If you feel that your computer isn’t the best place to keep all your critical data, then you should definitely check out our Crashplan review. Because we know that local backups and restoration points can only help so much, we will show a solution which is cheap, reliable and easy to deploy, regardless of your machine or your operating system.
Crashplan is a great way to backup your data on the go, without having to rely on NASs or USB sticks. Even more interesting is the fact that the manager is as silent as it gets, running continuously in the background using only a few resources.
Did we manage to get your attention? Then keep reading our article to see what this cloud-based backup service can do for your computer or Mac.
Crashplan – General Info
As we’ve mentioned in the introduction to our Crashplan review, Crashplan is the complete solution to all your backup needs. If you’re planning on backing up your data, then Crashplan is one of the best choices for the job.
It was specifically engineered in order to help you easily backup and restore your files, using secure data centers that are constantly under lock and key.
Wondering what you can do with Crashplan? Then here’s a little rundown of their features:
- Backup your information to the cloud. Crashplan also allows you to save information from other affiliated devices such as external hard drives, NASs and memory sticks.
- Restore files from the cloud at the touch of a single button.
- Easily manage your files and folders either by using the Web-based app or the desktop manager. You can also download and install Crashplan to machines running Linux or Mac OSX.
- Additionally, sync your files and folders across all devices.
Crashplan Plans & Pricing
Whether you are looking for a personal backup solution, or for something on a much larger scale, Crashplan has you covered. The company has four types of plans, each of them designed to protect your computer or computers from unexpected data loss at very decent prices. Here’s a rundown of Crashplan’s prices, according to tier, as well as what you’ll get for your money.
|Free||Free||Backup to another computer
30 days of free backup
Backup to external drives
Automatic and once per day backups
448-bit file encryption
|Individual||$5.99 per month or
$59.99 per year
|Multiple backup sets
Web browser files access and restore
Free upgrades with annual subscriptions
Suitable for one computer
|Family||$13.99 per month or $149.99 per year||Contains all the features of the Individual plan.
Suitable for 2 to 10 computers
|Business||$10 per month per computer||Unlimited computers
Admin tools available
AES-256 file encryption
Online docs and user forums
24/7 phone support
Access to files on the mobile app
Dashboard and reporting features
As you can see from this table, the company has plans tailored for any type of need. So, whether you have a home computer that needs immediate backup or a large company, you will no doubt find the answer to your needs.
Crashplan In-Depth Review
In this next part of our Crashplan review, we take a look at what Crashplan is and what it has to offer. We will also discuss file backup features, Crashplan security measures and a host of other Crashplan advanced features.
After downloading the manager from Crashplan’s official website, you will be required to create an account. The installation and registration process take about 5 minutes to complete, which means that you can start backing up your files faster that you can say “cloud storage.”
Now, after the manager launches, it will start scanning your whole computer for documents and files to backup. Please be patient, as the process may take a couple of minutes, depending on the size of your hard drive and how much data you have stored on it.
When it’s done, you can press the “Start Backup” button in order to begin the backup process. Note that if you press the button after the scan process is over, the manager will start backing up everything on your machine, regardless of extension, priority or affinity.
For a more customized backup process, you should hit the “Change” button found under the “Files” section. The manager will immediately display a comprehensive directory tree which you can use in order to select which files should be backed up to the cloud.
Furthermore, if you want to refine the backup process even further, you can tell the manager which types of files should be included in the usual backup and which should be excluded. You can do that by heading to the “Settings” section, and by clicking on the “Filename exclusion” tab.
How does this work? Let’s say that you only want to backup up all your work-related docs without any music or videos. Head to the “Filename Exclusion” tab and type in “mp3”, “avi”, “mpeg 4”, “mkv” or another type of extension associated with music and videos.
Another thing we’ve liked about the Crashplan manager is that it allows you to backup your files locally, to attach a backup device, or to simply send your files to an entirely different computer.
Thanks to the manager’s comprehensive design, restoring files is just as easy as backing them up. In case something unexpected occurs, and your data is lost from your computer, just hit the “Restore” tab in your desktop application in order to see a more detailed view of your recent activity.
As we’ve mentioned before in our Crashplan review, this cloud storage service allows you to set the frequency of the backups, which means that it’s easy to keep track of everything. From here on it’s just a matter of selecting the most relevant files to restore.
As part of our Crashplan review, we did some extra poking in order to see what else Crashplan can do besides the backup/restore functions. So, after extensive searches, we’ve found a cool way to make sure that the manager doesn’t consume too many resources when you’re away from the computer.
In the “Settings” tab, under “General” you may choose your processor’s affinity depending on how much time you spend on your computer. For example, you can instruct the manager to squeeze some extra juice from your CPU when you’re away from the keyboard and to tone it down a little when you’re actively working on the computer.
Another cool feature that we’ve discovered is the battery power mode throttle. If you’re using a laptop that runs out of battery pretty fast, you can use the battery button in order to tell the manager to cease activity when the battery is below a certain level.
You can also use the “Settings” tab in order to tell the Crashplan manager when you want the alerts and notifications to be delivered.
Crashplan also supports file versioning and frequency. With Crashplan versioning, the user is always in control. If you’re not pleased with the default temporization, then you are free to change it as you see fit.
The manager is set to update the file’s version every 15 minutes, but you can crank it up to every minute, or tone it down to every day. You can also instruct the manager about which files to keep from the last week, last 90 days, last year, previous years, or whether or not to remove deleted files.
Bottom line: Crashplan keeps absolutely everything uploaded from your computer, which means that you can even restore stuff you’ve thrown in the recycle bin two years ago.
Everything about Crashplan spells out ironclad security. First of all, all the data uploaded to the server, which, by the way, is hosted in a secure environment, is encrypted. And, to top it all off, the company employs two extra layers of security, in the form of a 448-bit key, followed closely by an AES-256 key.
Crashplan – Pros and Cons
Summing up our Crashplan review, here is a short list of pros and cons associated with Crashplan.
- Ironclad Security;
- Unlimited backup space;
- Cleverly-designed interface;
- 24/7 phone and e-mail support;
- Easy to install and to deploy;
- Minimum resources consumed;
- Decent pricing;
- Advanced file versioning feature.
- Mobile apps and Web app only available for Business version;
- A little hard to understand;
- Slow upload and download speeds.
Crashplan Alternative Options
As you’ve seen in our Crashplan review, it is easy to use and quite affordable. However, there are many other cloud storage services available. As far as free storage goes, OneDrive is perhaps a better alternative. Although you receive just 5GB of free storage space with OneDrive, you can use it indefinitely. If you’re planning to use your cloud storage just to transfer small files from one device to another, or work on a project remotely, OneDrive is a better alternative.
As far as flexibility goes, both OneDrive and Dropbox are better. With Crashplan, the mobile app is available only when you upgrade to the business plan. Also, both Dropbox and OneDrive offer mobile support from the start.
In order to conclude our Crashplan review, we need to say that, in our opinion, Crashplan is the only thing you’ll need if cloud backup is what you have or had in mind. With advanced file versioning features and CPU throttling functions, Crashplan is a sound choice, regardless if you intend to use it for your home computer or for your business.