I finally decided to systematically back up my home computer – the one I have for family/personal use. I’ve been using one sort of PC or another since the Compaq Portable in the mid-1980s. In all that time, I’ve only done sporadic backups of various directories when paranoia kicked in. Despite this utter lack of care, I’ve pretty much never lost an important file due to a failure or accident. I have had two hard drives fail on me, but in both cases a data recovery service was able to recover all the files.
But I figure that after 20 years, I may be pushing my luck a wee bit too far. So I decided to check out Carbonite, based on David Pogue’s review of the leading web (oops, now cloud) based backup services: Carbonite and Mozy.
I’m currently in the middle of a 15-day free trial of Carbonite and I’m loving it: simple to install, completely unobtrusive, continuously operating. There’s only one problem, but it’s a show-stopper for me: Carbonite will not backup external drives! In my case that means it won’t back up the USB drive that I use to store all my photographs and videos and music.
I was (and I still am) incredulous. I didn’t recall a single review mentioning this crippling feature. I was so incredulous that I searched the web to confirm it. My first confirmation was from this 2007 blog post comment (Carbonite: FAIL, Mozy: ON NOTICE) by the (then?) CEO of Carbonite:
David Friend wrote:
James: Hi, I’m the CEO of Carbonite and I noticed your comments about Carbonite on your blog. Backing up external hard drives is a feature that is available in our PLUS product which will be available shortly. Carbonite didn’t fail to back up your hard drive – we state clearly on the web site that the BASIC version does not back up external hard drives. Doing so would alter the economics of our business model and would require that we charge everyone a much higher price, or abandon our UNLIMITED backup policy which most of our customers really like.
Dave Friend, CEO
http://www.carbonite.com Carbonite Online Backup
Posted on 23-Oct-07 at 9:03 am | Permalink
When I read this I thought to myself, “Great! Let’s check out Carbonite Plus to see how much it costs. It’s been almost two years since this post, so I’m sure it’s available now.” So I go to the Carbonite site and search for “carbonite plus”. Unfortunately, this is what I found:
1074 : [General] External, Network, and USB Drives
Article Viewed 3
The current version of Carbonite backs up only the files that reside on permanent hard drives on your PC.
Check back soon for a Carbonite service plan that will allow you to back up your external drives.
So I guess I’ll check back around mid-2011. In the meantime, I’m off to check out Mozy…