Carbonite is an offsite backup solution offered by the company Carbonite (the company and the program have the same name). Carbonite Inc., on its own, developed Carbonite the program. The program backs up files on your computer to storage on their servers via an Internet connection. Not for people with dial-up (it'd be ugly to say the least).
Anyone can go to carbonite.com and download a free trial, though you have to create an account to do so. You do have to give them an e-mail address. Personally, I have not been harassed for giving them my e-mail address. They sent me one e-mail for getting the trial version. Creating an account is free of charge.
You install this trial on your computer, and they let you have a certain trial time in which you can backup an unlimited amount of data from your computer to their servers.
After installation of the Carbonite program (the trial you downloaded), you can choose to buy a subscription to Carbonite. You choose how long you want your subscription to be, and that determines how much you pay. In that time that you have your subscription, you can backup to Carbonite's servers.
Carbonite does not charge by amount of data backed-up. You pay a certain amount based on how long of a subscription you purchase, and you have unlimited storage for that time for your backup.
You set which files and folders you want Carbonite to backup, which can be done via right-clicking files in the file browser and saying whether for Carbonite to back that file up or not, (if I remember right you can do this for whole folders as well), and you can also, in a similar fashion, exclude files. But Carbonite tries to automatically figure out what you want backed up first. After that, you can fine tune (or in my case completely re-tune) what you want backed up. From then on, unless you want to change what's backed up, it's all automatic. "Set it and forget it." You can pause the backup if it is backing up, and you can also (thankfully) resume it. Pausing is useful for if you want to surf the web/ download/ upload without bandwidth going toward Carbonite backing your stuff up. Pausing is also good for people who are limited by their ISP how much they can upload/ download, but are alloted an unlimited time (such as if your ISP is HughesNet) in which they may upload and download without going toward their upload/ download count.
The file transfer is encrypted.
Concerns for getting this program to work in Wine:
* Carbonite integrates with Windows Explorer (yes, the file browser, not IE).
It puts an icon in the Start Bar that is yellow when getting the backup caught
up with what's actually on the computer and green when the backup is in sync
with what is actually on the computer.
Furthermore, files that are backed up have a green dot by them in Windows
Explorer and files that aren't yet backed up (that you have set to be backup up
by Carbonite) have a yellow dot by them.
Also, Windows Explorer's right-click menu and file properties dialogue are
augmented with Carbonite stuff.
So Carbonite looks like it will require development of Wine's file browser
to be able to accept these augmentations, unless it can do that already.
* Carbonite tries to only let you backup what it considers "internal hard
drives." I'm pretty sure it just goes by the controller type the hard drive is
connected to. I'm not spilling any beans by saying that an external hard drive
connected by SATA, just like an internal, is seen by Carbonite as an "internal
hard drive". So, I am speculating, Carbonite must be able to communicate with
hardware to see the connection type of a hard drive (USB, IDE, SATA, whatever).
So Carbonite might require hardware communiction to be more implemented/ bugs
ironed out to work in Wine (in order for it to make those hardware checks).
Here are some of the gotchas:
* Carbonite tries to charge "per computer." So if you have a multi-booting computer, each operating system you install Carbonite in is "one computer" according to Carbonite. Solution: install in one operating system only and make sure that operating system can read and write to all the partitions on the computer (has right filesystem drivers etc.), or at least the ones with stuff you want backed up. Hint: FAT32 partition.
* Carbonite tries to only backup files on what it considers "internal hard drives." I'm pretty darn sure it's just going by the type of controller the hard drive is plugged into. USB and IEEE 1394 (FireWire) drives aren't backed up, while SATA and IDE drives are, whether or not they are physically located inside the case of your computer.
* Although Carbonite offers unlimited storage for your backup, it's not a magic bag of holding that you can open with your file browser and start putting files in. It only backs up. The file must be on your hard drive for it to be backed up. If you delete the file off your hard drive, after a certain amount of time, it is deleted from your backup. This is unlimited backup, not
unlimited storage (as in no-strings-attached "unlimited storage").
* If you rename a folder or move a folder that contains backed-up files, all those files have to be re-uploaded. Same applies if you change a drive letter.