes there is almost no difference if I take a 50GB plan with Mozy or an unlimited plan with Carbonite. So Carbonite it is.

    Somewhere I’ve read that online backup takes a very long time, and, boy, they were right. It seemed like it took month until my files were uploaded – but I don’t know if that’s normal or not. My internet is fast so it shouldn’t be that – but when I contacted their support they just told be to be patient. Mhhh, okay, I am patient but waiting months until my backup completes? What if my hard drive fails now? Thanks to this is site I now know that I should do a file backup on an external hard drive first and then start my internet backup.

    Now a couple of months passed and I just wanted to look for some Carbonite reviews to see what other people think, and I found this site. I think if you need unlimited online backup carbonite might be a good choice but because of their lack of interest in support I can only give them 3 stars.

    1. Cloudwards.net

      Thank you for your review John!
      I agree that online backup can be slow at times. The initial backup can probably be very long, owing to the big amount of data on your computer all waiting to be uploaded at once.

      Though if you feel your internet is way faster than that, one of the reasons for the slow speed could be that Carbonite, itself, throttles your backup speed, as mentioned in the article above. It limits the maximum speed to 2 mbps (until you upload 200 GB in a month), while the average speed is lesser than that of Backblaze and Crashplan. You can check them out if speed is an issue for you.

      Of course there are fruits at the end of path of the strenuous initial backup, you have all your data backed up and subsequent backups will probably be much smaller and faster!

  3. Hi – I just wanted to leave feedback for the carbonite backup program. I purchased the version where I can also backup external hard drives and upgraded for an additional computer (the standard plan only comes with one). I initially thought backup was difficult but the wizard made it pretty easy to get started. As previous reviewers stated the initial backup can take a looooong time so be patient. Once it is done they are much faster and you can really enjoy Carbonite running in the background. I’m not very technical so I appreciate the ease of use of that program though I feel it could run faster at times.

    I have tested Mozy before but I was a little overwhelmed by the features and option so I thought before paying for it I’d rather try out a different service and I’m glad I did.

  4. I’m currently in the process of restoring my files after a hard drive failure, and Carbonite’s claim of having a simple restore process is far from the truth in my case. What I thought would be a simple task is now in it’s second week, with no resolution in sight. My problem, restoring the files so that I could use them, has been escalated to level three support, and I’m now waiting to see if my files can be retrieved and restored on my computer. While the customer service personnel are courteous, they are not very knowledgeable when it comes to explaining why I’m having this problem, and at this point in the process, they’re implying that it may have been caused by the failing hard drive, which makes no sense to me. After a quick search on the net, I noticed that I’m not alone when it comes to this type of “restore” problem, which further erodes my confidence in this product. All I can say is “Buyer beware.” In the future I will invest in an external drive and use the Apple time capsule as my primary backup system.

  5. I’ve used Carbonite for approximately 3 years now with anywhere from 1-3 computers subscribed at a time and have experienced several things good and bad:
    1. The initial backup took a month.
    2. The Carbonite interface software has failed at least 5 times. Reloading it fixed the issue 3 times. I had to call support 2 times and have them remotely “take over” my computer to fix the issue.
    3. When I’ve had to call support, it has taken no less than 45 minutes to get through.
    4. When I needed to restore files it takes a VERY long time to download them back to your computer… I lost 15 gigs of picture files a month ago and I’m still trying to recover them! If my calculations are correct I have 3 months to go!!!! Absolutely unacceptable for a service that I’ve been loyal to for 3 years with 1-3 computers subscribed at any given time.
    5. Carbonite is, however, extremely easy to use when it is working and has never seemed to slow my computer down.

  6. I’ve been a Carbonite customer for several years. Recently I began to develop problems with my hard drive, so I wiped it clean and asked Carbonite to restore the files. I found out two things. First, it’s not an archiving service. I had pictures on my hard drive that I took off to clear up space, thinking they were on the Carbonite drive. But Carbonite deletes files from your backup if it can’t find them on your hard drive after a certain period of time (30 days, I think). So they’re not there. And second, the restore process takes forever and may not work at all. I am on a chat line with customer service right now trying to get my files restored after my old computer bit the dust. The first two tries failed – I got a message that said, “Restore cancelled.” I’ve been in the queue for 35 minutes so far and am #2 with an expected wait time of 23 minutes. Judge for yourself.

  7. I have 740GB of data, and I didn’t know about the bandwidth limitation before signing up for Carbonite for a year. My first 200 GB of data uploaded in about 3 weeks, then it slowed to a crawl. When I realized why and that it would never speed up, (without paying $230 a year for the business plan) I calculated that it would take nearly a year and a half to finish my initial upload. That pretty much makes Carbonite useless for me. If you have less than 200GB, or maybe 250 or 300 GB, it’s fine. Their mobile app is great, and the ability to access your files from any computer is very nice, but many of their competitors offer it as well. I have a few friends who have used Carbonite for years, and they like it, but for me, with my amount of data, it’s not acceptable.

    1. So what have you decided to use? I need to have many gigs of digital images that I want to upload to Carbonite. I actually used an ethernet cable between my router on my computer thinking it would speed up and I have told my computer not to go to sleep and turned off the Bluetooth. I don’t know if I should also turn off the wireless, but I did change the network order what is accessed first by the computer so it is the ethernet as first. Let me know if you have any suggestions. Also I was told if his image is over 4 MB they have to be uploaded manually?
      Pastelli

  8. I ABSOLUTELY WOULD NOT RECOMMEND CARBONITE!!! The mirror image backup not only failed to restore my hard drive, IT CAUSED THE DAMAGE. I purchased a new external hard drive to make this backup. It finished after several hours and I shut down my computer. My computer started to boot from this external drive the very next time it was powered on and corrupted my C drive. I eventually had to take my computer to Best Buy ($199) to run a recovery of my hard drive because it could not be restored from the mirror image. Many of the drivers were either missing or corrupted and the HP drivers would not install properly. The only option was to restore my hard drive to the factory settings. It took me several days and many telephone calls to reinstall all my software, data, and recover my personal settings. CARBONITE COULD NOT HELP ME. They do agree that the computer should not have booted from the mirror image but told me that is was caused by the hardware configuration in my new HP ENVY h8-1440t computer. They offered me a two month extension on my subscription which I did not accept. My offer to Carbonite is to respond to these comments and I will post them along with my review on the Internet.

