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Overall Rating 87%Very Good
Speed & Performance
75%Good
Security
95%Excellent
File Restoration
85%Very Good
Mobile Access
85%Very Good
Web Access
90%Excellent
Support
90%Excellent

Carbonite Backup Updates

22/06/2016

We’ve added our Carbonite video review.

29/01/2016

Carbonite decided to discontinue File Sync & Share from their offering. 

19/02/2017

Our category winner for Macintosh cloud backup Carbonite has just updated their Mac line up. Now there are no disadvantages to the Windows version and Mac users can benefit from unlimited external hard drive backup and system image backups.

Who is Carbonite for?

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

Carbonite is, without a doubt, one of the most popular brands when it comes to cloud backup.

Unlike services such as:

Carbonite is a backup solution rather than a cloud storage application. One of its high points is the fact that it provides unlimited cloud backup. Unfortunately, that perk only applies to a single device per user, unlike IDrive, which offers limited storage for an unlimited number of devices per user.

But it wasn’t always so; Carbonite provided and supported syncing and sharing until early 2016, when, to the surprise of many loyal users, they discontinued their file sharing service. That decision alone cost Carbonite brownie points when compared to competitors that do offer file sharing.

But even after stopping the service, Carbonite is still a favorite of many, particularly with users seeking to adopt robust data recovery strategies.

What Is Carbonite Online Backup?

As a powerhouse that provides unlimited backup, Carbonite is comparable to the likes of CrashPlan and Backblaze, all of which offer pretty much the same packages. Your choice comes down to the specific features needed for an individual or business.

To help make sense of it all, I’ve analyzed Carbonite from multiple angles, testing its strongest and weakest features.

1. Who is Carbonite For?

Carbonite is a cloud-based solution optimized for individuals and small businesses seeking secure offsite system backups, which will protect them in the case of a disaster. Large corporations can pretty much afford private cloud systems for backup and subsequent disaster recovery efforts.

That leaves out individuals and small businesses, who still need an affordable, reliable system that will restore their PC and portable files in case of data loss, or system failure.

2. Carbonite Business

The average cost implications of a data disaster for small businesses is $8,000 per hour, with medium-sized companies incurring losses of $74,000 an hour, while large corporations fall within the $700,000 per hour loss range. Despite the fact that 95% of businesses in 2015 experienced downtime related to data disasters, 75% of them are yet to implement a comprehensive disaster management system. 

Reason being? Well, 36% of them claim that disaster recovery measures are too expensive. They cannot afford them.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

 

About Carbonite

Carbonite was the first cloud service to offer unlimited backup at a fixed price, circa 2006. This feature was quite revolutionary since none of its competitors could match the offer. They all rated their services according to the number of gigabytes available.

It grew relatively quickly that year, partly because it offered a free six-month subscription. Later down the line, Microsoft came on board and extended the free subscription to people who bought Microsoft Money.

After being named the Top Private Company by AlwaysOn in 2007, Carbonite engaged in other partnerships with industry giants, like Lenovo and Acer. Now that we’ve gone through Carbonite’s remarkable journey over the last ten years, how attractive is it to users? In other words, is it affordable?

Let’s see how they price their products.

1. Carbonite Pricing

Carbonite targets individuals and businesses seeking to backup their entire system.

The company offers unlimited backup, with a 15-day free trial for home users, making it less than ideal if you’re looking for a service that offers free storage for a limited amount of data. If you like it and decide to upgrade, Carbonite comes in two plans for home and office.

For home users, the most basic plan goes for $59.99 per year and provides:

  • Unlimited backup for one computer
  • Remote file access
  • Free U.S.-based customer support
  • Automated backups for both Windows and Mac

2. Carbonite Mirror Image

The Plus package, designed for the home office, offers all these features alongside mirror image backup and external hard-drive backups at $99.99 per year, but only on Windows. If you still need courier recovery services and automatic video backups,

The Prime plan will suit you better; it costs $149.99 per year and is also only available on Windows.


