CrashPlan

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CNET Editors' Rating 5.0 stars

Spectacular

Average User Rating stars

out of 20 user reviews

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Full user review

  • 5.0 stars

    "Reliable, fast, secure."

    March 26, 2011  |   By nothere--2008

    Pros

    - Simply works (For about 2 yrs, with >400 GB data)
    - Stays completely out of your way once configured
    - Very efficent incremental backup method
    - Support from CrashPlan is very good (for my experience)
    - All deleted files are being saved

    Cons

    - The configuration tool is usable, but not very Mac-like
    - User interface is a bit quirky (also not very Mac-like :)

    Summary

    Most importantly: CrashPlan is an online backup service - and like all these services it costs money.

    There is a free version, which is okay for backing up to an external harddisk. But for online storage, you should choose CrashPlan+ Unlimited (unless your data is < 10GB). The last time I compared (1 yr ago), the prices were better than the competition.

    About the software:

    The software itself is a Java-based tool, which works, but that the user interface has some quirks: Some options are difficult to find, others not very comprehensible. Here's room for improvement. But since you usually configure your backup plan only once, that's no major drawback.

    Really great is CrashPlan when it comes to performance and security:

    - All your data is encrypted locally (with your own key if desired) before being transmitted to the online storage. The encryption methods are more than sufficient.
    - The incremental backup mechanism is very intelligent. If files are modified, only the modified parts of the file are being transmitted. So if you create a copy of a big video file, the data is only being uploaded once (not like Time machine which in this cases makes two copies). Especially for an online service this is a great benefit, but also for backups to an external HD, CrashPlan often is much faster than Time Machine.
    (But for local backups I'd prefer time machine, which allows you to access the files directly, instead of having an archive file, like CrashPlan does)
    - Deleted files (deleted after backing them up of course) can be kept an unlimited amount of time, which is also a good feature. (Only useful if you purchase Crashplan+)

    Data security:

    - Since I can't restore and compare some hundred GB, I check the data consistency from time to time with some files, which are easy to recover and compare. Until now I had no problems.
    (But of course you somehow have to trust the vendor in this case).

    Support:

    At two occasions I contacted support and recieved a fast and competent answer.

    Summary:

    I gave 5 points, because the only drawback is the quirky UI. And since the tool works cross-platform, that's understandable here.
    Otherwise a very much recommended service, with frequent updates, good support and a good pricing scheme.

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