Carbonite Online Backup LogoIt's not a matter of if your hard drive fails, but when.

This is our review of Carbonite online backup service.

This easy-to-use service gets high marks on ease-of-use, security, tech support, and a great price. If you are looking for a simple and affordable way to backup your data online, then Carbonite might just be the perfect choice.

To find out which online storage is best visit You will find an online backup service comparison chart, helpful data backup articles, and video reviews of our top ten online backup providers.

Installation and Configuration

After you purchase the service at Carbonite's website (, you will then download and install their small client program. Once installed, the client program automatically backs-up your valuable data to Carbonite's secure data center.

While it does run automatically, the client program runs only while you are not using your computer. This saves you from sluggish computer performance, and slower Internet speeds.

Carbonite's client program will automatically select your Documents and Settings folder for backup. Your Documents and Settings folder contains your documents, e-mail, photos, music and data files from other programs--as long as they haven't been deliberately placed somewhere else on your computer, that is.

You can select individual files and folders for backup using the Carbonite program. The program will place color-coded dots on the icons of your files and folders that indicate whether it has been successfully backed-up, or if it is in the queue for backup.

Carbonite's service does not backup files over 4GB (gigabytes) automatically. This should not be a deal-breaker for most computer users. You will have to select these files one at a time for backup.

Restoring Your Files

It is easy to restore your files with Carbonite's service. You can use the client program or simply login at to begin the restore process. You have the option of restoring individual files or restoring everything at once.

As long as you have access to a computer with an Internet connection you can access or restore your files with Carbonite. All it takes is your email address and password. You'll always have easy access to your data while at work, when traveling, or away at college, for example.

Carbonite Security

Carbonite is definitely a secure online backup service. Carbonite encrypts your files two times before they are transferred over the Internet to the data storage center. Your files are then stored fully encrypted in Carbonite's system. Your data will be spread across a total of 16 hard drives in what is called a RAID-6 configuration. This system is far more reliable than the single hard drive in your computer--36,000,000 times more reliable, in fact.

For data loss to occur, three of the sixteen hard disk drives would have to fail and your computer would have to crash simultaneously--this is very unlikely.

The personnel at Carbonite's data center never handle your data in an unencrypted form. The data center is equipped with redundant power, redundant web servers, and redundant Internet connections. Their facility is guarded around-the-clock, with access controlled via fingerprint ID locks.

As well, Carbonite gives you the option of using a private encryption key that prevents anyone without your key from accessing your files. This is for intermediate and advanced users--if you lose your encryption key you will lose access to your files.

Tech Support

Carbonite provides well designed tutorials, a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) that is categorized and searchable for simplicity.

The tutorials and FAQ should suffice for most problems. Carbonite also offers Live Chat and support by phone.

Carbonite is so simple to use that it's unlikely that you will need to utilize their support system.

Carbonite's Price

Carbonite's price is a bargain at $59.00 annually for unlimited storage space. You get a discount when you purchase more than one year at a time--two years at $109.00, and three years at $139.00.

Carbonite offers a 15-Day Trial (no credit card required). The Trial is limited only in that you can't backup music files.


Carbonite serves the average user well. It is a basic service, but it has all that you will need to effectively and securely backup your files online. It is simple to install and configure, it smoothly integrates with your computer's operating system, and Carbonite won't confuse the average user with excess options.

Combine all of that with Carbonite's convenient remote access features, great security, well-rounded tech support options, and a great price, and you have one of the best online backup services available.

Hand holding phone.Have Questions About Online Backup Services?  Call Us: (805) 504-3699