Carbonite Review - Does It Lead the Pack in 2022?
Updated · Oct 18, 2022
Some or all of the products/services listed on this page are from our affiliate partners from which we receive commissions. This, however, does not influence the evaluations in our reviews. Learn more by reading our.
A backup is simply a must-have.
An entire business can go under because of data loss which, by the way, happens all the time. Sounds scary, right?
Thankfully, there are many companies that offer safe ways of storing your precious data.
That’s why I’ll be reviewing Carbonite for Web Tribunal—one of the most popular cloud backup systems. Plenty of features, personal and business plans, and unlimited backups are just some of this software’s perks.
But is it the best cloud backup software?
After going through many conflicting Carbonite reviews, I decided to test it for myself.
Carbonite Works On...
- Windows 7,8, 8.1, and 10.
- Mac OS X 10.10, 10.11, 10.12, 10.13, 10.14, 10.15, and 11.
- Web servers
- Database servers
- Internal drives
- External drives
- NAS devices
What Is Carbonite?
Carbonite is a Boston-based American company that offers cloud backup software.
It was launched in 2006, but OpenText, a Canadian software company, acquired it in 2019. Over the years it gained a reputation as one of the most reliable backup services, which today counts over 1 million clients.
Are you wondering if Carbonite is the right fit for you?
What are its features and how does it work?
Is it for personal or business use?
If so, this is the place for you.
Check out this comprehensive Carbonite review and see for yourself.
How Does Carbonite Work?
Carbonite is an easy-to-use cloud backup software. It stores a copy of your data on its remote server.
When you start using Carbonite it installs an application on your computer that backs up your data. By default, the desktop client continuously runs in the background scanning your files.
Initially, it backs up all your data. After that, it uploads only new or changed files.
You may be wondering, is Carbonite safe?
All data sent to servers is encrypted and can be accessed only with an encryption key.
In case of a data loss, you can download your encrypted data, or you can demand courier service.
Here are some of the most important features it offers.
Let’s investigate all Carbonite features and dig a little deeper into this amazing product. The possibilities it presents will surprise you.
By default, Carbonite uses continuous backup, which is the best option. This means it works quietly in the background, searching for new or changed data.
Also, Carbonite cloud backup includes scheduling. You can run a backup once a day at a specific time or you can choose to exclude certain hours. This is helpful if you don’t want it to back up during your working hours.
There’s an option for on-demand backups or starting backups manually any time.
The next point of order in our detailed Carbonite review is the block-level upload; quite a useful feature in the package. When Carbonite uploads changed files it doesn’t upload the entire piece of data again but only the changed parts.
This speeds up the uploading and doesn't create unnecessary copies of numerous files.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t support multithreading, which also affects the upload speed. With only one active thread, you can upload one file or file change at a time to the Carbonite cloud.
But it offers another feature—speed throttling. This way, you can slow down the backup process if you need your internet broadband for something else.
Versioning and Deleted File Retention
The Carbonite backup service supports versioning, i.e. each time you make changes to a file, it also keeps the previous versions. Keep in mind that there is a 12-version limit per document.
If you leave continuous backup turned on, then by default the tool will automatically re-upload edited files. But it will not back up any further changes to the same file for the next 24 hours unless you do it manually.
How long does Carbonite storage keep deleted files?
You don’t have to worry if you delete something accidentally. Carbonite keeps files for 30 or 60 days. After that, they’re gone for good.
One great thing about Carbonite backup is that it uses incremental backup. It uploads all data only the first time it runs. After that, it backs up new and changed files and nothing else.
Carbonite also supports system-image backup but only in the Carbonite Safe Power and Carbonite Safe Ultimate plans. This way users can back up operating systems configuration.
File types that Carbonite cloud storage supports:
However, manual upload is the only option for videos over 4 GB. And with the Carbonite Safe Basic plan videos have to be uploaded manually no matter the size, which can be inconvenient.
While preparing this Carbonite cloud storage review, I found that the service doesn’t back up some files automatically. This is a result of a backup failure caused by large files and the length of time needed to upload them.
For Windows, these files include system and program files, temporary files, and videos (with Carbonite Safe Basic plan). You have to select those for manual upload. The same applies to Mac OS, with the exception of videos.
There is an option to remove or deselect certain files and folders from the backup manually. Carbonite will remove them for good within 72 hours.
The smaller Carbonite plans for computer backup don’t copy system and executable files such as .exe or .ddl.
Ways to Restore Files
There are several ways to restore files with Carbonite.