PlanBasicPlusPrime
Price Plan
$ 59 99yearly
$ 99 99yearly
$ 149 99yearly
Storage Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Details

Price is per year per computer. No monthly billing available. Doesn't include external hard drives.

Includes external hard drive backup. Mirror image backup.

Includes automatic video backup. Courier service.


On the business front, Carbonite offers three plans:

  • Core
  • Power
  • Ultimate

All of which support an unlimited number of computers. Core provides 250GB of storage space, per computer, at $269 per year, while Power provides the same but also supports backup for one server at $599 per year.

If you’re a large business with many servers, the Ultimate plan is ideal, offering 500GB of storage space per computer and backups for an unlimited number of servers at $999 per year. I find all plans to be fairly priced, and you can always purchase additional storage space at $99 per 100GB, without being forced to upgrade your plan.

On Carbonite, you can backup virtually anything, such as photos, documents and system settings. On the personal Plus and Prime plans, users can also backup mirror images of their systems and external hard drives.

How to Install Carbonite

Carbonite’s interface is very simple to use and prompts you to backup your system as soon as it gets installed and launched.

You first enter a name for each device, which is pretty important, as it helps keep track of them. After that, you choose what to backup, and here is where things get interesting; unlike most other cloud services, Carbonite comes with two options.

Either choose what to backup, or, Carbonite’s app will do the searching, starting with the local disk’s system files. This feature was most likely borrowed from Windows’ backup and restore service.

If you’re keen about security, then you’ll be pleased to learn that Carbonite also comes with private key encryption, just like IDrive. After setting up Carbonite on my machine, I decided to manage my encryption key. Which is an option that permanently removed it from their servers.

Using a key offers excellent security, but users run the risk of losing all their data if they lose it. Unfortunately, apart from the fact that key loss results in the loss of backed up data, anytime, anywhere access is not possible for users who manage their encryption keys.

To facilitate smooth and efficient remote data access, Carbonite advises users to upload encryption keys through their accounts. That way, the company can manage the key and provide remote data access. If you’ve read through the pricing plans and their respective features, you may have noticed what Carbonite refers to as a “courier recovery service”.

This service allows you to get in touch with their support team, which will help physically retrieve backups and subsequently restore your data. Note that this option is not available to users who choose to retain their encryption keys. Therefore, since everything seems to get directly or indirectly connected with a user’s encryption key, it makes sense to upload it.

Speed & Performance

75% – Good

From our early reviews here on Cloudwards.net, it was evident that Carbonite was throttling upload speeds at:

  • 2mbps before 35GB of data
  • 512 kbps between 35GB and 200GB of data
  • 100 kbps for additional data

However, going by the info on their website and my tests, they’ve dropped this limitation, probably due to increased customer complaints, and consequently increased speeds to up to 10Mbps. Let’s see how true this is, to be fair to Carbonite. The first step, of course, was testing my Internet speeds.

Thankfully, my upload and download speeds were stable enough to conduct a fair test. So I went ahead and initiated the backup of Cloudward.net’s 10GB test folder.

Interestingly, and rather amazingly, the full system backup took 1 and 18 minutes, marking an average upload speed of 16.33 Mbit/s. Undoubtedly one of the fastest speeds we’ve ever recorded.

1. Unlimited Online Backup

So, how accurate is Carbonite’s promise of “unlimited online backup”? Sadly, it’s more of a marketing strategy to attract users. Obviously, limitless backup is a very attractive claim, but not a sustainable business model.

Carbonite has based its business on the assumption that most users only backup a couple of gigabytes of data. I think they are right in this assumption because I have never come across someone with terabytes of data on his or her computer — unless they’re a movie and gaming enthusiast.

But then again, everything is pretty much streamed nowadays. Saving such files in your hard disk seems like a waste of space.

2. Common Carbonite Backup Problems:

  • Occasional slow restore speeds
  • Occasional “carbonite not working” issues
  • Waiting to connect to backup server, probably due to slow Internet speeds
  • Failing to backup, probably due to slow Internet speeds

Security

95% – Excellent

So far, I’m yet to learn about any security infiltrations of Carbonite. That said, it’s worth noting the cloud service has been targeted by attackers on many occasions, most notably in early 2016, when a group of attackers attempted to gain access to various user accounts.