    PS: I invited Carbonite to respond to my comments but they did not and I am not surprised. Bottom Line: CARBONITE MADE A CLAIM THAT WAS FALSE BUT, WORSE YET, ACTUALLY CAUSED THE PROBLEM!!!!!

    1. Actually, this was not the fault of Carbonite. Abslolutely not. I’ve noticed the last decade or so a lot of occurrences where laptop manufacturers set the BIOS to try to boot up from USB connected devices if they are found. When people forget for example USB sticks in their laptops, they call support cause their computer is not starting up. This is because no operating system was found on the USB device and it stops there. Smarter implementations don’t stop there but continue searching for other boot devices. The easy fix is to disconnect the USB device and the computer reverts back to booting from the hard drive/SSD drive in the computer.

      The issue was in your case that you didn’t know better. You were not aware of this. That you were not aware of this is not necessarily a fault of your own. Computers are complicated and general users just can’t be expected to know every available setting or feature and how they work. When you create a mirror, your system disk that is bootable is now copied exactly on to the USB external drive. You then restarted your computer and the BIOS’s settings were to prioritize USB connected media and so the computer loads that mirrored copy up. Windows on the mirrored copy then proceeds to start various programs and initializes drivers, but all the settings and configurations are expecting a drive in the computer. Things go awry pretty quickly from there which was unlucky for you as in some cases nothing would happen while in others something like this. Where is the blame? Good question. The device manufacturers for not setting a standard or for changing this from what was once default without proper warning? This setting is a security issue for us in the IT business as anyone can just connect a USB stick quickly, start up or restart a machine and insert malware, steal data or anything else they want (almost like in the movies). This is why we implement full disk encryption these days, or any security minded company with good IT administration.

      But at the end of the day, Carbonite is not really at fault. Granted they can have a warning or some line of text to remove the drive but this is a setting that’s not in their control and it’s still just random what laptops do this and as such they can’t be blamed for something that’s completely out of their control and nowhere close to be an expected standard setting.

  9. Your customer service is horrible! I tried a chat to resolve an issue and was on chat for 40 mins. and did not resolve the issue. It was determined I needed a technician…I waited 20 mins. for a tech. and couldn’t wait any longer…I’m on the phone now waiting for someone to talk to…so far I’ve been on hold 20 mins. Who has time for this? You need to hire more people! Pretty sure I’ll be looking for another back up service when my subscription expires.

  10. I’m using Firefox 24.0 and I am unable to select your review options so I will put them here in text:

    Ease-of-use 5 stars – very easy to use, easy to add videos and other files

    Performance 1 star – throttling ruins it for me since my backup is 375GB or so (I’m backing up audio recordings and my music videos that go with them)

    Support 5 stars – they were quick to get back to me and tell me they could do nothing

    Software 3 stars – would be nice if they had a simple and advanced view

    Overall 3 stars – I have no choice but to cancel because it’s almost been 10 months and my backup has not completed

  11. I signed up for Carbonite on March 26th. I have about 500 gigabytes of photos on my computer. Eight months later Carbonite still had not completed the backup with only slightly over half of it completed. I had written Carbonite on a few occasions complaining about it and did not receive a satisfactory response. At one point I asked for a refund and was told that Carbonite did not give refunds. Finally I uninstalled Carbonite and I am now looking for a more reliable backup service.

  12. Like any warranty service, which is what this essentially is, it looks great until you have to use it. I thought it was copying both my C and D drives and now, after THREE DAYS of retrieving backups, none of my D drive files appeared and the ones that have are so contorted in appearance that it’s pretty much a total aggravation. Save yourself the money and buy some external hard drives. That’s what I’m doing from now on.

  13. Backing up the files is a snap, restoring the files specially to a new one is not very intuitive and there should be better ways to do it. Like synching up the files with a local restore (much faster). The SW has hiccupped a couple of times for no reason and caused full back-ups again, which we know by now it is very slow even with a superfast Internet connection and computer. Lately (new sw?) it is causing terrible slow downs in my PC. I have a fairly fast i7 system, SSD drive, etc but now if I am working in an app (Internet Explorer, 3DS Max, File Explorer, etc) that requires file access, the software will hang sometimes or be very, very slow responding to the file access request. I have tried some of their “fixes” but no luck so far. Support? What Support. My backups are about 182 GB and if I hit 200 GB I don’t want to think how much slower it is going to be. I am to the point of letting this subscription expire (UGH!! I just renewed) and figure out a better way to safe keep my files offline.

  14. Had you asked me about Carbonite when I owned my XP, I would have said glorious things about it. After I upgraded to W7, I encountered more problems than ever before. My computer stopped responding so frequently that I almost took an axe to the thing out of sheer frustration. I had to reboot constantly. It happened in every program including my web browsers. At the time, I did not realize the stop-responding problem was due to Carbonite until my subscription expired. After several weeks after it expired my computer was humming like a baby with no glitches! No more problems with stop-responding! During the restoration process after I switched over to a new computer with W7, Carbonite not only duplicated the files but triplicated them! I had more data on my new computer than imaginable. It would not complete the restoration process and would need to start all over again, hence creating triplicates. (Yet most of the files ‘were’ restored.) I don’t think I will ever use Carbonite again. My little external drive has done just fine and has not caused any slow down or stop-responding.

  15. Service is slow, takes forever to back up or restore files. And try to cancel a subscription. They somehow renewed a subscription using a cancelled credit card from Capital One. Just charged it to the new card. After numerous emails we still haven’t resolved the problem. Will contact Attorney General’s office next. Do yourself a favor and buy an external drive for backup.

