Carbonite is an easily recognized name in data backup and regularly gets positive reviews for its ease of use and starting costs of around $60 a year. However, Carbonite has some limitations that may open the door for competitors like CrashPlan to take over a portion of their business. For example, Carbonite's basic plan does not back up system files or allow users to upload files stored on an external backup drive. You also cannot back up an external hard drive from a Mac computer at all and files over 4 gigs require manual uploads. To automatically backup an external drive, you must upgrade to a Plus or Premier plan, which also costs $30 to $90 more each year.
CrashPlan rates highest
When it comes to data backup, you want it to work seamlessly in the background until you need it. When a major crash happens, you want to be sure that it is reliable and able to meet your restoration needs. While both Carbonite and CrashPlan have their fans, in compiling our report on online backup services, we give CrashPlan Best Reviewed status based on the favorable expert and user reviews it receives.
CrashPlan backs up your files in a variety of ways, including to a cloud server, which is the main server at CrashPlan's facility, to a friend's computer or to an external hard-drive. Even better is the fact that you don't have to choose just one backup option but can back up your important files in multiple places for maximum peace of mind. While CrashPlan offers a free option for backing up files, to use their cloud service, you will need to invest in CrashPlan+. CrashPlan+ runs just under $50/year for unlimited storage. For that price, you can also back up external drives, even if they are not attached to your computer 100 percent of the time. This is at least a $40 savings over Carbonite, which charges additional to backup an external drive.
CrashPlan is also considered faster because Carbonite throttles upload speeds after 35 gigabytes on a standard home account and after 200 gigabytes on a Plus or Premier account. Where CrashPlan really takes the edge is with their multi-user plans that will back up and protect data from up to 10 computers for $119/year.
Right now, you can switch from Carbonite to CrashPlan+ without any risk or investment. In a new promotion created as a ploy to get users to switch from Carbonite to CrashPlan, the company is offering a free one year subscription to current Carbonite users. To take advantage of the free offer, simply visit www.crashplan.com/carboniteswitcher and enter the e-mail address associated with your Carbonite account. You will not need to enter a credit card number. Carbonite users get a full year of free CrashPlan service to compare the two companies and see which one they like best. Those interested in the multi-user plan can opt for that for $50 for the year (reduced from $119).