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.
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!
TM is set to do a daily backup of all work and docs to my external drive at 3AM, and I use CCC to do a complete bootable system backup every Sunday morning on a second partition. But for the past 5 years, I've also done a quarterly backup from the external to CDs or DVDs so I can periodically purge files to save disk space — and have some measure of redundancy during overlapping intervals. But as you can imagine, that's a PIA. I also decided that having a redundant backup off-site made more sense — and yeah, I can access files via my MBP or iPhone from anywhere.
I didn't realize folders with deleted files overwrite their predecessors. I assumed that once a file was stored on their server, it stayed.
My external is a 1TB LaCie Quadra, and I've still got more than 600GB of free space, so I shouldn't be so worried a/b storage — especially since I have very few video and audio files.
True Dat. I'll be putting some extra though into renewing the subscription next December. The Mac program is feature-dry compared to what they offer for PCs. If I were a Windows user, I'd have not had this problem. Later this year I may upgrade to a 2 or 3TB external HD. That'll mitigate any storage concerns, but it still won't address the extra security of offsite storage (and iCloud it too damned expensive).
Your tidiness bites you in the ass. I thought that when you said you copied your DVDs to the HD and sent them up to the cloud you kept the DVDs.
Remember, these sites are for backups, they're not really meant for file storage. I would never trust my data in just one place, especially one I don't have control over.
There is something called CrashPlan that has made great strides since its inception a few years ago. I just learned about it. They offer never deleteing files that you delete. It offers incremental backup for Mac which Carbonite doesn't
Flexible Restore Options With CrashPlan backup software, you can go back in time and choose to restore specific versions of files based on date. You can also tell CrashPlan where to save the files when you restore and whether or not to rename them.
We never throw anything away Unlike other backup products, CrashPlan keeps your deleted files forever (unless you tell us not to.) No matter how much time passes after you delete a file, you can get it back. (Files backed up to CrashPlan Central are retained as long as you have an active subscription or free trial).
Another nice feature they have is if one has many gigs or terabytes of files and upload time would be prohibitive, for a fee of around $125 they ship you a drive to copy your data to, you mail it back and them, that's your first backup, they then copy it to their servers.
You should be able to get out of your Carbonite plan, I believe they prorate it.
But if you really want to protect your data you should put it all on your iphone and then get this awesome case with Hans Solo frozen in Carbonite.
Having Han Solo frozen in carbonite was (at least in part) due to the fact that they were not sure that Harrison Ford would return for a third film. When the original Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope was made Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill were signed for three picture deal, but Harrison Ford refused.
Whoa — that's one hell of deal. I'm gonna call Carbonite tomorrow and see if I can get cancel and get a few bucks back. But even if I can't, this is still better than a sawbuck lower than what Carbonite is for a year. Will look into this more closely tomorrow and probably switch this week or next. I may even take the multi computer plan so I can backup the MBP, too.
Well Holy Bat, Crapman! Was planning to call Carbonite today to see if I can cancel my subscription and get a prorated refund. But first, I started a full restore to my desktop to retrieve all my files before disabling the account.
As of this writing, I've downloaded only a little more than 15% of the 11 or 12GB that had been backed up. And waddaya think I'm seeing in that folder? All the subfolders and files that were supposed to have been nuked! So far, it looks like it 's ALL there. Yet yesterday, when their support rep looked into my account, he found none of this stuff. I had already gone through my folder with a fine-toothed comb and a magnifying glass, and the tech did the same. He looked behind chests, under sofa cushions, even in the glove compartment of my car, and found nothing. Yet, there it is, downloading in its entirety. Go figure!
I'm still going to see if I can cancel the account today, but if they're not willing to work with me, I'll finish out the subscription and switch to Crash Plan toward the end of the year. At least now I know where the quicksand is. But it's pretty weird that even their techs missed those files, or aren't as server-savvy as they should be.
MacG that was my thought. Why pay for a subscription when HDs are so cheap... the only advantage of an on-line service is accessibility from multiple sites. BUT you also have to consider you lose privacy (not that I have anything sensitive). This way you have archives back to the stone age and multiple copies / versions.
I want offsite without the hassle of a physical location that you have to travel to and from and must have access to. If I had an office out of my home, that would be different. The setup and use of Carbonite has been as simple as you could want. But folders being overwritten is a problem for me — along with limited Mac-centric features. But this newly delivered bit of good news is ironically also problematic for me. I'm told one thing, and the opposite turns out to be the fact. It turns out I have my files after all — but why was tech support mis-informed?
I use the WD My Book Essential external hard drive, that stores 3TB.. for me that is 750,000 tunes or 600,000 photos...as of today I only have a little over 750 tunes stored...got a ways to go to fill up the My Book
I confess that I've been a too focused on free space. So once this download is finished, it's all going on the LaCie. t'll barely dent the available space I have on that drive. But I still want the redundancy with an offsite solution. Come Q3, when I usually make equipment investments, I'll get a bigger external drive just to cover any contingencies.
I'm considering one of these. Probably the 3TB. It get's the USB Superdrive off my desk and puts the camera cart slot front and center.
In the meantime, I'll either finish the Carbonite subscription or switch to Crash Plan in the next week or so.
Nebbermind... Once the download was complete, I discovered that almost all of those folders were empty. Evidently, folders, subfolders, and just a handful of files had been cached, but nothing more. Oh well, time to make the switch to Crash Plan.
I spoke to a Carbonite CSR this morning. Explained what happened and asked if I could cancel the account and get a prorated refund. He was out of his depth, so I got a supervisor who verified what the tech had told me on Wednesday. I said that the information was not obvious on their website. She said, "It's there if you look for it."
I said this version is targeted to intermediate home computer users and not everyone would even think to look for such content. I said I'm a bit more advanced than intermediate, but this was not something I thought of, either. My bad.
She told me they have a 60-day refund policy, and I'm at 64 days (62 when I first reported the issue).
I said I didn't want the moon with a fence around it — just credit me $35.
She said she'd enter a claim with the billing dept. and I'd have an answer with 7 days.
"Billing?", I asked. "This is a customer relations issue, not a billing issue."
"That's our policy, sir."
"Okay," sez I. "If I don't get any satisfaction, I'll be all over your FB wall and Twitter page with this. That's my policy."
Woosh back atcha. There's the Carbonite account and then there's the credit card account. I'm talkin' a/b the former, and you're talking a/b the latter. Different pages, much? But, yeah... nebbermind anyway.
I don't see any of my posts as being defensive.. just responses. I made a joke. You either ignored it or didn't get it.. at the time I wasn't sure which, so I just said woosh. That's not being defensive. But i'm sure you will say this response is being defensive, whereas I just see it as explaining my position more clearly.
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