1. Carbonite Hacked

Strangely, in this particular case, the hackers were just trying their luck, after stealing usernames and passwords from other sites and attempting to use them on Carbonite.

Since many people use the same password across different websites, hackers will often just copy one set of login credentials to another site, hoping that it works (and it usually does).

Fortunately, Carbonite got wind of the plan before the hackers were able to infiltrate the company’s systems successfully. Even after stopping the attack before it could even begin, Carbonite still made all users reset their login information, just to make sure everything was safe.

So, how has Carbonite managed to stay penetration free, while other cloud services, like Dropbox, have been infiltrated? If there’s one technology that has proven to be effective against cyber attacks, it’s got to be encryption.

Carbonite uses advanced 128-bit Blowfish encryption, which would probably take attackers years to decipher. The service also uses a combination of local and server-side encryption to make sure your data is safe before it gets sent over the Internet.

In addition to system security, Carbonite also offers physical server security through:

  • 24-hour security server surveillance
  • Server room access control
  • On-site emergency backup generators
  • Uninterpretable power supplies
  • Temperature control systems

Servers are not only protected from unauthorized third-party access but also maintained in optimal conditions to facilitate constant online connectivity and availability.

File Restoration

85% – Very Good

There are three primary means of restoring a file using Carbonite:

  • Web app
  • PC client
  • Backup drive

To use the desktop client method, download and install the PC application on your computer. Using your Carbonite Login ID, sign into the system and go straight to the Status Page. There, you’ll find the “get my files back” button. Clicking on it, and selecting “choose files” should direct you straight to the Carbonite Account, where you’ll be able to view and identify folders and files to restore.

It’s also possible to restore files from the Carbonite folder embedded in your PC. Double clicking on the folder will open a window with various options for backing up and restoring data.  Double-click the Backup files icon to view all your backed up files and folders. 

To restore, right-click on any of the files and choose “restore” to download and place the file back in its original location.If you prefer otherwise, click on “restore to,” to specify a separate location for data restoration. Going with any of these options launches a restore manager window, which tracks progress and oversees the restoration process.

For users recovering from a loss of data, Carbonite’s Anytime Anywhere Access is the most convenient option, since downloading the PC client is not necessary. Of course, this option allows users to restore the same files on certain computers simultaneously.

To use this method, go to account.carbonite.com and sign in to gain access to your account. Click “view files” to display and browse through various PC usernames and hard drives connected to the account. To restore a single file, click on its folder to view its contents, then click on a particular file to launch a download window.

You can also select multiple files and download them as a compressed folder. Unfortunately, there are various limits on multiple file downloads. For instance, it’s not possible to select files in separate windows.

File Syncing & Sharing

Even when file syncing and sharing seems like a pretty standard feature among cloud backup services, Carbonite is among the few exceptions that don’t provide it. Before January 2016, Carbonite supported a separate syncing and sharing service. However, through a press release, the company announced they were discontinuing the service to focus more on what they do best — providing data protection.

After stopping the service, Carbonite went ahead and offered a free monthly subscription to customers subscribed to various yearly plans. I have to commend them for that step, but we still need some file sharing and syncing options.

I hope that they’ll restore the service in the future, and embed it into their core architecture.

Mobile Access

85% – Very Good

Just like the PC version, Carbonite’s mobile apps are designed to protect device data via frequent backups. On their mobile applications’ web page, Carbonite encourages users to protect themselves from unnecessary stress in case their phone is lost or stolen.

It’s worth noting that Carbonite’s mobile version is only compatible with iOS and Android devices. If you’re on a Windows phone, you’ll have to wait until Carbonite recognizes potential in that particular market.

I liked the fact that in addition to backing up data, Carbonite comes with phone recovery features, collectively organized into a package called “Device Protect”. With this feature, users can remotely destroy all traces of private data and restore a phone’s factory settings in case of any loss. 

