... the economic, financial, and emotional costs of losing all of these important files are just too large to quantify.


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Which Online Backup Service Is Right For You: Carbonite, Mozy, or Norton?

This Is What I Found Out ...

Your Computer May Be A Disaster Waiting To Happen

Is your computer a disaster waiting to happen? We store tons of important digital files — important documents, priceless family photos, hundreds or thousands of music and video downloads, business files, and other very crucial financial information in our computers and yet a lot of people (and even businesses) still neglect to backup all these, whether to an external hard drive within the vicinity or online to another location.


Do you have a remote location backup in the event that your home or business is hit by theft, fire, water damage, or some unforseen disaster?

With home and business computers increasingly becoming a central storage vault for everything digital, the economic, financial, and emotional costs of losing all of these important files are just too large to quantify. Are you also aware that no amount of casualty insurance can recoup the loss of data from damaged or stolen computers?

I've heard and read countless horror stories of computers, laptops, and their onsite backups being stolen, accidentally damaged from falling, damaged by flooding, or simply crashing for some unknown reason. The types of people who experience such unfortunate incidents encompass people from all walks of life: business owners, students, teachers, professional and casual writers, photographers, housewives, music lovers, musicians, salesmen, researchers, consultants, bloggers, creative editors, dentists, magicians, soldiers, plumbers, professors, lab technicians, scientists, etc. In short, no one is spared from the possibility of ill-fated, frustrating computer and laptop mishaps.

I did some research on data losses from computer mishaps and found the following staggering statistics that seem to support Murphy's Law ("Anything that can go wrong will go wrong") when it comes to computer's:


1 hard drive crashes every 15 seconds


The failure rates of drives that were in their first year of service or shorter was just as high as those after the seven year mark.


1 out of every 15 computers crash every year


1 data-loss episode can cost up to $4,000


2,000 laptops are stolen or lost every day


Only 3 out of 100 stolen laptops are ever recovered


140,000 hard drives crash every week in the U.S. alone


10% of hard drives fail in any given year


Up to 13% of hard drives crash in their first year


20% of computers suffer a major hard drive crash


32% of data loss is caused by human error


25% of data losses are a result of portable data storage failure


31% of computer users have lost all the contents of their computer to events beyond their control


40% of home computer and laptop users have lost downloaded files as a result of viruses, technical failures or the loss or theft of their computer. Only about one third of those affected ever succeed recovering their data


44% of data losses are caused by mechanical failure

Based on the above stats, there is a high probability that every person with a computer will experience a major data loss sooner, rather than later.

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External Hard Drives Are Not Enough

The failure rates of drives that were in their first year of service or shorter was just as high as those after the seven year mark.

Are you still sitting on the fence deciding on whether you should backup your data online? Sure, you might have an external hard drive that you use to backup your computer or laptop but this is not an ideal option to backup your data because it sits next to your computer. What if both of them gets damaged by water from a busted pipe or a leaking roof? What if someone breaks in your house and steals both your computer and external hard drive? Now what if your home burns down? Or if a flash flood happens? These are scenarios, which we hope won't happen to us but the reality is that these kinds of disasters and other computer mishaps happen to millions of people worldwide ... everyday.

Now if you really prefer an external hard drive and you are in the market for one, feel free to peruse through some of the best external drives in the market today: best selling hard drives. Again, these may be the best external hard drives, but not the best option for data safekeeping.

How about data recovery services? If your hard drive fails, there are data recovery services that can help you recover your data from your computer. Keep in mind though that there is no guarantee that they will be able to recover all or some of your data. Even if you manage to recover your data, expect to pay a hefty price for their service. Service charges for data recovery services can range from a few hundred dollars and into the thousands.

A Victim Of Data Loss Myself

I have experienced computer hard drive failures a couple of times and although I managed to recover most files, there are important data files that were completely lost. It's not a fun situation to be in but it happened. These incidents were before the advent of external hard drives and when these devices were still very expensive and not affordable.

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Even now that I have external hard drives to backup my computers, the risk of having to lose my important data files remain a possibility if something were to happen to my home as a result of a fire, flooding, or some unforeseen natural disaster.