  16. I used Carbonite for creating a mirror image locally and for remote backup of files. The remote backup of files seems to work fine, although I have never tried to do a restore. I can access my files remotely so at least I know that they are there. After many months of using the Carbonite mirror image software and it generate messages saying that my image was up-to-date, I began getting error messages and finally it shut down altogether. I then contact Carbonite support, which admitted that FOR A COMPUTER UPGRADED TO WINDOWS 8.1, CARBONITE’S MIRROR IMAGE PRODUCT DOES NOT WORK. I have been contacting them repeatedly for months and they have no forecast of when this product will be fixed. Now I am questioning whether I can believe anything that they say.

  17. Some time ago I signed up with Carbonite. I had two large files. One was pictures and the other was documents of various subjects. All in all I had 3,000 files and I had a backup of all of them, with the pictures being the most important. I had photos of my kids when they were learning to walk and all through their lives. Now my youngest boy is 45 years old! So you can see how I had so many photos.
    I will sum this up as short as I can. I had the occasion of a hard drive failure and their was no way to retrieve files and photos from the hard drive. I thought that I was in the clear because I had Carbonite. I attempted to retrieve what I could [there was nothing] and I found that the backup was blank! I called Carbonite and they checked the backup. The conclusion from Carbonite was that there was a backup but the backup files were blank! I asked what I had done wrong. They said, “you did nothing wrong, the system failed] All was gone. What did Carbonite do? Nothing, Money back like the ads proclaimed. Nothing and that is still like yesterday to me when I heard, “The system failed.”

  18. Have had nothing but computer problems since Carbonite Online Backup techs installed an “update” to their software a few months ago.
    Carbonite now causes program lock-ups, slow PC performance, system freezes, blue screen, shutdown or startup problems, and installation errors.
    Their customer support is abysmal…basically telling me oh well…so sorry.
    They Screw up Your computer, do nothing to resolve the problem and then tell you sorry…no refunds

    1. Videos are not backed up here. Also when you retrieve your info you get double and triple your files back which takes several days to download, then your computer runs very slowly while you clean out all the duplicate files.

  19. My wife’s Vista home tower crashed. (Please do not laugh at me ’cause she was in Vista: All she does is MS Word docs and PowerPoint presentations and email – and all was well … ) After determining it was a boot disk failure, I went out and bought her a new Windows 10-already-loaded desktop – with a bunch of RAM. Not only has Carbonite been helpful and QUICKLY accessible on the phone, but when I told them that I HAVE to get my wife’s .pst file with CONTACTS and old email downloaded ASAP, they went online with me, took control of my machine, and set it all up. YES – it is taking more than 24 hours to restore … but as I watch the “restore” screen and play with the new machine, ALL OUR DATA AND DOCS are comin’ back to us. Would I like the “complete restore” to take an hour or two? OF COURSE. But I expect this all to restore tomorrow morning, and wel will be back to business.

  20. We contracted the crypto virus and it corrupted a large number of files that represented thousands of “man” hours. If not for the sequential backup of Carbonite we would have been just about out of business. The best $$ I’ve ever spent. Anyone that doesn’t use this service that has essential files that cannot be lost is either insane or not aware of the product

  21. I have been a Carbonite customer for many years, and they have consistently manged to screw things up. I would NOT recommend this service, not for anybody. It does not work as advertised.
    Most of the posts above have noted the extremely low speed, so all I’ll do is add my confirmation to that. It crawls at best, on a good day, going downhill, with the wind behind it…. The rest of the time, it is just painfully slow.
    A couple of times over the years I have been able to restore files that were corrupted, deleted, overwritten, or otherwise lost, and that has been useful. From that point of view, it has worked, but only partially, and painfully slowly.
    However, now that I need to do a complete restore for the first time (hard disk crash), I have discovered that there is nothing “complete” about it! There are numerous files missing from the “backup”, which is not actually a backup at all! I have now learned that Carbonite does NOT actually backup your files in the sense that you and I use the term “backup”, nor in the sense that IT professionals use it. Instead, Carbonite just stores some of your files temporarily, provided that you do not lose them….
    Unbelievably, if you have a file in your backup and then you happen to lose the original from your own disk, Carbonite will then delete the backup! Yes, read that again: That really is how it works.
    If you backup a file to Carbonite, and you keep the original on your disk, then Carbonite also keeps the “backup”. But if for some reason the original file disappears from your own disk, after 30 days Carbonite will remove that file from your “backup” on their storage! I simply cannot fathom such a stupid backup strategy: What purpose does a backup serve if the backup copy is DELIBERATELY deleted when the original “protected” file is lost? In what twisted, mangled, distorted usage of the word “backup” does that make sense?
    When I asked them about this, they told me “Read the fine print: it’s in the agreement you signed”. When I asked how a backup that doesn’t actually backup anything could be legally marketed as a backup service, they said “Read the fine print: it’s in the agreement you signed”. When I threatened to expose their misleading advertising, and report them to the advertising standards authority for advertising their product as “backup” when it is not a backup at all, they said I should “Read the fine print: it’s in the agreement you signed”. That`s the best I could get out of them. It seems to be their standard response to all complaints about their product not working the way any sane individual would expect when they see the word “backup”.
    Now that I am restoring my “complete backup”, I have come across yet another major insanity issue: When you start your restore, you get the option to select which files you want to prioritize, so they get restored first. Nice feature. But once it actually starts restoring YOU CANNOT CHANGE THE PRIORITY! If you suddenly need to restore a specific file urgently, there is no way, nothing at all you can do, to get that one back sooner. In fact, when you select that additional file that you need right now, unbelievably it gets tagged on to the END of the line, and will be the very last file to get restored. Given then aforementioned extreeeeemly slow product, it could therefore be days, or weeks, or months before you see that urgent file….
    Right now, the “restore manager” window of Carbonite is proudly proclaiming that it will be able to complete this task for me “in a few days”. It has been running for a week so far, and has managed to complete a whopping 18% of the restore in that time. At this rate, it should be done in about a month and a half…. but considering that Carbonite only keeps your files for 30 days, it looks like they will screw me over yet again by deleting the part of my “backup” that has not yet been restored at the end of 30 days, and if I complain about that additional idiocy, doubtless they will then tell me to “Read the fine print: it’s in the agreement you signed”.

