Carbonite Safe Core Computer Backup Review (2023)

Carbonite is a well-known name among business cloud backup solutions, and its Carbonite Safe small business product does fairly well in this latest incarnation. Some limiting factors is that it works only on Apple macOS or Microsoft Windows 10 computers, and that it's intended to backup only organizations comprising 25 endpoints or less. Those limits, as well as no backup support for mobile devices, means it trails our Editors Choice winner in this space, Acronis Cyber Protect.

Still, Carbonite Safe, even within those constraints, does offer some surprising flexibility and feature depth. For one thing, it can backup not only physical machines but also virtual machines (VMs) provided they're running on the Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor. Carbonite can also handle external hard drives andnetwork attached storage (NAS) devices, though these are only accessible as extra-cost options.

Carbonite is well suited to remote workers and distributed teams requiring basic and reliable cloud backup for up to 25 computers a month. Carbonite Safe is more similar to Backblaze Business Backup and, to a certain extent, CrashPlan for Small Business, because all these products forego more advanced features in order to deliver slick and easy-to-use client and management software. Carbonite likely has more advanced features than the other two, but accessing them will mean spanning product tiers.

Carbonite Safe Core Computer Backup Review (1)

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Carbonite's Plans and Features

Carbonite Safe Core Computer Backup Review (2)

The Carbonite Safe product line consists of two product classes: 1) endpoint backup for desktops and laptops and 2) server backup. We trialed the Carbonite Safe Ultimate plan that afforded us trials of both Carbonite Safe and Carbonite Safe Server Backup, which is not included in the Carbonite Safe Core plan tier.This costs $24 per month for up to 25 computers billed on an annual basis. Included in this tier are automatic cloud backups, 7-day-per-week customer support, a paid option for external hard drive backups, remote file access to computer files, and128-bit encryption. Also bundled in this tier is ransomware recovery, remote file access, as well as FERPA, GLBA, and HIPAA compliance. This plan has centralized management and admin controls, though a downside is that Carbonite Safe doesn't have agents for Apple iOS or Google Android devices, the company says these are available in higher-tier products. That might be an issue for small businesses who don't want to purchase yet another app to protect their smartphones and tablets, especially now that so many home workers are switching between business and personal devices.

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For businesses that need to backup servers, the Basic Server Backup tier costs $50 a month, billed annually. You can use it to back up PCs as well as servers if its capabilities better match your needs. This tier can handle up to 5TB of data and up to five servers. It also adds image backup and bare-metal restore capability as well as dedicated backup features for Microsoft SQL Server, Exchange, SharePoint, and MySQL databases. Again, not features you'll find in every competitor, especially those focused more on client backup rather than servers.

Larger businesses, or those with more specific demands, like mixed environments that blend virtual and legacy systems, can opt for Carbonite Server Backup, a separate service.

While we didn't test these higher-end features, based on our endpoint backup experience, Carbonite has done very well with its focus on simplicity. This extends to most aspects of the system, from mainstream features to pricing.

And while its more advanced capabilities do cost extra, it's very nice to know they're available, though a menu-style pricing structure would be more convenient than having to switch between so many different kinds of account types. The need for bare metal image backup is particularly nice, since we didn't find that even in Arcserve UDP Cloud Direct, our other Editors’ Choice selection for this segment. However, that 25-device limit will be painful for many businesses these days, though you can get around it by setting up multiple Carbonite accounts.

Setup and User Interface

Carbonite Safe Core Computer Backup Review (14)

As with many cloud backup solutions, you initiate your Carbonite account from the company's website, which is divided between its home and business editions. Installing the agent on our Windows-based test machine was quick and straightforward. Once installation was finished, Carbonite began a complete backup of our files (a total of 100GB spread across various folders). Still, our initial backup took roughly eleven hours using a standard home network internet connection, which was an average result compared to the other solutions.

Unlike some of the other cloud backup solutions, which use a web browser as the sole user interface, Carbonite relies on its locally-installed agent application, This runs in the background on your PC, though there is a companion web-based dashboard. We prefer this approach because it helps keep our browser focused on all the other business tools using that platform.

The Carbonite app issuper transparent and easy to decipher. You have an instant-read status on your backup, including how many files are being backed up, the percentage of backup completion,quick links to settings and controls, as well as a link to look at your backup dashboard. This opens up to a plain-looking but easy to navigate webpage.