I know for a fact that complacency may lead to dire consequences. Hence, the smart option for backing up your computer's contents is to use an online backup service. Why take a chance when there are now affordable options for online or remote location safekeeping?

So How Do Online Backup Services Work?

It used to be that these online backup services were not affordable to the average Joe like me or to small and medium-sized business owners. Thanks to high speed internet access and the emergence of cloud computing technology, online backup services are now available to us to protect our all important personal and business files. Besides, these services are easy to use and very reasonably priced.

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Most online backup services have backups of backups for an extra level of protection

So how do these services work?

» Online backup services work by installing a small program on your computer that sends files to a central server located in a datacenter in some remote and secure location. 

» The software on your computer detects files for backing up. It then encrypts the data and sends this to the central server where it is encrypted again to keep your data safe while in storage.

» After the initial backup, the software detects what has changed in your computer since the last backup. If it finds new files, it will queue this for encryption and transmission.

» You can set your computer to backup online every night when you are done for the day or whenever you deem convenient.

» Your data remains safe and private, as these services use strong encryption technology.

» In the event that you need to restore your data to your computer or to a new computer, all you need is to do a couple of clicks and the encrypted data will be sent and downloaded to your computer. Data recovery is that simple.

» In addition to storing your data in a remote location, most online services themselves have backups, which means that you get an extra level of protection.

Now that you know how online backup services work, the next burning question in your mind may then be: "Which online backup service is right for me?"

My Quest For The Best Online Backup Service

Being a victim of data loss myself due to computer hard drive and other computer mechanical and operating system failures, I set out to find an online backup service that I can use.

Data security is a major concern for me, most especially since I will be storing valuable personal data, business files, family photos, music, videos, and other digital media online. I wanted to make sure that the transfer and storage of all of these are as secure as possible.

Although I may understand a little something about technology, I do not consider myself to be a techie at all so my approach to evaluating these services were based on things which I believe are practical and more from a user's point of view. Some of the criteria by which I evaluated these online backup services were as follows:

» Market leaders. I wanted to find out which online backup service providers are market leaders and are getting great feedback in the market. Reputable technology companies which are endorsed or have partnerships with some of the largest names in technology usually will have better staying power in the market. These are the types of service companies that I am looking for. For me to have the ultimate peace of mind on the safety of my personal and business digital files, I think that using the online backup services of reputable market leaders is the best option.

» Data security. Data security is a major concern for me, most especially since I will be storing valuable personal data, business files, family photos, music, videos, and other digital media online. I wanted to make sure that the transfer and storage of all of these are as secure as possible.

» Price of service. Who doesn't want to get the best price for a service? I care about this and am assuming that you also do. If I can get the best online backup solution at the best price, then no doubt I will be getting a lot of value for what I pay for.

» Ease of use. As I have said, I am no techie so any service or software that makes my life easier and simplifies the whole process of backing up data without all the technology gibberish will definitely score well with me. The more idiot proof the service, the better it is for me.


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The Top Three Online Backup Services

I don't know about you but for me, if I were to use a service, I would rather use products or services which have proven themselves in the market. Most especially in an industry that is fairly new, I would rather stick with the market leaders since these players have proven their technology. Since I will be entrusting and storing valuable digital files to a company, I would rather go with the best.

After doing my research to find out what online backup services are worth further investigating, I was able to reduce my list to three online backup services which had market leadership as well as partnerships with some of the top technology companies. These three services are Carbonite, Mozy, and Norton (by Symantec).

Here's what I found out about these three top market online backup service providers:

CARBONITE OFFER CODE» Carbonite is a venture-backed company based in Boston, Massachusetts. The company had its initial public offering (IPO) and was listed on NASDAQ on August 10, 2011. Founded in 2005, the company has shot to the top of the online backup industry due to its outstanding service and technology. Since 2006, the company has backed up and protected nearly 300 billion files and restored more than 20 billion lost files for customers in more than 100 countries. The company backs up over 350 million files a day.

Upon further research, I found that Carbonite has a partnership with Sun Microsystems (which was acquired by Oracle Corporation). Carbonite was recognized as a 2009 Webware 100 award winner on Webware, a CNET site. Carbonite's set-and-forget online backup service was honored as a favorite in the Infrastructure and Storage category.

