Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Me And Carbonite, Day 11

So I decided to succumb to the daily TV advertising and try Carbonite risk-free for 14 days.

I already back up all of my most important stuff to an external hard drive... but unless you carry that external hard drive off-site (which is kind of hard to do when it lives where you do), the same theoretical future disaster that turns your computer into melted slag will perform the same service for that external HD, at no extra charge.

One could, I suppose, park the external HD in a fireproof safe of some sort, but unhooking it from the computer and putting it there, and then getting it out again every time I needed to change a file (which happens daily) was just a little too much for my tolerance.

So, an online solution.

At $54.95 a YEAR, Carbonite sounded like a real bargain to me, so I tried it out.

It took 11 days for the first backup to complete, i.e. the full backup, because due to ISP bandwidth limitations it could only handle about 3 gigs a day. However... when I got up this morning, the backup was complete, with 3 whole days remaining on the free trial. From now on, it will only back up changed or new files--and it will all happen automatically, with no input needed from me.

And don't tell anybody... but I figured out (thanks to instructions published by some enterprising soul) how to "fool" it into thinking my main external hard drive is actually an internal drive, and thus eligible for backup. (Carbonite promises USB external hard drive support someday, but not right now.)

So now all of my important files are stored off-site, at a secure location--and available to be downloaded on any computer that has an internet connection. So next time I'm off gallivanting around in some undisclosed location and I simply MUST listen to "The Ballad of Serenity" or any other song that I don't have with me, I can simply go to my online backup files and retrieve it, from anywhere in the world.


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