Carbonite offers unlimited online storage, secure encryption and a straightforward yet informative system for creating and maintaining backups with little input required from the user. For those who are concerned about forgetting to backup important documents, it’s an excellent way to take the hassle out of an essential but often frustrating task.
Straightforward, automated backups; effective incremental upload system; unlimited storage; good value
Initial or new backups can take some time
£41.95 per year
Windows XP/Vista/7 (32-bit and 64-bit), Internet connection, Intel Pentium 4 1GHz or equivalent processor, 512MB RAM, 40MB hard drive space
The importance of regular backups in an office environment cannot be overstated. However, just as vital is the need for backups to not only be secure so as to prevent sensitive business data getting in the wrong hands, but also hassle-free; backups that require a lot of user intervention tend to find their way to the bottom of to-do lists.
While there are a wide range of products and services to simplify data backups both locally and online, few offer the degree of automation and simplicity found with Carbonite.
With version 4, improvements include the ability to label individual machines on a corporate network with a unique ID, thereby allowing retrieval of data from an online drive to be quickly determined according to a specific user and avoiding the need to maintain rigid version labelling.
There’s also a “restore search” option to quickly identify the file or folder that needs to be retrieved without having to trawl through reams of data, while tweaks to the restore manager and main interface make for a more intuitive way to monitor backup status and progress.
The software itself is very easy to use, and once installed (be it with the default backup locations or a custom set), Carbonite starts uploading the selected files; the yearly subscription provides unlimited-capacity online storage.
All data is automatically secured using the Blowfish encryption algorithm, and though the initial backup can take some time – we averaged about 400MB per hour in our tests – the software is configured to prevent this potentially lengthy process from affecting either the speed of your internet connection and/or computer.