In June 2010, Carbonite CEO David Friend was awarded Ernst & Young's prestigious Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2010 Award in New England, adding more to the credibility of the company's innovative and industry leading technology.

» Mozy, which is based in Pleasant Grove, Utah, is owned by VMWare. VMWare is owned by EMC Corporation, the world's biggest corporate data storage equipment maker. Founded in 2005, Mozy has also shot to the top of the online backup industry because of its outstanding backup technology and ease of use.

Mozy has a global partnership with Lenovo to provide online backup service to its computer owners. McAfee, the world's second largest security software company, has also teamed up with Mozy to offer online backup services to its customers. Mozy is also endorsed by eBay and Iomega. General Electric Company's (GE) has made a substantial investment in Mozy to back up data for all its mobile employees. Mozy was voted No. 1 for backup and recovery by Small Business Computing in 2009.

» Norton Online Backup is a product of Symantec, the world's largest  security software provider. Although Symantec is more known for its security software, the company has ventured into online backup services since this is a strong complement to its core business.

One of Norton's largest partnership for online storage is with Hewlett-Packard (HP). HP is shipping with its computer's preloaded Symantec software which will include Norton Online Backup with limited storage.

These three online backup service providers are endorsed by some of the world's largest technology companies, which I thought was very reassuring.

Which Service Provides The Best Data Security?

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It has taken years for online backup services to earn the trust of businesses and consumers. Over the years, encryption technology has vastly improved. Venture capital and online backup companies have invested millions of dollars in R&D to ensure the development of data encryption technology that can withstand even the smartest of hackers. For me, since I will be backing up all the  files on my computer, which includes personal as well as business critical information, data security is at the top of my list of concerns. This therefore brings me to the next step of my decision-making process: "Which online backup service provides the best security?"

I did further research on this and this is what I found out:

» Carbonite, Mozy, and Norton all use 128-bit SSL encryption during the backup and data transmission process. For those who are not familiar with what 128-bit SSL encryption, this is the same technology that banks and credit card processors use to secure financial information and transactions.

Of the multitudes of encryption algorithms today, 448-bit Blowfish encryption stands out as the industry leader.

» For data storage, Norton uses 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption. 256-bit AES encryption is the encryption standard adopted by the US government. However, Carbonite and Mozy both use 448-bit Blowfish encryption when storing your information in their datacenters. Of the multitudes of encryption algorithms today, 448-bit Blowfish encryption stands out as the industry leader.

Given that my top priority is the security of my files, Carbonite and Mozy seemed to be better choices since these two companies use maximum encryption technology for data security. Carbonite and Mozy both scored in this area.


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Based on Price, Which Is Better?

Here's a breakdown of what the three online backup services have to offer:

» Carbonite has a simple, no frills payment plan for unlimited backup regardless of the plan. They have three pricing plans: Home plan ($59/year), HomePlus ($99/year), and HomePremier ($149/year). You are allowed one computer per unlimited backup subscription. The Home plan backs up your computer. The HomePlus plan backs up your computer, an external drive, and creates a mirror image backup of your operating systems and software programs. The HomePremier plan includes all the features in the HomePlus plan and a courier recovery service so that Carbonite can ship you a copy of your backup for faster computer and file recovery.


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» Mozy has two types of plans ... one for home users (MozyHome) and the other for businesses (MozyPro). MozyHome has two pricing options. The first option is for a monthly charge of $5.99 (which equates to $71.88 a year) for 50 GB of storage for one computer. The second option is a monthly charge of $9.99 (which equates to $119.88 a year) for 125 GB of storage for three computers.

For both MozyHome options, if you need additional storage space, you can add storage in increments of 20 GB for an additional $2 per month per 20 GB per computer. When you sign-up, Mozy may also give you a couple of months free use depending on which option you decide to go with.

Carbonite is the only service that offers unlimited backup capacity for a fixed price ...

MozyPro for desktops and notebooks costs $3.95 per license plus 50 cents per GB per month. MozyPro for servers costs $6.95 per license plus 50 cents per GB per month. Like Carbonite, you are allowed to backup one computer per subscription.