    Bottom line: Do not waste your money on this product. It does not do what it claims to do, it is extremely slow, it is very stupidly designed, and it will not give you back what you thought it had backed up, because it never did actually do a “backup” at all. And if you read the fine print, you’ll find that there really is nothing at all that you can do about it: they totally wash their hands of any responsibility for your data…

  22. Totally agree with the “not as advertised” and that they wash their hands of it. Tonight I went to restore my system after a blue screen, taking it for repairs,at a reputable repair shop, and the data was wiped out and the OS had to be reinstalled. They told me it was good I had cloud backup-WRONG. When I went to restore, I learned that I was no longer an active member. Not only that, they had purged all my data. Nothing left. I received no renewal notices, warnings about a forthcoming complete purge, nothing. I save all my emails just for situations like this. I asked them how on Earth this could happen, especially from a company who claims to sell the peace of mind that supposedly comes with cloud “backup” and there’s no trace of them ever communicating with me that my account was about to expire. I asked them how they can just carelessly let customers’ acounts expire (wouldn’t you think they would care just from a customer retention perspective alone?) I also asked how they could unconscionably purge data without notification. Both of these types of notifications should happen MULTIPLE times, one would think, from a company selling security. They were cold and uncaring, offered no remedy and only an apology when I said they seemed cold and uncaring. I chatted with a supervisor, same result and no attempts whatsoever to keep me as a customer.

  23. Carbonite does not backup anything in the user’s “AppData/LocalLow” directory. I therefore lost two years of mapping work that I created using Google Earth, as Google Earth stores its user files in AppData/LocalLow. Multiple support calls with Carbonite confirm that there is absolutely no way to back up anything in LocalLow. I don’t know what other valuable files might be here, but the only way to save them is to use a different product.

  24. I have been with Carbonite since the mid 2000s. I went into it to retrive some old photos and found that info only goes back to 2011. I wrote and asked what’s up with that. Here is the partial answer:

    Carbonite: Hello Ginger and thank you for contacting Carbonite Customer Care.
    I’m a Technical Support Professional, and I’ll be happy to assist you!
    So long as those files from the year previous to 2011 are on your computer, they would still be in our backup server. If they are not, they have most likely been purged via our data retention policy. My apologies for any uncertainty. Carbonite is intended to be a backup solution rather than a data archiving solution. This means that deleted files would be removed from your backup 30 days after they are deleted, per our retention policy.

    As long as your backed up files remain present on your computer, we’ll keep them backed up for the entire duration of your active subscription.

    Me: That is their answer. So all those photos that I had placed on Carbonite are purged. The documents don’t necessarily matter but the photos do. I paid their yearly subscriptions for over 5 years for nothing. I ask what determined that all my files were purged in 2011. Haven’t heard back.

    So, if you don’t keep the data on your computer, they will be purged. Too bad; so sad.

  25. Carbonite’s pitch is that your backup would be simple, automatic, don’t-have-to-think-about-it. I have found out, however, that if for some reason your files aren’t backed up, Carbonite won’t alert you for 14 days! Yes, that means you could get hit with ransomware today and find out none of the work, photos, whatever you’ve done over the past 2 weeks could be recovered. That’s insane. I want to be notified if even ONE DAY of files did not back up.

    Carbonite told me there’s no option or setting to change this. They said if I’m concerned, I should log in and check every day to make sure my files are backed up. Unbelievable.

    We are all so busy, we do not need one more thing to remember or log into EVERY DAY. The whole point of automatic online back up is to have peace of mind and to put it out of your mind. If I have to worry about this and log in every day, I might as well do a manual backup.

    This is complete mission failure, in my view.

  26. Carbonite is ending support for the Mirror Image feature on October 15, 2018. Starting October 16, 2017, Carbonite will remove the Mirror Image feature from Plus and Prime accounts on a rolling basis, upon renewal. Mirror Image will be removed from all remaining accounts on the end-of-support date of October 15, 2018.

    I would invite users to share their feedback about this decision with Carbonite. Personally, I have had to use Mirror Image to recover a crashed HD – and it worked fine. Despite what Carbonite says, terminating it appears to be a play to get more money – even if we have pre-paid for a subscription (that includes this service) well beyond October 2018. While the T&C’s may technically allow them to do this, and while it’s good they have given plenty of advanced notice, it is nevertheless ammo to consider other backup services.

    1. And by the way, while you can recover an entire crashed HD over the WAN – that’s just it – it’s over the WAN (i.e. LONG restore time). With Mirror Image, you can rebuild the HD locally, then use the incremental in the cloud to “catch up”. Mirror Image is a useful feature. Too bad Carbonite is eliminating it.

  27. I am very unhappy with Carbonite, and even moreso with the local yokel computer repairman, Husky Logic, here on Grand Island, NY, who got me into this. Its very simple. When my computer broke down, Carbonite had only backed up 7gb of the over 300 gb of lost data. I would have lost practically everything were it not for another resource in place.

  28. I am very unhappy with Carbonite.
    I have a personal laptop and external drIve backed up.
    The external drive ‘died’. I hadn’t used the laptop for a while. Got the ‘we are going to delete all files as you’ve not synced for 30 days’ message. I confirmed not to delete. No reply. Two web mail requests. No reply. Tweet. No reply. Called. Can’t help until someone can log in to my laptop.
    Carbonite has deleted every single digital file and photo I have saved for about 20 years (old docs were scanned on a while ago).
    No photos of family members who have passed away. Nothing left.
    I am devastated.
    That 30 day policy is a huge risk for users.
    What if you go on holidays? Get really sick for a while. Have an emergency etc and don’t think to log in your computer for 30 days. Call call your backup provider due to all the other priorities in life at that point in time?
    Too bad.

