We reviewed Carbonite as part of our Backup Software Group Test last month and while we saw its online service in a fairly favourable light there were key areas we thought needed improvement. Thankfully, so did Carbonite...
Now looking at the changes in 'Carbonite 3.5' announced this week it is clear that we haven't completely agreed on what needs to be done where - notably there's still no option for system backup (even at a higher cost) - but overall it is a much rosier package.
Keymost in this overhaul is the introduction of file versioning, which - as the name suggests - means that when changes are made to an existing document a copy of the previous version is still kept for three months. Versions can be easily retrieved too by right clicking on any backed up file and selecting 'Restore previous versions'. Top stuff.
Next up we have 'Backup Scheduling' which means users can stop Carbonite from hogging bandwidth when they're busy or delay backups to a specific time, day or frequency. Following this is a boost to the incremental backup system which means when only the smallest of changes is made to a document or file only that change needs to be backed up, not the whole file. Carbonite gives the example of an Excel spreadsheet where a single updated cell will be backed up on its own, instead of the whole document once more. The result should be far faster day-to-day operation.
Lastly a new interface lets users see a progress bar when restoring files (a major omission first time around) and there's an updated and expanded help service.
Carbonite still costs just $49.95 (approx £25) per year so if you're looking for the ultimate hands-off backup system as opposed to a more expensive but more comprehensive hardware solution then this could well be worth a second look...
Note: All new customers will be downloading v3.5 now when subscribing to Carbonite, all existing customers will be upgraded automatically over the next few weeks.