90 Comments

Summary:

Get ready for yet another cloud-based backup offering for the Mac. The folks at Carbonite are now shipping a beta version for us Mac folks. Should we be excited? Well, let’s see… After trying out their software, I can’t say that it does anything more useful […]

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Get ready for yet another cloud-based backup offering for the Mac. The folks at Carbonite are now shipping a beta version for us Mac folks. Should we be excited? Well, let’s see…

After trying out their software, I can’t say that it does anything more useful than my current solution, Backblaze. In fact, I can say it is less useful. Read on for details on the positives and negatives.

Installation & Main UI

Installing Carbonite is pretty straightforward. You download the package from the Carbonite site and follow the standard install process. Once installed, Carbonite adds a menu item and System Preference Pane.

Main UICarbonite Primary UI

Within this screen, you can define if the Backup is Enabled, Disabled, or Paused. There is also a checkbox for using low-priority mode to conserve bandwidth. Honestly, I can’t tell if this is useful or not, as it took the app over 10 minutes just to calculate 100GB of data. Let’s say that from what I can tell, Carbonite is not speedy.

If you choose to disable Carbonite, this screen changes by adding an Uninstall button for quick and easy removal of the software.

Backup UI

What’s interesting here is that Carbonite works similarly to Mozy in terms of backing up specific data rather than just backing up all of your data like Backblaze or Time Machine. On the flip side, you can completely customize what you want to backup. However, you cannot specify applications or system folders.

Backup UICarbonite Backup UI

Restore UI

Carbonite can restore your files via this simple UI. Just select the files you want to restore and then specify the drive for restoration.

Restore UICarbonite Restore UI

It also has a restore wizard. So, if your drive fails and you need to restore to another Mac, you can simply walk through this wizard and wait patiently for your files to download.

Restore WizardCarbonite Restore Wizard

Summary

Carbonite has done a reasonable job providing a simple Mac client for users who want offsite backup. The product is easy to set up and is competitively priced. However…

If given the choice between Backblaze, Carbonite, or Mozy, the answer appears to be simple: Backblaze. For the money (each service is approximately $50/year), you get more coverage with Backblaze and more recovery options as well. Mozy is a great alternative if you want some free storage (2GB) and then decide to add more.

In the end, what Carbonite is offering for the Mac is decent. You get roughly a two-week trial, so if it fits your needs, then please give it a shot. If you’re a small office and have been running Carbonite on your Windows PCs, then to maintain consistency it makes sense to use Carbonite with your Macs.

However if you are looking at all of the options available to Mac users for online backup, I would recommend looking elsewhere.

  1. Another thing to note about carbonite is that you are not able to backup any external hard drives. This can be a major bummer for those of us who don’t like to overfill out boot disk.

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  2. Brandon, that is certainly something to consider.

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  3. @Brandon, @Alex – completely agree. This is why I am sticking with BackBlaze.

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  4. I recommend Mozy wholeheartedly. It’s $5 per month and has all of the features you mentioned above.

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  5. SpaceFlightOrange Tuesday, March 10, 2009

    @Brandon

    Wow! this is a complete deal breaker for me, I have over 200gb of Raw Images on an external drive that i want to back up, and nothing else

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  6. Strange … the list of backup items shown in the image captioned “Carbonite Backup UI” above strongly resmbles the UI of JungleDisk. JD wasn’t mentioned though I feel it’s a decent alternative to all the above. JD is basically a front end for backing stuff up to an amazon S3 account. We have two Macs that we need to have backups for and the Jungledisk Workgroup lets both Macs use the same S3 “bucket” for offsite storage. I haven’t tried backing up an external volume so I can’t address that issue. JD also mounts a disk icon on the desktop so you can access files at any time. JD offers versioned backups as well, letting the user define how deep you want them (1 backup, five backups, whatever) and it will delete backups based on the time that they’ve been in the bucket. JD is also very flexible in letting the user control what they want to back up, much more that you describe either Backblaze or Carbonite. The cost of JD is less than $10/month for both Macs and is based on the amount of storage space used and a bit on the bandwidth used. I suggest checking it out and writing a “shootout” review of Carbonite, Backblaze, Mozy and Jungledisk.

    @spaceflightorange: With so much to back up, cloud backups will be a royal PITA for you as it will take months to upload the initial backup unless you’ve got a T-3 line! :-) You might consider this: Get a hard drive docking station from NewerTech (sold at OWC). Get a couple of 500GB or 1TB SATA drives (bare drives). 500GB laptop drives are now available and affordable. Back up to one of those drives and take it to your bank and stick it in your safe deposit box (or give it to a trusted friend – the idea is to store it off site). A week or two later, repeat the above and retrieve the original backup. Keep repeating and you’ll always have a fairly current backup away from your office/home.

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    1. Try CrashPlan – it’s less expensive, faster, and recently won in a macworld shootout.

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  7. @The Eck – it took about two weeks to upload 400GB of data to Backblaze. I have a decent connection via Comcast (16 down/2 up).

    the problem I have with Mozy, Carbonite, JD is the restore options. With Backblaze, I can request a drive with all of my data (for a fee) so that I am not waiting forever to restore the data, even with fast download speeds. This alone is worth it to me.

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    1. Matthew,
      I accidentally deleted my Carbonite Preference Pane in System Preferences. Is there any way I can get it back? In the icon bar, when I click “Open Carbonite Preferences” nothing happens. I’ve looked for help online but can’t find anything.

      Help, please?

      Thanks,
      Claire Pang

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  8. @ #7 Matthew: I understand the limitation (you call it a problem) of restoration – in your case the whole 400GB. I don’t know what the fee is for your getting a drive with everything on it, but it certainly must be more than simply following my advice to @spaceflightorange above. Perhaps your needs are more critical than the every 7 or 14 days I suggest above. Maybe you do it every two or three days. Doing incrementals on a tight schedule isn’t that time-consuming.

    I had a single catastrophic drive failure and I immediately restored everything to a new drive using one of my on-site backups. I’ve occasionally lost files by accidentally trashing or overwriting, and it’s a snap to retrieve them from my mounted Jungledisk.

    My basic thought about cloud backups is that they’re meant for the occasional misstep rather than being a total solution such as you’re looking for.

    I’ve tried Mozy and it’s reasonably acceptable. I haven’t tried BB and Carbonite doesn’t sound like an improvement over my current backup strategies.

    One other thought about your BB scenario: How fast will BB be able to make a copy and get it delivered to your door? How fast do you need all that data? I’d bet that keeping a bare drive with all your stuff over at a friend’s house or in the bank is a lot cheaper and accessible faster than waiting for BB to process your order and get it delivered. Please note that even FedEx et al don’t deliver on Sundays but chances are your chosen friend will be home.

