Crashplan Review

CrashPlan was created by Code 42, a well known software designer.  In 2002, they decided that the average backup software needed an overhaul and created their own system, now known as CrashPlan.  It was designed around 3 basic ideas.  Backup software needed to be easy to use, must be reliable, and had to be off-site  After a few years of development, CrashPlan was released to the public.  Since then, it has received consistently solid reviews.

In total, there are 5 different packages to choosing from: Free, Plus ($24.99/year), Plus Unlimited ($49.99/year), and Family Unlimited ($119.99/year).  While all of these packages have the same core software the features can vary based upon how many computers need to be backed up and how much space will be needed.  There are also a few features that are not available with the free version.

There are also two additional products that can be purchased.  The first is “Back It Up Fast” ($124.99) which is designed so that you can seed your online backup.  With this service, they will ship you a hard drive and instructions for backing up your computer locally.  Then you can send it back and they will use that information to create your first online backup.  This is beneficial because many computers can take a long time to create the initial backup.  The other product is known as “Get It Back Faster” ($124.99).  If you ever need to restore your backup files locally, CrashPlan can send you a hard disk with all of your files on it.

Backup Features

There are a number of unique and flexible features that CrashPlan will give you access to.  Here is a quick review of CrashPlan features that tend to be used most often.

•    Unlimited File Size
Some backup services have a limit on the size of files that you are allowed to backup.  CrashPlan has zero restrictions on file size.

•    Open/Locked Files
If you use OS X or Linux, all of your open files can be backed up.  If you use Windows, CrashPlan will use Microsoft’s Volume Shadow Copy Service to create a copy of your open file in order to back it up.  This is particularly important because sometimes open or locked files will not get backed up with most services.  If you are working with an open file when your computer crashes, you would normally lose all of that data.

•    Compression
The backup engine that CrashPlan created is designed so that your backup is as small as possible.  This will allow the software to work with minimum system requirements as well as save you bandwidth.  It achieves this with differential backups, data de-duplication, and compression.

Restoration Features

•    Versioning
CrashPlan allows you to go back and choose to restore your files from any of the previous versions based upon the date that it was created.

•    Save It All
Unlike most services, CrashPlan will keep your deleted files forever unless you specifically tell them to delete them.  This means that you can always access previous files, even if you accidentally delete them.

CrashPlan in Review

CrashPlan offers very competitive rates, especially when considering all of the features and protection that they offer.  As an added bonus, they consistently get high marks for customer service which is not something that the online backup industry is well known for.  Overall, the product offer excellent value at a low rate.

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