Carbonite offsite backup service can save your hide

How much to you backup your files? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Hardly ever?

I unfortunately was a member of that last category up until about two weeks ago.  At “the real job”, I lost a directory on one of our server hard drives that contained a ton of data that wasn’t in our routine daily backup.  The data should never have been put there in the first place, but our network file sharing practices do not follow the most strict standards.

I got to thinking about the gigs and gigs of data on my home system which was occassionally backed up to an external hard drive.  If I lost the data on my drives say in a catastrophic loss such as a fire, what would I do? I didn’t have any kind of off-site backup plan and even though I had sporadic backups on some external drives, what good would that do me if my house burned down?

I bought a cool LaCie 1TB external USB 2.0 drive from for the purpose of having enough drive space to backup all my internal drives onto one drive.  The drive showed up and it had a free year subscription to Carbonite which I had never heard of until I got the drive.  I figured I’d give it a shot since I didn’t have any off-site backups.

The software consists of a small executable that runs in the background at all times. You set the folders and files that you want to backup, and that’s it. The program senses if the files were updated since your initial backup, encrypts the data and uploads it to your Carbonite account.  The best thing about it is there is no limit to the amount of data you can backup on Carbonite’s servers. 

At any point if you lose data or even if you accidentally overwrite a file, you can log into your account and pull your data back down from Carbonite.  In the case of a total drive failure, as long as you had specified you wanted the entire drive backed up, your data will be waiting for you to download upon login.

I don’t usually get too excited about backups (or write about it), but this service is way too easy to not blog a little about it.  Carbonite costs less than $50 a year and again doesn’t put a limit on the amount of data you can store.  The limiting factor may only be your ISP bandwidth limit if you have one.

So if you don’t currently have a backup routine or if you’re storing your data on the external hard drive sitting next to your tower, you might want to consider using a service like Carbonite to securely backup your important, irreplacable data.  It’s too easy not to do it!