Consumers find that online storage is much more convenient and a major improvement over previous backup systems, but they want a system they can use effortlessly. Carbonite problems outweigh the benefits. The main problems people have with the service include:
- Poor customer service. The technicians are uneducated and do not provide real solutions. When you call, you will get a standard “try this try that” type of answer, but nothing of value. Emails go unanswered.
- Not all files are automatically backed up. Although Carbonite claims to automatically back up all files, this is not the case. Many PDF files are not supported at all. The company’s answer to this is to recreate files in an Adobe alternative and to manually back up each file yourself. This is time consuming and not a feasible solution. Most people would rather change to a different provider than go through the trouble of recreating all of their files.
- Carbonite does not use versioning. Versioning is when multiple versions of the same file is kept for a certain amount of time. Carbonite only keeps the most recent version of a file. Therefore, if files are infected with a virus, thereby creating changes in the files, Carbonite will only have the latest, infected versions.
- No redundant backups. Business class backup services have redundant backup systems in case something goes wrong with the main storage system. This means that all of the data in one data center is copied to another data center. This way all information is retained in case of fire, flood, earthquake or hardware malfunctions. In order to cut costs, Carbonite uses only one data center. Many customers have lost data because of this.
- Slow performance. The service is excruciatingly slow. It can take days for the system to download and save the data, especially when there is a lot of data to store. This greatly slows down a computer’s performance, restricting what you can do while your files are being backed up.
- Access to files is restricted while the system is in backup mode. You have to wait for the backup to finish before you can continue your work.
- The unlimited backup they claim is included in the base package is actually only about 100 GB.
- The system tends to freeze your computer. Not always, but quite often you have to reboot your computer once the backup is complete before anything will happen.
Carbonite is preset to run a backup several times a day. That means your work will constantly be interrupted all day. This can be even more of a bother if you have to reboot your system every time Carbonite decides to run another backup.
One way to avoid this is to change the settings so that the backup only occurs when you aren’t using your computer – say during lunch or overnight. However, most people don’t like to leave their computer running all night as this is quite a waste of electricity.
Carbonite is very inconvenient.
- Carbonite will not allow you back up files immediately. For example, if you have just completed a large project, you will want it backed up right away so that you don’t have to lug your laptop around with you. Even if you choose to run a backup right away, it will take hours.
- Restoring data takes a very long time. When you want to access your files, you want them now. Speed is crucial to a business. You can’t afford to wait ten hours or more for your files to be restored to your computer.
- Sometimes the system won’t let you restore your data at all. Carbonite may be running a backup, it may be searching for files to restore or the system itself may just be too busy. You aren’t given any explanation; all you can do is wait.
Carbonite may be inexpensive, but when you consider the time and energy Carbonite problems cost, you aren’t really saving anything.