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  9. My sole reason for not using Backblaze is the inability to backup what they call “system” files. With doing a lot of PHP and Rails development, I’ve got things like all my MySQL databases stored in /usr/local…which Backblaze won’t backup.

    If they’d allow me to back that sort of data up, I’d sign up in a heartbeat.

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    1. CrashPlan allow those files – and is less expensive. Recently reviewed in Macworld beating out backblaze –

      http://www.macworld.com/article/142606/2009/09/online_backup.html

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    2. Just use hard links and link those files to your home folder (or a subfolder in your home folder).

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  10. I’m using Carbonite for Mac at the moment, used to use Mozy since 2007 but hated the UI. A few of my colleagues also had some of their restores actually not work. So I moved. The big downside with Carbonite, like “Brandon” stated, is not being able to back up data stored on external drives. I haven’t really found an official “carbonite for mac” forum on the net where we could start a thread on this issue

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  11. If you find such a forum, please post!

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  12. Here’s aother take on the whole back up thing.

    If you can beg borrow or steal a fast uplink, do an initial back up over the net to Synplicity. (http://syncplicity.com/)
    Use time machine to do constant back ups in the back ground to an external disk (or if you own a PowerMac, a second internal drive) and Syncplicity to do constant back ups in the back ground to their internet storage area.

    Syncplicity lets you specify what folders to back up & then keeps them in sync.

    Worth a look for anyone interested in this conumdrum.

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  13. I tried Mozy, and for 3 months they used me as a guinea pig for alpha/dev releases. I never did get the product working. It always claimed that it backed up files, but the backups were actually failing (Fortunately, I TEST my backups!) Then Mozy’s technical support was completely worthless. I kept getting replies back (when they did bother to reply) that were mostly canned answers about the Windows version. I still have the email support threads archived.

    Also, Mozy takes a VERY LONG TIME to back stuff up. You are rate limited on uploads. This was NOT mentioned when I signed up, but it’s a little more obvious in the newer version. I ended up canceling and demanding a full refund.

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  14. @Eck – I use many methods for backup. Backblaze is just one other component in my anal-retentive multi-redundant backups:

    Onsite:

    * Time Capsule (two machines in the house)
    * All media (iTunes/iMovie/etc.) stored on a RAID 1 Device (in case one drive fails)
    * WD Passport drive for taking files with me (when needed)

    Cloud:

    * Backblaze for local disk and RAID (again, in case of drive failure)
    * MobileMe + Personal Backup X5 for specific critical files (just in case)

    As you can see, I have the local storage as well. The value in Backblaze is being able to restore my RAID device data in case both drives fail. Call me paranoid, but I just can’t afford to lose that data. Backblaze sends your drive via FedEx next-day service. Granted, you pay for it, although it is your data…

    @Josh – you are right – this is a problem and I hope Backblaze addresses it in a future release.

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  15. “If they’d allow me to back that sort of data up, I’d sign up in a heartbeat.”

    Uh, just do sql dumps to a folder in your home folder and select that. easy peasy.

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  16. @ #15 Matthew: One word: Whew! You’ve got the situation well in hand!

    @ #9 Josh (and #15 Bob): I’ve been a *user* of various SQL databases that were created as parts of application installations. One of them is something a programmer wrote for me to do the CMS edits on my website, and it resided on my remote host. Just because I’m as anal as #15, I always worried about losing my life’s creation should something catastrophic occur at the remote host, so I found somebody who taught me how to set up PMA and MAMP and do an “export” of the remote database (created a gzip file) and simply copied it to my Mac where I could then “import” it into the MAMP folder and I had a working mirror of my off-site database. the bonus of this was I can work locally, which is much faster, and whenever I want, I can upload the newer database to the remote host. Behind the scenes here is the fact that Jungledisk (and presumably Backblaze) can copy to the cloud, and I can put it on my hard disk backups.

    Matthew, you’ve written a great article and reading the feedback from others here has been most instructive for me. Thanks to all!

    -Tod

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  17. It’s great to have (finally!) some choices in remote backup solutions. Matthew mentioned

    1. Carbonite (this review)
    2. Backblaze
    3. Mozy

    Others mentioned
    4. Syncplicity
    5. Jungledisk

    There’s something here for nearly everyone, I think.

    -Tod

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  18. Appreciate your taking a look at Carbonite’s new Mac release. I was interested to see that you preferred Backblaze, so I took a closer look at the product and would like to point out some differences that you didn’t mention, particularly with respect to the restore experience. It’s not uncommon for reviewers to ignore the restore process, but it’s actually the most important part of the product. If the restore process is crappy, then the backup isn’t worth much. It’s like insurance — you can have the friendliest insurance agent in the world, but if they fail to pay up when your house burns down, what good is the policy? Almost 15% of our users have to restore their entire PCs each year, and 46% do at least a partial restore.

    I took a look at Backblaze’s restore process. If your Mac crashes and you’re a Backblaze customer, your only options appear to be: 1) they ship you a DVD for $99 (4.2GB max), or 2) they ship you an external hard drive for $189. It doesn’t say how long it will take me to get these in the mail, but at least a several days, I would assume. Since I have 9GB of data, I’d be looking at $189 — almost 4x the price of the subscription. Even restoring individual files seems awkward with Backblaze. Instead of the file just coming back to your PC, you get a zip file that you have to unpack. With Carbonite, your restored files goes right back into the directories where they were originally stored. There’s no messing around with zip files.

    If you’re doing a full restore, why would you want to pay $189 for an external hard drive? With Carbonite, everything is restored over the Internet. At the 10mbps speed of my Cable Internet, I could restore all 9GB in about 2 hours.

    The other thing I noticed about Backblaze is there is no automatic control of bandwidth utilization. They have a manual slider, and what I found is that during the initial backup, if I set the slider to the point where I didn’t notice the speed degradation, the backup was crawling along at a very slow speed. Carbonite automatically adjusts its resource utilization so that it works fast when there is no other activity on the PC and slows down when you’re doing other things.

    Then there are invisible issues for which I do not have answers: How is BackBlaze’s data stored? Carbonite uses RAID6 redundant arrays that are statistically 36 million times more reliable than an un-raided disk. Is there regular integrity checking between the Mac and stored data? Carbonite does a checksum comparison at least once every 90 days to make sure there are no bit errors in the backup.

    Finally, there is the issue of whether the company is going to be around in a couple of years when you need to get your files back. I know nothing about BackBlaze’s finances, but several small online backup vendors have gone bust in the last few months, and more will.

