CrashPlan Review

www.crashplan.com

Our Rating:

****1/2*

Reviewed Mar 8, 2011
Last Updated Oct 11, 2011

User Rating

Rate CrashPlan

CrashPlan rated 2.99 stars based on 322 votes

Pros

  • Windows, Mac, Linux clients
  • Backup sets allow you to prioritize data
  • "Seeded Backup" and "Restore To Your Door"
  • iOS & Android Apps
  • 30% off CrashPlan coupon

Read the full review...

 

Cons

  • Lots of options can be confusing
  • No quick view of file backup status (icon-overlay)
  • Restore only via client (no right-click or virtual drive)
 
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Complete Review

Summary

CrashPlan is a comprehensive online backup service that seems to do it all, and does it very quickly as well.

Set-Up

Getting started with CrashPlan is a breeze. After you've selected the service that's right for you, it's just a few steps before your backup is ready to go. Add the service you want to your shopping cart, enter payment information, confirm your order, then proceed to download the software. Installing the software is even easier, with virtually nothing to do.

After downloading and installing the software, it must now be linked to your CrashPlan account. If you've already created an account, login now. Or, if you need to create an account, you can do so at this time.

CrashPlan Account

Once CrashPlan is installed, by default, all of your data is selected to be backed up. However, you can de-select the files / folders you don't want to backup.

Backup OverviewChange File Selection

You may also change the destination for your backups.

Friends
You can backup your computer to a friend's computer, and not worry about paying online storage charges. Your data is encrypted, so your friend cannot see what you're backing up.
Computers
Backup to another computer in your CrashPlan account.
Folders
Backup your data to another folder on your computer. This can be on the same drive (to protect yourself from accidentally deleting or overwriting files or backup to an external drive.
Online
Backup to CrashPlan Central. With CrashPlan Central, you either signup for a 10GB account, or unlimited backup.

CrashPlan backup destinations CrashPlan backup to a friend CrashPlan backup to another computer
CrashPlan backup to another folder CrashPlan backup to the cloud

Settings

In the Settings menu, you can specify how much processing power CrashPlan should use (while you're at, or away from, your computer). In addition, you can set-up alerts for successful or failed backups. This is also where you can enable Backup Sets (more on Backup Sets below).

CrashPlan Settings Notification Settings Backup Settings Backup Frequency and Versioning Settings

 

Backing Up

Once you've selected what to backup, and where to back it up to, the initial backup is ready to begin. To test CrashPlan's upload speeds, we only chose to backup our desktop, which was just under 1 GB of data. The uploads seemed to have capped off at about 250 kbps, but after poking around, we found a limit set under Settings > Network > WAN Limit sending rate when away to and Limit sending rate when present to. Once we set those to None, upload speeds increased to 2.4 Mbps.

Backup Sets

CrashPlan has a feature that's unique to them, although I'm sure many backup services are trying to figure out how to implement: Backup Sets. While the name is not unique, the way CrashPlan handles this is. To CrashPlan, a Backup Set is a set of files / folders along with associated backup rules and a priority. So if you want to backup your most important files to three locations and have them backup continuously, you can. But maybe your photos are only backed up to a friend's computer daily, and your music library is only backed up to your external drive. All of this is possible with CrashPlan's Backup Sets. (Don't worry – while this may be confusing for some users, it can easily be turned off)

Seeded Backup

If you have a lot of data to backup to the cloud, and don't want to transfer it all using your Internet connection, CrashPlan has a Seeded Backup service. For $124.99, CrashPlan will send you a 1TB USB drive, which you then connect to your computer, configure the CrashPlan software to backup to the external drive, then when it's done, ship it back to them. While it's a 1TB drive, with compression, up to 1.5TB of data can be seeded for backup. The data on the drive is encrypted, so it's safe from prying eyes. Once they receive the drive and connect it to your account, you can continue backing up via your Internet connection.

Restoring Data

A common way to restore data with online backup services is to right-click on the file or folder to be restored, or browse to it via a drive inside your computer. Unfortunately, CrashPlan provides neither of these methods.

