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Author Topic: Any one used Carbonite?  (Read 1766 times)

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« on: January 22, 2009, 22:40 »
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I heard an add on the radio for Carbonite, an online file back up and recovery service.  $50/year with unlimited storage and it automatically backs up new files several times a day.  Geek forum reviews were mixed and unhelpful so I was wondering if any here has tried it / liked it / hated it and why.

Thanks!


« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2009, 00:10 »
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I use it for the last two years and I am happy with it - no problems so far. Before I used Carbonite, I did not make that many backups and was always nerves about to loos my data. Two years ago when I finally decided to subscribe to an online backup, I decided to use Carbonite because: flat fee with unlimited space. I listen sometimes to the radio show Leo Laporte http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Laporte and Carbonite makes it always to the top on his list.

So that was two years ago and I am not sure if they are still the best, but I have no reason to change.

The program is running in the background and is backing up your data when your computer is idle. Depending on your internet connection upload speed, you can calculate how long the initial backup will take. This can easily take 3-4 weeks. But after this it is only a few files every day. You can set drives, folders and files for backup or not to be backed up. The restore function also let you choose different version of you backed up file. I am not sure how far you can go back in time on file version.

« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2009, 03:33 »
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I too use the carbonite backup system.
It runs smoothly and works very well... 

I just have a small clarification to the post from Oboy...  Carbonite holds ONLY ONE version of your files. When the files are deleted from your local machine, Carbonite keeps the file for 30 days before deleting it.  So only one version, but 30 days to recover files deleted by mistake.

If you need to, you can restore files selectively, one by one. If you need to restore completely, you can restore in prioritized order as you see fit.

All in all, a very simple and straight forward system for a reasonable price!   

« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2009, 05:18 »
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Yes, Darth Vader use it to freeze Han Solo.

« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2009, 05:42 »
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They don't have any SLA at all (i.e. they don't guarantee your data is safe); and there are quite a few stories in the internet about people who lost their data with Carbonite.

Therefore I would not rely on such service as a primary backup - although it could be not bad for keeping an extra copy.

BTW this was discussed in another thread a few weeks ago with various backup alternatives mentioned.

« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2009, 07:02 »
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They don't have any SLA at all (i.e. they don't guarantee your data is safe); and there are quite a few stories in the internet about people who lost their data with Carbonite.

Therefore I would not rely on such service as a primary backup - although it could be not bad for keeping an extra copy.

BTW this was discussed in another thread a few weeks ago with various backup alternatives mentioned.


Not that I wan't to argue about maybe a few mistakes... I don't know of any, but for those of you, who might be interested, below I have inserted a description published by the CEO.  He's email adress is incluted so it should be possible to obtain a full technical description of the security setup...:


.....................................................................

A Note from David Friend, Co-founder and CEO
A couple of years ago, when my daughter was a sophomore in college, she called me, sobbing. Her laptop had been stolen, and along with it the term paper that she had been working on for 6 weeks! Her unsympathetic professor didnt want to hear any excuses. It was only a few weeks later that my business partner Jeffs wifes hard drive died. They sent it off to one of those disk recovery services, which charged $1,100 to try to recover her files, but got nothing useful back. She ended up losing two years of baby pictures and financial records. Poof. Gone. She hadnt bothered to back any of it up.

Why cant backup be simple and affordable?
We decided it was high time to get our families to backup their Computers. Not so easy! Sure, we could spend Saturday afternoons burning a stack of CD ROMs, but who has the time? We could buy external hard drives for everyones computer, but theyre expensive, often complicated, and can get stolen or damaged very easily. We felt that online backup was the way to go because its professionally managed, secure, and always available. But existing online backup services were really complicated and very expensive. Why couldnt someone offer one that was simple and affordable? Something without technical jargon, ongoing user involvement, and capacity limits... Couldnt a backup service just run in the background, automatically protecting changes and new files on your Computer? That idea became Carbonite.

Unlimited backup, one flat fee
People thought we were nuts offering unlimited backup for just $49.95 per year. Yes, we do lose money if you back up more than 100GB, but most people dont, and its a small price to pay for the simplicity you get when you dont have to make any decisions or compromises. Its like buying an insurance policy for your data.

Since we launched Carbonite in 2006, weve backed up over 2 billion files. Today we back up more than 30 million new files every day. More importantly we have restored over 160 million files that would have been lost forever without us. We proved that simple is better Carbonite has been featured in the The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and other publications worldwide. Today Carbonite has customers in over 104 countries. We have more consumer and small business customers than any other online backup service. And we make sure that every one is a happy customer In user satisfaction surveys, 97% of our users say they are either 'satisfied' or 'very satisfied' with Carbonite.

About safety and security
Sometimes people ask us "Why should I trust you with my most confidential files?" There are technical answers: encrypting your data before it leaves your Computer, encrypted SSL data transmission, hacker-tested intrusion defenses, and so forth. But think about our motivations, too if we ever compromised a users private information, we would soon be out of business. Maybe you cant evaluate our technical defenses, but our business partners can and do. For example, if you pick up a copy of Microsoft Money, youll see the Carbonite logo right on the box. They trust us with their customers most private financial information. We also go to great pains to be sure we dont lose your data we store everything on redundant disk arrays that are 36 million times more reliable than the hard drive in your Computer.

