Carbonite Off-Site Storage Review
Carbonite (http://www.carbonite.com) is an off-site storage solution whose mission statement is “Our mission is to provide an inexpensive, reliable and truly easy-to-use solution for the mainstream PC user; one that is simple, safe and always onâ„¢.” As photographers, backup should be a SERIOUS consideration and anything that is simple, automatic, and affordable sounds like something we should all look at. We took a long look at Carbonite based on a recommendation from Leo Laporte, continue reading to see what we thought of the service.
Carbonite’s service is only $49.95 a year which for unlimited storage which is an exceptionally good price. The signup process is ultra easy and the software is a total breeze to use. For it’s simplicity, cost, and ease of use, we give Carbonite an A+.
For many people, Carbonite may seem absolutely perfect. However, for a family full of digital cameras, the backup speed may be a bit too slow. For professional photographers, its almost unusable. While the backup process is exceptionally network-friendly and will not slow down your typical network usage, it is pretty much limited to about 2.5gb per day. So, it is important that you do the math. This may be ok for you, but for us, it is not really a usable backup solution. This past weekend alone I shot 10gb of RAW images, processed down to 2gb of JPEG images. So with just the images from this weekend, I would need 5 days for Carbonite to back these files.
Looking at our current data set, we have about 300gb of data to backup, at 2.5gb per day, thats 120 days to backup our data. Considering our current growth rate of 15-20gb a month right now, that means we will add about 60gb of data before the backup finishes. That will add another 24 days to the backup during which we will add another 20gb, adding another week to the backup. Thats 150 days or FIVE MONTHS before we would have a complete, up-to-date backup set. Even with my extended trial code, I would be paying for four months of service without having a full backup.
So, what are your backup solutions for a prolific photo shooter? Obviously, you need lots of storage. Even though storage is getting cheaper, it would still benefit you to do a little cleaning of you inventory of images where you can.
At this point, hard drive storage is still the most effective solution as it is fast and extremely stable. If you are choosing a hard drive solution, choose a flexible and cost effective solution. We like the Maxtor OneTouch III drive series as they are reasonably priced and offer 3 connection types – USB, Firewire 400 and Firewire 800. This will ensure compatibility with your computers for years to come. And with 1 terrabyte drives at around $300, the cost per gigabyte is around 30 cents. If you store 20GB a month of photos, thats about $6 a month for permanent storage of your photos.
For some people, Carbonite may be a good solution, but if you are even the most amatuer photographer, the slow upload speeds will seriously impair your ability to use Carbonite for a reasonable backup solution. If it works for you, great, but be wary of the backup speeds before making a decision.