» Like Mozy, Norton Online Backup service does not offer unlimited backup. Norton charges $49.99 a year for 25 GB of storage space. Additional storage space can be purchased in increments of 10, 25, 50 and 100 GB. A positive service plan feature that differentiates Norton from Carbonite and Mozy is that you can backup files from five computers with one subscription.


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Based on the pricing plan, Carbonite scored well with me for three reasons: (1) The base pricing is cheaper compared to Mozy and Norton; (2) Carbonite is the only backup service that offers unlimited backup capacity for a fixed price; and (3) The simplicity of their payment plan also makes it more appealing. Regardless of whether you are getting the service for your household or for your business, you know upfront how much you will be paying and that no billing surprises will be coming your way going forward. Furthermore, regardless of whether you are using this for your home or your business, you have access to unlimited storage space.

For this evaluation, Carbonite's plan is superior than both Mozy and Norton Online Backup, primarily because of the fixed price for unlimited backup capacity.

Which Is Easier to Use?

I know for a fact that I will be needing more than 25 GB of offline storage space to backup my computer. This means that if I use Norton, I will eventually end up paying more for storage beyond the 25 GB maximum. It may initially seem that 25 GB of storage is a lot of space but the reality of this is that you will eventually be exceeding this and needing more space. 

Carbonite and Mozy performed well and were very similar but there was one particular area in which I thought one service was better than the other.

At this point, I elected to drop Norton Online Backup from my short-list and opted to focus my attention on Carbonite and Mozy.

Since both of these services have a trial period (Note: Norton Online Backup does not have a trial period. You have to purchase the service in order to use it), I decided to avail of this for an actual test run in order to find out the actual performance of Carbonite and Mozy on my computers. For the trial period (which is 15 days for both Carbonite and Mozy), Carbonite allows for unlimited data backup while Mozy allows for only 2 GB of data backup.

I downloaded and installed Carbonite on my Hewlett-Packard Pavilion Elite m9340f computer. I downloaded Mozy on my Hewlett-Packard Pavilion Elite m9715f computer. These two computers have very similar specs so hardware performance should not be a factor.

Just a side note for Mac users ... Carbonite and Mozy are also available for Mac.

After running Carbonite and Mozy on my computers, these were my observations:

» Software download and installation. After I registered for an account with both Carbonite and Mozy, I downloaded their installation software. The installation of both Carbonite and Mozy on my computers took just a few minutes and went smoothly. There were no techie or fancy instructions to follow, which is perfect for technology idiots like me.

» Interface functionalities. The interface for both Carbonite and Mozy were easy to use. Based on the functionalities, both offered the same options. For example, you can pause the backup process anytime you want to. You can also set up a schedule when you would like the backup process to commence or stop.

» Average backup rate. I have a cable connection to access the Internet. For the initial encryption and data backup process, both Carbonite and Mozy backed up around 3 to 4 GB on average a day (which was surprisingly a little bit higher than the  average upload of 2 to 3 GB a day that both Carbonite and Mozy advertise on their sites). I did not notice any significant difference in the rate of data transfer for both online backup services.

Carbonite's interface was simple and easy to use.

» File restoration access. For both Carbonite and Mozy, you can restore files from any computer with a Web interface and an internet connection. Subscribers can log on to their account from any browser on any computer, chose the files that are backed up, and immediately download these to your computer.

» File and folder selection. Both services have folder and file selection capabilities when restoring or when backing up your computer. For example, you can expand a folder tree and check or uncheck individual files for restoration or for backing up.

» File restoration. For online restoration of files, keep in mind that it will take roughly the same time to restore all your files to a computer as you had initially backed up your data. If it took you 6 days to initially backup your computer, it should then take you around 6 days to restore your data to a new computer.

Mozy's initial backup instructions are easy to follow.

» New file or update detection. After you complete your initial backup, Carbonite and Mozy can both detect new or updated files, which are then flagged and backed up based on the schedule that you had setup.

» Standby mode. A feature that I thought was pretty cool with both services is that Carbonite and Mozy will check to see if you are not using your computer. Once they detect that your computer is idle, that will be the only time that these programs will start the upload process for new or updated files.

