• Laptop Failure Rates

    by Lynnette Nolan | Nov 23, 2009

    I read an interesting article on Yahoo news this morning: 1 in 3 laptops die in the first three years.

    The survey, conducted by SquareTrade, a warranty company, highlighted the following statistics: Looking at the first 3 years of ownership, 31% of laptop owners reported a failure to SquareTrade. Two-thirds of this failure (20.4%) came from hardware malfunctions, and one-third (10.6%) was reported as accidental damage. The complete report is available here: http://www.squaretrade.com/htm/pdf/SquareTrade_laptop_reliability_1109.pdf

    These findings correlate quite well with the actual behavior of our users: approximately 11% of our users have to do a full restore of their data each year. Over three years, that's almost exactly the same 33% number. Another interesting statistic from our own user base is that almost half of all users do a partial restore each year — mostly to recover accidentally deleted or overwritten files.

    I'll bet that if you asked the average computer user what the likelihood is of their computer data getting destroyed, they would guess a much lower number. Having a 1 in 3 chance that you are going to lose everything on your PC only highlights why online backup is so important.

    CEO, Carbonite

  • Listen to Carbonite CEO, Dave Friend, in the TechByter Podcast

    by Lynnette Nolan | Nov 18, 2009

    Bill Blinn of TechByter Worldwide interviewed our CEO, Dave Friend, for the November 15, 2009 TechByter podcast.

    As a Carbonite fan, Blinn discussed his confidence in our online backup service as he introduce this week’s TechByter podcast, "The real safety net, and it's one that has saved me more times than I like to admit, is Carbonite. It's easy to make a dumb mistake that deletes files I need. I can get them back from my hot backup or from my Acronis backup. But more often than not, I've recovered them from my Carbonite backup."

    Dave's interview can be found on www.TechByter.com in two parts:

    Listen to Part 1 (Audio 5:07)

    Listen to Part 2 (Audio 1:13)

  • Jeff Flowers Named CTO of the Year

    by Lynnette Nolan | Nov 09, 2009

    I am very pleased to announce that my long-time business partner and Carbonite CTO has won the coveted "CTO of the Year" award from the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council. The award was given at a big dinner at the Boston Marriott last week, and we're very proud of Jeff. He joins a group of technology leaders from the Northeast that includes many of the pioneers of today's IT industry. Having worked with Jeff for more than 25 years through 4 other startups, it is impossible for me to contemplate starting a company without him. He's that rare combination of technical guru, sensible business head, and mentor for the technical team. Congratulations Jeff!

    CEO, Carbonite

  • Continued Praise for Carbonite for Mac

    by Lynnette Nolan | Oct 28, 2009

    Our Mac product, which launched earlier this year, continues to receive a good reception from the media.

    We've recently had reviews published with MacFormat and MacWorld magazines.

    Christopher Phin from MacFormat awarded Carbonite 4/5 stars and appreciated our efforts to design a Mac version of the product:

    Unlike many companies that have developed a PC application and then gone on to make a Mac version, the developers genuinely seem to have 'got' the Mac."

    MacWorld magazine also awarded Carbonite 4/5 stars. Karl Hodge noted how the low cost is small price to pay for piece of mind.

    The client is highly configurable and can be set to run when it's convenient. Costing around £3 a month to run, it's a low price for a little peace of mind."

  • Running a Small Business?

    by Lynnette Nolan | Aug 19, 2009

    If you run a small business, backing up your data is critical. In fact, in the UK, all businesses are legally obligated to keep certain data records for a minimum of seven years. Not doing so could lead to a hefty fine or even prison sentence if vital data cannot be provided upon request.

    I recently wrote an article for SME Web that addresses how SMEs with a limited IT budget can still protect themselves against losing critical business files.

    SME Web is an online resource for owners and managers of small and medium sized companies in the UK, offering them best-practice advice on how to run their business. If you're interested in reading the full article, click here.

    CEO, Carbonite

  • Another 5-Star Mac Review

    by Lynnette Nolan | Aug 07, 2009

    Wow, they just keep coming. Another 5-star review for Carbonite's Mac version, this time from MacUser Magazine: "Verdict: This good value online storage solution is so easy-to-use you'll have no excuse not to back up your files."

