Carbonite Access -- free apps give you access to your computer files

I finally got around to signing up for Carbonite, and am amazed at how well this backup service works and how easy it is. In my mind, everyone who uses a computer should use Carbonite. The service costs $59 a year for unlimited storage. You install it, and it automatically backs up the files and settings on your desktop computer. Then if you like, you can use their Carbonite Access iPhone or iPad app to access your files anywhere, anytime. The iPad app was just released in March. the first backup can take a couple days, but after that incremental backups just take minutes. It automatically backs up your files in real time as you make changes, as well as automatically backing up new files that you create. This is a real no-brainer as far as I'm concerned. Note that although there is no limit on the amount you can back up, they do say that if you have over 200GB of files, the service slows down a bit. One cool aspect is that it gives you access to your music and photos via your iOS device, such that you can use the app to listen to your backed-up music or view your photos. By default it doesn't back up your videos, though you can add them if you like.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.

Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.