Let me start this review with a story. Actually 2 stories. In 2006, I was in my final semester of college preparing for my thesis presentation in a week. I was enrolled in a 5 year program for Architectural Engineering and was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, the beginning to my career as a Structural Engineer.
What did I not foresee happening? My hard drive crashing on my laptop and the majority of my thesis research (almost a year’s worth) disappearing overnight…not to mention ALL of my photos from college, all 5 years. I woke up to the blue screen of death. I took the laptop to Best Buy and was told nothing was recoverable. I was in tears as I explained what happened to my professor and ended up getting a C for my thesis. Enough to graduate but what a blow.
I thought I learned my lesson and started using an external hard drive when I started my business. Instead of using it as a backup though, I was working off of it. And what happens? It crashes on me. After various quotes from recovery companies and bawling to my husband, he had the brilliant idea to take it out of it’s casing and put it in the computer as a means to retrieve the information. Somehow, it was the connection to the case that was preventing the drive from working and it’s still sitting in that computer and being used today, almost 4 years later. I got lucky.
So I have been researching online back up for a while. I have been getting away with using Shutterfly for my pictures and Google for my documents but it just wasn’t a permanent solution for me. When Carbonite asked me to review their product for the home, I jumped all over their offer. It has been a couple weeks and I am THRILLED with how Carbonite has been working so far.
It automatically picks a drive to back up and then has it available online for you to access if anything were to go wrong. Added more pictures? No problem, Carbonite automatically backs it up. Files have little dots next to their names or icons when you look at them on your computer to see their back up status. Yellow dot means it’s in the middle of backing up, green means it’s already finished.
There was a confusing moment where my hard drive is segmented into 3 different drives (it only backed up one of them) and I was waiting quite a while for Carbonite to back up the other two. But I realized I had to tell it to do so. I went to the drive under My Computer, right clicked, and selected the option to back it up. Perfect.
I don’t know why I avoided this option because at $59/year for the most basic plan, it is well worth the sense of security I now have. Back up space is unlimited, so you never have to worry about space or pick and choose what to back up. And my favorite aspect are the mobile apps for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry phones. Smart and convenient.
Carbonite provided us with a free subscription to Carbonite Home in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% my own.0