    Check out the whole review here

    CEO, Carbonite

  • Carbonite Awarded Best Buy Status by 'Which?' Magazine

    by Lynnette Nolan | Jul 20, 2009

    Another nice recognition of Carbonite comes from the UK magazine Which? — similar to Consumer Reports in the US. They gave us their Best Buy rating, and that's apparently not easy to obtain. What they said is,

    This accolade is far from easy to obtain. In fact, Best Buys are only awarded to those products that have performed to the highest standards in Which?'s rigorous testing and analysis, and cannot be requested or bought. This coveted award can be seen in the national advertising campaigns of popular brands including Miele, Panasonic and Procter & Gamble."

    Which? is Europe's largest consumer organization and has been providing independent advice for more than 50 years.

    Our magazines do not carry advertising, we do not accept sponsorship of any kind and — just as a consumer would — we buy all of the thousands of products we test each year. It is for these reasons that consumers can truly trust the unbiased information we provide."

    I was unaware of this magazine, but my friends in Europe say they swear by it. Thank you, Which?.

    CEO, Carbonite

  • Carbonite Saved My Virtual World

    by Lynnette Nolan | Jun 18, 2009

    I get a lot of emails from customers whose files we saved, but a couple of days ago I got one that caught my eye because it was unusually effusive in its praise. I can't resist reprinting it:

    The unthinkable happened. Somehow, someway, completely unexpected (as it always is), a simple power failure dealt a hand that no one in my household saw coming. Without Carbonite, months of work would have been gone. A book concept, complete with photos — gone. Documents that stretched over a five year period — gone. All of my financial records in Quicken — gone. Valuable photos of my family and my new wife, and our honeymoon — gone. First photos of my brand new grandson, born just days ago — gone.

    But thanks to Carbonite — NOT GONE. I used my system restore disk, putting my computer back in service minus all of my files, hoping that Carbonite would be my answer. IT WAS! EVERYTHING was restored. EVERYTHING was recovered. Every file, every photo, every document. I've been sitting in front of my computer, just quietly shaking, stunned that everything that I thought had slipped from my world is back again, safe and sound.

    It is impossible for me to properly thank you. It is equally impossible for me to communicate to you what Carbonite has done for my peace of mind and my sense of security. What might have been the equivalent of an electronic tornado has come back as a clear, blue sky filled with soft clouds.

    Carbonite, and you, are my heroes. HURRAY FOR CARBONITE!!

    Your friend,

    Ricky David Tripp”

    I have to tell you that NO entrepreneur can resist feeling good when they get a letter like this. We work so darned hard, and this is the best kind of payoff we could possibly get! BTW, check out Ricky's web site,
    www.rickydavidtripp.com. He's a very talented dude. I have a soft spot for musicians — I was a music composition major in college. Unlike Ricky, I couldn't make a living at it. Anyway, I'm glad we saved all his stuff!

    CEO, Carbonite

  • One in Ten Portables Downed by 'Laptop Rage'

    by Lynnette Nolan | Jun 16, 2009

    We all know about hard drive crashes and theft, but the following article that appeared a couple of months ago in Techworld totally blew me away. I'm not completely surprised by the spilled food statistic (I remember one of my kids giving me her "dead" laptop. "Zoe, why does your laptop smell like beer?"), but the rage thing was news to me.

    One in ten portables downed by 'laptop rage'

    Paul Boutin, The Industry Standard20 April 2009

    A significant portion of damage to laptops is caused by the "anger or frustration" that employees take out on them, a study has found.

    That is one of the findings of a new study entitled "Business Risk of a Lost Laptop." It was published last Wednesday by the Ponemon Institute and is funded by Dell, which is using the study to tout its data encryption and recovery solutions.

    The report, described by Ponemon as a web-based survey of 3,100 IT and security practitioners located in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Mexico and Brazil, found that laptop-smashing employees were cited as the leading cause of damage by one in three respondents in Mexico and Brazil.

    The Brits are more reserved: Only 6 percent of UK respondents blamed angry staff. Instead, travel-related damage caused by not taking proper care of the laptop leads among the British, with just over half of UK respondents claiming it was the most common cause of damage.

    Americans rate laptop rage and mishandling on the road fairly low - 13 percent and 25 percent, respectively. Instead, 34 percent of American IT pros told Ponemon that "spilling food or liquids on the laptop" is the top cause of damage. But before you roll your eyes at ugly Americans, take note: An even higher 36 percent voted food spills the top problem among the French."

