Carbonite: A Complete Tour

A thorough look at the program settings

This is a detailed look at the backup software from Carbonite, including the backup settings you can tweak, how to view files that are already backed up to your account, the restore function, and more.

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"Status" Tab

Screenshot of the Carbonite status tab
Carbonite Status Tab.

The "Status" tab is the first screen you'll see when you open Carbonite.

The most valuable piece of data you'll see here is the current overall progress of the backup to Carbonite's servers. You'll see in the next slide below how you can stop the backup at any time.

The "View my backup" link opens in a web browser and shows which files are backed up. You can download files and folders there. That screen is covered in Slide 3 below.

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"Backup Settings" Screen

Screenshot of the Backup Settings screen in the Carbonite desktop program
Carbonite Backup Settings Screen.

Carbonite's "Backup settings" screen is located in the "Settings & controls" link on the main tab of the program. This is where you have total control over the backup settings.

The primary setting here is the "Pause my backup" button off to the right. Click or tap this at any time to instantly pause all the backups.

Just below that button is the number of files Carbonite has left to back up. As long as the backup is running, you should see this number count down as more files back up to your Carbonite account.

Also on this screen, you can configure Carbonite to:

  • Back up continuously, which will, of course, keep all your files backed up all the time. This is the recommended option.
  • Back up once a day to back up your files at a predefined time of day, every day. When you select this option, you get to choose what time during the day that the backup should run.
  • Do not back up during certain hours so that the backup will run on a schedule that lies outside the time frame you choose.
    For example, you could choose this option and then pick 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM so that the backup will only run after 6:00 PM each day and then stop at 8:00 AM the next day, thus pausing between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM. This is perfect for anyone home during that time so that the backup doesn't suck up too much bandwidth.

Also here are some other options to disable colored dots on the files and folders that are backup up with Carbonite and to back up the default files that Carbonite was configured to back up when it was first installed.

The Reduce Carbonite's internet usage option on this screen lets you restrict the bandwidth that the program is allowed to use. You aren't allowed to choose by how much, but when you enable this option, it will reduce bandwidth allocation so that other network activities can run normally, but it will, of course, make backups take longer to complete.

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View Your Backed up Files

Screenshot of a Carbonite account where you can restore uploaded files
Files Backed up to a Carbonite Account.

The "View my backup" link on the main page of the Carbonite program will open your account in your web browser like you see here. This is where you can search and browse through all the files and folders that the program backed up.

From here, you can select one or more folders and download them as a ZIP archive, or open folders to find specific files, and download the individual files back to your computer.

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"Where Do You Want Your Files?" Screen

Screenshot of the Where Do You Want Your Files Screen in the Carbonite program
Carbonite Where Do You Want Your Files Screen.

If you choose the "Get my files back" button on the main screen of the program, you'll find yourself on the "What do you want to get back?" screen (it's not included in this tour).

On that screen are two buttons. One is called "Choose files" which will take you to the exact same screen seen when choosing the "View my backup" link like seen in Slide 3 above. The other button is "Get all of my files" and will show you the screen you see here.

Pick "Let's get started" to restore all of your files back to their original locations, or choose the "Download to my desktop" link to instantly download all of your backed up files to your desktop (which is really just a shortcut to the files stored elsewhere).

When restoring files, Carbonite instantly pauses all backups. You then have to manually resume backups to continue using Carbonite, after which, any files that are backed up to Carbonite but are not on your computer, will only remain in your account for 30 days.

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"Getting Files Back" Screen

Screenshot of Carbonite restoring files back to a computer
Carbonite Restoring Files.

This screenshot just shows Carbonite downloading files to the desktop, the result of the "Download to my desktop" option that was chosen in the previous slide.

You can use the "Pause" button to temporarily stop downloading files or completely stop the restore process with the "Stop button.

When the abruptly stop the restore midway, you're told how far into the download you were when you stopped it and how many files were restored during that time.

You're also given the number of files that were not downloaded and are told that those files will be available in your account for just 30 days before being removed from Carbonite.

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"My Account" Tab

Screenshot of the Carbonite My Account tab
Carbonite My Account Tab.

The "My account" tab in used to view or change your Carbonite account information.

You'll find the version number of the software you're using, a unique serial number, and an activation code if you've taken the plunge and subscribed to one of Carbonite's backup plans.

Tapping or clicking Edit in the "Computer nickname" section lets you change how your computer is identified by Carbonite.

Choosing the Update your account information link will open your Carbonite account page in your web browser, where you can make changes to your personal information, view the computers you're backing up, and more.

The link called Let them access your computer will open a link in your browser where you can enter a session key given to you by the Carbonite Support team if you requested remote access help.

For privacy reasons, I've removed some of my information from the screenshot but you will see your specific information in the areas I mentioned.

Sign Up for Carbonite

There are certainly some services we like more than Carbonite but they have a huge, satisfied customer base. If Carbonite seems like the right pick for you, go for it. They offer some of the most successful cloud backup plans ever sold.

Be sure to read through our review of Carbonite for everything you need to know, like accurate pricing data, the features you can expect to find in each of their plans, and what we like and don't like about their service.

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