    1. I uninstall Carbonite during periods where I was unable to meet all the stringent 30 day requirements. I left Carbonite uninstalled for 1 yr., then reinstalled and all the data was still present. It seems that if you don’t have Carbonite installed, Carbonite is not able to verify any disconnections, syncing or other conditions that would violate the 30 day rule. At least, that is my guess. BTW… make certain that all the 30 day requirements are met BEFORE you uninstall. And, yes… that is a nuisance.

      Unfortunately, this company is not friendly about the 30 day rule “stuff” like they use to be when I started using them about 10+ yrs. ago.

  29. Carbonite

    Customer since 2009, in 8 years, I never had any worries, except the day I lost my data and wished, normally recovering object of the service paid for 8 years.

    This is where you really discover an inefficient backup service and incompetent customer service.

    I spend the 4 nights (jet lag obliges) with the technical service:
    – Restoring my 300GB to 60-100KB / s, more than a month to restore => convoluted response from customer service but it’s like that for everyone,
    – Impossibility to access data because I use special characters (é, è, …), incredible in France => Customer service response it is not normal to archive files with special characters,
    – Old files are restored more than one year => Answer, you save files that do not need: exe, dll, … I have some tools but to say that a backup service does not work well by saving unsupported file formats,
    – More than 3700 files randomly distributed in directories have not been restored, I ask the customer service how to do, and they tell me to restore them individually by hand from the website,

    I paid 8 years of backup service at home, for one hand not to get my files, have directories full of old files to re-trill and lost evenings with incompetnt technical service

    Just avoid, run away. Hoping you do not make the same mistake as me.

    Guillaume

  30. Just testing Carbonite and Backblaze.
    Carbonite is WAY too slow. There is no chance to see your backup speed, but for testing pusposes I deleted a 40 MB file and tried to restore it. 10 Minutes. It took 10 MINUTES to rstore that file…
    The only good thing is that files can be restored to the place where they were saved before. But that’s it. Backblaze is way faster. And cheaper.

  31. Very unprofessional. Our charity has been using Carbonite for years. This is the first time we needed to get our files, as our computer broke. This is Friday, December 29. We have been told we need to wait until January 2 for them to even get started to find out if they even have the files we wanted backed up.

  32. For me (on a Mac), Carbonite was horrible. I tried switching to Carbonite after Crashplan, which I’d used for years, discontinued their “for home” offering (and Crashplan actually suggested Carbonite). The backup is very slow — it struggled for two weeks and never quite finished backing up the last 20GB of files, although I have a decent (10Mbps upload) connection at home and a very fast one (>100Mbps upload) at work. What was a deal-breaker for me, though, was that the Carbonite upload daemon was using 90-100% of one of my CPU cores *at all times*. Their support told me that this was normal (!!) and would continue even after the initial backup. They suggested the problem was that my 2016 Macbook Pro was not powerful enough because it only had 2 cores (although they had assured me that Carbonite anyway can only use a single core!). Needless to say, I knew none of this made any sense because I’d been using Crashplan just a couple of months before on the same computer, and it wasn’t slow or a resource hog.

    So I don’t know, maybe Carbonite is better on Windows. Or maybe there is an issue with my computer that their support failed to find. But in any case, this wasn’t OK for me. If anyone else has the same problem, the alternative I found is Backblaze; I’ve been using it for just 5 days and it’s already a much better experience (it just finished backing up all 200GB of my files, which Carbonite was struggling for weeks with).

    1. Carbonite on mac uses 1 core, it is what’s referred to as “single threaded”. (at least the old version, 1.x)

      What can become complicated is that MacOS uses its software to distribute the load across the CPU, and the resource monitor uses 100% usage to indicate that all of one core is being used up.

      If you had 8 cores, you could see a program that is “multi-threaded” use 800% in theory. I don’t understand why Apple chooses to display it this way because I consider that confusing.

      In any case, the speed of your CPU, aka “Clock speed” matters way more to single threaded processes than having multiple cores does. Unfortunately, laptops, because they are laptops, do not have high clock speeds in their CPU, because they aren’t expected to run CPU intensive tasks, or assume that anything you run will be multi-threaded, which isn’t always the case. A backup is always going to be an intensive task that you are asking your computer to do.

      This is especially apparent on older apple computers with old Core2Duo cpus who have enormous backups (>200GB) but don’t leave their computer on long enough and then the backup doesn’t complete in a timely manner. Maybe backblaze is multi-threaded, but I have no idea about that.

  33. Carbonite’s unlimited data storage is NOT UNLIMITED. At least, it is not in practical terms.

    What Carbonite does is created “check files” (for lack of a better phrase) that are intended to get larger the more data you upload (…within a short period of time). Once you hit anywhere from 1.5T to 3T of data you will see data uploads go to a crawl then fail (…especially if you attempt to upload that within the first few weeks or month – but, this is not the case if you upload over many years).

    The reason data uploads fail (or slow) is because Carbonite “check files” are created and enlarged every hour-ish (once you hit about 1.0T). And, the “check files” alone will take an hour to upload. At which point, a larger “check file” is recreated – again. In essence, you get caught in an endless loop with no data being uploaded because of too large “check files” (…which are hidden files/directories no less).
    – Note: These “check files” also get smaller over an extended time if you stop/slow uploading data for storage.

    How much data you can upload depends upon the speed of your data service provider. Therefore, Carbonite can claim it is your service provider that is limiting the upload rather than the fact that Carbonite is intentionally creating too large of “check files” for uploads to be completed.

    Overall, Carbonite is a good relatively expensive data storage provider so long as you do not actually use storage beyond a scope they see as reasonable… and … you have a fast internet service provider. My estimates is that Carbonite runs at 40%-60% of your service providers upload speed. And, you simply can not upload large amounts of data initially but will require years to get data saved once you hit the 1.5T – 3.0T data amount range.

    Bottom line, until the term “unlimited” actually means unlimited … there are better (less expensive) options for cloud storage.
    .