    David Friend, CEO

    Carbonite, Inc.

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    1. wow, 9gb! That would be my mail folder. What about the 150GB of photos? For that internet restore might be a bit slow.

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    2. Digital Monkey Sunday, January 10, 2010

      It’s obvious that you are defending your own product against the competitor. Us “users” are not typically incompetent about what we are looking for. That said, one comment I have for you is. What if your company gone bust in the next few months? You should put a guarantee on your website that your company will be there forever or else…what will the company do for its customers.

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  19. Hi David,
    Thanks for the comment. I just want to clear up a few things:
    * Backblaze gives you 3 options to restore: (1) Free download over the Internet, (2) Order a DVD, (3) Order a USB drive. Users with large data sets love the ability to not have to wait for a restore to download. And DVDs and USB drives are shipped overnight the day a restore is requested.
    * Backblaze backs up very efficiently by default and offers the user control if they choose over their throttle settings.
    * Backblaze also uses RAID6 in our datacenter and does continuous integrity checking and self-healing between your Mac and the stored data.
    * And… We’re well financed and growing quickly, thank you.

    In addition:
    * Backblaze backs up external drives.
    * Backblaze backs up all your data by default (not just what might be stored in your Users directory.)
    * Backblaze backs up your videos (rather than forcing you to pick each one.)
    * Backblaze offers a monthly plan for just $5 per month.

    Fundamentally, considering 94% of people do nothing for backup… We just hope that people will use something to keep their data safe!

    Thanks,
    Gleb Budman
    Backblaze, Inc.

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  20. @David Friend & @Gleb Budman – thank you both for responding to this article. It’s nice to see the CEO’s of both companies (Carbonite & BackBlaze) participate in the conversation.

    @David – I think there is one other piece here that isn’t mentioned – the overall user experience. Backblaze trumps everyone because it behaves like Time Machine: set it and forget it. Neither Carbonite nor Mozy compare with this simplicity.

    Mac users want easy-to-use products that just work. Again, this is where Backblaze trumps the competition.

    Lastly, I am not a shill. I have used all of the cloud-based backup services on the Mac and the PC (for many years). I can clearly say that I prefer tools that just work. I also have faith in companies that provide excellent services. Thankfully, Backblaze provides a fantastic software client and back-end service. The bonus is their customer service – which exceeds expectations.

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  21. I’ve tried JungleDisk, Mozy, Backblaze, and now Carbonite … and for me the winner, by a nose, is Carbonite. (But it’s only been a day.)
    The Mozy interface is buggy and a PITA.
    The Backblaze throttling is a PITA. It takes minutes to respond to changes in settings. And adding folders to exclude is a royal PITA. (To my query, they responded, “why would you want to exclude anything?” Because I like to control my bandwidth usage, thank you.)
    Carbonite is responsive and easy to configure. What it’s missing is the ability to select/deselect invisible files and folders for backup. Macs have some huge invisible folders (Cache, Logs, etc) that it’s pointless to backup.
    One nice thing about Mozy is that it tells me what bandwidth it’s actually using.

    (The external drive thing is not an issue for me right now, as I’m on a laptop … but I can see how it could easily be a dealbreaker.)

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  22. @#21 Zero: You mentioned Jungle disk but didn’t say what your objections are to it – what’s its downside?

    I agree with you about Carbonite’s plusses and minus.

    The trouble with messing with these things is that once you’ve plunked down $$ for more bandwidth, you’re stuck with that service. What I like about JD is that it’s month by month billing by Amazon.

    Actually I found that Carbonite was much more a bandwidth hog than Jungle Disk. Whenever I try out Carbonite, my daughter comes running in complaining that one of those online games suddenly slowed to an unacceptable level. She never makes a peep when JD is backing up either my or my wife’s Macs (each 4x a day at different hours).

    But the strange thing (for me, anyway) about Carbonite is when I tried to “restore” a folder of some text files (maybe 80MB) it took for-ever, and that’s supposed to be the fast direction! JD downloaded the same folder in half the time. No other network activity going on during either test. YMMV of course.

    For now, JD is my choice.

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  23. Some others that I have tried :

    Syncplicity
    ——–
    PITA, once you define what folder you want, changing it seems impossible. YMMV. Behaves too much like a dumbed down ‘Time Machine’. Little or no say in what it does. Seemed a little slow on initial backup.

    Drop Box
    ——-
    Instead of a disk to back up to it creates a ‘Drop Box’ folder. Very very slow upload backups. They seem to have a severe bandwidth problem. Nice design but very very beta’ish software. Beware!

    Sugarsync
    ——–
    Nice design. Configurable. Has a nice iPhone client (Yay!) Decent but not astounding upload speeds.

    If your backup needs are just images & video you could give a thought to Photobucket. Its not intended as such but they have good bandwidth & very clever server based photo manipulation thrown in.
    Im going to give Jungle disk a try next if they have a trial account.

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  24. Oh it forgot to mention Microsoft (gag vomit) ‘Live Mesh’
    At present slow weirdo web based interface only.
    Only allows you to back up one file at a time..

    Oh my god M$! give it up will you!

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  25. I’ve been using Carbonite for Mac since January, when I switched from Amazon S3 + Jungle Disk.
    I didn’t feel S3 was working properly based upon charges to new data ratio.

    I DO NOT recommend Carbonite.
    The initial backup has yet to be completed. It still shows 1.X GB of data left in the initial upload. This is well after the other 70+GB of data were uploaded. In fact, it is about twice as long trying to get the final 1+GB as it did the rest of the data.

    The customer service interface needs help.
    I contacted the customer service through the interface of the software. No response.
    I called, and had someone working on the case, though they clearly did not understand my problem, and I had to work very hard to get them to understand. They asked me to submit via the interface to get my logs for review. I did that.
    I was promised a resolution within 48 hours. Nothing, so contacted again. They claimed not to have received my logs, so I resubmitted and asked via email for a confirmation. Several days later, still nothing.

    I am not sure what tool I will be using, but I CAN NOT recommend Carbonite for a Mac.
    I am running OSX latest release

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  26. Hi guys, what about crashplan?
    did you test it?
    Thanks for your inputs,
    Seb

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  27. The big value of this article has been reading the feedback about all the competing services in addition to Carbonite.

    I have now tried all the different services named in the comments.
    In my experience they all have problems/limitations.
    International users will be specially frustrated as all these services appear to be US based. Moving you data in & out is slow & ‘iffy’ with all if you are not in US.

    I have given up on ‘cloud’ storage for now.

