Why Do We Need Carbonite?

Dear Computer Lady,

I don’t understand about Carbonite back up?

I have a external hard drive backing up once a week.& the old hard drive out of my old computer, & pictures backed up on cds?

Why would I need anything else?


Dear Ronald,

First, I am so happy to hear that you are backing up onto your external hard drive, and putting your pictures on CDs! I wish more people would do this.

For the most part, online backup services like Carbonite and Mozy do the same thing as your external hard drive and CDs, but there are a couple of important differences.

1. Online backup services store your files securely on their servers. This means that in the event of a disaster like flood, fire or theft, even though your computer, CDs and hard drives might be destroyed or stolen, your data is still available from the online backup service. All you need is your username and password.

2. Online backup services run automatically. This means that you don’t have to remember to plug in your external hard drive and start the backup program, or remember to create CDs of your photos. The online backup software remembers and automatically backs up your files for you.

I always tell my clients that they should have their important data in at least three different locations. First on their hard drive, second on a local backup device like an external hard drive or file server, and thirdly in an offsite location. I have not seen anyone lose their important information if they follow this backup strategy.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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