    1. 1.5-3TB is excessive, and is outside of the original scope of what the software was designed to handle (20-200GB)

      There are other factors such as:
      1. How fast is your CPU/RAM/Hard Drive
      2. How long are you leaving the machine on for and how many files have changed since the last interval
      3. Is this 3TB of 20 files or 3TB AND 3 million files? If it’s the former, it should be fairly fast on recent (<5 years) hardware, if it's the latter, it will not run great, period.

      Like, this is one of the reasons why Carbonite doesn't back up stuff like temporary or system files, because it just adds more and more stuff to the database that it needs to double check and making sure it's backing up correctly.

      tl;dr: you have a backup that falls within something like the top 0.01% of backup sizes for that product leve.

  34. In my experience Carbonite gets bogged down with the uploading of data, to the point the number of files for backup only increases. When the list is auto refreshed, all c:\ drive files get priority, so files on my 2nd HDD will never be backed up. Interested to read Joe’s explanation of this issue, as Carbonite don’t admit any link on their part to a slow backup speed. After 5 days of only backing up 14Mb of data I tried iDrive and uploaded 700Gb of data in 5 days, same internet connection.
    It also show a Status of “All Your Files are Safely Backed Up” but look in Settings and it told me 12,000 files are waiting to be backed up – and the programme has been idle for 45 minutes.
    If you have very limited data to backup it may work but an unlimited backup that is this slow, is not capable of delivering it’s promise. I would strongly recommend looking elsewhere for a provider.

  35. The Carbonite program is a memory/CPU hog. The only reasonable way to use it is to delay backups until after midnight. Otherwise, your computer slows to a crawl and becomes essentially unusable.
    I have had to use the recovery service only once, thankfully. To restore my approximately 1 TB of data, their system had to transmit for weeks. If you have a spare computer, you should recover to that one and reload what you need to get your primary computer functional again.
    To recover a single file that has been corrupted is an impossible task. If you have 30,000 to 40,000 files backed up, you have to manually scroll through the list of all files in order to find the one you are looking for. And page refresh is agonizingly slow. I used that feature once and never went back.
    Carbonite serves a valuable function in the event your house burns down and everything is lost. Otherwise, it’s faster and cheaper to archive to a 2-TB or 3-TB backup hard drive connected to your computer.
    Carbonite renews your service automatically, but they don’t tell you that they have raised the price. Their promotional material, including the advertisements on this site as I write this, still claims to offer service at $5.00 per month (I originally paid $59.99 per year). My renewal for “basic” service was billed at $71.99. That’s a shady business practice in my opinion.
    Once my current subscription expires, I will be on the hunt for something better.

  36. I was on an auto-renew for Carbonite every two years for a home plan. 120 days into my second two year plan, Carbonite stopped offering mobile back-up. When I called to request a partial refund on my last two years to stop service early and switch to Idrive, I was told that Carbonite Mobile was a free service and was not what I was paying for. I explained that the combination of mobile back-up and computer back-up is what drew me to use Carbonite over its competitors to begin with. They refused to offer the refund, saying I was beyond the 30 day refund period. I explained that the decision to cancel mobile back-up was made 120 days after my last payment, so how could I have cancelled on time? They didn’t seem to care. Nice company – holding my data hostage to collect another year of payments. Would never recommend to anyone.

  37. I thought Carbonite was backing up all of my files. According to tech support, it wasn’t backing up any of them. Details below.

    I have been using Carbonite for several years. From time to time, I got an email telling me that there are vast numbers of files backed up. I had never received a notice about any problems.

    If you’ve used Carbonite, you know that there’s an icon to indicate when a backup is pending. I’ve noticed many files “pending”. But hey, there were lots of green icons for “backed up”.

    Anyhow, one day, Windows notified me that my hard drive was dying. “No problem” I thought. I’ll just log into my Carbonite account and download onto a new hard drive. This is when the surprises began.

    It turns out, there were tens of thousands of files “pending”–including several years of family photos. I called tech support. First, they told me it was bandwidth. After this was ruled out, they changed the story. According to tech support, my account only backs up the C: drive.

    So, if you happen to use an SSD for program files and a standard HD for data, guess what? None of your data will be backed up.

    I asked why the files showed as “pending” if they were never going to be backed up. Apparently, my software was out of date. But, I had never been asked or told to update it.

    Curiously, the FAQ page on the Carbonite sales page says the most basic account will back up “all the files on one PC”. When challenged on this point, tech support sent me to a link somewhere else on the site that states that only one hard drive will be backed up, and that non-compliant users will be notified that they need to change (I was never notified).

    I don’t want to suggest that you can’t back up your files with Carbonite. But if you do, you’d better keep a really close eye on them, forever. (I did keep a close eye on mine in the beginning. But, it seemed like a waste of time after a while.) For me, this defeats the purpose of a “set it and forget it” backup. And, I can’t help but feel mislead by the website.

  38. Found out today – almost by accident – that Carbonite is discontinuing their hard drive back up service. Obviously, they have a right to do that. The “but” is that I asked for a credit or refund for the remaining months that we prepaid (i.e. May of 2019 for my wife and November of 2019 for me) and yep they have refused to provide a credit or refund. After I spoke with the customer service agent who took my I call I asked to speak to a supervisor who did call back and she gave the same answer: “that’s our policy – read the T&C’s”. Would love to have an in person w/ someone in the “C” suite. What kind of company is this?

    1. Cloudwards.net

      Thanks for the note, Jeff. We’ll look into that and update the article.

    2. Cloudwards.net

      According to the Carbonite website, external drive backup is still supported. Carbonite support also denied the company was dropping it.

      1. The user is confused. They’re dropping Mirror Image. They’re not dropping external hard drive backup.

  39. Purchased a couple of years ago for my Mac
    ===================
    Warning Warning Warning
    ===================
    It would not update, so I got another program for backup. But I cannot open the preference panel to uninstall the program.
    So when I’m working in any other program, The RENEW CARBONITE window pops up and takes over. What ever I am typing just goes away. I have to click on the program I am using to continue typing. VERY ANNOYING
    Not good for students, businesses, or people who type a lot.
    I have watched their videos and looked at their webpages but I cannot delete the program.