    CEO, Carbonite

  • Carbonite for Mac Has Launched!

    by Lynnette Nolan | Jun 16, 2009

    After a really long series of betas, Carbonite for Mac is finally launched and off to a strong start. I have to confess that this product has been a lot longer in coming than I had ever expected. We actually had a working version over a year ago, but when we put it out to the Mac community the feedback was that it had too much of the look and feel of a Windows product. So we decided to assemble a new development team composed only of Mac fanatics and they completely redesigned the interface. We put the resulting new version into beta again about 4 months ago, and this time the reaction from the Mac community has been great. "Simple and intuitive, just like the Mac," one beta user wrote to me. "I like the set-and-forget aspect of Carbonite. I'm am so tired of messing around with Time Machine, and it's half the price," said another.

    The release of Carbonite for Mac completes a long cycle for me. Back in 2005, one of the events that got Jeff and me to start Carbonite was my daughter's hard drive crashing. As a Mac user, she's been waiting a long time. I've been a Windows guy for years, but I now have both a Mac and Windows machine on my desk and I can understand why my kids have migrated to the Mac – it's a great machine.

    CEO, Carbonite

  • Carbonite Nominated for Prestigious PC Pro Award

    by Lynnette Nolan | Jun 12, 2009

    As I've mentioned in past posts, one of the metrics I track every week at Carbonite is how satisfied our customers are with our customer support. Those of you who have interacted with our customer support team know that each interaction is followed by a short survey — that's how I get the data. Over the last 9 months we have made great strides and our "satisfied/very satisfied" numbers are now well above industry averages and still rising.

    These improvements, along with the rock solid performance of our data centers, have lead to Carbonite being listed in the PC Pro Reliability and Service Award in the software category. The awards are judged via an open survey that asks PC users to express their views on hardware and software purchased over the last year. Those who are nominated are encouraged to promote voting with their customers in order to help the judges gain as much feedback as possible.

    The PC Pro nomination comes on the heels of winning a Webware 100 award where we were voted up by thousands of readers.

    If you'd like to participate, please click here to visit the survey. You can just click Next 4 times to get to the software page. Once you've voted and expressed other relevant feedback, you can either identify yourself or just skip to the end of the survey.

    Thanks, we appreciate your support and recognition.

    CEO, Carbonite

  • Wildfires in Santa Barbara

    by Lynnette Nolan | Jun 02, 2009

    Kim Komando sent me this letter that she got from one of her listeners:

    Dear Kim:

    Not really a question...What was I (NOT)thinking????? My husband and I were in Hawaii on business when we heard there was a wildfire in Santa Barbara — near our neighborhood. While trying to keep the panic down, talking with the house sitter who was caring for our two dogs and cat...I suddenly realized — OUR COMPUTERS!!! I had the laptop, but all the real stuff was on my external drive. That little black box..sitting on my desk in a house that could burn down. Our house sitter had already evacuated and wouldn't be able to get back in — perhaps our niece's husband could make his way to and in the house to retrieve the box? He did get it but I couldn't help but think of the ramifications had he not been successful.

    The bottom line — I not only GOT how valuable Carbonite was — but I also GOT how stupid of me to be sitting at the airport trying to get back home and have to worry about losing all our data. It's day three and my Carbonite is still backing up. Kim — many thanks for recommending it and oh yes — we still have our house (and Carbonite).

    - Maria

    By chance, one of Carbonite's investors, Floyd Bradley, lives in the same neighborhood and sent me this picture from his back yard. Better believe he has Carbonite on ALL his computers!

    CEO, Carbonite

  • The Many Risks of Traveling with Your Laptop

    by Lynnette Nolan | May 29, 2009

    Those of you with laptops ought to read this CNN article about some of the hazards of traveling with your laptop. The biggest risk, of course, is damage. I have probably seen at least a half dozen laptops fall out of overhead compartments over the years. Then theft — Lenovo says that about 10% of all laptops get stolen or lost, most while traveling. Then there are absent minded people like me who leave them on the planes, trains, and (worse) taxis. (Last time I left one in a taxi, the driver found my name and called me a half hour later with an offer to make a special trip back with my laptop for a mere $500. He must have been about two blocks away because he got there in a couple of minutes. That's New York.) The CNN article also mentions the possibility of virus infections and malware courtesy of the public WiFi networks. I hadn't thought about this threat, but I guess it's yet another hazard.