In terms of the factors mentioned above, Carbonite and Mozy performed well and were very similar but there was one particular area in which I thought one service was better than the other.

One Service Was Better In This Aspect ...

As much as both Carbonite and Mozy were very similar in features and functionalities, there was one particular aspect that made an impression on me and made me decide on which of the two I should use.

» File scanning. When my computers were in the process of initially being backed up, both Carbonite and Mozy scanned my computers to find the files that need to be backed up. In this phase of the initial back up, I noticed that Carbonite was significantly faster than Mozy. Any time saving mechanism, most especially with the initial backup process, scores points with me. Carbonite was better in this aspect.

I found this really annoying since this happened very often.

» Initial file selection and backup. The initial backup process for Carbonite was also more efficient in that it would index, encrypt the files, and then send the files for transfer in batches — all without a hitch. Mozy, on the other hand, would index the files, then pause and wait for me to select the files to transfer. After which, Mozy will then encrypt and send out the files. During the "select files to transfer" phase, Mozy would freeze a lot of times or appear to be doing nothing at all when I was selecting files or folders to backup. I found this really annoying since this happened very often. I had to wait for Mozy to unfreeze (which took a long time) every time I selected folders and files for backing up. It was a bit frustrating and I do not need that.

While selecting files and folders to backup, Mozy would freeze a lot of times or appear to be not responding at all. I found this really annoying since this happened very often. During instances when Mozy was not responding, I had to end the program a couple of times and had to start the whole process all over.

» Ease of site use. For the Mozy trial, 2 GB of space is allowed. When I tried to increase my quota, instructions on Mozy's site were confusing. It took me a while to figure things out.

» Customer support. Here is another area where Carbonite has a distinct advantage over Mozy. You can get technical support from Carbonite in three ways: live phone support (7 days a week), real-time live chat support (7 days a week), and email. Mozy technical support has a tiered service so your level of support will depend on whether you have MozyHome or MozyPro. MozyHome only offers email support while MozyPro has phone and email. No live chat support is provided at all for both services.

Based on my overall experience and observations in using these two online backup services, my experience with Carbonite was hassle free and more pleasant. Carbonite scored well with me here.

My Final Recommendation

In general, Carbonite and Mozy are both true set-and-forget types of service. These two services are great for busy people or technology idiots like me. If you were to ask me which of the two would be the best online backup service to use, then here is what I think: 


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For Personal Data Online Backup. For backing up your personal files, it's really a close call between Carbonite and Mozy. As I have discussed above, the two services offer the same level of data security, they both offer very similar features and functionality, and both deserve an excellent rating for ease of use.

» In terms of performance, I give Carbonite an edge over Mozy as a result of its more efficient initial data backup process. Although both online backup services had almost the same online data transfer rate and the same level of security for data transfer and storage, Carbonite was more efficient during the initial backup process. There was an annoyance factor with Mozy's file selection functionality during this particular phase, which I was not too happy about.

» For the budget conscious type of consumer, Carbonite also has an edge over Mozy. Carbonite's base price of $59 a year is cheaper than Mozy's $71.88 a year (it's a $12.88 difference). Furthermore, if you need more than 50 GB of storage, you will have to pay for additional storage space with Mozy. For Carbonite, one fixed price gives you unlimited storage capacity. Being a price conscious consumer myself, I would therefore highly recommend Carbonite over Mozy.


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For Business Data Online Backup. For businesses, I would recommend Carbonite Business hands down. Carbonite is more appealing since the business owner knows upfront how much he/she will be spending per year. There is no guesswork needed to address your business storage needs and no unexpected additional charges are incurred every month with Carbonite's online backup service. I am sure that you will agree with me that this is more appealing than Mozy's.

So based on the decision process that I have outlined and discussed above to determine which I think is the best online backup service in the market, I am now using Carbonite for the safekeeping of my personal and business data. I therefore would recommend Carbonite to anyone who is in the market for an online backup service.

Hope my review helps you in your decision-making for an online backup service.

Steven S.

PS. I am really very happy with Carbonite. In fact, I have Carbonite installed on all four of my home computers (all used for various purposes such as business, personal stuff, and entertainment). I use the Home plan for my family's computers and the HomePremier for my main business/home computers. If you are interested in seeing the comparison chart for all three of Carbonite's plans, just Click Here.

