Developed back in 2007, Crashplan is one of the oldest and dedicated cloud backup services in the market right now. Its affordable prices and unlimited backup storage make it all the more attractive. With features like incremental backup, scheduling, and secure backups to network computers, Crashplan has something for everything. The plans start at $5.99 per month.
Crashplan has been developed by Code42, an American IT company. While it was founded back in 2001 to create a Facebook-like desktop app, the company finally shifted its focus to online cloud backup in 2007 and launched Crashplan. Matthew Dornquast is the founder and former CEO of the company. In 2015, Joe Payne succeeded Matthew Dornquast as the CEO.
Who Should Use Crashplan?
We know it might be a little difficult to believe, but Crashplan works seamlessly for both tech geeks and beginners. If you are someone who is just looking for an unlimited storage to backup data, and you want an app that can do everything else on its own, then this is perfect for you.
At the same time if you are a tech geek who likes to have fun with settings and be in complete control of your data then Crashplan is great for you too. It offers multi-location backup, scheduling, and it can connect to over ten computers. And its unlimited cloud storage along with fast speeds only make it more alluring.
- Unlimited cloud backup
- Peer-to-peer backup
- Advanced settings
- Private Encryption
- Incremental backup
- File versioning
- Keeps deleted files
- Bandwidth throttling
Backup and Restoration
With a free trial period of 30 days, Crashplan gives you a good period to thoroughly test and review their services. As soon as you open its website, you will find it very simple and sorted. All its main features can be accessed through its desktop app which can be directly downloaded from the website. The desktop app is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Since Crashplan also works as a local backup client, its cloud backup section is termed as the Crashplan Central. The service will upload everything you put in the Files section of the Crashplan Central.
Apart from that, Crashplan can also backup files to a different computer or an attached drive.
If you are a Windows user, Crashplan will directly select the ‘My Documents’ folder when you first log into the desktop app, but you can always change that. You can access all your folders and files in a tree like structure which makes it extremely easy to find and select files. Unfortunately, Crashplan doesn’t have Windows Explorer Integration like Carbonite and iDrive.
The backups to Crashplan Central are surprisingly fast, and the restoration is done at a good speed as well. This is because Crashplan has bandwidth throttle, which means the service uses all of your internet speed when it starts backing up or restoring data. And in case you are worried about not being able to work while it runs in the background, then you should know that Crashplan has backup scheduling and an array of other features as well.
You can tell Crashplan how much time it should wait after the user goes away from the computer or how much percentage of the CPU it should be using when the user is away or on the system. You can also select its CPU usage for when the laptop’s battery goes low. There is also an option to get notification emails, and you can pick a specific time for that too.
And that is just the beginning, as you go to the ‘Backup’ tab inside Settings, you will find backup scheduling configuration. But apart from setting a fixed time, you can also set a backup frequency for file versions – from every 15 minutes to once in a year. Users can also select if they want to keep or delete the files in recycle bin to clear up storage space.
Since Crashplan can also store backups on remote computers, it lets you choose WAN and LAN setting for the connection as well. Settings are already set by default, so if you don’t know about LAN much, then you can leave it out, and the transfer would still work. But these settings are guaranteed to impress techies.
Restorations are as easy as backup. You will find a restore tab on the left-hand side just below the backup option. When you click on Restore, you will see all the backed up files in the original file structure. You can also view all the deleted and hidden files here. If you are looking for a certain file version, then that can be restored as well. There is search button on top which could come handy if you have a large number of files backed up. Bonus – You can also search according to the file extension.
Privacy & Security
Crashplan offers very tight security with private encryption, and it makes sure that your data is always safe. Though, you have to take a few steps for that as well.
Firstly, there is the password to your account, which should be more than just a 6-letter word. Yes, it can be difficult to remember but it’s essential for the safety of your data. Then comes the second part – your private encryption key. This key is used to encrypt your data before it is sent to the server. This key stays with you only, and even Crashplan doesn’t have access to it. But, this also means that you should not lose this key at any cost, or you would end up losing all your data.
Crashplan provides 128-bit encryption for basic plans and 448-bit Blowfish encryption for Crashplan plus subscriptions.
Web and Mobile App
Crashplan’s web app might look extremely limited at the first glance but do not judge it by its looks. As soon as you sign in, you will be able to see all the computers linked to your Crashplan account along with a Restore button next to them. And, the real work starts after you click the restore button.
There is a calendar on top where you can mark a particular time period to find files backed up during that time. This can be very helpful if you are looking for particular version of a file. The data is displayed in the same tree structure as the desktop app. Though the much-needed search bar is nowhere to be found here. You can also renew subscriptions through your desktop app.
The mobile app is available for Android, iOS, and Windows phone and it lacks essential features in all of them. We feel it can be mainly used to view backed up files and backup mobile data to the cloud. The app can preview images, but there is no way to backup photos automatically like the other apps.
Pricing and Plans
Plans start at $5.99 per month for unlimited storage. If you opt for a yearly subscription, you get an extra discount, and the price goes to about $59.99. These individual plans support a single computer only. If you want to backup data from multiple computers, then you can select the Family Plan at $12.5 per month for 2-10 computers.
If you want a more secure online cloud backup for your business, then you should take Crashplan’s business plan which starts at $10 per month per computer and it provides 256-bit encryption with a real-time reporting dashboard.
What is Crashplan Missing?
While Crashplan tries a lot to stay simple and easy to use, its extra features can seem a bit intimidating to novice users. Also, there is no integration with Windows Explorer which can prove to be time-consuming since every time you want to back up a file, you would have to open Crashplan.
Carbonite is another unlimited cloud backup service with plans starting at $5 per month. It has some great features for techies too, but they are not so advanced that they make the novices all confused. Carbonite also has a private encryption.
Backblaze is a complete automated cloud backup service best suited for people who do not want to think too much about how to handle their backup. Once you download Backblaze, everything is handled by it, including what to backup. Plans start at $5 per month.
Considering its affordability and accessibility, Crashplan is one of the best online backup services available in the market right now. The download and upload speeds are great, and you will hardly ever face a downtime. We strongly recommend this.
- Free Storage: 5 GB
- Free Trial: No
- System: Windows and Mac
- Price: Starting at $8.69/month
- Mobile Apps: iOS, Android
- Synchronization: Separate Sync folder
- Free External HD Backup: Yes
- Continuous Backup: Yes
- Incremental Backup: Yes
- Backup Scheduling: Yes
- Bare Metal Backup: No
- Exclude File Extensions for Backup: Yes
- Network Drives: Yes
- Bandwidth Throttling: Yes
- Web Access: Yes
- HIPAA Compliant: No
- File Size Limit: No limit
- Included Machines: Unlimited
- Local Encryption: 256-bit
- Server Side Encryption: 256-bit
- Keeps deleted files: For an unlimited time
- File Versioning: 30 versions
- File Sharing: Yes
- Multiple Accounts: Yes
- Share Photo Albums: Yes
- Music Streaming: No
- Folder Collaboration: Yes
- Outlook Backup: Yes