CNET Editors' review
Finding outside storage to back up computer files is critical in the event of a technical problem. CrashPlan for Mac is a well-designed program and cloud service that performs its function as a data storage application.
CrashPlan for Mac is available as a free application, but the cloud backup service is free for 30 days. After that time, users must sign up for a subscription service based on the amount of storage needed and the number of computers they'd like to run the app on. The program's native installer quickly set up the program. The program's main menu is easy to use, despite the lack of user instructions. Simple buttons identify options for syncing the computer to the cloud storage and other related options. The sync, itself, began quickly, although it took a long time to complete initially, since it required reading and backing up the entire system. The application then monitors the computer for changes and only syncs that new information, reducing upload time. If the user needs to retrieve data from the cloud after a problem occurs, the options to do this are similarly easy to operate.
For those users who do not want to use an external drive, CrashPlan for Mac offers a complete computer data backup that is simple to use and works well.
From Code 42 Software:
Only CrashPlan offers local and online backup that's automatic, secure and cross-platform. Whether you need to back up one laptop at home or up to 10 for the family, CrashPlan delivers multi-destination protection that maximizes convenience, flexibility and rapid restores. It's free to back up locally and to friends and family, and it's just a few dollars a month for unlimited online backup with a CrashPlan Central subscription. Unlimited online backup.
There is also a mobile app for users with a CrashPlan+ account. Mobile users can securely access data backed up to CrashPlan Central onto iOS, Andriod and Windows Phone devices.
What's new in this version:
- Improved Getting Started email for new users
- Mac: Info.plist files no longer excluded from backup
- Mac: Corrected issue where some types of metadata were not being restored properly when restoring from the CrashPlan desktop
- General performance improvements
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All versions:3.4 stars
out of 18 votes
Current version:0 stars Be the first to review this product
My rating:Write review
"Just cancelled my subscription after one year of use."
Version: CrashPlan 3.2.1
Worked OK for a single computer.
Tech support was prompt and courteous.
Unable to handle my family plan upgrade to backup two computers.
Tech support were not able to resolve problems with their software.
Crashplan worked fine while I was using it to backup a single computer, though I never had to test it out to restore data.
When I upgraded to the family plan and started backing up my new iMAC, the server somehow couldn't recognize the two separate computers. I left the iMAC copying continuously for around 180 hours (which backed up about 250GB of data) and when I reconnected my MacBook Pro, Crashplan wiped out the new set! 7days and nights wasted...
Tech support were polite and responded quickly to my emails but ultimately weren't helpful. They suggested I'd elected to 'adopt' or merge the two sets of data (which I definitely didn't) and said I'd either have to start copying from scratch or pay another $125 for a seed backup. Having that degree of instability and wasting so much time on the backup and trying to resolve the issue -without success- made me doubt the stability of the software so I cancelled my subscription.
"Customer support - beyond horrid"
Version: CrashPlan 3.2.0
Gives the impression of working well - so long as you aren't paying attention.
1. Atrocious, unresponsive and arrogant customer support.
2. Automatic updates of client software with defective non-functioning versions with no option of declining updates and with no option of rolling back to working versions.
3. Did I mention arrogant and socially offensive customer support?
I am a paying subscriber and I rely on backups working for my business continuity.
First the backup software suddenly stopped backing up in real time. A problem submission ticket got ignored for a week before I contacted them upon the situation deteriorating to the point of having a non-working software update automatically pushed to the desktop, which caused backups to completely stop working. I finally reached someone at tech support. Not only did they offer no apology for not responding, or attempt to offer basic workarounds (such as the obvious one of rolling back the software to a working version), they simply said they were so popular and such great guys that they couldn't / wouldn't respond to all tech support requests. Upon attempting to escalate the issue with their manager, Brad, things got only worse - he curtly informed me that if I didn't like it I could leave and they'd refund the money but they weren't going to fix the issue because it only affected a "very small number of users on Mac OS X 10.5.8" (which btw. is officially supported according to their web site).
Trust their backup service at your own peril. The reviewers who LOVED their service (I could very well have been in that camp just a few weeks ago) haven't yet been in a situation where they depended on the backup service and it failed them.
No doubt crude arrogance and insolence and incompetence has something to do with their geographic location, politicial affiliation, and culture as exemplified by their illustrious senator.
"Works great, great service. I LOVE it!"
Version: CrashPlan 3.0.3
NO THROTTLING like some other programs,
Backup speed settings are per your settings
Can backup your system to a drive or another computer.
Resident program is imperceptible
Service is relatively inexpensive
No hiccups, no crashes since install, 3 months now.
Tech Support has been very responsive, even for simple questions.
none! seriously, and it has more features than I expected.
Can backup online (main purpose) with NO THROTTLING like some other programs (shame on you Carbonite), all backup speed settings are per your settings (pre-set and easy to change). I had Carbonite before, and since they throttle, after a year I was still not fully backed up when my PC was stolen, so I lost files. I got a refund and got CrashPlan instead, and so HAPPY since then! I really appreciate CrashPlan, works very well.
I can also backup to a drive or another computer with CrashPlan if desired. So you could set up a drive at another location and backup to it as well as the CrsahPlan home site. This is nice if you have some sensitive info (or extremely high volumes) but want to ensure it's backed up offsite.