If you have tons of files and software programs on your computer, I would highly recommend the HomePremier plan. In case your computer crashes or something unforseen happens, your recovery period will be a lot faster since: (1) you have a mirror image of your computer backed up (which lessens the headaches of restoring your operating system settings, software program settings, and file configuration of your computer); and (2) you can have Carbonite ship you via a courier express a backup of your computer. This is really very helpful as it will hasten the restoration and recovery process as opposed to recovering all your files via a broadband connection.

PS2. A commonly asked question that I receive about Carbonite is this: "If you have Carbonite installed on four of your home computers, does it mean that you have to pay for four Carbonite subscriptions?" The answer to that is a "Yes". That's the way their plan works. I initially installed Carbonite on 1 computer. After seeing how easy it was to use and feeling very secure that I really had made the right decision, that's when I decided to buy additional subscriptions for my other computers. I think of Carbonite more as an insurance in case something goes wrong with any of my computers. I have peace of mind and feel very comfortable with the fact that all my important business and personal data are safely and securely stored offsite, and that I have access to them anytime I want to.

PS3. Another frequently asked question that I get about Carbonite is this: "Can I still use my computer during the initial Carbonite backup process?" The answer to that is a "Yes". You can use your computer while the initial backup is in progress. Based on my experience, the initial backup can be faster if the computer is not being used.

PS4. Here's another frequently asked question: "What antivirus or computer protection do you use with Carbonite?"  I use Norton 360 by Symantec. Although Norton 360 has an integrated online backup feature, I really do not use this as I have explained in my review above. However, Norton 360 provides me with the all-in-one security I need. I have Norton 360 and Carbonite installed on all my computers and haven't had any problems with them running together on the same machine. They work smoothly together. I would suppose that Carbonite will work well with other anti-virus programs. Based on my experience, Carbonite really works well with Norton 360.

Got Questions? If you have questions regarding the online backup services featured on this site, feel free to contact me at: ask.steven@onlinebackupyourdata.com

Disclosure: Compensated Affiliate

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Download Security Notification

I recently tried to download my backup files onto another computer. One thing I like with Carbonite is that security precautions are set in place to warn you of any activity on your account. For example, Carbonite will send you a notification email whenever there is some sort of activity in the account. This notification is sent within seconds of any download access activity.

In the case of my backup download, I was sent the email notification below:

Having such risk management best practices in place makes me feel more secure that in any event that someone tries to access my account and download my stuff, I have a chance to stop further damage from occurring.

Missed Backup Notification

I tested to see what will happen if I do not backup my files for a week. Carbonite was prompt to send me a reminder that my backup may not be up to date (see email notification below).

Carbonite Interface Screenshots

This is how the Carbonite interface looks like as you backup your data.

As you can see, you have various options for restoring files that you have already backed up.

The screenshot below shows the option to set Carbonite's internet usage to "Low Priority". This means that if you are using your computer or surfing the web, Carbonite will sort of hibernate and not do anything. You therefore save on bandwidth usage to make your internet access faster. This also frees up your computer's resources to make your computer performance faster. Once Carbonite senses that you are no longer using your computer, it's only then that it will kick-in to start backing up your data.

You are also in control of your computer's backup schedule. You can set Carbonite to backup automatically or schedule specific times for backing up.

Carbonite Reinstall On Another Computer Notification

I recently bought my wife a new laptop and transferred and reinstalled Carbonite from the old laptop to the new one. The software reinstall went smoothly. I did not experience any glitches at all.

As soon as I reinstalled Carbonite, I received a security notification (via email) to alert me and make sure that I was the person who authorized the transfer. These notifications (see below) are definitely comforting since I feel more secure that whenever there are some activities in my account, I am always made aware of these.


How To Restore Files  

I've gotten a lot of questions regarding file restoration with Carbonite. So far I've never had to deal with any major restoration of files since I signed up with Carbonite. However, I've had a couple of instances wherein I had to  restore a few files back to my computer and I must say the restoration went very smoothly. If you want to know more about how file restoration is done, you can watch a short video on this by clicking this link or clicking on the image below:

Carbonite's file restoration feature is simple and easy.


