Carbonite Review: Restoring Your Lost Files Without a Fuss (2024)

Carbonite launched way back in 2005 and has significantly evolved ever since. It now offers many innovative solutions for both businesses and individuals.

Setting up the system and restoring any files is pretty easy with Carbonite. The features are also pretty simple to use, so it is perfect for those looking for a user-friendly tool that gets the job done. Here’s what else we found while writing this Carbonite review.

What Is Carbonite?

Carbonite is a cloud backup tool. It will protect you from the most common data loss types and keep all of your information safe. It’s most suitable for users looking for an easy-to-use tool for automatic backups. If the word “carbonite” rings a bell, it’s because the company derived it from the substance used to freeze Han Solo in Star Wars. What used to be solely fictitious now denotes a service that benefits thousands of users by protecting their data.

Device Compatibility

Carbonite only works on Mac (macOS X 10.10 – macOS X 11) and Windows (Windows 7 – Windows 10). It’s not compatible with Linux, Android, or iOS.

Ease of Use

Carbonite reviews praise the straightforward interface, and for a good reason.

You merely have to pick files from the disk to back them up onto the Carbonite servers. You can also select whether you want to download all the files to the original location or restore them to a folder of your choice.

Carbonite tends to run quietly in the background, as all good backup services should. Of course, you can always pause the backup if you need to, but you don’t really need to mess around a lot to make sure your data is safe. Overall, a seamless user experience is worth elaborating on in this Carbonite review. At the end of the day, it’s what all B2B customers want.

Carbonite Features

If you are looking for a whole wealth of features, Carbonite is not the backup solution for you. On the other hand, it is perfect for clients who want a simple tool without many bells and whistles. After all, it does what it has been designed for pretty well — protecting your data from common forms of data loss.

Following the test runs for Carbonite review in 2021, we found the service easy to use. It is suitable for even the most tech unsavvy users out there.

Backup and Restore Services

Carbonite has amazing backup and restoration processes in place. All you need to do is reinstall your OS and applications, and Carbonite will do the rest for you. If you don’t want to recover all data from your old desktop, you can choose specific folders and files.

Is Carbonite really unlimited? Yes, it is. In our books, unlimited storage is the best thing about the service.

That being said, the backup speed is not that great, but more on that later.

Scheduled and Continuous Backup

Our Carbonite backup review found that the company offers scheduled and continuous backup options. You can set up the backup for certain hours of the day, according to your preferences. It can be pretty helpful if you don’t want to throttle your bandwidth when you need it the most.

Deduplication

Data from any data source within the same scope is first amassed in the form of identical encrypted data blocks. Then, the data is deduplicated — redundant or duplicate information is eliminated — to achieve a single instance of any particular block on the data store.

Versioning

The Carbonite software offers versioning, where you can retrieve older versions of any files that you have changed over time. However, Carbonite backup reviews point out that this feature isn’t completely unlimited. You can only access the 12 most recent versions of the files you want. Any files you delete will also be kept safely with Carbonite for 30 or 60 days (depending on your Carbonite plan).

External Data Hard Drive

One of the great things about Carbonite is the Courier Recovery service. For a small fee, you can get an external hard drive with all of your data secured. The service is available throughout the United States.

In case of a serious disaster, offline restoration points do come in handy, based on our observations for the Carbonite review.

Carbonite Security

Carbonite offers AES 128-bit encryption. You should note that the company keeps a copy of your passcode if you forget it.

Often, however, some businesses don’t want their backup service to keep the code even though the majority of the organizations were affected by cybercrimes last year. In this case, they can choose to deploy the AES 128-bit encryption, but make sure that Carbonite doesn’t keep a copy.

If the question “How secure is Carbonite?” has been on your mind, the answer is a definite yes. That being said, be aware that Carbonite won’t be able to help you recover backed-up files if you lose the encryption key file and/or the encryption key password.

As for an extra layer of protection, there’s two-factor authentication to make the most use of.

Speed

When testing Carbonite for this review, one thing that bugged us was the speed of uploading and backup — it’s slow, unfortunately.