This web interface gives a wider range of controls and options than the desktop client. You can toggle between Account Summary, Backup Dashboard, Manage Backup Policies, Notifications,and Personal Information. Navigating the web interface is generally snappy, but we did experience delays in getting the latest status of our backups. You can set up SMS-based two-factor verification (2FA) and specify the security questions you'll need to answer when you need to change your password.

Backup options are a little binary. You can set Carbonite Safe for continuous backup (which is recommended if you want to revert to the latest data restore), or set it to backup once a day at a specified time, presumably when your network or PCs aren’t that busy.

We would have liked to see a wider selection of backup options and times, especially now that many employees and teams are working remotely and don’t adhere to traditional 9-5 office hours.Carbonite is also rather absolute in its backup plans, which means you can’t specify backups to specific folders or files at specific times. This may not be a big issue with some small businesses, but having the option to target specificfiles and folders for backup on their own schedule adds flexibility and can speed up backup performance, too. Customers have the option during installation to manually select all items in their backup. The Windows product allows the users to right click on a file or folder they would like to add to their backup, and the Mac client allows users to select files or folders for protection through the UI.

Restoring Backed Up Files

Carbonite Safe Core Computer Backup Review (15)

Many cloud backup solutions excel at backing up, but then fall a little short when it comes time to restore. A lot of those issues stem from confusing policies or unclear instructions during the setup process. Some users will only discover an error in their data restoration in the unfortunate event of a crash when they’re restoring data for the first time. It's very important that no matter which cloud backup system you choose, you perform regular restore tests so you not only know it's working but also how to go about it properly.

Carbonite does well on the restore front, however. Setting your options is fairly simply and initiating one is just as easy. During our test restore, we liked that Carbonite Safe places the restoration controls on an equal footing with the backup controls when it comes to interface emphasis.Restore functions were located right next to backup functions and were built with the same level of simplicity. You can easily choose between restoring different volumes or individual folders and we found overall restore performance times satisfactory.

Cloud Backup Simplified for Small Business

Carbonite Safe Core Computer Backup Review (16)

Ease of use is, again, Carbonite Safe’s strong point. It's easy not only to configure your backups but also perform a restore either on just a few files and folders or across a full system backup. Carbonite supports configurable version control which means those versions are storedlonger than deleted files—up to three months. However, you're limited to 12 versions of a single file, which can be constraining depending on how your company collaborates on documents.

Still, Carbonite correctly backed up all the various files, folders, and text document versions we used during our testing. Unfortunately, though it was one of the more intuitive and complete solutions we tested, that feature breadth is distributed across several different services and pricing tiers. The service we tested was actually on par feature-wise only with the rest of the easy-to-use small business products, a list that also includes Backblaze and CrashPlan. That means businesses looking for a single-pane-of-glass backup solution will have a hard time justifying Carbonite Safe Core Computer Backup, even if it is one of the easier services.

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See It30% Off - $58.99 Per Year at Carbonite(Opens in a new window)

MSRP $24.00

Pros

  • Easy to install

  • Options for endpoints, servers, and external drives

  • Excellent 24/7 support staff

  • Software-specific backup and restore options

View More

Cons

  • No third-party cloud support

  • Cloud storage not included for business plans

  • No mobile device support

  • Limited to Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS operating systems

View More

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The Bottom Line

Carbonite is both slick and simple to use, which demystifies a lot of the hurdles businesses bump into when setting up cloud backups. But it's marred somewhat by slow restores and a lack of support for mobile devices.

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FAQs

Is Carbonite a good backup system? ›

Carbonite is an easy-to-use online backup provider with great security, privacy and customer support. It even offers unlimited storage for a single computer at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, the speeds are terrible, and the lack of features means you don't get a whole lot of control over the backup process.

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 slow down your computer? ›

Your backup speed will also depend on the amount of strain your other programs and services have on your internet connection. Additionally, Carbonite slows down while you are using your computer to avoid interfering with your important tasks. When practical, use the computer as seldom as possible during backups.

Can Carbonite be hacked? ›

Based on our security reviews, there is no evidence to suggest that Carbonite has been hacked or compromised.

How long will Carbonite keep my files? ›

When Carbonite scans for files to back up, it also removes deleted files from the backup to keep it up-to-date. Depending on your plan, Carbonite removes deleted files after 30 or 60 days from the date they were deleted from the computer.