  40. Long-time Carbonite user (silly me!), and after upgrading to a new notebook, I just discovered yet another huge failure with this product: It modifies your Windows Power Plan without telling you, so that your notebook will NEVER sleep. I found a hidden article on their website, which says: “the installer automatically changes the power settings of your Windows computer for the initial backup so that your computer remains on when the computer is plugged into a power source.” That’s not true. it changed it so that it will not sleep, EVER, regardless of whether it is running on power or on battery. Which caused the computer to wake up and carry on running when it was inside my backpack! I shut the lid, since I had Windows set to put the computer into sleep mode when I close do that: the computer appeared to go to sleep (the screen went black, hard disk stopped), I put it in the backpack, but it then “woke up” again, and carried on running, inside the backpack! Thus overheating wildly, before thermal protection kicked in and shut it down. Fortunately! If not, Carbonite would be buying me a new computer round about now… I noticed that the backpack was getting very warm, so opened it to find an inferno inside the Notebook compartment. After the computer cooled down, I started it up again, and eventually found the problem: Carbonite’s hidden setting that cannot be changed, and prevents the computer from actually sleeping, even when it seems to be.

    The article also says: “After the initial backup is complete, Carbonite will automatically change the power settings of your computer back to the way they were.” That is also not true! Even after the initial backup had completed (which took about three MONTHS! Yes, months….), Carbonite did not change the settings back again: they are still there. There is a profile on my computer now, called “Carbonite Backup” that cannot be deleted, and cannot be de-selected, or changed. Every time I select either the “Balanced” or ” High performance” profiles, it immediately changes back to “Carbonite” as soon as I take the focus off that setting window to another window. There is no setting in the Registry that can fix this, there is no method for removing that prfile, or even for adjusting it: whatever changes I make to that profile (such as telling it to ALWAYS sleep when the lid is closed) are totally ignored, and the computer refuses to sleep. I have tried everything, including contacting Carbonite support, but they don’t even bother acknowledging my e-mails: I assume because they know it is broken and don’t know how to fix it!

    So, be warned! DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT IF YOU HAVE A NOTEBOOK AND WANT IT TO SLEEP WHEN YOU CLOSE THE LID!

    It does not work as advertised, or as claimed by the manufacturer.

    Caveat Emptor.

  41. Hi all,
    When Carbonite discontinued their mirroring back-up, I cancelled my many years’ subscription with a year of service remaining. Carbonite refused to refund the prepaid year. So not only did they change the services I paid for, they refused to refund the payment for the mirroring service I pay for. I strongly discourage anyone from using Carbonite.

  42. Just testing Carbonite and Backblaze.
    Carbonite is WAY too slow. There is no chance to see your backup speed, but for testing pusposes I deleted a 40 MB file and tried to restore it. 10 Minutes. It took 10 MINUTES to rstore that file…
    The only good thing is that files can be restored to the place where they were saved before. But that’s it. Backblaze is way faster. And cheaper.

  43. Carbonite Warning!!
    It took me 3 months to backup my 1Tb external drie on carbonite running it sometime 24hrs a day. What wasnt explained – until it happened- was that… one day I plugged in my external drive and the computer without my knowledge assigned it a different drive letter. I discovered this some 2 hours later and manually changed it back. However the complete backup I had made (taking 3 months!) had disappeared!! So be warned, when it works the interface etc are nice. It is slow! If your computer assigns your external drive a different letter – even temporarily- the previous backup of that drive will be LOST. It doenst keep it for the stated 30 days! Its gone! Not suitable for business travellers using an external drive where sometimes random drive letters are assigned to external drives when the computer if started.

  44. Carbonite is super slow… like 2-3 day behind. So if I have a hard drive fail… I will loose 2-3 days of work!!

  45. I just got off the phone after a SUPER frustrating conversation with Carbonite. Here I am, a year after purchasing a subscription, and my hard drive is still not backed up. I don’t leave my computer on 24/7, but it is on all day and into the evening, and I still am not backed up. They wouldn’t refund me for the year either.

  46. I have used Mozy Backup for many years. It was a very good product. Today I have been forced to switch to Carbonite. Carbonite can’t backup the “ProgramData” folder of my Windows 7 system. Carbonite is completey useless for me.

  47. AVOID CARBONITE AT ALL COSTS!!! Over the past month, I have had the worst customer service experience with Carbonite via Mozy, which they own. Earlier this year, I noticed Mozy returning a “red dot” on my Mac, but when I clicked “backup now” it would appear to be running a backup, so I figured it was just because my computer was not always connected to the internet. In May, I received a notification that all users would be migrated to Carbonite “over the next several months.” I never received ANY additional message from Carbonite, and backups were saying the last successful one was in May! Finally in November I decided to take action. I emailed support about the fact that I had not been able to backup for several months, and their response was that this error was a known issue and “we do not yet have an estimated time as to when the update will come out with this fix,” but that if they ever found a solution, they would email me! 😀 Amazing! When I responded that this was unacceptable since it meant the ONLY feature of the software was disabled, they said they “placed you on the list to be migrated to Carbonite”. (Wasn’t I already on that list, as of May?) The resulting email from Carbonite said that in 30 days my software would be automatically updated. I asked if it could be done sooner and was told that no, I had to wait 30 more days to have a backup. Guess what? After 30 days, NOTHING HAPPENED. I reached out to both Mozy AND Carbonite support this time. Carbonite support never responded, except to say they received my request. Mozy support said “it should be all set and running for you soon”. That was the last straw. I set up Backblaze, uninstalled Mozy, and in less than 24 hours ALL of my files were backed up, almost like they’re supposed to be! Now, when I reached out to Mozy to request a refund, I was told “the most recent renewal is outside of our refund policy”, despite the fact that I purchased two years of service for $209.79 on December 29, 2017 and received just under 5 months of backups during that time. All I can say is… steer clear!! Backblaze is a great (and less expensive!) alternative and seems to be doing a fantastic job!