You can restore everything or choose individual files and folders.
When you restore your data, you can choose to save it to its original location or to a custom one.
Anytime Anywhere Access can be used to restore data via another device. You just have to log in to the Carbonite account from a web browser.
But these aren’t all great features we had to review, as Carbonite is a service designed to keep businesses safe.
For those who need full-image backup, there’s an option to restore a bare metal image.
Carbonite also offers a Courier Recovery Service. The Carbonite price for this varies depending on the plan:
- Carbonite Safe Basic and Plus: $99.99
- Carbonite Safe Prime: $9.99
- Carbonite Safe Backup Pro Core, Power and Ultimate: $175.99
Upon demand, Carbonite sends a hard drive with your whole backup to an address of your choosing.
This is great if you’re in a hurry, but the option is only available if Carbonite manages your encryption key.
The backup speed depends not only on your computer and internet speed but also on the service provider. The initial Carbonite online backup is the slowest one, and every subsequent instance is faster.
Tests show a good upload speed, but not so great download speed. This is the biggest disadvantage according to a lot of the Carbonite reviews by users.
However, clients who need urgent data recovery of big data can demand a courier service and speed up the process.
Carbonite’s Anytime Anywhere Access is a remote feature allowing you to restore your files from any internet-connected device using a web browser. Since there’s a limit on the number of files you can select, this is mostly intended for small restores.
To round up the features of the service, our review of Carbonite cloud backup must highlight its cons.
Anytime Anywhere Access works only if Carbonite manages your encryption key. Some may consider it a security issue.
Carbonite Endpoint, made especially for IT administrators, allows remote wipe and includes a device locator. Remote wipe is a useful feature in cases of theft because the IT team can remotely access a device and delete the data.
Many Carbonite backup reviews praise this. But it’s only available with Carbonite Endpoint, while other cloud backup services offer remote wipe across the board.
Until December 2019, Carbonite had its own mobile app, but it’s no longer available. Carbonite says they are working on relaunching the app.
Ease of Use
To quote one of many Carbonite reviews by users: “Set it and forget it.”
This is completely true.
The program is very easy to install. Download starts automatically from Carbonite’s website once you fill out the sign-up form. At the very start, you can choose between the recommended full backup or just selected files.
Restoring data is also easy. You can decide whether you want to restore everything or part of the data, which helps boost Carbonite ratings.
The software’s user interface is quite simple and easy to use.
The program gives explanations of each step along the way. This is helpful for individuals who aren’t so tech-savvy or businesses that can’t afford to pay IT experts to set up everything.
Carbonite Plans Comparison
But how much does Carbonite cost?
Our unbiased Carbonite review covers all details about all the plans the company offers.
Carbonite offers six plans and the possibility of a one, two, or three-year subscription.
The first three Carbonite Safe plans are for individual or small-business usage for one computer. All three plans have unlimited cloud backup, 128-bit encryption, and 30-day file retention. The Basic plan only backs up videos manually.
Upgrading to the Plus plan allows you to back up external hard drives, and from this plan on, videos are automatically uploaded. However, you still have to add videos over 4GB manually. Plus and Prime plans include Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus which is useful and advanced protection software.
The Prime plan upgrade, besides having all features mentioned above, has an unusually low price for a courier service.
All Pro plans are intended for businesses with more than a few computers and servers. They support automatic video backup, keep deleted files for 60 days, and are compliant with FERPA, GLBA, and HIPAA. The Core plan includes up to 25 computers, 250GB of storage, internal, external drives, and NAS devices.
Upgrading to the Power and Ultimate plans gives you 500GB of storage and the option to back up servers. Both plans support Carbonite online backups of bare metal image.
Unlike the Power plan, which only allowed one server, this plan is good for an unlimited number of servers.
One thing you should know, though, is that Pro plans don’t have unlimited storage or Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus. And the cost for additional storage is hardly negligible. Nevertheless, end-users don’t always label this as a disadvantage in their Carbonite reviews, since many other providers also have limited storage and steep pricing.
Also, even though there’s no official family plan, getting in touch with a Carbonite sales representative might get you a suitable plan for your family or business needs.
Carbonite support includes a knowledge base and direct contact via phone, email, or chat. There are no forums, though.
Many of the negative Carbonite customer reviews berate the support, so I had to check for myself.
I contacted them through chat. On the plus side, they had a fast response and sent me a conversation transcript. Although the conversation was very polite and informative, the answers seemed a little generic and only partially helpful.