Which backup device is best? ›

The best cloud backup service you can get today
  1. IDrive Personal. The best cloud backup service overall. ...
  2. Backblaze. The best value in cloud backup services. ...
  3. Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office. The best cloud backup service for power users. ...
  4. CrashPlan for Small Business. ...
  5. SpiderOak One. ...
  6. Carbonite Safe.
30 Aug 2022

How long does a 100 GB backup take? ›

At 5Mbps, for example, 100GB should take about 48 hours to backup. A terabyte backup would take less than three weeks. Double your internet upload speed, and you cut that in half.

What files does Carbonite not backup? ›

Carbonite Safe Backup Pro is not designed to back up the following types of files or folders:
  • Temporary files and operating system files.
  • Any data that isn't stored locally. ...
  • Shortcuts. ...
  • Files that make up your live database programs such as SQL and Exchange. ...
  • System files and Programs such as .

Why is Carbonite backup so slow? ›

The connectivity determines the reliability and the internet speed determines the speed of the backup or restore. If your internet connection is slow or does not provide reliable connection to your computer, Carbonite will be unreliable backing up or restoring your files in a timely manner.

Is Carbonite still in business? ›

Carbonite, Inc. is an American company that offers an online backup service, available to Windows and macOS users. In 2019 it was acquired by Canadian software company, OpenText.
...
Carbonite, Inc.
TypeSubsidiary
ParentOpenText
3 more rows

How many backups does Carbonite keep? ›

Carbonite keeps up to twelve (12) versions of your changed files.

Who gets frozen in Carbonite? ›

In Cloud City, Darth Vader decided to freeze Luke Skywalker in carbonite for transport to the Emperor. (As Anakin Skywalker, he'd undergone the process himself to evade Separatist life detectors.) Before setting his trap for Luke, Vader tested the process on Han Solo.

Can I transfer my Carbonite account to a new computer? ›

Summary: You can transfer your Carbonite Safe subscription to restore your files to another computer. Alternatively, you can transfer Carbonite to another computer to start a new backup.

Does Carbonite protect against ransomware? ›

Carbonite: A cornerstone for Ransomware protection & recovery. Malware that encrypts a victim's data until the extortionist's demands are met is one of the most common forms of cybercrime.

What is the difference between Dropbox and Carbonite? ›

The main differences between Carbonite and Dropbox are: Carbonite is more of an off-site backup solution with data security at its core functionality, whereas Dropbox offers sync and storage solutions for your files making them available on-demand across different devices.

What is the best way to backup my desktop computer? ›

An external USB hard drive is the fastest and most cost-effective way to back up your files at home.

What is the most reliable backup method? ›

Back up data using cloud storage

Investing in cloud storage is one of the best ways to back up your data. A good cloud storage service, such as Google Drive or Dropbox, will come with its own file management system for simplified access, as well as decent encryption to keep your data away from third parties.

Which is the most reliable and safe storage device? ›

SSDs don't use conventional spinning “platters” to store data, so there are fewer moving parts. Under optimal conditions, an SSD can be used for ten years or more without any hardware issues. This makes SSD ideal for long term data storage.

How long does it take to backup 500 GB? ›

A 500 GB backup may take a few hours (maybe up to 10, give or take). If it's a USB connected drive, it may take longer. I would figure the estimate will eventually adjust properly; just let it run. I am a getting a similar problem, which in my case is not an estimate.

How much backup is enough? ›

Important data should be backed up at least once a week, but preferably once every twenty-four hours. These backups can be performed manually or automatically. A lot of automatic software options are available that you can set to make a backup of your data at a set time of the day or week.

How long does it take to copy 1TB? ›

How long does it take to copy 1TB data over USB 3.0. Around 4.9 hours. For USB 3.0, the maximum if 5GB/s, translating to 625MB/s. So assuming 1TB is, as usual, 1024GB (1048576 MB).

What is the difference between Carbonite and OneDrive? ›

When using Microsoft OneDrive as a form of backup, if a file is deleted or infected on a local device, that change is automatically synced in OneDrive. Carbonite Backup for Microsoft 365 offers backup and recovery with granular restore to protect against this scenario.

