- Combines local, offsite and cloud backups
- Unlimited storage
- Unlimited file sizes, versioning
- Secure 448-bit encryption
- Great value for money
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Great customer support
- Doesn’t sync files
CrashPlan is a backup and storage solution for protecting and managing data developed by Code42, a software company founded in 2001 with headquarters in Minneapolis and offices in Sydney and London. What makes this service stand out is the unlimited backup with cutting-edge secure 448-bit transmission, account, backup and messaging security. CrashPlan caters to any type of customer. There are four different versions of the software to suit individuals, families and businesses of all shapes and sizes. All come with a 30-day free trial and when you’ve tried the services and set your heart on one of the software packages, you can also enjoy a 30-day money back guarantee for your subscription. CrashPlan offers unlimited continuous and unattended cloud backup for as many computers as you wish, with unlimited versioning, top-notch encryption, seeded backup and restore-to-door services in case of emergencies, as well as continuous support from “Customer Champions”.
It won two 2014 Info Security Global Excellence Awards, a position in 2014 Internet Retailer Top 500, the 2013 Stevie Award, a position in StarTribune’s Top Workplaces in 2013, the 2013 Forbes America’s Most Promising Companies Award, the Best Worldwide Golden Bridge Award and the 2012 Tekne Award. What’s more, its Customer Champions were dubbed “Team of the Year” at the 2014 Stevie Awards Ceremony.
CrashPlan’s trademarked Triple Destination Protection provides a way to back up your computer in all three of the possible ways available to back up and store data. The software lets you perform backups locally on your other computer or external hard drive, offsite on a friend’s computer and in the cloud. With the local backup option you can for instance store backups of your computer on another computer you own through completing a few easy steps in the CrashPlan desktop client on both devices. From your CrashPlan account you’re then able to start backing up the data of one computer to the other. The offsite backup solution lets you store your backup on the computer of a friend or someone else you trust. Setting this up requires little effort from your friend and follows a tightly secure process in which exchanging a 6-digit code is needed to start the setup. The good thing about these local and offsite backup features of CrashPlan is that they’re entirely free and can be easily combined with taking backups in the cloud with CrashPlan Central.
CrashPlan Central is the name of this provider’s cloud backup infrastructure with all the backup and cloud features you could need. Every online backup plan available with CrashPlan comes with unlimited storage in the CrashPlan Central cloud with no file size limits whatsoever. The unlimited part of CrashPlan doesn’t stop there, as the service stores an unlimited amount of versions of your files. By hooking up external hard drives to your computer you can have that data sent into the cloud as well should you want to store it.
You can set your backups to run when and how you’d like, they can run automatically or once a day within a timeframe that you select. You can choose to keep or remove deleted files, keep versions from previous years and any point in between, exclude certain file extensions from backing up, and change the encryption extras for your backups, such as your password and using a custom 448-bit key. You can also configure inbound backups for other computers, change the backup speed when you are away, stop backups when the computer battery is low, and set up backup alerts to be received as Tweets or e-mail notifications.
CrashPlan makes sure all of your files are available to you on all of your devices through your CrashPlan account wherever you go. It also enables you to invite friends to back up to your computer and vice-versa. That way, you have extra protection in case your computer or the CrashPlan data center should fail. You can also restore and view one another’s files, much the same as you would if you were sharing over e-mail or social network – which you can still do with the CrashPlan destop app if you wish.
The amount of CPU CrashPlan may consume, excluded file extensions and limiting bandwidth consumption are just a few of the main settings you can alter through CrashPlan’s desktop client.
Versioning & Restoring
You can keep as many versions of a file as you wish, and you can revert to a version using the Restore section in your desktop app.
CrashPlan’s software makes it easy to select where you want your backups to be stored.
There is a unique history tab that allows you to see your activity and the file path for your documents.
From your desktop control panel, you can choose from 20 languages including French, German, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish and other major languages. However, the mobile app does not have this feature.
Enhanced, multi-layered security is CrashPlan’s golden goose. The first line of defense is the desktop client that is password protected with a password renewal feature for every application launch and watertight encryption. The second line of defense is the 128-bit backup data encryption that can be upgraded to 448-bit if you subscribe to the CrashPlan Central service. Backup data transmission to CrashPlan is then also scrambled with a 128-bit encryption key generated randomly and escrowed with your account archive. You can then secure your keys using the account password, or any other private one.
The data center which stores your files can be any one of CrashPlan’s numerous data storage facilities, which are impenetrable buildings under 24-hour surveillance throughout the year and dependable due to power redundancy, fire suppression, and climate control systems.
Devices and Operating Systems
CrashPlan’s 3.6.3 and later release can run on all PCs with any of the following operating systems: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and 8 in desktop mode, Server 2003, 2008 or 2012, and the app comes with JAVA JRE 1.7.0_45. MacBooks and iMacs with OSX 10.5, 10.6, 10.7.1, or 10.7.2 and Java 6.7 should also be fine, as should those with OSX 10.7.3, 10.7.5, 10.7.8 and 10.7.9, in which case the CrashPlan app will install Java JRE 1.7.0_45. If you use Linux, Kernel version 2.6.13 or newer should work like a charm for CrashPlan, as should OpenSolaris and Solaris 10 if you use a Solaris system.