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  28. Couple of comments related to issues raised above in the context of our service offering:

    CrashPlan was available on the Mac before Mozy, Carbonite, BackBlaze or JungleDisk. As such, we’re a faster more mature product offering. A few examples below:

    – We support cloud storage in addition to your own storage. This means you can back up your laptop to your desktop AND to our service offering. Since our client is free, you can set up your own backup cloud for personal use for absolutely no cost.

    – We have better compression, and lower cost of ownership as a result. You’ll find we use less bandwidth and disk storage.
    – We don’t crash on folders with a large number of files, and we don’t have file size limits. Other offerings have both maximum file size limits and problems with 10,000+ files in a single folder.
    – Multiple destinations – Backup on-site, off-site, and online with our product. Why put all your data eggs in one basket?
    – We fully support advanced meta data like “Don’t back this folder up” as tagged – other products do not. Great example of why you want this: iTunes movie rentals.
    – You can back up attached drives in addition to internal drives – no limits on what y
    – We’re continuous: we’ll back up within a minute of a change. Not 15 minutes later, not 1 hour later like other offerings
    – Better retention policies: Delete a file by accident – how long will the service hold it? After 30 days, Mozy removes it. We’ll hold it for as long as you ask us to.
    – Have a lot of data to back up? We’ll shorten the time it takes by shipping you an external drive to back up to and send back to us
    – Lost your computer and need all your data back asap? We’ll overnight your data back to you on a drive.
    – File Vault – none of the offerings above support file vault.

    There are many other advantages to CrashPlan. I encourage you to check it out if you’re in the market for off-site backup.

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  29. Thanks for the info about Crashplan Matthew.
    Sounds good.
    I’ll give it a look.

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  30. I just had the same experience as @David Clark above with the carbonite beta. First 14GB backed up over 5-6 days as expected. The next 50MB took 2 days. I opened a chat session and they told me to reset my modem or router. Since I’m in charge of IT at our small company I went a head and reset our enterprise grade Cisco router (we have dual T1 lines). My speed tests report good upload speeds. I think the problem is elsewhere, but I’m not holding my breath.

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  31. I use BackBlaze. Got 140GB backed up within a week. The only time uploads have been slow is when I’ve explicitly throttled them back using the preferences pane. So far BackBlaze is king!

    I used to use Mozy but it took almost 3 months to do the same initial backup, and then one day a few weeks later my backed up files suddenly went to 0 (nothing backed up). Mozy support told me there had been a bug in an ‘update’ they had released and a number of people had had the same problem. I was advised to roll back to an earlier version and re-upload! Here’s the quote from the email
    “This issue has been reported by several other users when upgrading to the latest client version. We do have a work around to downgrade back to version 1.0.1.3 as this will work for the time being until we fix the latest version. I do apologize for the inconvenience.”
    When I did manage to get everything uploaded again, guess what…? Yes, 2 weeks later everything disappeared again! Because they wouldn’t give me a full refund I’m still running Mozy (alongside BackBlaze) until my year runs out, but ALL my trust is with BackBlaze (and I also Time Machine with an external drive).

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  32. I have been using Mozy and like the ability to schedule backups for when I’m not using the computer, but restoring files has been problematic.

    Tried Carbonite. The initial backup went well, as did a test file restore. I like the interface. But what I hate about Carbonite is that you either leave it enabled or disabled. You cannot schedule when it runs. I’ve found the Carbonite daemon to be a resource hog, even when I’m fully backed up and nothing is being uploaded. My fan started to run constantly and my system performance slowed down so I checked Activity Monitor and the Carbonite daemon was varying between 20-70% CPU usage.

    Unacceptable.

    I emailed Carbonite support 2 days ago, got one reply back that indicated they did not understand the issue. Responded, have yet to hear back. Thankfully I’m just in trial mode. Am about to uninstall Carbonite and look for other options.

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  33. Thrilled at the news that Carbonite finally was supporting the Mac, I downloaded the Carbonite software and began backing up. It’s taken 3 weeks to upload my 70GB. Some days nothing would upload, other days (if I disabled and reenabled the backup) it would upload as much as 6 GB in a day. However its been so slow that the Carbonite company had to extend my trial period. Actually, I’m STILL uploading. I don’t think it will ever actually finish. Nothing is going well and Carbonite is behaving strangely. When I send an email Carbonite support responds (email or chat) to me but they have no clue what is going on. They keep telling me that its working as though I’m stupid. Often times they send me solutions for PC users. They give me no solutions that work. I am very disappointed. I really want to be a customer but it has to work before I will pay them for this service.

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  34. FWIW, I just tried “SafeCopy Backup” for Mac — and didn’t get past stage 1: it only allows 3 options for backup: (a) “My Documents” (b) “a single folder” and (c) a silly box where you can add one folder at a time w/o even drag’n’drop.

    Garbage.

    Still looking …

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    1. Zero said:
      “FWIW, I just tried “SafeCopy Backup” for Mac — and didn’t get past stage 1: it only allows 3 options for backup: (a) “My Documents” (b) “a single folder” and (c) a silly box where you can add one folder at a time w/o even drag’n’drop.

      Garbage.

      Still looking …”

      Zero, I wouldn’t dismiss SafeCopy Backup so quickly just because of the simple interface. The button for “Single Folder” can be used for multiple folders within that one, even external HD’s or other USB volumes, which I don’t think Carbonite can do.
      SafeCopy Backup seems good because there is no limit to the file size you can upload, like my stupid MobileMe mac account (1gb limit).
      After the initial slow upload, it apparently always runs automatically in the bg, updating only the parts of any files that have changed, even open files. It supposedly has a way that it won’t tax your machine as it does that.
      It also doesn’t overwrite files as you backup, so if you accidentally delete something on your machine, it won’t then ruin your backup.
      Mozy can’t do any of this, as I understand it.
      Hope that helps…

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  35. Tried to install carbonite for MAC 3 or 4 times, got errors everytime. Contacted their customer service, still did not work!!!!

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  36. Mozy just lost my settings, and I was annoyed with the 1Mbps throttle, so I gave Jungle Disk another shot.

    The latest version is really killer. It addresses every issue I have with all the other services mentioned on this page.

    And now you can use Rackspace storage, not just S3, at $0.15/GB, without the annoying bandwidth usage charges that S3 tacks on.

    So up to 20GB of backup is the same price as the ‘others’ ($2/month + .15/GB) — after that, it gets a bit more expensive, but the feature set kills the rest.