It has some other features as well, but most will use the online backup. Their resident program is imperceptible and backing up all the time, it kicks into high speed when you are idle on the pc/mac for 5 minutes.
I got the single license to start, but just upgraded to 2-10 pc licensing. We will have 2 Macs and 5 pc's being backed up using the Unlimited Family Plan. The Family plan is the cost of a 2-pc license, but can be used on up to 10 pc's with unlimited data. All our pc's/macs have close to 1TB each so this is a great price, definitely cheaper than buying 2 hard drives for off-site rotation for each computer!
In short, a near perfect online, off-site, simple to use, reasonably priced system. GET IT! I love it!
"Worth the effort to set it up correctly...."
Version: CrashPlan 3.0.3
- Backing up to the companies servers provide great offsite protection and the ability to retrieve data from mobile clients.
- Offsite backups encrypted prior to transmission.
- Local backup option to get the initial backup performed.
- Great solution for family members who would not backup at all....set this up and it just happens for them!
- File versioning and more!
- Without using this tool to perform a local backup, this might seem slow...but the whole point to backup your system without seeing a degradation in performance and NOT to blast your connection with a fast backup.
Please don't think of this as equal to backing up locally...it is MUCH more than that.
It brings the home user in the enterprise backup world with the ability to keep important data offsite.
Think about it....wouldn't you rather know that your data is safely offsite if something bad happened to your computer...or God forbid...you house!
This solution is definitely going on my 'recommend to family' list....much easier than trying to provide 'tech support' and teach them how to properly back up their systems.
AND..with the ability to use a client on IOS devices, I can access a current file from my backup from ANYWHERE, like Dropbox without the storage limitations!
"Product does not work, customer service is poor."
Version: CrashPlan 3.0.3
Great--if only it worked as it claims to.
S u p e r s l o w . . . 38 GB in 11 days!
I started my free trial 11 days ago with 150 GB to upload. I have set all settings according to the company's recommendations & left my computer running 24/7. Yet in these 11 days it has only uploaded 38 GB & tells me it has 21.4 days to go.
This is the reply I got from tech support:
Unfortunately there is no way for us to be able to predict what your speeds to our servers will be. There are too many variables for us to be able to give any sort of "normal" amount of time to back up data. But from looking at your account it does appear that you have modified the settings to optimize the upload speed and you have been constantly uploading at this time. Since you have modified those settings, there is nothing else that we can do from our end to increase your speeds.
Have a great day,
He then marked my request as "solved".
I have a strong feeling that only the people that work there are writing the highly rated reviews seen here and putting "thumbs down" on the low rated ones. After all, how would it not be helpful to hear about other people's issues when you are considering a purchase?
"Reliable, fast, secure."
Version: CrashPlan 3.0.3
- 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
- The configuration tool is usable, but not very Mac-like
- User interface is a bit quirky (also not very Mac-like :)
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+)
- 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).
At two occasions I contacted support and recieved a fast and competent answer.
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.
"Dumps your backup without warning"
Version: CrashPlan 3.0.3
Good for backing up very small files
Slow upload speed, dumps you backup,
It is way cheaper, faster, more secure buying an external hard disk and storing it at a friends house.
"Set it and forget it for Mac Backup"
Version: CrashPlan 3.0
Easy to set up & it works
None. Works without issue
Beats mozy on a Mac!
"Installed easily and did what it was supposed to do."
Version: CrashPlan 3.0
Ease of use,
I could find none in the short time that I used it.
Good if you need something like this software for backing up files.
"Hotter than two rats humping in a wool sock!"
Version: CrashPlan 3.8.2010
FREE if you plan to back up an ENTIRE HD (a 1TB drive) anywhere but online - friend's computer, external, or another internal
Compressed (my 783 GB was backed up to 602 GB)
Extremely simple to use
The only thing I wouldn't recommend this for is to share a small amount of data (2GB or less) across multiple computers. Programs like Dropbox do this better (assuming you want something free).
I've used Dropbox, Sugarsync, Acronis, Norton Ghost, Cobian, Carbonite, Mozy, and many others. Each worked decently well in their own way, but I still felt like I was missing something - user friendliness, features, simplicity, or my wallet being heavier.Oops, I just realized this was the Mac version I reviewed on Cnet. The version I have is for Windows, but there's no other differences in my review.
If you have one of two home computers (or sometimes-home computers like a laptop) with no desire to back up online (which always made me ask, 'Where exactly is my data and who has access to it?'), Crash Plan is completely free. The free version is supported by ads, but they never pop up in your face and are neatly tucked in the corner below the menu. Even the ad placement makes sense. However, I noticed that even if I DID want to backup online, it costs less than it does with Mozy or Carbonite.
I'm running 4 hard drives, a 500GB for the OS and apps, an 80 GB for a Windows image, and 2 1TB drives, one of which has all of my games, pictures, movies, and documents. I've had that data for decades, so If I ever lost it I would be devastated! I've been diligently searching for the perfect backup solution that is easy to use, easy to maintain, easy to restore, and doesn't cost a penny. Needless to say, I am no longer searching.
Crash plans needs to be on EVERY "Best of the best" list on the internet for backup software. Now.
Updated on Jul 16, 2010