The CrashPlan mobile app is available for iOS 5.0 or later, Windows 7.5 and 8, and Android 2.2 or higher devices, and can be downloaded for free from Apple’s App Store, Google Play, Windows Store and Amazon. The mobile app has all the functionality of the desktop version, except if you are a trial period account user. In that case, you will not be given a sync folder on your device from which to share files with others.
In the mobile app, the embedded media player comes with a handy little slide for thumbnails. You can assign pictures to contacts, save them to your device, print or e-mail them. You can even view PowerPoint presentations, .csv files, .xls spreadsheets and more in the app itself. Other neat features include uploading files to your Facebook account and other sharing them via various other channels.
Ease of Use
On CrashPlan’s site you can start using the service for free using the 30-day trial after you’ve filled out your name, e-mail address and password. After this your download of the CrashPlan desktop client starts and you’ll have installed the software before you know it. Just a few clicks later you’re already backing up your data using the pre-configured optimal settings in the software.
The software is a jewel – it’s both very user-friendly and visually appealing. All the options and settings you need are on the left-hand side. There is no help section, but you wouldn’t need one anyway since everything is at your fingertips. You can configure the backups, change your account details, select different security options and modify network configurations in a jif with simple mouse scrolls, tick boxes, and drop-down lists for everything you could possibly think of.
Video Tour of CrashPlan
Plans and Pricing
CrashPlan offers two types of accounts for personal use and for business use. The personal package is either free – intended for local and offsite backup only – or paid, with unlimited online backup to the cloud. Using the Free account you’re can try online backups with CrashPlan Central during 30 days for free as well. If you’d like to upgrade to a paid account, you have a choice between the Individual and the Family package. With a business account, your options are as follows: use the CrashPlan Family software if you have a home-office and only need to back up personal data, get the CrashPlanPro package if you have a full-fledged business, or select the CrashPlanProE enterprise software package.
Individual and Family plans provide unlimited cloud backup, with the second option allowing you to use the service on up to ten computers. The monthly fees for the Individual plan are $5.99 if you go with a monthly subscription, $5.00 per month if you pay annually, the equivalent of $4.79 per month if you choose to pay once every two years and $3.96 per month if you opt for a one-off payment for a 4 year subscription. The Family plan comes with the same type of discounts for long-term commitments. You start with $13.99 per month, then go down to $12.50 per month for an annual subscription, to $12.08 per month for biennial subscriptions and as low as $8.96 per month for one-off, quadrennial subscriptions. Both plans come with continuous backup, 448-bit AES file encryption, free mobile apps, restoring data from browsers, seeded backups (on a drive sent to the company) and restore-to-door (using a drive sent by post), web, phone, e-mail, live chat and phone support.
As a business customer, you also benefit from unlimited continuous and unattended backup for as many computers as you wish, administrator credentials, 448-bit AES encryption, mobile app access, round-the-clock support, restoring from any browser, a real-time dashboard, user management and more. If you go with a business account using CrashPlan PRO, you can use the service on up to 200 computers, transfer files regardless of their size, there are no bandwidth caps, you can pause backups at leisure, have unlimited versions, and your deleted files are kept forever. As an enterprise customer using CrashPlan PROe, you also have group users, master and secondary servers, REST APIs, peer-to-peer backups, a private cloud, a guest restore option, admin restore rights from one computer to another, geo-redundant storage, RADIUS and multiple LDAP server support, training, consulting, silent installation and LDAP integration. All this comes at a price of $10 per month, per computer.
If you’d like to use the seeded backup service to back up your data quicker than if you were to use the Internet, you can have a CrashPlan hard drive delivered using a trusted courier for a $124.99 fee. Should you experience local data loss on your computer, you would then have access to the data backed up on the hard drive, as soon as it is made available by CrashPlan staff. In case you also need to restore the backed up data urgently, you can use the restore-to-door service, where a hard drive with your data is shipped to you so that you can restore the data yourself.
Video Testimonial by Business Users
The help section on Code42’s website allows you to submit a ticket with your support request at any time of day and night, to use the live chat feature from 7am to 5pm US Central Time, or to contact a Customer Champion via telephone. There are phone numbers available to customers in Australia, New Zealand between 8am and 6pm Australian Eastern Time, and from the US and across the globe between 1am to 7pm on Monday, and from 9am to 5pm on weekends. Code42 prides itself with a fabulous customer service team, winner of the 2014 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service, proclaimed “Team of the Year”. The company maintains an online presence over various social platforms, such as LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+, while CrashPlan also has its own Facebook and Twitter account. Their YouTube channel is a great source of video tutorials and other how-to videos to make optimal use of your CrashPlan account.
Code42 consider CrashPlan to be the best cloud backup solution on the market, and it has every right to. Not only is this versatile software package available in several versions for different types of users with various requirements and preferences, but it also gives you unlimited storage for files of any size and type, and unlimited versioning for the entire lifetime of your account, multiple backup with multi-layered encryption. While you may find backing up on your friends’ computers as a way of securing your data offsite, you will quickly discover that it’s a great addition to local and cloud backups using CrashPlan. You may also find the stand-alone desktop client to be trickier to handle at first than the Windows Explorer integrated file managers you may have grown used to, but the user interface is so inviting and simple to use that it grows on you to the point where you couldn’t imagine using anything else. If you haven’t made up your mind ten minutes into the trial version, then give their 30-day money back guarantee a thought and rely on the award-winning Customer Champions team to guide you through.