    Pros:
    – Responsive, VERY thorough, interface.
    – Ability to mount your backup volume on desktop and easily retrieve any file.
    – Versioning.
    – Multiple machines.
    – Web access to all your files.
    – Secure – can choose your own encryption passphrase.
    – Easy to choose which folders to backup, and filter by type, etc.
    – Uses full bandwidth (exception: see Cons below)
    – Easy to stop the background daemon/agent/service/whatever.
    – Can create multiple online volumes.

    Cons:
    – With numerous small files, it is VERY slow. Does not utilize full bandwidth
    – UI is ugly. Not Mac-like.
    – Can’t drag’n’drop items to add to backup set.
    – Can’t choose items from Finder to add to backup set.

    So for me, JD is #1 at the moment.

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  37. PS: Any less than 20GB, and it’s cheaper than the going rate of $5/month.

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  38. Bret Patterson Tuesday, June 2, 2009

    I’m a big fan of Carbonite for windows and used it regularly for a long time, as well as recommending several friends to use carbonite. I had serveral windows machines being backed up to carbonite. I have recently, the past 6 months, moved my entire household over to MAC and was excited when the Carbonite for Mac was finally released. I downloaded it and purchased an account. This was the biggest mistake I’ve made since owning my MAC.

    While carbonite for Windows is very good, carbonite for MAC is worse than garbage. The problem is multi-fold but primarily singles around a single issue:
    The way carbonite determines if files need to be backed up is it continuously scans your entire hard disk for changed files. Yes, SCANS your hard disk. Carbonite was constant using 160% of my CPU (dual core) AND thrashing my hard disk so much that I could barely use my computer.

    I contacted support several times and always got quick reply’s from support which clearly indicated not only did they not read my email, but they didn’t know what they were talking about. The first email was cut and paste template email (not the initial automated response, but a human fed template) which was useless and didn’t address anything I mentioned in my email. The second email I sent I complained about CPU usage and they wrote back about how I can turn on bandwidth throttling. As if that even mattered.

    The next email I sent told them that carbonite was using 160% cpu usage even though I’d finally finished backing up everything. Additionally it was saying “backing up” and showing I had 0kb left to backup of 0kb.

    Finally I asked for my money back and I got a quick response acknowledging the problem and saying it’d be fixed the next version. No mention of how to get my money back, when the problem would be fixed, or why the hell a company would release something to the public that is so poorly written. Who is ignorant enough to think that continuously scanning a 320gigabyte hard drive for changed files all day and all night long was a good design?

    Share
  39. I had the same problems. I posted an article on March 25, 2009, then got a reply from the CEO (I verified it was from him as I emailed him directly from the site, and it was indeed him) very quickly.

    Carbonite said at the time they had not heard of this issue, but a quick check online it seems others had this same problem. It’s yet to be fixed. I just keep Carbonite paused all the time, except when I do a backup.

    The bad news, is that I’ve tried Mozy, Amazon S3, and I think one other one, and they all have problems. Some with interface, some with backup, etc. I had like a 4 part series of articles on my site explaining the different ways I tried, but Carbonite seemed the best, even with this CPU issue. It was also the fastest to restore a backup file from what I tested.

    I really hope a new version will be released soon. Hopefully in time for Snow Leopard.

    Share
  40. 2 GB in 24 minutes vs. 2 GB in 2 hours. You heard right. That’s what CrashPlan is capable of. Exactly the same data, with a cable broadband service. Unbelievable. Easy to use. Fully Mac application. Why haven’t I heard of these folks before? I’m sold.

    Share
  41. I’m also looking for that perfect off-site backup solution for my MBP. I started with F-Secure’s online backup program, and that was the biggest piece of crap I’ve used in a long time. It has 5 (!!) backup options that you can either enable or disable: Emails, Personal Documents, Pictures AND Videos (no I don’t want to backup 140GB of junk tv but those pics WOULD be nice to get backed up) etc. There was no way to include or exclude individual files or folders. Well, I still stuck with it since I got a 3-month free trial. Next thing I noticed, the initial backup only uploaded less than 1 GB /day. Sloooooow. And, finally, I started wondering why my mac’s so sluggish and the fans are raging all the time. Oh yes, f-secure was hogging 70%-80% of CPU at all times. It was time to uninstall.

    Then I downloaded Carbonite. I was a happy Carbonite user in my PC days, and I still think it’s an awesome program, just not for macs. First of all, I couldn’t transfer my subscription from my PC to my new Mac (I still had my old backup in Carbonite). Apparently it only works from PC to PC and from Mac to Mac. So I lost a bit of money there AND my whole backup. Well, I thought that’s a minor issue considering all the bullshit that F-Secure put me thru. If only I was that lucky… Although I like the UI of Carbonite, and the way you choose files/folders to back up, AND it uploaded my files swiftly, all these pros were shadowed by a 110% CPU usage. 110%!! And I really did purchase my MBP ’cause I wanted a completely quiet laptop!

    After rammaging thru all these online forums about offsite backup for macs, I decided to go with Backblaze. So far I’m annoyed that choosing files to be URGENTLY backed up is a PITA, but everything else seems to go smoothly. My Mac’s back to being absolutely silent. Can’t say anything about the upload speed since it’s only been running for a few hours.

    How can it be so hard to find a program that just WORKS?

    Share
  42. Some of these backup services (i.e. Carbonite, BackBlaze) are for Intel-based Macs only. What’s up with that? There are many of us with PowerPC based Macs that need service as well. CrashPlan works on any Mac, AND allows you to backup to your own storage as well as the cloud. I’ve tried them all and I’ll stick with CrashPlan. Code 42, you guys rock! We need to get the word out.

    Share
  43. Dang! I take back my praise re Jungle Disk. It’s doing all kinds of WRONG things.
    It’s backing up non-existent files (that begin with ‘.’ or ‘._’);
    and backing up files/folders to the wrong folders on my backup volume!
    It’s putting folders/files from my ‘Pictures’ and ‘Library’ folders into my online ‘Movies’ backup folder.
    My online disk has tons of duplicated folders as a result.
    A restore would be futile.

    Still searching…

    Share
    1. @zero: those files that you’re referring to that begin with a dot are so-called invisible files that are used by the system. They aren’t usually anything that we users need bother with so they’re tucked away out of sight. There are utilities that will uncloak invisible files and if you do this, you’ll see all sorts of these all over the place. Don’t worry if you see dot files being uploaded.

      Share
    2. Yes, Eck, I know about invisible files; but these were files that did not exist, even through terminal superuser mode. Really. JD was just making them up.

      Share
    3. Oops, sorry. I wasn’t sure if you knew or not so I took a chance that you might not.