    The author doesn't really appreciate what a great solution online backup is for laptop owners. It's so much better than local backups. You don't have to lug around external hard drives or other equipment. When you are connected to the Internet, Carbonite just goes to work wherever you are. I know that the times I've lost laptops, at least I knew that I was backed up almost to the minute.

    CEO, Carbonite

  • Carbonite for Mac Reviewed by Pocket-lint.com

    by Lynnette Nolan | May 28, 2009

    Our Mac version of Carbonite is still pretty new, but we just got a very good review from 
    Pocket-lint.com, a very influential news and review site.

    The reviewer noted the ease of use, the simplicity of the restore process, and the unobtrusiveness of Carbonite when it's running. The author also points out some of the advantages of online backup over a local external hard drive using Time Machine. If you're a Mac user, you may want to take a look at this review.

    Click here to read the full review.

    CEO, Carbonite

  • Our Users Love Us, But Will They Vote for Us?

    by Lynnette Nolan | May 22, 2009

    We know our users love us, but will they vote for us? That is the question.

    We get plenty of fan mail from users whose data we saved — we restore over 10 million files every month. That's a lot of saved bacon. But do they love us enough to give us their vote?

    Every year, CNET runs the prestigious Webware 100 contest — really an industry popularity contest where users get to vote for their favorite applications. Over 5,000 companies got nominated by readers of CNET's Webware site. In the end there were only 300 finalists. And after 630,000 votes, only 100 winners. Carbonite was one of them. So thanks to all of you CNET readers out there who voted for Carbonite. You didn't let us down, and we will never let you down!

    CEO, Carbonite

  • "Miss Download" Features Carbonite Online Backup

    by Lynnette Nolan | May 15, 2009

    I found this very well-done explanation of Carbonite on YouTube. I don't know Cheryl Poirier, but she's very talented and fun to watch. Cheryl, if you're listening, send me an email! I'd love to thank you personally.

    CEO, Carbonite

  • Kim Komando Spreads the Word about Carbonite

    by Lynnette Nolan | May 08, 2009

    I thought I would share a nice letter that one of Kim Komando's listeners sent to her and that she forwarded:

    Dear Kim,

    THANK YOU for repeatedly mentioning Carbonite.com! Our computer crashed two weeks ago and we had to replace it. We were able to recover 99 gigs of data that would have been lost if I hadn't heard your ad and nagged my husband until he started the back up process with Carbonite about 9 months ago.

    - Cindi Johnston

    Thank you, Cindi, for the kind words. I've gotten to know Kim over the last year and she's been a great spokesperson for Carbonite. I enjoy all our other spokespersons, but how often do you run across a smart, beautiful, blonde, self-professed geek with 4 million listeners? If you aren't already a listener, she does a great show. Check her web site, www.Komando.com, for a station in your area. And in her Small Business Center , you'll find a podcast we recorded last time I was out visiting her.

    CEO, Carbonite

  • Carbonite Saves One Reporter, Could Have Saved Another

    by Lynnette Nolan | Apr 16, 2009

    Being a well-known technology guru is no guarantee that you're not going to get slammed with the same PC catastrophes that affect the rest of us. cNet's Don Reisinger learned this lesson after doing a demo on how to take apart your iMac and replace the hard drive. Long story short, after spending a significant amount of time and money, he ended up losing most of his files. Here's Don's conclusion for his readers: "I screwed up and it cost me money. Don't let this happen to you. Make sure you back up your files."

    I consider myself to be pretty technically savvy, but a very similar thing happened to me back in 2005. In fact, it was a major factor in the decision to start Carbonite. Like most people, I had an external hard drive and every so often I would back up my PC to the hard drive. The problem, if you're like me, is that you do this religiously for a while, and then the backups get less and less frequent. I travelled a lot back then, and I didn't want to drag the hard drive on the road with me because I didn't want to lose it. When I was home, I was too tired or distracted to connect the hard drive and run a backup. When my hard drive finally crashed, I discovered that it had been three months since my last backup. Worse, I discovered that all the new folders that I had created since originally setting up the backup had not been added to the backup. So I lost nearly everything of value.

    The reason I find online backup so compelling (I truly love it) is that it works ANYWHERE you connect to the Internet. So if I am sitting at Starbucks in the Dallas airport, Carbonite is backing up my work. And I don't know how many people are aware of this, but Carbonite was the first company to offer unlimited backup for a fixed price. The reason we went this route is so that the user wouldn't have to know where their files were stored to add them to their backup. The backup just happens automatically.