Does Carbonite backup emails? ›

Carbonite backs up Microsoft Mail emails by default with the Automatic setup option. If you had chosen the Advanced setup option and selected not to include the default locations in your backup, you can still manually add your email.

Does Carbonite backup cell phones? ›

Carbonite Mobile is now available for Android and iOS devices as a companion app to Carbonite Safe®. You can easily access the files you've backed up on your desktop straight from your mobile device.

How much does 1TB of data storage cost? ›

Google Drive and Dropbox tie for the second cheapest option at $9.99 for one terabyte of storage. Apple charges $19.99 per month for one terabyte of space.

What is similar to Carbonite? ›

6 Alternatives to Carbonite
  • Backblaze Unlimited Backup.
  • Livedrive Personal Backup.
  • OpenDrive Personal Unlimited. Carbonite Alternatives That Support Multiple Computers.
  • IDrive Personal.
  • SpiderOak One Backup.
  • Acronis True Image.
25 Jun 2022

What's the difference between iCloud and Carbonite? ›

Carbonite will backup all the data on your computer as long as it's connected to the internet. iCloud from Apple is a secure cloud storage solution for storing multiple types of content online, and across all your devices....

How long should it take to back up a computer? ›

Hence, using the drive-to-drive method, a full backup of a computer with 100 gigabytes of data should take roughly between 1 1/2 to 2 hours. This number, however, is theoretically "best case" scenario that a full backup of this size could be completed in and is unlikely to be experienced in a real world environment.

How can I speed up my backup speed? ›

10 tips to faster backups
  1. Use virtual tape technology to achieve faster backups without file system overhead. ...
  2. Use a fast, exclusive connection between the backup server and the backup storage target. ...
  3. Remove backup network/LAN bottlenecks. ...
  4. Reconfigure backup jobs to run in parallel rather than serially.
4 Aug 2005

How can I speed up my computer backup? ›

How to Speed up Computer Backups
  1. Confirm Only Relevant Data is Selected.
  2. Make use of Incremental and Synthetic Methods.
  3. Make use of Quiet Times for Backing-up.
  4. Optimise Compression and Encryption Settings.
  5. Other Optimisations for Faster Backup.
  6. Conclusion.
30 Mar 2022

Where is Carbonite data stored? ›

For Safe and Safe Pro Plans, user data is stored in Carbonite proprietary data centers. For Safe Server Plans, user data is stored in either Google Cloud Storage or Amazon S3.

Can Carbonite backup to an external hard drive? ›

With Carbonite, you can also add files and folders located on your local external hard drive to your backup. To include an external hard drive in your backup on your Windows computer, it needs to be attached to the computer by a USB connection and formatted in NTFS or FAT32.

Is Carbonite free? ›

Carbonite Safe Plus

Carbonite's Safe Plus gives you an unlimited amount of storage just like their Basic plan, but adds support for backing up external hard drives and backing up videos by default. It's $111.99 /year ($9.34 /month).

What does being frozen in carbonite feel like? ›

Without any senses, the time had felt like an eternity of constant agony. He couldn't move, and he couldn't satiate what he felt. He couldn't even express himself with a scream because he was being suffocated. All he could do was subconsciously know that he was being held helplessly close to death.

Are you awake in carbonite? ›

After thanking Luke (Mark Hamill) for saving him, Han describes the sensation of being frozen in carbonite in startling detail. “That carbon freeze was the closest thing to dead there is,” he says. “And it wasn't just sleepin'. It was a big wide awake nothing!”

Can you actually freeze someone in carbonite? ›

Darth Vader, who experienced carbonite freezing in his younger years, probably knew it was safe, but the fact remains that it definitely wasn't designed for living beings. Neither is cryopreservation, though. “This process isn't currently applied to living people,” says Best.

What happens if I uninstall Carbonite? ›

Summary: You can remove Carbonite from your computer by uninstalling it. After you uninstall Carbonite, Carbonite will no longer back up your files, but your existing backup will remain safe while you have a paid subscription.

Does Carbonite backup open files? ›

Carbonite Safe Server Backup can backup open files as long as the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) is enabled, and it does not have any limit on the size of the files to be backed up.