      Share
  44. I’m with you zero. I’ve tried several already and run into problems that caused me to cancel them all, including JungleDisk. The only one that came close to being easy to use, flexible and robust (although pricey) is SugarSync.

    So far I’ve tried JungleDisk, SugarSync, CrashPlan. I can’t try BackBlaze or any of the services that do not support PowerPC Macs.

    Still searching as well…

    Share
  45. BEWARE if you want to uninstall Carbonite.

    The only automatic way to uninstall Carbonite for Mac is from the pref pane.

    The uninstall button is available only until your trial expires.

    If after your trial expires you wish to uninstall the software you need to contact Carbonite support for the manual uninstall instructions (which require digging around in your system folders for the daemons and the pref panes etc.)

    In our opinion any low level background software like this should always have an easy way of uninstalling. We do not think it is acceptable to disable the uninstall button when your trial expires, thus forcing you to contact the vendor to get manual uninstall instructions.

    We contacted support who, while helpful, were unrepentant about this inconvenience. We are not comfortable about using low level software such as this which does not provide easy uninstall at ANY time.

    Regards

    Edward H

    Share
    1. Edward,
      You are so correct! I’m suffering through this right now. There is an “uninstall” button on the preferences pane but it won’t work. I’m now waiting on their support to send me instructions. My wife has had this nagging popup for weeks now. How stupid.
      Wes

      Share
  46. We have tried pretty much everything else and eventually decided on CrashPlan.

    We have had good experiences with CrashPlan which is very easy to remove should you want to.

    Although sometimes huge files >2gb sometimes get stuck on restoring from CrashPlan backups every other feature of CrashPlan has worked without fault for us.

    Share
  47. To save you the trouble contacting Carbonite here are the instructions from their customer services dept:

    Here is how to remove Carbonite for Mac after your trial has expired:

    Hello and thank you for contacting Carbonite Customer Support.
    Please follow the steps below to manually remove the Carbonite program files:

    Restart your Computer.

    Control click on Finder on the dock and select Go to Folder.

    Type /Library/Application Support/ into the window that appears.

    Move the Carbonite folder to the Trash.

    Control-click on the Application Support folder in the header bar and click the Library folder.

    Go to the Contextual Menu Items folder and move CarboniteCMM.bundle to the trash.

    Go back to the /Library folder and go into the LaunchAgents folder.

    Delete com.carbonite.launchd.carbonitealerts.plist and com.carbonite.launchd.carbonitestatus.plist.

    Go back to the /Library folder, and to into LaunchDaemons.

    Move com.carbonite.launchd.carbonitedaemon.plist to the trash.

    Go back to the /Library folder, and to into PreferencePanes.

    Move Carbonite.prefPane to the Trash.

    Restart your computer again.

    Empty your trash.

    Sincerely,
    Carbonite Customer Support
    http://www.carbonite.com

    Now wasn’t that easy..? no? We didn’t think so either…

    Share
    1. Thanks. These directions were really helpful. I’d been wondering how to remove carbonite for a couple weeks.

      Share
    2. Yeah…but it’s done.
      Thanks, Edward.
      Wes

      Share
    3. Thanks for that. I thought I’d deleted it all months ago and noticed the daemon was still running. What a pain.

      Crashplan has worked out way better for us.

      Share
  48. @David + @Gleb: Although both of your company’s products sound good, why have you elected to only support Intel Macs? What about the rest of us that still have PowerPC Macs? I don’t get it.

    Share
  49. Thought I’d give Carbonite a try. Went to the website, clicked the Mac link, and was greeted with the following:

    Carbonite Online Backup installation is not possible.
    Unfortunately, it is not possible to install Carbonite Online Backup at this time.

    The software requires an Intel-based Mac running OS 10.4 (Tiger) or 10.5 (Leopard). PowerPC-based Macs are currently not supported. Your computer is currently running Unknown

    Interesting. Could be my anti-virus or firewall I suppose, but I’d think they’d let me know if that was the case.

    Anyway, after reading the comments here, the external drive thing is a deal breaker! Excuse me while get back to searching for a viable solution.

    JJ

    Share
  50. [...] approaches the ring! New to the scene is Internet darling BackBlaze. The winner of the Mozy vs. Carbonite bout will go on to fight BackBlaze in a further review, coming soon. Make your predictions [...]

    Share
  51. I think a good backup service is SpiderOak. I have also used many backup services and SpiderOak has been one of my favorite. It hasn’t been too long since they’ve added Sync. Test them out too!

    Share
  52. My imminent trip to Spain has me looking into online backup. Anyone know if any of these methods work in Europe?

    Share
  53. I’ve used carbonite, mozy and backblaze in Europe (on osx). I’ve had major problems with carbonite, would not recommend that. The daemon that runs in the background on your mac keeps freezing and while it does that it hogs 99% of your CPU. I’ve tried this on multiple macs over the past year, and even with new sw versions this hasn’t changed. Mozy is good, but a bit slow to upload – this may have changed now. Backblaze is by far the best, with an easy-to-use UI.

    Share
  54. Followup comments based on recent experience:

    1. My position on Jungle Disk is now deep in the negative zone, primarily because of cost. By necessity we had a bunch of financial files, scanned documents, DevonThink databases, etc, that were constantly in a state of flux, and over the past three months it’s cost us over $60 in Amazon S3 fees. Goodbye Jungle disk.

    2. We had also been using Mozy since 2007 and began having uploading problems at about the same time – the connections to their servers kept breaking, client error 3s, etc. I wrote daily reports to their tech support and included Mozy log files, and got absolutely no response. I’ve tried phoning and their online chat and all I get are people from somewhere in Asia (can you say “curry?”) whose English is abominable and who have no concept what customer service and the lack of the backup service means to us clients. Heck, I can’t even get them to cancel my service and refund the seven months that I haven’t used in my latest renewal.

    I’m off to give Carbonite and SpiderOak second looks for cloud backups.

    Share
  55. There are two new players I’m considering:
    ElephantDrive.com and MemoPal.com

    Has anyone had any experience with these? They sound good ‘on paper.’

    Share
    1. @Zero – thanks for noting these two additions.

      A quick look at the Elephant site shows a restriction on file size of 1 (or 2 with family plan) GB, which knocks them out of consideration for me. I have a number of movie projects and Devonthink databases that go over that mark.

      WRT Memopal, I’m going to try the trial. They have a 30% switcher price going as well so at $35 I just might go for it. Problem: I can’t even download their app so how will fast will backups/restores operate?

      Regarding Mozy, I’ve finally located the name and address of the CEO of the Mozy division as well as the CoB of the parent company. snail mail letters about Mozy’s atrocious support will be mailed Monday.