    Ed Baig of USA Today recently wrote about how his own personal data loss as part of a larger column on passengers whose laptops were destroyed in the US Airways Flight 1549 emergency landing in the Hudson River. While Ed's data loss wasn't as dramatic of those onboard flight 1549, he luckily was using Carbonite and was easily able to restore his files. Carbonite's restore process is fast — even over a residential DSL, you can get 20-30GBs downloaded in less than a day. Because Ed was using Carbonite, his files were available right away. No waiting to have DVDs shipped in the mail or other similar kluges.

    Has Carbonite saved your bacon, personally or professionally? Let me know your story via e-mail at David (dot) Friend (at) carbonite.com or in the comments.

    CEO, Carbonite

  • Further Clarification on Our Lawsuit Against Promise Technologies

    by Lynnette Nolan | Mar 24, 2009

    I would like to further clarify two points with regard to Carbonite’s lawsuit against Promise Technologies:

    1. This event happened over a year ago. We do not say this to minimize the matter. But we do want to point out that this has not happened in a long time and is not an ongoing problem.
    2. The total number of Carbonite customers who were unable to retrieve their data was 54, not 7,500.

    Here is what happened: The Promise servers that we were purchasing in 2006 and 2007 use RAID technology to spread data redundantly across 15 disk drives so that if any one disk drive fails, you don't lose any data. The RAID software that makes all this work is embedded as "firmware" in the storage servers. In this case, we believe that the firmware on the servers had bugs that caused the servers to crash. Carbonite automatically restarted all 7,500 backups and more than 99% of these were completely restored without incident. Statistically, about 2 out of every 1,000 consumer hard drives will crash every week, so 54 of these customers had their PCs crash before their re-started backups were complete. Since they weren’t completely backed up when their PCs crashed, these customers were unable to restore all of their files from Carbonite. Most of the 54 got some or most of their data back. We took full responsibility for what happened and I did my best to call each of these customers personally to apologize.

    As a result of our problems with the Promise servers, we switched to a popular Dell server that uses RAID6 – an improved RAID that allows for the loss of 3 of the 15 drives simultaneously before you lose any data. This configuration is in theory 36 million times more reliable than a single disk drive — the chances of 3 out of 15 drives failing at the same time are almost nil.

    So far, Promise has refused to accept responsibility for their equipment’s failures, so now we are suing them to get our money back. The Dell RAID servers have been flawless and we're extremely happy with them. Dave Friend, CEOCarbonite, Inc.

    CEO, Carbonite

  • Setting the Story Straight

    by Lynnette Nolan | Mar 23, 2009

    On March 21, The Boston Globe reported that Carbonite is suing Promise Technologies, a company that makes storage servers that we purchased back in 2007. This lawsuit stems from an incident that occurred over a year ago. The article (and subsequent coverage by other outlets) references court documents which say that Carbonite "lost the backups of over 7,500 customers." It is possible that readers will walk away from this with the impression that 7,500 customers were unable to restore their files from Carbonite. This is not the case. Let me explain.

    All of the affected customers had their backups re-started immediately and automatically. Statistically, about 2 out of every 1000 hard drives will crash every week (about the time it took to get most customers backed up again), so a small number of these customers had their PCs crash before their re-started backups were complete. These customers were unable to restore all of their files from Carbonite. We took full responsibility for what happened, and I did my best to apologize personally to each of these customers.

    For the techies who are reading this, what happened is this: The Promise servers use a technology called "RAID" that spreads data redundantly across 15 disk drives so that if any one disk drive fails, you don't lose any data. In fact, the kind of RAID we use allows us to lose 3 of the 15 drives simultaneously before you lose any data. This configuration is in theory 36 million times more reliable than a single disk drive — the chances of 3 out of 15 drives failing at the same time are almost nil. The RAID software that makes all this work is embedded as "firmware" in the storage servers that we buy. In this case, the firmware had bugs that caused the whole server to crash.

    So that, in a nutshell, is what we allege in our lawsuit. We were sold defective equipment and hence have asked Promise to refund our money. So far they have refused to accept responsibility, so now we are suing them. The Dell RAID servers that we started purchasing a couple of years ago have been flawless and we're extremely happy with them.

    CEO, Carbonite