Following that, the scheduled backup comes in handy. You can set it up when you don’t need the bandwidth, and Carbonite will utilize it to create a backup.

Carbonite Pricing and Plans

Carbonite offers three billing options:

  • One to three computers — From $6 a month if billed annually. You get automatic cloud backup, remote file access, 128-bit encryption, and optional external hard drive backup.
  • Up to 25 computers — From $24 a month if billed annually. You get everything from the first option, centralized management and admin controls, as well as FERPA, GLBA & HIPAA support.
  • Computers plus servers — From $50 a month if billed annually. You get all of the features mentioned up until now, plus backup for databases and applications, image backup, bare metal restore, and the option to choose between 128- and 256-bit encryption.

Which Carbonite plan is the best? Well, this depends first and foremost on what your needs are, how many computers you want the plan to cover, what kind of encryption you would love to take up, and which features you would love to be provided with. Following that, determine your needs first and then acquaint yourself with the plan specifics.

Is Carbonite worth the cost? The best way to find that out for yourself is to try out the service. Thankfully, you can do just that with the 15-day free trial.

Carbonite Support

Carbonite online backup reviews agree that Carbonite has an extensive knowledge base. There’s also a YouTube channel with a lot of useful tutorials, which is great since most users would rather watch a YouTube tutorial than read the product’s instructions.

Carbonite also has a helpline that you can call during workdays. However, those with a Carbonite Backup Pro plan can talk to an agent on the weekends, too. You can also opt for email support. The team answers rather quickly. If you send them an email, they always respond within 24 hours.

All in all, support agents are extremely polite and helpful. It’s no wonder then that customer support is what earned the service accolades in Carbonate reviews from 2020 onward.

That being said, we did find it a little inconvenient that they don’t have other support channels to like a live chat that most people prefer when they need immediate answers.

Carbonite Reviews From Users

  • TechRadar 3.5/5 stars
  • G2 4.1/5 stars
  • Capterra 4.3/5 stars
  • Trustradius 8.9/10 stars

Most of the user Carbonite reviews on Reddit, Carbonite’s download page, and Google are positive. People love its simple interface and easy controls. Users prefer Carbonite since it runs in the background without creating any issues for the device that it’s running on.

However, we did find some Carbonite reviews with complaints, though — people want more features and options. Slow download speed irks a lot of people, too.

Carbonite Alternatives

While Carbonite may be one of the best cloud backup services today, it may not be suitable for everyone. Some of its missing features may be available from its alternatives, which could be what other users are looking for. So, here, in the spirit of a balanced review, we will present a couple of its closest competitors.

Carbonite vs. Backblaze

Both Carbonite and Backblaze provide unlimited backup storage space. Both can be pretty slow, too. The two don’t have free plans. In other words, these services are similar in many ways. But Carbonite’s security features are much more powerful than Backblaze. That being said, Backblaze is still secure enough. What’s more, Backblaze has more channels to reach customer support than Carbonite. Their pricing plans differ, but both are affordable enough, given the features.

IDrive vs. Carbonite

IDrive is among the most popular options for cloud backup services on the market today. Most users commend its speed, which is its edge over that of Carbonite. It’s also compatible with more devices than Carbonite. What’s more, IDrive has a free plan, while Carbonite doesn’t have one. However, iDrive doesn’t provide unlimited storage as Carbonite does. Carbonite’s best edge over iDrive — it’s easy to use.

Our Verdict

If you want an easy and quick way to back up the files on your computer, then Carbonite is probably the best option for you. Our Carbonite review for 2021 confirms that it offers a simple way to secure your data without the need for any advanced features or expensive bells and whistles. All in all, the privacy, security, and customer service options by Carbonite are all great.

There are still a few issues that they need to work out. The download speed and the lack of mobile device support can be a bother for many people. We’ll most certainly keep our eyes peeled and update this review as soon as those issues are taken care of.

Carbonite Review: Restoring Your Lost Files Without a Fuss (2024)

FAQs

How long does it take for Carbonite to restore files? ›

Carbonite can restore files as fast as your internet and computer allows. However, full restores can range from a few hours to a few days to complete. The time to restore files depends on Carbonite's encryption, the size of the backup, the internet connection, and the performance of the computer.