Try us, risk free
I hope you will give Carbonite a try. Almost 70% of the people who try Carbonite purchase a subscription within the first two weeks. 98% of our users say that they would recommend Carbonite to a friend or family member.

I hope to welcome you soon to a growing community of users who sleep better at night knowing that the contents of their Computers are safe. Please feel free to write to me at david.friend@carbonite.com if you have any questions.

Regards,
David Friend, CEO
...


« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2009, 08:00 »
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They don't have any SLA at all (i.e. they don't guarantee your data is safe); and there are quite a few stories in the internet about people who lost their data with Carbonite.

Therefore I would not rely on such service as a primary backup - although it could be not bad for keeping an extra copy.

BTW this was discussed in another thread a few weeks ago with various backup alternatives mentioned.



Not that I wan't to argue about maybe a few mistakes... I don't know of any, but for those of you, who might be interested, below I have inserted a description published by the CEO.  He's email adress is incluted so it should be possible to obtain a full technical description of the security setup...:


fljac - perhaps you have different background than me and the word "SLA" isn't as meaningful for you as it is for me; of may be I wasn't clear in my previous post...

Coming from IT services I don't have a complete trust in service that doesn't provide measurable guarantees. It's nice that the CEO takes an open approach but he still doesn't address the point from a business service point of view. "Guaranteed 99.9% up time"; "all data backed up on tape daily"; "24 h data restore time"; "128-bit DES encryption" are measurable guarantees. A set of such guarantees for a certain service is called a "Service Level Agreement" or "SLA". And statements like "97% of our customers are happy" is a marketing part, not a business service term.

So far the only online storage solution that I am aware of providing an SLA is Amazon S3 (not taking into account hosting providers aimed at web hosting rather than backup/data storage).

The options of online and offline backup were recently discussed in this thread; following that discussion I've chosen my own backup method that I described in my blog.


« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2009, 08:54 »
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fljac - perhaps you have different background than me and the word "SLA" isn't as meaningful for you as it is for me; of may be I wasn't clear in my previous post...

Coming from IT services I don't have a complete trust in service that doesn't provide measurable guarantees. It's nice that the CEO takes an open approach but he still doesn't address the point from a business service point of view. "Guaranteed 99.9% up time"; "all data backed up on tape daily"; "24 h data restore time"; "128-bit DES encryption" are measurable guarantees. A set of such guarantees for a certain service is called a "Service Level Agreement" or "SLA". And statements like "97% of our customers are happy" is a marketing part, not a business service term.

So far the only online storage solution that I am aware of providing an SLA is Amazon S3 (not taking into account hosting providers aimed at web hosting rather than backup/data storage).

The options of online and offline backup were recently discussed in this thread; following that discussion I've chosen my own backup method that I described in my blog.


[/quote]

HI MIklav,

I'm an SAP Solution architecht in the daytime, so I do know the meaning of the term "SLA" as this is an integrated part of my daily work life.

My opinnion is that it has no relevans what so ever when you speak about guaranteed uptime...  Since out backup's needs to be maintained onj a daily basis with limited amounts of data, I don't mind that the system is down for something like 2-5 % of the time...

Have in mind that you're not dealing with the database of yor national bank or something like that  :D

« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2009, 09:22 »
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HI MIklav,

I'm an SAP Solution architecht in the daytime, so I do know the meaning of the term "SLA" as this is an integrated part of my daily work life.

My opinnion is that it has no relevans what so ever when you speak about guaranteed uptime...  Since out backup's needs to be maintained onj a daily basis with limited amounts of data, I don't mind that the system is down for something like 2-5 % of the time...

Have in mind that you're not dealing with the database of yor national bank or something like that  :D
Most probably I would not mind if my data is unavailable for 2-5% of the time... but I would worry a lot if my data is lost completely or corrupted! I found several stories in the internet that were talking exactly about that issue (do I need to find them again to show you? they aren't anonymous btw); and this is what isn't mentioned in the letter from the CEO.

At the current moment  I do not have any evidence about Carbonite taking measures against data loss or corruption. There is no indication that they keep more than 1 copy of my data; and there is no indication that they validate the integrity of the data.

I am not saying that their service is bad in general - I am far from that. The only thing I am saying is that there is no guarantee at all (and there have already been unfortunate incidents) and therefore I would not rely on Carbonite as my only and single backup.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2009, 09:28 by MikLav »

« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2009, 15:26 »
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I just have a small clarification to the post from Oboy...  Carbonite holds ONLY ONE version of your files. When the files are deleted from your local machine, Carbonite keeps the file for 30 days before deleting it.  So only one version, but 30 days to recover files deleted by mistake.

Go in the restore mode and do a right mouse click on a file. There is an option to show and restore different version of a file. Maybe if a file was not modified in the last 30 days, then there is only one version and you can't see this option. This was not possible two years ago. I don't remember when they added this function.

I do burn DVD from time to time as a backup too, but I don't have to remember it all the time. I had to restore a few time some files that I accidentally deleted and had never problem restoring them with this service.

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