Carbonite – Powerhouse In The Backup World

Carbonite online backup service has one of the highest profiles of any online backup service. Almost everyone has heard of them in one way or another. Find out the truth as we pop the lid on Carbonite.

For most people familiar with online backups, Carbonite has become a household name. When online backups were just coming out on the scene, Carbonite was there with a myriad of ads telling you they were the one. It was a relatively new concept that took time to get traction. Slow and steady wins the race. How has Carbonite kept up?

Carbonite has become synonymous with online backup. Even if you’re one who has done no research, if I asked you about your familiarity with the concept of online backups, chances are you’d reply with, “You mean Carbonite, right? Yeah, I’ve heard of them”. Before you charge into the battlefield and buy your own account, let’s take things slow and steady ourselves and do what I do best: RESEARCH!!

Um…What is Carbonite?

crbnteI’m so glad you asked. Carbonite is an online backup service for your PC. Carbonite was founded by David Friend and Jeff Flowers in 2005 in Boston, Massachusetts. Since then, they have grown to over 400 employees in multiple data centers across the United States. The idea for Carbonite segued over from data loss family members had experienced. Current methods of the time meant buying an external hard drive and remembering to back it up or spending a Saturday afternoon burning CDs. They needed an easier, more affordable method that kept up with dynamic data. Carbonite was born shortly thereafter.

Carbonite ranks well among its competitors and is a popular choice among consumers. Here’s why.

  • Automatic & Continuous Backup. Once installed, Carbonite does the rest in the background, keeping up with changes made on your hard drive. All you need is an internet connection.
  • Unlimited Cloud Storage. It doesn’t matter how much hard disk space you have. Carbonite will back up your entire drive; you needn’t worry about running out of cloud storage space.
  • Secure Transit & Storage. Carbonite encrypts your data before leaving your computer and going straight to one of their secure data centers.
  • Free Mobile Apps to Sync and Share Access. Carbonite has free apps for your phones and tablets, allowing you access to your files wherever you are. You’re not tied to your PC if you want to access your files.
  • Easy Restore Process. When data loss rears its ugly head—even if it’s crying over spilled milk on a keyboard—access to your data is a few clicks away.
  • S.-Based Support. Carbonite doesn’t outsource customer service. Their data centers are on U.S. soil, so it makes sense that their support is also local. Support options include phone, chat, email, and their own knowledge base articles.
  • File Explorer Integration. This is one of the most coveted features for online backup companies. You can open Windows® File Explorer and right click on a file to see a built-in menu to help you manage your backups.

Flowers, Chocolates and Promises

chocotsCarbonite promises to protect their own. They’ve been in business for 10 years; I imagine if they didn’t make good on those promises, they wouldn’t still be in business. Carbonite makes 3 distinct promises. Carbonite promises:

  • To Keep Your Backup Simple. Everything is automated so you don’t have to worry about manually backing up your data. With unlimited data, you don’t have to worry about ever running out of space.
  • To Keep Your Files Safe and Private. Before leaving your computer, your files are encrypted. Once at the data center, they stay encrypted.
  • To Listen and Respond. Too many companies are disconnected and distant from their customers. Carbonite tries to be different. Cofounder and Executive Chairman, David Friend, offers his email address right there on the webpage so customers can contact him with comments, issues, complaints, or just to say hi.

When people go into business for the money, they don’t last long in the marketplace. When they go into business for the passion, they gain a loyal following that keeps them in business.

Customer Experiences

Carbonite has several positive reviews online. Most people have good experiences relying on Carbonite. They like the simplicity, peace of mind, and customer service. The ratings are high, making them a popular choice among consumers and small businesses.

The reviews are unanimous. Among well-written reviews, Carbonite comes highly recommended. Carbonite has been around the block for 10 years. That’s plenty of time for a company to gain a reputation, and Carbonite has one of the best.

What to Watch Out For

Carbonite doesn’t outshine every cloud company in cyberspace. They fall short in a few key areas, but if you’re okay with these, then I expect your experience with Carbonite to be a positive one.

  • Account only covers one PC. The catch with unlimited backup is that you’re limited to one computer per account with the first year prepaid. If you have multiple PCs or devices you need to include in your backup contingency plan, expect to pay for multiple accounts.
  • Options are tiered. The more options you want, the more you will pay. Basic membership doesn’t include automatic video backup, mirrored images of your hard drives, or the ability to back up network or external drives.
  • Limited sharing & collaboration features. A separate Sync & Share app is needed for Windows, MAC, Android, and iOS. Windows Phone is not supported. You can only access files from within the app and only files touched in the last 30 days appear in the app. We recommend other file sharing services like Dropbox of you want a more feature-rich file sharing experience.
  • Poor file retention. If you accidentally delete files from your computer, Carbonite will not archive it for more than 30 days. This is a poor feature if you accidentally delete a file without realizing it and search for it a few months later.


Carbonite outshines its competition with easy to use interface, unlimited storage, and continuous backup. For the vast majority of non-technical people who only need to restore their files occasionally, Carbonite is an excellent choice. More information directly from the company can be found here.

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