2011
07.25

When I set up my Windows Home Server I configure the normal Windows Server Backup task to backup the server folders to a USB disk.  That’s nice for normal backup/recovery.  But that doesn’t protect my data (documents, books, whitepapers, and thousands of photos) against fire and theft.  Sure, I could probably swap disks and store them offsite.  But I know how poor my discipline with doing that in the past was.  I need something automated for off-site backup.

So I decided to try Carbonite.  It’s one of the few online personal backup solutions that will work on WHS.  There’s a 15 day free trial so I signed up for that, and I added the offer code from the TWiT Security Now podcast – that gives you an extra 2 months free in addition to your 12 month subscription (unlimited storage for less than $60/year!!!!).

The install was easy.  The configuration wizard walks you through the few steps.  You’re warned that files like video will not be backed up.  I’m OK with that – I have no personal/holiday videos because I’m a still photo man.  Targeting a folder is easy – use Windows Explorer, right-click, and select the add to backup option.  I had two schedule choices: constantly backup changes or schedule.  I went for the first option.

OK, the flaw: I have 20GB per month limit and I’m on ADSL.  It’s going to take a very long time to get all of my photo collection backing up to the cloud.  I’ve been incrementally adding folders, starting with My Documents, and then I added some of my older photo folders to test.  All worked well.  I’ll continue testing, and then decided next week if I’ll pay for the service.

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15 comments so far

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  1. My estimate on my photos folder alone is about a week, when I start using my projects folders , well, I estimate at the 3GB per day that it seems to tell you is standard , that it will take 3 months to back up everything. Gonna give it a while, bought a subscription, but CO.UK did not accept my TwIT code.

    • I went to the .com site. I have 300+ GB of photo files. Gonna take me a while to get them backed up :)

  2. Hi Aidan,
    I suppose you’ve seen this NB:
    “With your Carbonite subscription you get as much space as you need for your backup. However, for exceptionally large backups – 200GB or more – backup speed will slow noticeably after the first 200GBs have been backed up.” – taken from http://www.carbonite.com/en/home/online-backup-software
    It would be great if you tell us your opinion after a month or so – personally, I am interested.

    • It’ll take me a while to get up there – I’ve got their daily cap and my ISPs monthly cap to deal with.

  3. How are you liking it so far? I have been researching solutions for a while to backup my photos and projects but I have not actually tried any of them yet. I do not have a strict “cap” but my upload bandwidth is limited to where i would only upload about 3.2gb per day, is there a way to tell Carbonite to cap its upload bandwidth to not max that speed out?

    • I think there is a 3GB cap in place by Carbonite. I haven’t seen a throttling setting, but you can set a time/schedule to restrict it to backing up to a timeframe of your preference. So far, so good for me. I’ve 11 days left in the trial.

  4. Aidan what version of Windows Home Server are you using? I am assuming your are talking about WHS 2011 and not WHSv1?

    Thanks,
    Andres

    • Hi Andres,

      Yes, it’s WHS 2011.

      Aidan.

  5. how do you install carbonite on WHS? I am having trouble, and am trying to get carbonite to install on a HP MediaSmart server

    • I just did a normal install on my WHS 2011 machine.

  6. Hi Aidan,
    Just to inform you – you might be interested in CrashPlan (http://www.crashplan.com) – there is no filesize limit, no req to have the files on your computer (or else they will delete them), no speed throttle… At the moment I am evaluating the 30 day trial, so far uploaded around 27GBs (from 1TB) for around 13 hours and maybe I will be able to upload all the data before my trial expires :D The only limit I know is that you can only download 250MB on a single WEB download session – how does this stand next to Carbonite?

  7. Before you consider Crashplan I would recommend reading this page in their forums.

    https://crashplan.zendesk.com/entries/20826261-servers-down-again

  8. BTW, thanks for posting that Carbonite works with WHS 2011. I just purchased WHS and was concerned that my ongoing Carbonite subscription was going to be wasted as I had trouble finding anyone that said they were using it.

    I appreciate it.

  9. Would like to know if you have this still working? Also can you backup all data ex. your PC backups? I am thinking of purchasing Carbonite though want to make sure you haven’t found any snags with Carbonite and or WHS2011 (Are you using StableBit?)

    • Yup, still working.

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