If a phone gets stolen, you can still use Carbonite to activate the phone’s camera, take photos of the thief, and have them sent to you.

For users who don’t use a password to protect their phones, Carbonite provides a feature that allows users to access it, in the case of any loss, remotely.  You’ll be able to locate it and trigger an alarm, even if the mobile device is set to silent mode.

In many cases, retrieving a lost phone can prove to be a difficult task, even with such security precautions. That’s why Carbonite allows users to backup photos and videos, and subsequently restore them on other devices.

Web Access

90% – Excellent

One thing I find great about Carbonite’s web interface is its simplicity and clarity. I’ve praised many cloud services for being designed simply, but Carbonite deserves an unusually thick feather in its cap. All the tabs are very straightforward and clear; you don’t have to search through Carbonite’s help pages to figure your way around.

Unlike the PC client, which contains backup, restore, settings, account and help tabs, the web center contains:

  • Computers: Manage backed up devices plus explore files and folders
  • Credit Cards: View and manage credit cards connected to the account
  • Payment History: Track all the payments made on your subscriptions
  • Subscription Information: View subscription status and plans
  • Personal Info: View and edit personal information
  • Support: Get help in case of any problems or queries about an account

The downside of simplicity, unfortunately, are its limitations. Carbonite’s web interface has very limited features. Downloading a file is as simple as clicking on a folder and choosing a particular file, but sadly, there’s no file versioning.

You only get to download what was backed up during the previous schedule. Another thing you may not like, of course, is the fact that there are no sharing options.

While Carbonite provides a simple and straightforward download process, it doesn’t support online media streaming. All photo, music and video files are treated just like regular data. You have to download music and videos, then open them using an app like VLC.

Support

90% – Excellent

Since I find Carbonite to be very simple and straightforward to use, I assume that many users have figured their way around it without any major problems.

However, in case users experience difficulties, Carbonite has invested in a multi-layered customer support system. The first line of defense is, of course, their knowledge-base, which gets systematically organized into topics.

I find this structure to be very refreshing since I don’t have to scroll through tons of irrelevant information just to get a simple clarification. The knowledge-base is indexed and cataloged, so getting through it is fast and easy.

Still, if reading isn’t your thing, Carbonite has pre-recorded videos of Cara, a virtual personal assistant, on various technical issues. I liked this personal touch. In addition to Cara, Carbonite also offers support over the phone, email, and online chat. These last three are only available between 8.30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. EST.

Bottom Line

While Carbonite may not be the most comprehensive cloud backup tool out there, it has a very simple and straightforward user interface, making it ideal for beginners and home users.

To focus entirely on security and data protection, they have eliminated sharing and syncing tools, which are available on other cloud platforms, and created a system that does what we need.

Perhaps they’ll be kind enough to expand their system to include these features in the future. Finally, as you use Carbonite as part of your data loss management and recovery strategy, remember to first backup data within local drives.

The cloud is useful as a secondary backup system, not a primary one.  Also, feel free to share your opinions and experiences with Carbonite, in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading!

Carbonite Comparison Tables

 CarboniteCrashPlan

Deleted File Protection Period:
30 daysUnlimited
External Drive Backup:
Not on basic planYes
Encryption System:128-bit Blowfish448-bit Blowfish
Storage Limit:UnlimitedUnlimited
Number of Devices Supported:1 Computer1 Computer
Cost:$60/year$60/year

 IDrive:Carbonite
Deleted File Protection Period:
Unlimited30 days
External Drive Backup:YesNot on basic plan
Encryption System:256-bit AES128-bit Blowfish
Storage Limit:10TBUnlimited
Number of Devices Supported:Unlimited1 Computer
Cost:First year $11.90$60/year

 BackblazeCarbonite
Deleted File Protection Period:
30 days30 days
External Drive Backup:YesYes
Encryption System:
256-bit AES128-bit Blowfish
Storage Limit:UnlimitedUnlimited
Number of Devices Supported:1 Computer1 Computer
Cost:$50/year$60/year

 