      Share
    2. The drawback for MemoPal is that the Mac client is in beta for now … I emailed them and they said it works, but doesn’t have the full feature set of the Win client. They expect v1.0 by end of October.
      (FWIW, they’re out of Italy, and their English was so-so…)

      Share
    3. @ zero, Yeah, I tiptoed through all Memopal’s web pages looking for interesting bits. They’re on via Nepal in Roma. I’ve had nothing but great experiences dealing with European shops – Ragtime and DevonTech out of Germany, Freeway from London, Jumsoft in Lithuania, a couple of utilities from Italy, contract programmers in Hungary and the Ukraine, probably a few others as well.

      I’m *still* not having any success with the download! I just sent off an email to the support group. We’ll see what happens. :-)

      Share
    4. I got Memopal up and running Sunday evening. I uploaded about a gig’s worth file files as a test and they went up without a hitch. Downloaded them and no problems there either. I just signed up for 150gb/two years using their promo code for switchers ($60). I’m now uploading about ten GB and when that’s done, I’ll upload a bunch from the second Mac.

      So far, so good.

      Share
  56. Williamson_Alex Monday, October 19, 2009

    In my way online backup is best solutions for storing your data. I have just switched to BackupandShare.com for online backup. This service is very reliable and user friendly. They do encrypt backed up data using 128-bit AES format which is most difficult to hack.They also provide windows mobile backup solution for free. No wonder they are the current topper in http://top10onlinebackup.com/

    Share
  57. BackupandShare?!?!?! Are you kidding? Their “UNLIMITED” plan is 3-TIMES the price of most others ($150), and as far as that http://top10onlinebackup.com website goes, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that site wasn’t built as a private advertising ploy by BackupandShare themselves. Did you click through http://top10onlinebackup.com ‘s reviews on the different sites. They have a handful of reviews, all posted within a 5 day time period in March of 2009. If you do a WHOIS search on http://top10onlinebackup.com you’ll also notice that it’s been registered through a “PRIVACY PROTECTION SERVICE” so you can’t see who actually owns or operates that scam of a review site. They even list BackupandShare.com’s unlimited price as $49.95, which is FALSE.

    Come on Williamson_Alex… One of the following scenarios must pertain to your backup situation:

    1. You really haven’t researched other unlimited backup solutions
    2. You only need 10GB of backup.
    3. You don’t mind spending $150/yr for an unlimited backup solution
    4. You work for BackupandShare.com and are trying to back link to your site.

    Which is your scenario?

    Share
  58. I know this is a review of Carbonite, but it actually seems to be a discussion comparing Carbonite vs. BackBlaze vs. Mozy vs. Jungle Disk …mostly. Several other options are compared/contrasted, but I couldn’t help noticing that nobody is commenting (or taking seriously) a few of the mentioned options:
    – CrashPlan (looks VERY interesting to me, but based really on just on one person’s message above)
    – Seekup
    – IDrive
    – LiveDrive (their web site looks AWESOME, and they even have an iPhone app that looks great, but their Mac support is via web only for the moment – says full Mac support “coming very soon”)
    – Steelgate (looks very expensive)
    – DataDepositBox (looks very good, but very expensive)
    – SpiderOak (noticed that it’s recommended on Apple’s web site)
    – SugarSync
    – Elephant Drive

    The most interesting seem to be:
    – CrashPlan
    – LiveDrive
    – SpiderOak
    – SugarSync

    I’m running an Intel-based MacBook Pro with about 300GB on it, and I also use an iPhone. I work in a small company (5 of us) and we all use only Mac products and iPhones (and a 2TB Time Capsule backing everything up). I want an online backup in case the Time Capsule is stolen/damaged/crashes, plus I travel a lot and it would be nice to backup and retrieve files on the road.

    Could anyone please comment seriously on the above four systems?

    Share
  59. Hi,

    I made my choice 2 months ago, and I finaly chose Crashplan, simply because I can synchronise 40 Gig of my MacBook in a snap with both my external WD HD and online. The first initial 40 Giga upload was a little bit long ( a week 24/24) due to my internet connection but after that all of my ‘precious content’ such as children’s photos and so on are backuped up quickly.

    No possibility to have access to you files via a web interface or with your iphone, but I did not want that kind of gadgets : no gadget for my files just secure backup please ! That was my words :)

    I wish a long life to Crashplan team wich made a fantastic job : the tool (50 USD) is simple enough, and the online service is very efficient.

    Hope this helps :) please let me know !

    all the best,

    Sebastien

    Share
  60. Thanks to you so many of you for analyzing the options for a recent convert from 25 years on pc machines. I left my Windows laptop at Mom’s place because I got tired of software daemons running the fan and CPU ragged. Looks like Carbonite is a bad actor in that department. My Windows friends love it. But I bought the Mac so my CPU would work for me on demand.

    The issue of which one of these services will survive is one seen repeatedly. The problems which folks report with Mozy are typical of firms trying to conserve cash, often creating a downward spiral in service and products.

    BTW, thanks for outing the guy who wasn’t experienced enough to just tell us where he worked and then pitch his product.

    I’ll report back on my experience with the chosen product. I think I’ll look at Backblaze. But, since SimplyGrand has described pretty much my own uses in a tiny law firm that deals with technical stuff, I may take a look at a couple of products in his/her list.

    Share
  61. Mozy can cause serious system instability; see this thread:

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=10809842&#10809842

    Share
  62. I signed up for a trial of Carbonite a few months ago. After the trial period, everything was fine and although I wasn’t quite satisfied with the upload speed (which was going about 1-2Mbps even though I have 5Mbps upload from my ISP), I decided to pony up for the full year plan. A few weeks later, my upload speed started to crawl almost to nothing! This is on a computer that is doing nothing but backup. Carbonite is super slow!

    I have about 500GB worth of data to backup and according to the Carbonite status, I have uploaded 214GB of it in two months. However, looking at my MRTG graphs, it looks like my uploads are averaging around 150-200kbps. At this rate, it would take more than 6 months(!) to complete my “first backup”.

    It took a little over 1 month to upload the first 200~ GB. My guess is that they “throttled” me because of the large amount of data.

    I am seriously considering switching to BackBlaze at this point, but I have already paid Carbonite for a full year! My question is, does BackBlaze “throttle” you after you have reached a certain threshold of data?

    Thanks.

    Share
  63. I see all these reviews suggesting that there is “one solution” for backup.

