If backing up your folders is one of those good ideas you never get around to, Carbonite Online PC Backup might be for you. Carbonite tales the effort out of your contingency plan with software that automatically backs up your selected data and stores it, encrypted, on online servers. The format and services are useful and intuitive.
An entertaining video tutorial explains your options for selecting and deselecting individual files or folders to back up. You can set your preferences to auto-backup your data each time you change it, or run back-ups manually. You can permanently exclude some data from being saved, and quickly recover files from your online holdings. Carbonite has an unobtrusive color-coded system for communicating the status of your file back-ups, so you can determine you status at a glance. For instance, a green dot by the folder on your desktop signals a successful online back-up.
Some downsides we encountered were the high CPU usage and the long initial back-up. Any logging out activity, such as a screensaver session that needs a password to end, will stall the back up process. The download itself is lengthy and annoyingly requires a reboot. New users are also required to register an e-mail address. Despite the setbacks, users who want a hands-off and off-site back up solution should find Carbonite a worthy investment of time and money.