Features

Carbonite Features
www.carbonite.com
Free Storage
Free Trial15 Days
System
  • windows
  • mac
PriceStarts from $ 5.00 per month
Mobile Access
Mobile Apps
  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Android
Syncronisation
Free External HD Backup
Continuous Backup
Incremental Backup
Backup Scheduling
Bare Metal Backup
Exclude File Extensions for Backup
Network Drives
Bandwidth throttling
Web Access
HIPAA Compliant
File Size LimitUnlimited GB
Included Machines1
File Sharing
Multiple Accounts
Share Photo Albums
Music Streaming
Folder Collaboration
Outlook Backup
Local Encryption256-bit
Server Side Encryption256-bit
Keeps deleted files30
File Versioning90

Carbonite Review

The best online backup solution for home users

Carbonite is a well-respected brand and provides unlimited cloud backup for home and business users. Featuring a Mac and Windows client, external hard drive backup, and courier recovery service, it's a good bet for a disaster protection strategy in 2017 and beyond.
Starts from
$ 5.00 per month
Visit Carbonite

31 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. 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. 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!!!!!

  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.

    1. This is not really the case.

      If windows was upgraded from win8 to win8.1, then subsequent Mirror Images will fail. You can of course start the MI over fresh, and it will work just fine (losing whatever snapshots have been created in the past).

      This in part a combination of how MI backed up, and the drastic change Microsoft did between 8 and 8.1. To the best of my knowledge, Mirror Image no longer has that issue.

  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. Carbonite has changed their courier service option. Over the years, I’ve used the courier recovery service three times. They used to send an external drive with all your backed-up files for $9.99, and you could keep the external drive. Now they want you to mail them the hard drive back, or they will charge you $130.

  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. You haven’t really ‘used’ Carbonite have you? I asked the PCmag reviewer for Carbonite to revisit the comments. Let me share my experience; through some glitch, all of my email disappeared. But where I might have totally lost it, I wasn’t worried at all; I had Carbonite. So I started to restore files and of the over 25 million files they have (I don’t have 25 million files on this pc and all 3 external backups) none of it was email! So I called them and that’s when

    It seems that while one thinks the constant backing up would, of course, back up what is inarguably the most important thing you have – your email – Carbonite isn’t constantly uploading and overwriting. In fact, I was advised that the last update was 100kb. How they didn’t have any email? I must not have checked that box. Are they serious? OF COURSE I CHECKED THAT BOX! I checked every box.

    In the end, my server had retained over 1100 emails so I was able to restore most of 2016 and 2017, but Carbonite is extremely disappointing! The recent PCmag reviews are all negative and most have the same email issues. Nobody seems happy with Cabonite.

    So I’m going to buy the MyCloud 8TB encryption external network backup and then demand a refund – at the very least – from Carbonite. I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody including those I don’t like. My email was never backed up in 2017 and they blame my network connection. How did they have 25 million files if my connection was that bad? I have the same connection now that I had in 2016. I am soooo disappointed. I’ll still try to get 2016 email they do have, but after that, I’m cancelling. Get anything else!

  25. 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.

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Carbonite Review

The best online backup solution for home users

Carbonite is a well-respected brand and provides unlimited cloud backup for home and business users. Featuring a Mac and Windows client, external hard drive backup, and courier recovery service, it's a good bet for a disaster protection strategy in 2017 and beyond.
Starts from
$ 5.00 per month
Visit Carbonite
Starts from
$ 5.00 per month
Visit Carbonite
  • Carbonite supports Android, iOS, Windows & Mac
  • The service offers a 15-day free trial
  • Offers a Courier Recovery Service that retrieves backed up data
  • Physical security measures like 24-hour server room surveillance
  • Data is protected through 128-bit Blowfish encryption
  • Several file restoration methods
  • Unlimited storage space isn’t really unlimited
  • Carbonite’s speed is capped after a plan’s storage threshold
  • Carbonite does not support Windows phones
  • All plans are priced on an annual basis
  • Only the $59.99 per year basic plan supports Mac & Windows
  • The Plus & Prime plans are only available for Windows users
  • Users cannot create public links to share or distribute files
www.carbonite.com