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Carbonite Adds Remote Access to Online Backup

Gordon Kelly


Carbonite Adds Remote Access to Online Backup

With all this talk of Cloud computing you'd think online backup services would be both more prevalent and more popular than they are. Perhaps now they will be...

Carbonite, one of the still youthful sector's primary players, has announced it will be integrating the feature everyone wants from online backup: remote access.

In short, this makes it possible for Carbonite users to access backed up files from any PC in the world with an Internet connection, even if Carbonite isn't installed. Users just log on to carbonite.com, navigate to the remote access tab on the navigation bar and from here they can access their hard drive file structures and securely download any files.

"Remote access is a feature our users have been really keen for us to include" said Carbonite CEO David Friend. "Our customers have always trusted us to safeguard their digital lives and keep them secure should their hard drive fail. We're now able to provide further insurance, allowing users access to their files anytime on from any PC with an internet connection".

On top of this Carbonite will be introducing Restore Search, which will allow users to easily find backed up versions of lost files saving time and frustration. This goes with the existing functionality of incremental backups, access to locked files (such as your pesky Outlook pst), 90 day restore versions of all files and encrypted content so that only you can see your content.

The new functionality is available to new customers immediately and should be getting pushed to existing customers as we speak. A year's subscription to Carbonite, providing unlimited backup space, isn't cheap at $54.95 (£39) but it does mean no more wires or physical hardware and there's currently a free 15 day trial available from the main site.

In related news Carbonite has also announced it has this week launched a long awaited version for Mac OS 10.4 and 10.5. This will contain all features found on the PC edition - including the newly added Remote Access and Restore Search - and retail at the same price. Quite a concept for Mac owners I'm sure. No, really there isn't a premium on it. Honestly...

Fine, suit yourselves.




March 18, 2009, 12:34 pm

Online backup isn't taking off is because it's not practical yet. If you want to backup your photos and music, Carbonite will take forever to upload your files to their server (last time I tried to backup a fraction of my stuff with Carbonite it was going to take over 12 months to complete on an 8MB ADSL line). The BT backup service suffered similar issues. Presumably, if my disk died, it would also take months to get everything back, which isn't much use to me. Online backup might be an option if you only have a few GB of files, but if so there are cheaper and easier ways to backup your stuff...


March 18, 2009, 12:50 pm

@RJ - Have to disagree with you. I'm a Mozy user and have over 200GB backed up. Yes, that was over a period of time but once started you just leave it working (I use in addition to a local backup)

Oh and Mozy has offered remote access for a while but the Carbonite search function is definitely an advantage.

Chris 16

March 18, 2009, 3:10 pm

The problem I found with carbonite was if you rebuilt your PC, i.e. it didn't just die, and you managed to save all your data first you couldn't just resync, you had to upload all the content again. My advice would to be get a NAS with FTP.

Robert Elliot

March 18, 2009, 4:07 pm

I use SpiderOak's free 2GB - has a Linux client and you can have it on multiple devices for the one cost.

However, if you;re basically only backing up one machine it's got a serious negative - $120 a year for 100GB as opposed to $55 a year for unlimited. Frankly I can't see myself uploading more than 100GB, but the difference in cost per year is huge. Best of both worlds would be nice!

David Friend

March 20, 2009, 11:07 pm

Gordon: Thanks very much for the write-up on Carbonite. One minor point -- we save versions for 90 days, not 30. Both the Remote Access and searchable restore features have been very well received by our customers.

Regarding some of the comments above, RJ says remote backup isn't practical yet. Obviously it depends how much data you have. I'd say anyone with more than 100GB might find the intial back to be too slow, but our average customer is backing up 20-30GB, and even the slowest DSL works fine with that amount of data. There are millions of people already using Carbonite and similar services, so it works for most people.

Dave Friend, CEO

Carbonite, Inc.


March 21, 2009, 2:17 am

@David Friend - thanks David, I shall update that. Professional contact should really come via phone or email however not the forums :)

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