While there are many ways to backup your data, online backup of is one alternative you really should consider.

Very inexpensive and safe, as well as, solving the prime directive of making sure your backup data is stored remotely.

Carbonite is a name you will unduly see a lot as one of the pioneers in this industry and one of the most popular services available now.

The following is my point-by-point review of Carbonite's service and the key points you need to consider when evaluating it as an option:

1. Price Carbonite for home use costs just under $ 60 per year for unlimited data backup for a single computer user. They offer introductory coupons where you can get your first month free. Unfortunately, they do not offer a pay as you go (monthly) option like Mozy.

2. Safety / Encryption Carbonite uses military grad encryption – basically, the same state of the art encryption to secure your files that the others do … no real distinction here. Before your files leave your computer they are encrypted and then Carbonite encrypts them again (Blowfish) differently as they are stored. Hackers are of course going after online storage companies, because they are there. Without question, encrypting your data though means the data is very much hacker-proof.

3. Customer Service I have found Carbonite's customer service to helpful but a bit frazzled and not as helpful as Mozy or other online services I have reviewed. I suspect this is simply because of their growth has outpaced their systems' ability to compensate and they will improve this.

4. Upload Speed Carbonite's initial upload is unquestionably slow. But, so are all of the other online backup services due to speed limits indigenous to broadband. With any online service, expect the initial upload to take a while, like a couple of weeks. Online backup services try to be unobtrusive. That is, they default to just idle in the background when you are working on your computer. If you were to leave your computer on and idle, the backup would happen much faster, but who can do that. Subsequent updates to your files, emails and pictures will be quite a bit faster because Carbonite will only be updating the sections of any files that have actually changed.

5. What happens if you lose your data and need it replaced FAST?
Carbonite will send you a disc of your most recent backup data but at a cost … otherwise, it is easy to simply download and restore from the client software that sits in your system tray via your internet connection.

In conclusion, Carbonite offers an excellent basic online data storage product at an excellent low price. Although I think Mozy wins by a nose because of great customer service, Carbonite is definitely worth strong consideration.

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