  48. Carbonite is the worst piece of crap ever. I have had to uninstall and reinstall countless times. Anything that goes wrong, that is the solution they give you. It f***ing takes forever. Now I can’t even get it to reinstall. Waste of my time and money, I really miss CrashPlan except they were the idiots that recommended Carbonite 🙁

  49. I’ve been a Carbonite reseller for several years. I’m now moving away from Carbonite after a client experienced an issue with the program on several Windows 10 computers. Downloaded files, and files saved locally from email attachments, were not getting automatically backed up. These same files couldn’t be manually added to the backup as the Carbonite context menu was missing on these files And that is the only way to manually add files to the backup.
    Carbonite was unable to resolve the issue.

    1. If the context menu was missing from these files, likely they were getting marked as “system” or “temporary” files, which Carbonite hard-ignores. You’ll have to clear the flag from the files to get carbonite to see them, or stop using whatever program you’re using to download attachments that’s marking this as those file attributes.

  50. I have been using Carbonite for a few years. One thing that has always aggravated me; it doesn’t back up videos….or didn’t. Now I see they do 1 TB of back up; easily enough to back up all my videos, but they have never informed me of this. So can I back up my videos now? I’ve tried to contact them, and all I get is a plethora of articles. I’m not a college professor, so just for the fact that they are so unhelpful, I’m off. I feel very put out by them….Grrrr!

  51. Just off the telephone with their customer service department. If I could send them a survey of how I was handled by Tushi and Stephen F. it would be an “F”. I cancelled my account several years ago and just discovered they were still billing me for an unused account. They could see that I was billed for an unused account and wanted me to tell them the account number on the old credit card used. Bottom line is they would not refund my money. DO NOT USE THEM. THEY ARE NOT A REPUTABLE COMPANY. THEIR PLAN IS TO MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE TO REFUND MONEY WHEN THEY MAKE A MISTAKE.

  52. Carbonite User Rating

    Not recommended! If you have OneDrive files in your backup list it will just hang. They don’t publicise this or give any online help on the matter but will own up to it if you take the time to call customer support.

  53. Carbonite User Rating

    I used to love the IDEA of carbonite. Now that I’m in a customer relations nightmare with them…not so much. They auto charged me from an account I set up SIX years ago. I did not want it now, and they gave me no advance notice of the charge. Because I am moving none of my information is the same so they are even sending emails to old accounts. Their service people are sending me obtuse unproductive emails to my phone without giving me the refund I have been asking for. Because I’m in the middle of moving I do not have the credit card receipt to fight the charge that way. Carbonite has negated 6 years of happy service with this piss poor handling of my customer service needs.

  54. Carbonite User Rating

    I am an unwilling migratee from MozyHome.

    I have one pc with 2 internal drives. Carbonite thinks that’s 2 computers and that I need a business account. Carbonite does not offer a local backup.

    Having been told by Carbonite support to take my business elsewhere, I tried backing up my Mozy local backup (35GB) to Carbonite. Not only did it take 8 days, it turned out that the Carbonite backup was missing 2,000 files and 0.2GB of data were missing, despite its software saying the backup was complete.

    So no local backup, and an online backup that cannot be relied on.

  55. Carbonite User Rating

    I was forced onto Carbonite after Crashplan shut down, but I was willing to give it a shot. The #1 problem for me is that it’s too aggressive, backing up files while I’m using them! Crashplan had an option for this and Carbonite’s VSS is supposed to prevent it, but it doesn’t relly work. It’s screwed me up many times. For example, I’ll be working on a report in Word, go to save, and get an error that the file is in use elsewhere (stupid Carbonite!!). What finally made me write this comment is that I created a folder, added some things to it, and then went back to rename the folder, only to get an error that it’s in use (stupid Carbonite is already backing it up!). This happens all the time. It’s gotten to the point where I’m constantly strategizing how long to turn off Carbonite, which sort-of defeats the purpose. It interupts my productivity, sucks up bandwidth, and frankly, I’ve only used it once or twice to find a previous version of a file. That was nice, but I’m not sure it’s worth all the disruption (plus the annual cost). Before paying another year, I try out the old external drive and DVDs again.

  56. Carbonite User Rating

    I was with Mozy server backup which was sold to Carbonite. For many years, I never had a problem with Mozy and they are tech support was open 24/7. With Carbonite, I continually have errors. I just got another one and found that their business server tech support is closed!

  57. Carbonite User Rating

    I have Carbonite and just had a drive fail on me. I started the restore process through the software, which finds all my files, but the download speed is 1mbps or less.
    Carbonite says they take full advantage of your internet speed. I have the fastest connection from Comcast, with speeds between 200 and 400 mbps.

    So I opted for the courier drive solution. When requesting that, they don’t tell you to uninstall Carbonite from your computer, but you need to do that. I found out after I waited three days for a tracking number and called to see what was going on.

    On the restore drive they sent was all my files, but there was a fairly major problem. When downloading the files, Carbonite preserves the save and creation dates, but on the restore drive, all files will have a creation and saved date of when they were written to the drive. So when you have, say 750 GB of files (like I do) spanning about 20 years (like I do) none of them will have the proper save date.

    That is unacceptable. I found a program called “file date corrector” that mines date data from the meta tags inside files… if they have them. That’s one solution, but misses a lot of files.

    So now I’m downloading it all again… 1 mbps. I also bought an NAS with RAID drives, and I will find a different cloud backup solution as soon as I get my data back… in about three weeks.

  58. Relying on metadata, which windows often loses anyways, is not a good way to keep track of your files, and really isn’t what file metadata was meant for. It was meant for at a glance checking the modification/creation date on files, you should be employing a good organized file structure instead.

    You’re giving a bad review to carbonite for how windows works, which is unfair.

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Carbonite Review

An easy to use, affordable provider of unlimited backup

Offering ease of use and unlimited backup for one device, Carbonite is without a doubt one of Cloudwards.net's favorite online backup providers. However, slow backup speeds are a big a concern. Read our full Carbonite review for the details.
Starts from$ 600per month for Unlimited GB
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