Crashplan Cloud Backup Review

​Developed back in 2007 by a company called Code42, Crashplan is one of the oldest and most well known cloud backup services on the market.  This backup provider has plans that suit both individuals and businesses, with plans starting at just $5 per month.

Key Features of Crashplan:

  • ​Truly unlimited storage
  • Unparalleled file security with 448-bit encryption
  • Great scheduling features for continuous backup of the files and folders that matter most to you
  • Software runs silently in the background of your computer, using minimal CPU power
  • External drive backups
  • Backup sets allow you to handpick which files go where, and how often
  • Easy file versioning and restoration
  • Deleted file protection

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.


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.

backup

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.

settings

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.

backup settings

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.

destinations

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.

restorations

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 and pricing

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.


Final Verdict

Crashplan has most of the features you'd want and expect in an online backup service such as backup scheduling, file versioning, and data encryption.  However, it lacks a few essential features that would truly make it great such as file sharing and synchronization features.  If you're just looking for a software to backup your important files in the case of a hardware crash or virus, then Crashplan makes a lot of sense.  If you're looking for a service with easy file sharing capabilities, then another cloud storage company would be more suitable for you.


Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Crashplan?

Crashplan is a cloud backup service that protects all your important files such as music, photos, and documents. A subscription to Crashplan provides you with continuous backup to the cloud, file encryption, mobile file access, and more.

How Much Does Crashplan Cost?

Individual plans for Crashplan start at just $5.99/month for monthly billing, or $5/month if billed annually. Family plans start at $12.50/month, which includes 2-10 computers. Business plans start at $10/month per computer.

What Is Code42 Software?

Code42 is a software company based in America that has developed the Crashplan backup software and suite of services.

How Do I Remove A Computer From Crashplan?

​To remove a computer from Crashplan, take the following steps:

  1. Open the Crashplan application and go to Destinations
  2. Select Computers
  3. Click the name of the computer you want to remove
  4. Click Remove Backup Archive

Tech Specs: 

Specifications

  • Free Storage: 5 GB
  • Free Trial: No
  • System: Windows and Mac
  • Price: Starting at $8.69/month

Mobile

  • Mobile Apps: iOS, Android

Backup Features

  • 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

Security

  • Local Encryption: 256-bit
  • Server Side Encryption: 256-bit
  • Keeps deleted files: For an unlimited time
  • File Versioning: 30 versions

Sharing/Collaboration

  • File Sharing: Yes
  • Multiple Accounts: Yes
  • Share Photo Albums: Yes
  • Music Streaming: No
  • Folder Collaboration: Yes
  • Outlook Backup: Yes
2 Comments
  1. Reply
    Laura Blaylock August 14, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    First off Crashplan has been around a long time so you know that they can be trusted or they would be out of business at this point with all the other cloud storage providers that are out there. This is the only provider I could find that allowed for a Family Plan so up to 10 devices can be used for unlimited back up for a single upfront cost. If you are tired of having multiple plans and limited storage then you should definitely try CrashPlan.

  2. Reply
    Clair Darby August 14, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    For secure and affordable cloud storage you need to check out Crashplan. I have a lot of files to back up so it can be hard to find a service that can deal with me without costing too much. If you are a video editor like me then you need to get Crashplan as soon as possible. The user interface and app is easy to use but offers a lot of features so you can really get a custom experience. I will be adding a business plan soon. At $10 a month per business comp there is nothing to lose.

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