"When I started my Carbonite subscription nearly two years ago, at least one FAQ on Carbonite's website said that free-trial users would not get automatic back-ups of video files but that paid subscribers would get automatic back-ups of video files. This wording persisted all the way through my extending my Carbonite subscription on December 28, 2008, for another two years beyond the end of the expiring subscription. After I paid Carbonite another $89.95 for the subscription renewal, I discovered to my shock that MANY of my hundreds of video files had NOT been backed up, including video files dating back to 1999!"
I wrote an article back in August 2008 where I talked about why I switched from Carbonite to Mozy [Affiliate] for online backup purposes. My main reason for leaving Carbonite was that their service would not back up my EXE files and ISO files. Read my article for more details. What shocked me today was reading the blog post I quoted above where Kirk Mahoney confirms that Carbonite will not back up any video files unless, I think, those video files are in a folder with nothing else and you tell Carbonite to back up my folder. My read on this is that if you have video files mixed in with your photos - which most people would do, vacation photos and videos - Carbonite will back up the photos but ignore the videos.
This is, in a word, appalling. It was bad enough that Carbonite didn't consider my EXE files worthy of backing up, but for them to treat user video the same way is completely ridiculous. Most people will have more photos than video, but with HD video cameras getting less and less expensive, we're going to see a boom in HD content creation. If Carbonite doesn't want to back up video files, that's fine - but I'll be slowly moving every friend and relative off Carbonite and onto Mozy as the subscription expires. I've kept everyone on Carbonite because it has a more user-friendly software user interface, but I'm sure that they all care more about having all their files backed up than they do about having easy to use software - once I configure the backups for them, it's not like they have to do anything.
Carbonite as a company should be ashamed of themselves for not treating all user data, videos included, as being equally important.
I got a bit of a fright with the headline there, Jason, until I read the detail - I thought Carbonite had stopped video backup capability altogether! I'd already noticed that video files on my machine didn't have green backup dots so I've always selected any separately that I want backed up. Given all the BBC iPlayer programmes I've got on my machine (which there is no point backing up as they are only valid for playback for 30 days after download or 7 days after starting playback) I'm actually quite happy they aren't automatically backed up, but I agree they should make this a bit more obvious to customers.
Any chance that videos absolutely needing backing up could be copied with a different extension, example - .txt or .doc ? I realize that requires some manual intervention, but would make use of your subscription.
Sorry for the fright, but I suspect that the vast majority of users who are using Carbonite aren't sophisticated enough to go in and manually tag their videos individually for backup - nor would I expect them to have to, so I'm willing to bet that for most people, Carbonite really isn't backing up their video files.
Originally Posted by alanjrobertson
Given all the BBC iPlayer programmes I've got on my machine (which there is no point backing up as they are only valid for playback for 30 days after download or 7 days after starting playback) I'm actually quite happy they aren't automatically backed up, but I agree they should make this a bit more obvious to customers.
But I doubt your BBC videos are stored in your Pictures of Videos folder are they? It would make sense to keep video content that it's actually yours in a different folder, one that isn't tagged for backup. I certainly don't think that Carbonite should backup EVERY video file on the hard drive - but if a user tags a folder for backup, or the default Pictures folder is automatically tagged for backup, it should back up EVERY file in that folder. To do anything less is to lie about the functionality of their service.
Interesting ... and with the push to do more with the "cloud" I'm finding these, seemingly little, exclusions becoming more and more of a reason not to believe in the cloud.
I hope someone from Carbonite is reading this - and can answer the simple question, "Why?"
Why exclude certain file types? Why allow videos to be backed up but only if manually flagged?
If I point my backup software to a folder and say, "do it", I expect everything in that folder is going to be backed up - not a hodge-podge of filetypes that only the service provider agrees to for some reason not clearly understood by users.
But I doubt your BBC videos are stored in your Pictures of Videos folder are they? It would make sense to keep video content that it's actually yours in a different folder, one that isn't tagged for backup.
By default the BBC program installs them in an iPlayer subfolder within the Videos foler. I'm happy enough with this normally as I like keeping all my user data in the one place.
In my case I've hardly any videos I've generated myself (most of my compact cameras had rubbish video modes and my Nikon D40x doesn't do video) but I definitely agree they should have made this much clearer to users. I echo Bob's comment re. getting someone from Carbonite to come on here and comment - would it be worth asking them, Jason?
Carbonite will backup videos, but you do have to specify it on a folder by folder basis. All you need to do is right click the folder, pick Carbonite, Backup Videos in this folder then you are done. Just be aware though that this setting does not apply to sub folders, so you will need to enable this for every folder that has videos. If you keep all your videos in one folder, then this step is trivial. But if you keep them organized in some manner, it will require an extra step.
The nice part is that the icon on the folder will give you a hint as to what is being backed up in the folder. A solid green dot means everything is being backed up. If I see a half green/half white dot, I know that I have not enabled that folder for video backup.
Carbonite is going to be one of those companies that we'll look back on as an unsuccessful pioneer of a successful industry. I really don't know why they don't understand that the service they're offering is for the user to know that their important files are backed up automatically. The need is really that simple, but they miss the whole point with all of these absurd exclusions. Sure my files are all backed up... well, except for any .exe files (._xe files too BTW), several types of files that exist in the install set for many applications, your video files, etc.
They seem to think that, as long as you can individually mark files for back up, that's enough but it's not. That's just absurd. If I wanted to have to keep track of new files and individually interact with each one, or even just have to check every level of folder in case I'd missed one, then I wouldn't need their service in the first place. It's the automation that makes it valuable, but by not giving you real control over what gets backed up automatically, they make the service worthless.
If anyone from Carbonite reads this, here's a clue... I don't want 90% of my important personal data files backed up and protected, I want them all backed up and protected and I don't want to have to keep track of them individually to do it. That is why I am a former Carbonite customer. It won't be long before most (or all) of their customers are former customers, but others will learn from their mistakes and we'll have even better options in the future from companies that actually understand their customers' needs.
I've been using Mozy for a few months and I love it. Although its hard to say that about something that is essentially a set and forget.
I do wish they supported WHS for MozyHome. I still want to purchase a WHS appliance but am having a tough time determining where it would fit in between Mozy and Windows Live Sync.
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