    My computers are important and the data much more so. My solution is using Carbonite for online automatic backup, several external hard drives for disk image backups, and I’ve moved as much as possible to the “cloud” with my marketing system/crm “infusionsoft”, Google Apps, Google Wave and Gmail.

    We also have a RAID NAS in office to automatically backup everything.

    It’s not elegant but it is very simple and redundant.

    My experience has taught me parrallel backups avoid problems. I never bet on one silver bullet as a vendor may go bankrupt, stop supporting my app or media may vanish or whatever….

    Suspenders and a belt! I really like Carbonite. It is well thought out and one of my keystones.

    Share
  64. For those of you using CrashPlan, are you backing your data up to CrashPlan Central or to someone else’s PC?

    CrashPlan seems like a good option if you have someone to backup to. The only other computers I could maybe backup to are my mom’s, dad’s or brother’s. None is really a good solution for a number of reasons, not the least of which is I’m now creating a drain on THEIR storage and assuming they’ll (a) keep their machines on and (b) maintain, care for and upgrade THEIR hardware and software as MY needs evolve.

    Anyway, the bottom line for me is that I need a solid 3rd party/offsite backup supplier. Assuming this, how do should I compare CrashPlan (central) and BackBlaze?

    Share
  65. [...] a quick search around to find a review to make sure Carbonite was worth taking the plunge. One of the first I found was from The Apple Blog, overall the outlook was good but just as with so many reviews, one of the [...]

    Share
  66. I have both Dropbox and Carbonite and I am having serious issues with both of them. Carbonite hogs my system resources and makes my computer almost unresponsive. In addition to that, I have never gotten a full backup. It always shows I have so much data still to be backed up!

    Dropbox is wonderful… to a point. That point is it doesn’t seem to retain any resource fork information. I have some different filetypes that lose info and will no longer open with the software program they were created in. It is just crazy. So I use a sparsedisk image, which is having weird syncing issues that I cannot get anyone to address on their forum.

    I need an offsite backup, In case of natural disaster, plus the ability for several computers to share and collaborate on files that are kept constantly updated.

    So now I am throwing up my hands after spending about $200 for these 2 not so great products, I am trying out CrashPlan. It actually seems to be a cross between Dropbox and Carbonite. I disabled carbonite and have Crashplan backing up. My computer is now humming along like a top. I was able to completely control the way it backs up and the resources it uses in the process. When my computer is not in use it kicks up the usage, then drops back to very low usage when I am using it. As I type, I am only using 21% of my system resources!

    Share
  67. we are experiencend and specialized skills of our RAID data recovery engineering team to recover our clients’ lost data and return reconstructed files as soon as possible. Our secure remote data recovery solution minimizes potential disclosure of your private data to inquisitive eyes, and eliminates the risks of damage in the delivery process.

    Share
  68. This is a good article but i do prefer Safecopy online backup which offers a free unlimited 3GB trial version.

    Share
  69. I’m a recent former Carbonite customer – and a current Backblaze customer. Here’s a summary of my experience with my MacBook Pro with OS X 10.6.5, and ~70GB of data to back up:

    Carbonite:
    – Consistantly (more often than not) high CPU utilization causing my Mac to run hot – even when there is nothing to backup. I worked with support and they played dumb – I’ve heard of many people with this issue, and I firmly believe it’s just the way the product works.
    – Does not backup video files by default, you must choose them manually. It is also not clear in the management interface that video is not being backed up – you must dig deep on their site to find this info. Misleading and unacceptable.
    – Very slow (apparently throttled) upload speeds for backup….especially noticeable on initial backup
    – Allows you to backup files larger than 9GB
    – Is a PITA to uninstall

    Backblaze:
    – This product is VERY EFFICIENT CPU-wise. I rarely see more that a few % of CPU even during the initial backup
    – Backs up all user data files (excludes system files), including video, automatically. The file types that are excluded by default are clearly illustrated in the Backblaze prefs, and can easily be changed.
    – Does not allow backup of files larger than 9GB, which for me is not currently an issue

    I asked for, and received, a refund for my Carbonite subscription which I had renewed last month (Oct. 2010). I am now using Backblaze, it’s lean and efficient, and I’m not looking back.

    David K.

    Share
  70. I’ve had a really terrible experience with Carbonite. At first I loved it. It operated in the background, detecting and saving changed files without interfering with the rest of work. I got the Carbonite app for my iphone which was extremely useful on several occasions when I didn’t have my laptop with me and needed files.

    My love affair ended abruptly, however, when I had to restore my files after a catastrophic hard disk failure. Although carbonite had consistently informed me that my backup was up to date, a large portion of my music library was missing from my restore. The links were in my itunes library but the files were gone.

    Customer service was tragically unhelpful. I contacted repeatedly, but nobody seemed to understand my problem and only made vague suggestions like reinstalling carbonite or restarting my restore. Tech support even took remote control of my computer to try to find the files in the restore file and could not. The problem was forwarded to engineering but nobody ever followed up. I was honestly surprised they did not want to get to the bottom of the issue to prevent future information loss.

    I’ve begun using time machine to back up my system, but since I still have an active subscription to carbonite I figured I’d keep using it until it expired at least for the cloud feature and mobile app (despite its unreliability). Now my backup has stalled for over a month, with over 100 GB of files awaiting information. I am told that this is because I am over the 200 GB limit. But I only have 150 GB of information on my mac, so how is this possible?

    All in all I’ve found my experience horribly frustrating. Please, if you have files that need to be kept safe, do NOT count on carbonite as your primary form of backup. You might be devastated later on.

    Share
  71. The comments here were very helpful to me in choosing a backup provider for my family. I ended up choosing CrashPlan (which I wouldn’t have even known about if it wasn’t for these comments), and I’m really happy with it.

    The things I like about CrashPlan:
    – unlimited data, no bandwidth throttling
    – very reasonably priced plan for up to 10 computers
    – excellent data retention policy (they keep old versions and deleted files forever) and fully configurable
    – backs up external USB drives, and keeps the data even if the drive is unplugged
    – the program will also save the backup to an external USB drive, another computer, or friend’s computer
    – higher security, with the option to create my own public/private encryption key
    – user interface is nice, and works the same on our Mac and PCs
    – restore feature is accessible both in the program and on the website
    – network and CPU throttling is configurable based on whether I’m using the computer
    – filename exclusion using regular expressions

    The data retention policy is a biggie. Most of the other companies seem anxious to delete your files. BackBlaze, for example, will backup an external USB drive; but if for some reason you go 30 days without plugging it in, they’ll delete the files. They describe a workaround in their help section that doesn’t make me confident. In contrast, CrashPlan will keep those files indefinitely. This really is what sealed it for me.

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