Review: Carbonite

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Here at Clear Estimates we try to develop software that is intuitive, robust, and easy to use. One of our role models has always been the makers of WinZip (now owned by Corel). They provide an excellent example of a product that is very powerful and feature-rich if you need it to be, but extremely straighforward and easy to understand if you don’t want to get involved in the nitty-gritty.

In our office we have regularly used WinZip and WinZip Self Extractor (the maker of our setup file) and now we’re using another product: Carbonite. What is it? Here’s the summary, pulled from their site:

  • A small application on your PC
    Carbonite installs a small application on your computer that works quietly in the background looking for new and changed files that need to be backed up. It looks and feels just like part of your computer, and is integrated with your desktop — there’s no new interface for you to learn.
  • Completely Automatic
    When your computer is idle, Carbonite automatically backs up your new and changed files. You don’t have to do anything! When you’re using your computer, Carbonite goes to sleep so it will never slow you down or interfere with your Internet connection.
  • Secure and encrypted to protect your privacy
    Carbonite takes data privacy and security very seriously. All your files are encrypted twice before leaving your PC. Files remain encrypted at our secure data centers, so only you can see your files.
  • Get your files back with a few clicks
    If you accidentally delete or otherwise lose files, it takes just a few clicks on your desktop to get them back. If your computer is damaged, stolen or “just dies” and you lose all your files, just visit Carbonite’s website from a new computer. Within minutes you’ll be able to begin restoring all your files.

We’ve been using the service for a couple of weeks now and we give it TWO THUMBS UP! The price of $50/yr is well worth the peace of mind it brings. And compare those costs to data retrieval services should you ever damage your hard drive ($$$$)! 

Underneat the logo on the website it says “Because your life is on your PC”.  In some cases your business is also on your PC. As a paperless business, all of our information is in electronic format, so we have a lot to lose.  Of course most of our data is hosted on a remote server anyway, and we had always used an external hard drive to backup local files, but the frequency of backups (at least daily) and the ease which which the service is executed is very refreshing. So the bottom line is you should really give this service a shot: http://www.carbonite.com/

The first backup process took several days (we had 10+GB of files that needed to be uploaded) but since then it has been seamlessly transporting files as they’re created or modified.

Nearly daily I deal with people with stolen/damaged computers who need to reinstall Clear Estimates, so I thought I’d pass this along!

-Nolan Orfield

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