In Part 1 I discussed using Dropbox as a cloud storage solution for sharing files among your devices. Today I want to discuss using Carbonite, which is advertised as a backup solution but can also be used to retrieve files.
You ARE backing up your computer, aren’t you? Unless you are only using it to read Facebook and your Gmail account, you really ought to be doing so. If you are a Mac owner, all you need for basic local backup is an external hard drive and the built-in Time Machine software (you do not need to buy a special Time Machine Capsule from Apple). If you have a PC, you need an external drive and either Windows built-in backup application or another one.
But even if you do perform regular backups to a local hard drive, that does you no good if your home is damaged due to flood or fire, or someone breaks in to seal all of your electronics. To cover you in those instances, or if you don’t want to need to remember to connect to something to back up, a cloud backup service like Carbonite can save your data bacon, as it is constantly updating its copy of your files in little bits every time you are connected to the internet.
But there is another trick you can perform with Carbonite once it has backed up your files:
you can access those files from another computer by logging into the Carbonite website, OR from your iPhone / Android phone with Carbonite Mobile.
For instance: I was at band practice and another player had not brought her part for a song. I did not have that part in my Dropbox folder, but I did know it was in another folder on my Mac laptop at home, which is backed up with Carbonite. Using the Carbonite Mobile iPhone app I was able to browse my Mac’s backup files to find the PDF I needed, and email it to the other person to read on her iPad! I could also have accessed or emailed an MP3 file, or anything else on my home computer.
Carbonite is not free – but for unlimited backup size of one Mac or PC for $59 a year it is cheaper than a TB-sized hard drive, easier to install, more secure than a local drive, and you get the mobile app for free!