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      April 7, 2020

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Carbonite vs IDrive

Best Online Backup Services

To help you find the Best Online Backup Systems, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Carbonite and IDrive.

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Which company offers the best online backup service? One thing that keeps many computer users and business owners awake at night is how they would recover from a data loss event or security breach.

Hard drives are wonderful devices for storing more information now than ever before. But even with the advent of more solid-state (moving parts) storage components, hard drives are still prone to occasional failure, damage, intrusion, or accidental erasure.

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2020

Online Backup Reviews

4 stars
Carbonite

CARBONITE

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Cost:

$6/month billed annually for one computer

$24/month billed annually for multiple computers

$50/month billed annually for computers and servers

Carbonite shares a name with the fictional preservation technology mentioned in "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back". It was used to keep Han Solo in a "frozen" state before he was shipped to Jabba the Hutt. Similarly, Carbonite preserves your data so that you can recover it should your hard drive take a turn for the worse, whether that be ransomware, coffee spills, computer crashes or theft, or accidental file deletion or overwriting.

3 levels of backup

There are three levels of Carbonite usage: personal cloud backup, cloud backup for small business, and data protection solutions.

  • The software for personal cloud backup and cloud backup for small businesses is called "Carbonite Safe". For personal files, such as photos, documents, settings, email, music, and videos, Carbonite Safe is a Windows or Mac program to help you identify files and folders you want to protect and then back them up to the Carbonite storage cloud. If you need to restore your files, Carbonite Safe directly restores them to a device of your choosing from the Carbonite cloud. The software for small businesses protects up to 25 computers and provides easy file recovery and monitoring of online backups from a web-based dashboard.
  • Carbonite's advanced data protection solutions allow you to shield your business data from everyone who shouldn't have access and to keep or delete data as needed. You can back up virtual, physical, and legacy servers and restore everything from individual files to whole servers. You can also back up Office 365 suite files and documents, migrate files from one source to another with zero data loss and no service disruption, and balance storage load between servers to provide a failover solution. Should a business have a need to backup "active" file systems, such as a database server, Carbonite's advanced data protection solutions can handle that as well.
Best Online Backup

Data protection needs

Small, medium, and large businesses may have additional requirements that personal computing customers may not have. For example, a doctor's office may need to protect patient records from being viewed by anyone other than the doctor or patient. That includes not allowing third-party software vendors, like Carbonite, to see the data. Additionally, an accounting firm may have data retention requirements to keep data for a certain amount of time, or delete data after a date has passed.

24/7 support is included with every Carbonite plan.

Features good, pricing concerns

Carbonite reviewers liked the ease of use and file backup / restoration features. The price was a bit too steep for some reviewers, though. And, as with many of the services we researched, there is a certain amount of pain with customer support inquiries that went unresolved or weren't resolved to the users' satisfaction.

Carbonite has a good, solid reputation in the online backup industry, but the higher cost than its competitors resulted in a slightly lower rating than our first-place choice.

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3 stars
I Drive

I DRIVE

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Cost:

Between $52 and $149 depending on space and billing term for IDrive Personal

Between $74 and $749 depending on space and billing term for IDrive Business

IDrive's pricing plans were confusing to understand at first. One page listed a Personal plan and a Business plan separately in addition to a Free plan. Another pricing and signup page seemed to omit the free plan and combined Personal and Business plans. After a bit of re-reading it was easier to distinguish between all three.

Business backup is their strength

If you're looking for a backup system for home computing purposes, IDrive is probably overkill. There are several other easier systems to choose from.

Where IDrive shines is with small business and enterprise computing environments that have a strong need for sophisticated backup scheduling and automation. There is the ability to create groups, sub-accounts, and single sign-on to meet the needs of departmental organizations with intranets and other integrated systems.

Manage backups remotely

Compressed backups can be executed on "thin client" and web consoles in the background and incrementally so that productivity is not negatively affected. You can manage computers remotely to do backups and restores.

For quick jobs and to reduce bandwidth usage, use IDrive Express to get a quick backup and retrieval via physically shipped hard drives. All data is secured with military-grade AES encryption.

IDrive can back up all databases and servers, including Linux, Office 365, System State, Oracle, MS SharePoint, Hyper-V, VMware, MS Exchange, and MS SQL Server.

Sophisticated features means a higher price

All the same, and adjusting for the varying composition of features and pricing tiers across all services, the overall cost of IDrive over the long term seemed to be higher than other plans with other services. But, with the sophisticated set of features that IDrive has, it may be worth the price for some customers.

High marks from techies, less so from home users

Technology media reviews of IDrive are quite positive. Consumer reviews were overwhelmingly negative with regards to service and support, inadvertently canceled billing with no guarantee of data recovery once reinstated, a slow and difficult interface, and chronically unsuccessful backups. The disconnect between media reviews and consumer reviews seems to reveal a gap in technical ability between IDrive's professional and casual users.

The rating for IDrive was dropped a little to account for the initial confusion about the types of customers they're stronger at serving (personal vs. business). Plus, they don't have an unlimited storage option or a continuous backup option. Also, the disparity between tech media and individual user reviews was a concern. But as a business/enterprise solution for professionals who fully understand backups and restores at that level, it seems very solid.

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Continued from above

Even worse, a disgruntled employee or a criminal who likes to hack into computers and steal data could bring your business or home computing to a grinding halt. Ransomware hackers could hold your data for ransom by encrypting it and only offering to give you the "key" to unscramble it if you pay them a large sum of money. Even if you pay, there is no guarantee that they'll give you access to your data again.

Fortunately, there are several companies that have made it their mission to help you back up, secure, and restore your irreplaceable files and protect your information. They provide the storage hardware and the software to migrate copies of your files continuously and securely to their "cloud" storage facilities.

When looking for a backup service, some important things to consider include:

  • Fees. How much storage are you getting per dollar? Obviously, the lower the cost per gigabyte, the better off you are, all other things being equal.
  • Features. Every service we reviewed offers vastly different combinations of features. Make sure the service you choose is the right fit for your particular needs, without buying features you don't need.
  • Customer Service. The last thing you need in a data emergency is poor customer service. If you have any kind of trouble with backing up or restoring files, you'll want fast, courteous, and helpful customer service.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best online backup services to help you attain peace of mind. We hope this information helps you find the right online backup service for your home or business!

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