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Review: Carbonite Online Backup

Let me start out by saying this post is in no way influenced by Carbonite itself. I’m not getting anything for writing this, and chances are they’ll never see it. Nevertheless, my experience is worth a review

This particular review is a little more personal in nature.  My mother needed a new laptop and who else would she enlist to help but her geek son at Reboot Technology. Like most tech savy sons, I’ve been acting as her IT guy since about the 6th grade and continue to provide her support as needed (though the calls have dropped as she admittadly is getting a little techy herself…I’m so proud!). She was coming out to visit and decided it’d be a great time for me to be able to set up a new laptop for her and transfer her files.

We landed a deal at Costco on Tuesday night on a Dell laptop with a Core-i3…better price than I’d seen and she approved the purchase. I wanted to have it all set up for her when she got here but there was one problem: she’s in Indiana, I’m in Arizona. That’s where Carbonite steps in.

I regularly preach the need to my customers to set up a backup solution…whether to a flash drive, external hard drive, or online service like Mozy or Carbonite.  There is nothing worse than the sinking feeling of realizing all your electronic stuff is gone.  My mother, having experienced this feeling in the past (MAYBE at the hands of her 12 yr old techie son) purchased a subscription to Carbonite all on her own…she heard the commercials and decided she needed all her pictures (among other things) backed up. She even set it up on her own and it had been backing up ever since. So when it came time to set up her laptop I decided to check it out and see if it could shorten the distance between machines.

With her permission, I logged into her online account, told it I was switching computers, picked the files I wanted to restore (some of them were specific to her old laptop) and clicked “Restore”. Software installed, account switched over, and the files started downloading to the new locations I’d set up. It was that easy! Better yet, Carbonite freezes the backup when you start restoring, which means I didn’t have to worry about my mom’s old laptop starting to backup files while I was in the middle of it.

In summary, I was shocked at how easy it was to use while still providing access to advanced features like file versioning and individual file selection. At $54.95 a year for unlimited space, it really is a bargain…after all, isn’t your data worth $5 a month?