carbonite-online-file-backup-service-logoYou might be asking yourself whether Carbonite would be of any use to you, but backing up your computer’s data is becoming increasingly important. As well as the work and personal computer data files being lost, when you consider that most people now use digital cameras to record their life, fun times with their friends and their family history, you cannot replace all those, you need to back these files up!

I used to be one of those people who tried to back up their computer files as often as they could…manually…onto a separate external hard disk, but as with anything that you need to remember and set time aside to do, it would take ages to do and quite often it would get put off in favour of other more fun activities like…well anything else!

Also, even when you have backed up your precious files onto an external hard disk, if you then keep that backup at the same location as your computer, well that’s only useful if your computer physically breaks. If your backup is in the same house as your computer, what happens if you’re burgled or your house burns down in a fire? You’ve still lost everything much like Francis Ford Coppola lost years of his work, truly soul destroying!

So when I ended up with a dead computer last year, it made me consider the importance of having several backup systems, especially a cloud-based off-site option. It was then that I decided to give the Carbonite online computer backup service a go.

Was it a good idea? I must say that is was as I got to test it out much sooner than I’d hoped I’d need to…
Since I’d recently re-installed Windows 7, I must have set the updates to be entirely automatic (instead of my preferred ‘download and then ask me to install when I want to’ option), which means Windows goes off and grabs the latest updates at 3am in the morning and then installs them, so not only do you find that your computer reboots itself during the night despite whatever applications you might still have open and running, but if there are any problems, then you’re not there to see them!

Obviously, I’ve just explained that for a reason…whilst updating automatically one night, Windows Update must have encountered some kind of error during installing the updates as I came back to the computer the next morning to find that it had wiped my Windows login/user account, taking it back to a clean install state which meant I lost all my user files.

Luckily my working files and email are all cloud-based, so I could still get on with work, but it did mean that I lost all my personal photos and music collection – things that I’m constantly adding to, much had changed since the last manual backup to an external hard drive.

However, because I’d started using the Carbonite online backup service the previous month, I was able to quickly and easily restore all my personal data to just how they had been at the end of the previous night – in fact, it was much quicker and simpler to do than to dig out my backup external hard drive from the storage cupboard – which admittedly should ideally be stored off-site at a family or friends house for extra safety of my data.

Anyway, thanks to Carbonite runs silently in the background without any intervention on your part, doesn’t slow down the running of my computer and is respectful of the limited upload speeds of my internet connection. Therefore it means that my data is securely stored off-site in the cloud and is accessible wherever I might be whenever I might need it.

Obviously, your data is also securely encrypted to 128-bit Blowfish standards (the highest commercial encryption available) before being sent over the Internet to their servers for storage, so there are no worries on that point either.

If you want a simple, secure, reliable solution for backing up your precious computer data, you should definitely take a look at Carbonite 4 (with new and improved features) and there’s even a 15-day free trial to test it out first.

It’s quite simply an install and forget backup system which provides you with a complete backup when you find you need it!

Unfortunately, a lot of people only think about backup once they have already lost all their vital data, don’t have that happen to you, you need to back it up in the first place to be able to get it back when everything goes wrong!

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  1. Donn Edwards 22 October, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    I use Carbonite on my work laptop and my wife’s laptop.

    We recently replaced her laptop and I restored most of her files (about 30,000) from a USB backup drive, but there were still about 12,000 files to be restored from the Carbonite backup.

    I was presented with two choices:
    a) Restore all files
    b) Restore individual files.

    Option (a) proceeded to restore files that I had already restored from the USB drive. That promised to take several days, if not weeks.

    Option (b) expected me to figure out which of the 12000 out of 42,000 files to restore.

    Why is there no “restore all missing and newer files” option? I’m mystified. I have asked the tech support people and the twitter guy, and got absolutely no response.

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