Feature Writer John Christie – My Experience With a File Back-Up Service

Backing up your files is a wise thing to do in case your computer crashes. Lately, I’ve been backing up my files with a well-known service called Carbonite. When I first started to back up my files to the cloud, I felt really secure and was reassured that my files were in good hands.

Then, in early December of 2012, my computer crashed. When the Commission for the Blind came to fix the computer four weeks later, I was glad that I would get my files back from Carbonite. However, when I called Carbonite to get my files back, I found out that they couldn’t take control of my computer because the user agreement timed out. I tried to obtain these files on my own, but I couldn’t get to the user agreement because JAWS for Windows never read it, even though it was on the screen.

I told my counselor about this and she came out with her assistant and helped me with restoring my files. However, they all didn’t come back and they were not up to date, either. Many recent things were missing. I also lost all my email contacts as well as my Outlook calendar.

I was disappointed to say the least, because I was paying for this service. They told me that I only had 30 days to get my files back or they would be deleted from the server. However, due to my circumstance, they extended this to 45 days when I told them that I would need sighted assistance. On January 25th, my counselor will be coming back with her assistant to download my files off the server. This will be the last time I will try to get my files back from the servers on Carbonite.

Despite all of the problems, it must be said that the representatives for Carbonite were excellent over the phone, even after I told them that I was blind. They tried two or three ways to get my files back, but unfortunately nothing worked.

At first, I thought I would get rid of Carbonite, but for right now I will stay with them. However, because of these issues, I decided to purchase an external hard drive to back up my files. The reason I’m staying with the service is because you don’t know what is being backed up with an external hard drive until you restore your files and I want some sort of fail-safe system in place.

There was a lesson learned because of this hard drive crash. First, it’s important to have control of your own files. Nobody cares about your files but you. This is why I will back up my files with an external hard drive as well as Carbonite to see how this all goes. I will also back up some files with my thumb drive, just to be sure.

Do any of you use a backup service to back up your files and folders? Let us know in the Reader’s Forum.

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