Carbonite and Dropbox are two of the most recognized names in online backup; however, they are quite different. If you’ve seen our online backup rankings, you’ll notice that Carbonite is ranked much higher than Dropbox. Though Dropbox is a convenient way to access individual files from your computer on the go,  you cannot depend on Dropbox, like you can on Carbonite, when you run into a computer emergency such as a crash or theft. Let’s break it down:

Interface. After installing Dropbox, a designated folder will show up on your hard drive where you can drag and drop specific files and folders. Once you have copied a file to the Dropbox folder, the file will be instantly available on the web and on any other computers that have Dropbox installed. You will need to drag and drop all of your computer files into the Dropbox folder in order to back them up online. With Carbonite, on the other hand, all you need to do to in order to back up your computer is select the types of files you want the program to back up. In this way, it will work quietly in the background making sure all of your files are safe from being lost forever and are easily accessible on the web.

Value. Carbonite costs $53.10 per year, and offers unlimited storage so you can back up every single file on your computer plus more. Dropbox costs $99.00 per year for 100 GB of storage space. If you want to back up your entire computer, then Carbonite is obviously the way to go.

Use both but pay for one. Using Carbonite will ensure that your important files will never be lost. And Dropbox is convenient if you want to quickly access specific files from one computer on another. The good news is that you can use Dropbox for free for up to 2 GB of storage. Carbonite will constantly back up your files in the background, and Dropbox will allow you to update particular files from any device.

Need more info to help you decide? Read our reviews for both Carbonite and Dropbox to get all the details.