Here's a video that I found on Carbonite which I thought was interesting. Carbonite CEO David Friend talks about their service in this video. He also shows the high-redundancy storage servers that they have in their Massachusetts data centers. What struck me with David Friend was that he seems to be a very down-to-earth, no frills kinda guy. Nothing flashy I should say, which to me is great. Same goes with their online backup service ... simple yet very efficient. Check this out.

Miss Cheryl Poierier (Miss Download) provides a nice overview of Carbonite in this video.

Carbonite for Mac demo on Mac Monday.

Mozy for Mac demo on Mac Monday.

Mozy's commercials are hilarious and score well with me. Check them out and see for yourself.



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Which Online Backup Service Is Right For You: Carbonite, Mozy, or Norton?

Article Contents

1 Your Computer May Be A Disaster Waiting To Happen

2 External Hard Drives Are Not Enough

3 A Victim Of Data Loss Myself

4 So How Do Online Backup Services Work?

5 My Quest For The Best Online Backup Service

6 The Top Three Online Backup Services

7 Which Service Provides The Best Data Security?

8 Based on Price, Which Is Better?

9 Which Is Easier to Use?

10 One Service Was Better In This Aspect ...

11 My Final Recommendation





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Did You Know That? ...

In the US alone, annual data loss costs businesses $18 billion. And yet, the majority of small-business computers remain unprotected, and virtually no small business has a business-continuity plan in place.

43% of computer users lose one or more files every year in the form of clinical data, financial records, photos, e-mail, documents, and other important information.

A survey found that 51% of Americans have experienced a computer crash where they lost all of their digital files.

In 2011, 39% of Americans said that they have never backed up their computers, or haven't done so in a year. This is an increase from 2009 when 35% of Americans admitted they never back up their computers.

40% of Americans feel like they would never be able to recover, recreate or repurchase all of their documents and files if their personal computer crashed.

Research by Symantec, which owns the Norton line of computer security software, shows that only 34%of computer users back up their files regularly and only 22% bother to back up all of their content.

A study by Symantec found that 50% of people surveyed find restoring files difficult.

Research by Wakefield Research found that 50% of Americans would rather lose all of their vacation time for an entire year than lose all of the files on their computer.

Wakefield Research also found that 62% of Americans said they would pay to get back their lost data if their computer crashed; 21% said they would pay $500 and 27% said they would pay as much as they needed to get their documents and files back.

Research by Computer Associates found that more than half of all companies in the US do not have a business continuance plan to prevent data loss.

A study by Google on the life span of its own hard disks found that one in 14 drives older than two years failed during any given year.

Did you know that 82% of Americans keep electronic files only and the majority of these files are nowhere else but on their computer hard drive. The most popular files people store digitally are photos (55%), music (46%), resumes (42%), addresses (28%), phone numbers (27%), and financial documents (22%). Notably, the average American surveyed has more than $400 of digital music and movies on their computers and that, for one in four, the music and movies are worth more than the computer itself.

According to research by Irish risk management company, ITRM, some companies never recover from major losses of data. Only 6% of companies that suffer catastrophic data loss survive in the long term and 43% never re-open. Of the rest, 51% within two years of the disaster.

According to an SOS Online Backup study, nearly 50% of small businesses are not backing up their data on a daily basis. The study also revealed that while over 90% of small businesses say they have a policy to back up daily, only half of them actually do back up their data that frequently.

A study by Carnegie Mellon University found that hard drives tended to start showing signs of failure after roughly five to seven years of service, after which there was a significant increase in average failure rates (AFR). However, the failure rates of drives that were in their first year of service or shorter was just as high as those after the seven year mark. Carnegie researchers concluded that backup measures are a necessity with critically important data, no matter what kind of hard drive is being used.


Read What Our Readers Have To Say About Our Online Backup Review

Note: We highly value the privacy of our site visitors. Hence, we are only displaying the initials instead of their names. No visitor emails are displayed. 


I want to thank you for the thorough comparison on the 3 on-line backup systems ... Again, thank you for your excellent research on these 3 backup systems.