How do I transfer all my data from one computer to another? ›

Here are the five most common methods you can try for yourself.
  1. Cloud storage or web data transfers. ...
  2. SSD and HDD drives via SATA cables. ...
  3. Basic cable transfer. ...
  4. Use software to speed up your data transfer. ...
  5. Transfer your data over WiFi or LAN. ...
  6. Using an external storage device or flash drives.
21 Feb 2019

Is Carbonite a good backup? ›

If all you're looking for is a quick and easy way to back up files, Carbonite is a decent option, provided you don't need quick access to your files once they're backed up.

Is Carbonite backup the best? ›

Carbonite has its strengths and its weaknesses, just like every other cloud storage solution out there. We'd recommend it for those users who are after a simple cloud backup package for a single computer, one that they can just set up and then forget about afterwards.

What is the best ransomware backup? ›

We recommend Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office as the best online backup with ransomware protection due to its dedicated ransomware protection, its user-defined versioning and its backup and recovery options.

How far back do Carbonite backups go? ›

Carbonite keeps up to one (1): Daily version for each day of the past week. Weekly version for each of the past three (3) weeks. Monthly version for each of the previous two (2) months (that the file has been backed up)

What files does Carbonite not backup? ›

Carbonite Safe Backup Pro is not designed to back up the following types of files or folders:
  • Temporary files and operating system files.
  • Any data that isn't stored locally. ...
  • Shortcuts. ...
  • Files that make up your live database programs such as SQL and Exchange. ...
  • System files and Programs such as .

What is the difference between Dropbox and Carbonite? ›

The main differences between Carbonite and Dropbox are: Carbonite is more of an off-site backup solution with data security at its core functionality, whereas Dropbox offers sync and storage solutions for your files making them available on-demand across different devices.

How much does 1TB of data storage cost? ›

Google Drive and Dropbox tie for the second cheapest option at $9.99 for one terabyte of storage. Apple charges $19.99 per month for one terabyte of space.

Is Carbonite still in business? ›

Carbonite, Inc. is an American company that offers an online backup service, available to Windows and macOS users. In 2019 it was acquired by Canadian software company, OpenText.
...
Carbonite, Inc.
TypeSubsidiary
ParentOpenText
3 more rows

Why is Carbonite backup so slow? ›

The connectivity determines the reliability and the internet speed determines the speed of the backup or restore. If your internet connection is slow or does not provide reliable connection to your computer, Carbonite will be unreliable backing up or restoring your files in a timely manner.

Can I transfer my Carbonite account to a new computer? ›

Summary: You can transfer your Carbonite Safe subscription to restore your files to another computer. Alternatively, you can transfer Carbonite to another computer to start a new backup.

What is similar to Carbonite? ›

6 Alternatives to Carbonite
  • Backblaze Unlimited Backup.
  • Livedrive Personal Backup.
  • OpenDrive Personal Unlimited. Carbonite Alternatives That Support Multiple Computers.
  • IDrive Personal.
  • SpiderOak One Backup.
  • Acronis True Image.
25 Jun 2022

What's the difference between iCloud and Carbonite? ›

Carbonite will backup all the data on your computer as long as it's connected to the internet. iCloud from Apple is a secure cloud storage solution for storing multiple types of content online, and across all your devices....

What is the difference between Carbonite and OneDrive? ›

When using Microsoft OneDrive as a form of backup, if a file is deleted or infected on a local device, that change is automatically synced in OneDrive. Carbonite Backup for Microsoft 365 offers backup and recovery with granular restore to protect against this scenario.

Does Carbonite backup emails? ›

Carbonite backs up Microsoft Mail emails by default with the Automatic setup option. If you had chosen the Advanced setup option and selected not to include the default locations in your backup, you can still manually add your email.

Does Carbonite backup cell phones? ›

Carbonite Mobile is now available for Android and iOS devices as a companion app to Carbonite Safe®. You can easily access the files you've backed up on your desktop straight from your mobile device.

Who is Carbonite owned by? ›

More solutions than ever, all from one source. As part of the OpenText family of technology services, Carbonite brings you more solutions for ensuring the data you rely on remains secure and accessible.

Is Carbonite expensive? ›

Carbonite Pricing

Carbonite offers Home, Home & Office and Business solutions. The price varies from $59 per computer per yer to $599 per year.

Does Carbonite protect against ransomware? ›

Carbonite: A cornerstone for Ransomware protection & recovery. Malware that encrypts a victim's data until the extortionist's demands are met is one of the most common forms of cybercrime.

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