Carbonite: Backup to the Cloud

Massive, extremely cheap online storage capacity and increased bandwidth are currently enabling a whole slew of new Internet businesses to carve out fresh niches. It's like the Cambrian evolutionary 'explosion', this time with silicon-germanium rather than carbon. On the subject of carbon, Carbonite is one of those interesting new cloud-based businesses. Users install a small program, indicate which folders they want backed up and then sit back while their data wafts into the ether, settling in the (apparently) secure servers of said company. The program only runs while your machine is idle and only updates changed files. If something at your end eventually goes wrong, the data retrieval process is very simple.

Possible worries include the security of private data, and the rights of those from non-US jurisdictions if something did go awry. Users might also want to limit the amount they back up if their up/down data limits are fairly small. A graphic designer, for example, might balk at tagging folders with multi-hundred megabyte image files.

Assuming Carbonite is stable and here for the long term, approximately AUD$65 per year for unlimited backup seems very reasonable.