Last December I signed up for Carbonite's home edition for Mac. $59 a year for unlimited storage for one machine is a pretty good deal and it works flawlessly in the background, and retrieving files is simple.

However, there is one thing to be aware of if you give it a try and it may be something I missed in the fine print:

When folders from your HD are backed, the newest backup overwrites the previous one. For files that have been modified or added, no problem. But if you delete anything from a folder expecting it to be restorable from Carbonite, you've only got 30 days in which to do so. After that, it's gone for good! I found this out the hard way this morning.

In early January I had backed up more than four years of projects that had been stored on CDs and DVDs and catalogued by client and date. I had copied everything into subfolders in my Projects folder and allowed plenty of time for the backup. When I saw that everything was copied, I discarded many of the disks.

Last night, I noticed that those folders were missing from my Carbonite account! I called tech support this morning and learned the unhappy truth. cry

Fortunately, 80% of the lost files were still scattered around my external HD and a few remaining DVDs, and what was lost was of minimal consequence or value. But from now on, I won't be deleting any files or folders from my HD before I make sure they're also on my external drive. Yeesh! eek