The variety of contact channels and the knowledge base are nice features, but Carbonite service can benefit from some improvement.
Privacy & Security
Carbonite uses zero-knowledge encryption or end-to-end encryption, so you have the option to manage your own encryption key. This means that no one, not even the Carbonite team, can access your data without the encryption key.
In cases of data restoration via Anytime Anywhere Access or courier service, though, you’d have to upload your encryption key to Carbonite.
Carbonite uses Blowfish and Triple DES encryption, which have proven reliable. The service also uses a 128-bit SSL encryption protocol.
But how secure is Carbonite, really?
Carbonite doesn't store encryption keys together with customers’ data. It also secures its physical data storage. With its data center security measures and redundant power supply, your data will be safe and easily accessible (to you).
Having 128-bit encryption is useful, but some providers offer 256-bit encryption by default. Also, Carbonite gives users the option to manage their own encryption key but then requires it for restoring data.
Carbonite User Reviews
Positive Carbonite online backup reviews by users focus on the software’s easy setup and simple interface. Many users are satisfied with the services and say it’s good value for money. In case of accidents, users report easily restoring their data.
Slow speed and lacking customer support are the most common reasons for negative comments. According to some Carbonite reviews, users don’t always receive a satisfactory resolution of their issues after contacting customer support.
When to Use Carbonite?
Carbonite is one of the best cloud backup solutions for home or small business usage. You can find the most suitable solution for you by going through their wide range of plans.
Carbonite for home or office is a great tool. With different backup options, such as full-image backup, you can quickly restore your office or home setup.
Even if you operate a larger business, you can still find some attractive plans, such as the Carbonite Safe Pro Ultimate. Another option is to talk to an expert and create a personalized plan.
Carbonite is one of the most robust backup services, but some users might find joy elsewhere. Here are the most popular Carbonite competitors.
Carbonite vs. Backblaze
One of the most famous alternatives to Carbonite is Backblaze.
It offers personal and business backup, unlimited storage, and private encryption. It has options to back up computers, servers, and NAS devices, which makes it an excellent choice for your business. Backblaze also has a better reputation.
However, it's pricier, especially for business usage.
Carbonite vs. IDrive
IDrive also offers personal and business backup.
It allows you to back up multiple computers and devices and includes 24/7 support.
While Carbonite offers unlimited storage, IDrive doesn’t.
But there’s a free Basic plan, which is useful for personal needs.
Whether you’re running a business or looking for backup services for personal use, you can benefit from Carbonite.
Carbonite reviews show that this service is an excellent choice for small businesses or individuals looking for easy-of-use and security.
Carbonite’s options of server and endpoint backup along with its support for workload migration and disaster recovery make it suitable for complex environments as well.
Carbonite should work on their customer support and download speed, though. Other than that, it’s a reliable backup service.
With all this in mind, Carbonite cloud can be a suitable solution for you or your business. If you need even more insights, you can always give the trial version a go.
Carbonite uses continuous sync as a recommended setting. This means it scans for new files and file changes all the time.
But it requires an internet connection and doesn’t back up if a computer is off or in sleep mode.
As long as the files remain on the computer, they will be available on the Carbonite storage. If you delete a file, it’s subject to the retention policy—30 days for Carbonite Safe and 60 days for Carbonite Safe Pro plans.
Yes. Carbonite may not be the best online backup for everybody, but it’s a great solution for personal or small business use. With its variety of plans, this encrypted cloud storage can be used in more complex environments as well.
Perks on premium plans include unlimited storage for personal use and full-image backup. Also, the Carbonite price plans are pretty reasonable.
Carbonite has two groups of plans—Carbonite Safe and Carbonite Safe Pro. The former is mainly intended for personal use and the latter for business.
Here’s a list of pricing for each plan per year:
- Carbonite Safe Basic: $58.99
- Carbonite Safe Plus: $83.99
- Carbonite Safe Prime: $104.99
- Carbonite Safe Backup Pro Core: $287.99
- Carbonite Safe Backup Pro Power: $799.99
- Carbonite Safe Backup Pro Ultimate: $1,299.99
For more insight on Carbonite plans, take a look at our review above. We tested the service and went through dozens of Carbonite reviews to put together a comprehensive evaluation of the service.
Branko is a round-the-clock tech geek and loving it. His ideal vacation destination is the Akihabara District (or really any place he can take his computer). If there’s a server out there, count on him to find out what it’s made of… and tell you all about it.
Your email address will not be published.