I can understand all your explanations where I don’t think I could by researching all 3 backup systems by myself.

P. D.

Thank you so much for your very thoughtful review of the Online Backup Services. I can tell you put a lot of time into your review for which I am very appreciative.

Great service you are providing with your in depth review.

M. M.


Great online review! It's really helped me make a solid decision based upon the comprehensive study that you performed.

S. T.

Hello Steven,

I read your on-line review. Thank you very much, as it is very helpful.

Yes I too have had the MOZY problems you referred to. I have been using Mozy for about 2 years now.

Recently my MOZY online backup stopped for about a week since one of MOZY's Servers [the server they used for my data backup] went down.

Mozy does NOT have an alternative/parallel Server capability, either on site or at another location, to take over in case of a failure.

They stated that they did have a backup of the Server. I had to wait until the downed Server was up and restored with the last internal backup that they had.

This took at least a week.

During this time I could not perform an On-line back up to MOZY.

Mozy did not at any time notify me that they had this Server outage problem.

As such, I initially spent considerable time trying to solve the problem on my end, on the assumption that they were bullet-proof and the issue must be my problem.

This along with recurring interrupted/incomplete, very long [seems that they throttle backups in favor of large customers vs small customer] and often failed backups, is prompting me to consider Carbonite, along with other potential vendors.

Again, thank you for offering your comprehensive and insightful analysis.


B. D.


Thanks for the review. I was thinking of Carbonite, but was happy to learn that there are other options. I hadn't heard of Mozy, which it turns out is down the road from us about 40 miles away. Support the local economy? Maybe not, after your thorough analysis.

I wish Carbonite had a plan for sharing space for multiple computers in a household, but that probably doesn't make business sense. I keep a lot of files on my desktop, but not so many on my laptop ...

Anyway, thanks for the direction.

M. E.

Hello Steven,

I read your comparison analysis with a lot of interest. I have decided I would follow your recommendation with Carbonite ... Your article was well done, thanks for writing it and sharing with us.

R. T.


Thank you so much for your review of online backup solutions. I have been thinking of this for some time now, and your review was just what I needed. Carbonite really seems to have its' act together, and I'm headed to their site right now. Thanks again.

C. J.

I read your review of online backup services and am considering using Carbonite. Thanks for the great review.

P. L.

Thank you so much for the review of online back up. It was very useful and informative.

Thanks so much again.

J. L.


I found your evaluation of backup plans very informative ... Thank you very much. Your analysis helped me to make the decision to go with Carbonite. Your site rocks!!!

J. H.


I found your article about mozy and carbonite very interesting (www.onlinebackupyourdata.com). Thanks for sharing the data and your opinions/experiences.



Dear Steven,

Thank you for your excellent report. You helped me make an easy decision ...


M. P.

I found your comments about Carbonite backup service and was very appreciative of the information. You did a good job explaining how the service works ...

J. K.

Great review ... thank you ... I am currently in the 15 day free trial with Carbonite ...

S. S.

Hi - I read your very informative review of Carbonite ... Thanks for your help!

L. M.

Thanks, Steven, for your very informative and helpful review and analysis of Mozy and Carbonite.

D. S.

Thanks for your help. Will purchase Carbonite on your recommendation.

D. P.

Thank you very much for your excellent review on Carbonite.

K. O.

Hi Steven,

I read your review and appreciate all the great information.

Thanks for your help,

K. S.

Do you have anything to say?

Feel free to drop me a line at: ask.steven@onlinebackupyourdata.com


Related Articles

Survey Reveals That Digital Photos Are Considered To Be The Most Valuable Files

Small and Medium-Sized Businesses Lack Streamlined Backup Procedures


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Using an online backup is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Using such offsite services gives you peace of mind and the security of knowing that your valuable data, photos, music files, electronic documents, videos files, and other digital files are safe and sound. Unfortunately, selecting a specific online backup service is not easy. Although dozens of online backup service providers focus on individual users, I found only a few services that I thought are worth your time, money, and attention. Whether you plan to use an online backup service for home or business use, it is highly recommended that you do not delay on your decision because PC disasters usually happen when you least expect them to happen. Our site also features mozy promo code and a carbonite offer code that you can use to get some great savings.

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