Better Safe Than Sorry

by Kelley Koehler on June 8, 2010


image of a circuit board's labyrinth

Image courtesy of Flickr user quapan

My computer is dying a slow, painful death.

There’s this terrible grinding sound when I turn on the power and then it just wheezes and drags as I try to do even the most basic tasks.  It’s going to die very soon.  One day, it just won’t power up, or maybe I’ll be in the middle of writing an email and it will just go dark.

But I’m not worried.  I’m not frantically getting all my important files and photos off of it before it dies because of a service I discovered a few years ago that, quite honestly, is the best thing I’ve ever purchased to take care of my data.

It’s called Carbonite.  And no, I don’t get any money by referring them to you.  I’m just so delighted with it as a user, that I tell everyone who will listen about it.

Carbonite is an automatic online backup service.  It runs quietly in the background on your computer, and automatically makes a backup of your data and files and stores them online for you.  When you’re not using your computer, Carbonite goes through the folders on your computer, finds which files have been changed since the last time it looked, and then uploads them to your account online.

Automatically.  You never have to think about making a backup onto a thumb drive, or starting a program to make you backup.  It just happens.  Constantly.  And you never have to think about it.

So when your nephew is visiting and drops your laptop and breaks it – if you have Carbonite running, you can get all your data back onto a new machine in a matter of hours.  When you get a nasty computer virus and now your computer won’t turn on and you really need those listing photos you took yesterday and stored on your hard drive?  You can go to your Carbonite account online and get them from one of the computers at work.

It’s the best $55 I spend a year, for the peace of mind that my data, my photos, my documents, the information I use to run my business – are all safe and secure.  And that it happens without me even having to think about it.  No thumb drives, no remembering to backup, nothing.  Automated backups, secure online access from other computers.  It’s a beautiful thing.


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Kelley Koehler

Kelley Koehler, aka the Housechick, is an associate broker and branch manager for Thompson's Realty in Tucson. Consistently at the forefront of emerging real estate trends and techniques in her own business, Kelley provides frequent training and coaching on integrating blogging and social media techniques into successful business practices for agents, brokerages, and associations nationwide. You can find her thoughts on real estate and technology on her personal blog at KelleyKoehler.com, or more often find her on Twitter as @housechick or on Facebook.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Nick Bastian June 8, 2010 at 8:10 am

Thanks Kelley! This is GREAT info for people.
I had heard of them but have put off using this service for some unknown reason. Off to check them out, again.

Kelley Koehler June 8, 2010 at 9:08 am

Hey Nick – LOVE LOVE LOVE Carbonite. Fast setup, cheap price, runs in the background and never disturbs me. Best thing since sliced bread. :)

kerry melcher June 8, 2010 at 9:19 am

I love Carbonite too. This week I will experience transferring all of our data to a new machine. The usual stress involved in a computer dying and having to set up a new one is non-existent for me.

Thanks.

Francces Flynn Thorsen June 8, 2010 at 3:50 pm

I’ve been using Carbonite for a year and a half. Two remote backup drives crashed … they cost more than $100 each … Carbonite is excellent, less expensive, easy to use, and restoring files is a snap.

I would add a word of caution, however. The default settings on Carbonite do not include videos, audio files, and many applications. The user has to “mark” these files for backup. The default settings backed up less than half the digital files I want to save.

I agree – it is a very beautiful thing!

Kelley Koehler June 8, 2010 at 5:07 pm

That’s right Frances – you need to do an initial configuration to make sure the files you need are selected. I’d also make sure anyone who uses a program like Outlook that you make sure those files are backed up too. They’re not often stored in the same place as the rest of your documents.

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