Just a few notes about Carbonite (which is for doing backups off-site). One thing you can tell is that it’s been around a while. Which is to say – it is extremely well-thought out in terms of the user interface. It’s also so easy to use that you’d really have to be pretty stupid to have problems doing backups. However, with all that being said, I did notice that my super-duper backups (I’m on a mac and Super Duper is a backup program) did run into problems completing it’s backups to the external drives when Carbonite was running.
So you just go into Carbonite and set it to idle while you do the Super Duper backups. I wonder… I’ve backed up about 75 GBs so far. There are a few tips, at least on a mac that are worth knowing – the main one is that you really want to set your Power Saving settings so that the hard drives don’t shut down when not in use… at least while you’re doing your initial Carbonite backup. Otherwise, as in my case, it wasn’t continuing with the initial backup once the drives went to sleep. Most of this sort of thing is spelled out on the Carbonite site.
For $59 bucks a year, you can backup anything that’s inside the computer. But not external drives. That makes sense to me.
And the other thing to make note of is that it’s not what I’d call an incremental backup… If you change a file on your hard drive, that change will be (at some point) mirrored in the Carbonite system. If you delete a file from your hard drive (and this is nice) it isn’t immediately deleted from Carbonite. I think they keep it for at least a month. So that’s a good thing.
So, in a nutshell, if you just want to do this in a painless way, and not get into details – Carbonite is working out for me. If you need something more sophisticated, such as the ability to do incremental backups so that you can return to a certain saved point – that is not a Carbonite feature.