How do I get my files back from Carbonite? ›

Double-click Backed up Files. Navigate to the location of the file or folder that you want to restore by double-clicking through the folders within the Carbonite Backup Drive. Once located, right-click on the file or folder to choose a restore method. Restore restores the file to the original location.

How do I speed up Carbonite restore? ›

Steps to Increase Backup and Restore Speeds

Configure Sleep and Hibernation (Windows) and Energy Saver (Mac) Settings. For laptops, keep the lid open to avoid the computer from going to sleep. Directly connect your computer to a router or modem. Turn off devices that do not need to be connected to the internet.

Does Carbonite backup everything? ›

During the free trial of Carbonite, music and video files are not included in your backup by default. On the Basic plan of the software, video files can be backed up, but they are not automatically selected for backup. They are automatically selected on the Plus and Prime versions of the software.

How long should restoring files take? ›

Let the process do its job and not interrupt it is always essential. How long does the restoration process take? It usually takes 30 to 45 minutes for the process to complete.

Why does file recovery take so long? ›

The Type and Size of Your Files. Many large files are not stored in a single physical space in a complete form. Therefore, data recovery tools need to find the lost data as completely as possible, which would take more time to recover. Some file types can cause block issues like file corruption.

Why isn t Carbonite backing up my files? ›

If your backup is not progressing normally, reboot your computer. Rebooting often resolves minor backup issues and allows Carbonite to connect to our servers. When the computer powers back on, allow all startup processes to complete before attempting to open and check Carbonite.

Is Carbonite backup really unlimited? ›

Carbonite Safe plans will allow you to backup unlimited amount of data on one PC, where one PC includes one internal hard drive. As a practical matter, the speed of your backup is determined by the available bandwidth of your internet connection and the total amount of data selected for backup.

Does Carbonite delete files from backup? ›

If you remove files from the backup via the Carbonite Backup Drive (for Windows) or the Carbonite app (for Mac), those files are removed from the Carbonite backup within 72 hours. Files or drives that are missing from the computer are also subject to the same backup removal rules based on their plan.

What is the quickest backup to restore? ›

A full backup is the most complete type of backup where you clone all the selected data. This includes files, folders, SaaS applications, hard drives and more. The highlight of a full backup is the minimal time it requires to restore data.

Does Carbonite slow down your computer? ›

Carbonite runs in the background of your system so it doesn't interfere with your computer's normal processes. If Carbonite is using a high percentage of your CPU, the most common cause is that it is struggling to access areas on the hard drive that may not be working correctly.

Is Carbonite a good backup service? ›

Our Verdict. Carbonite's online backup service uses Windows' Explorer for data selection, and is simple, effective, as well as relatively affordable given unlimited space in provides for your backups.

What are the disadvantages of Carbonite? ›

Carbonite's Limitations

Although Carbonite is a decent online backup for Windows and it can back up files on a Mac, you can't use it for an online backup on Linux. It doesn't have mobile apps for Android or iOS, meaning you won't be able to make a cloud backup on your mobile devices, either.

How long does Carbonite keep my files? ›

Carbonite keeps your backed up data on our servers for a limited time after expiration in case you decide to continue with your coverage Depending on your expired account status, Carbonite will permanently remove your backed up data after 30 or 60 days.

How long does a cloud restore take? ›

A System Only restore takes about 5 to 10 minutes. A Quick Restore takes substantially longer as it has to reformat the disk. A Full Restore takes a LONG time (and depends on the size of the disk) because it destroys the data on the drive by writing all zeros over the disk. It can take more than a day, perhaps for 4TB.

How to tell if Carbonite is backing up? ›

To check the backup status of a file or folder, you can review the status icon on the bottom left corner of the file/folder's icon. Ensure Carbonite's dot feature is enabled. Locate the file/folder on your computer. If the file/folder has a dot, it has been selected for backup.

Why does Carbonite keep going into recovery mode? ›

Carbonite automatically enters Recover Mode if it detects that the files on the computer are different than what was previously backed up. You can safely exit Recover Mode if all the files you need are on the computer you want to back up.

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