With CrashPlan, you open the Restore menu, then check the folders or files you'd like to restore. By default, CrashPlan will Restore the most recent version to Desktop and rename any existing files. However, you can change these options by clicking on the underlined text:

  • most recent can be changed to a specific date
  • Desktop can be changed to original location or a folder (Desktop)
  • rename can be changed to overwrite

Restore

If you have the data backed up to multiple destinations, you can also specify which source to restore the files from.

Unlike some backup software that copies the files to your local backup, CrashPlan actually encrypts the data and saves it in a proprietary format. While this is good (the data is safely encrypted) you cannot simply copy the files from your external drive back to your hardrive.

Encypted Local Backup

 

Restore To Your Door

Much like the Seeded Backup Service, CrashPlan also has a service called Restore To Your Door in which they'll send you a USB drive of your data, should you experience a complete data loss. The cost is $124.99 for ground shipping, or $164.99 for overnight delivery. Once you've restored your data from the drive, ship it back to them (or keep it for $300).

Mobile Apps

CrashPlan has apps for both your iOS device (iPhone / iPod touch / iPad) and Android-powered phones and tablets. These apps allow you to access your data backedup up to CrashPlan's data center, but not any data backed up locally or to a friend's computer. When a file is downloaded to your mobile device, if it is then updated at the server (new version), the app has an overlay on the icon so you'll know a new version is available.


CrashPlan's Mobile App

Support

CrashPlan has an online support site at support.crashplan.com. You may also e-mail support@crashplan.com.

Conclusion

CrashPlan provides many options for backing up your data: locally, on another computer, or in the cloud. In addition, you can choose to send different types of data to different locations with CrashPlan's Backup Sets.

If you're looking for complete control over where to backup your files to, at an affordable rate, CrashPlan is the ideal service. If you're looking for the simplest online backup service, this may not be the best solution for you.

  • Download a free trial of CrashPlan+
  • Buy CrashPlan+ 10GB
    • Month-to-month: $2.50 / month
    • 1-Year: $24.99 ($2.08 / month - save 16%)
    • 2-Year: $44.99 ($1.87 / month - save 25%)
    • 3-Year: $59.99 ($1.67 / month - save 33%)
    • 4-Year: $69.99 ($1.46 / month - save 41%)
  • Buy CrashPlan+ Unlimited
    • Month-to-month: $5.00 / month
    • 1-Year: $49.99 ($4.17 / month - save 16%)
      1-Year: $44.99 ($3.75 / month - save 25%) 10% off CrashPlan coupon
    • 2-Year: $89.99 ($3.75 / month - save 25%)
    • 3-Year: $119.99 ($3.33 / month - save 33%)
    • 4-Year: $139.99 ($2.92 / month - save 41%)
  • Buy CrashPlan+ Familiy Unlimited
    • Month-to-month: $12.00 / month
    • 1-Year: $119.99 ($10.00 / month - save 16%)
      1-Year: $107.99 ($9.00 / month - save 25%) 10% off CrashPlan coupon
    • 2-Year: $199.99 ($8.33 / month - save 30%)
    • 3-Year: $269.99 ($7.50 / month - save 37%)
    • 4-Year: $287.99 ($6.00 / month - save 50%)
49 Comments
  1. it’s extremely slow, will take me a year to backup, running day and night!

  2. I am doing the trial right now. The only thing I don’t like is I can’t tell what is backed up? I backed up to a lcoal drive and looked at the files. I guess they are encrypted? It’s not the normal files.

  3. Canadian Tire “Money” is given out for purchases paid for by cash or debit, based on the pre-tax total, excluding labour and shop supplies costs. The coupon rate earned was initially 5% of the eligible purchase price, but was subsequently lowered to 3%, then 1.4%, and now is 0.4%. Customers can use Canadian Tire Money to buy anything in the store. (Older CTM coupons state that they are redeemable at Canadian Tire stores and gas stations; however, CTM coupons produced during at least the last 15 years lack this wording and are therefore redeemable in the stores only.)

  4. It’s not that it’s a bad product, but the code is not faultless.

    • I had a problem with slow uploads, as indicated above in my review, but once I found that setting, I’ve had no problems at all.I also have been seeing problems / complaints with their support. Seems reaching out to

      • I just dowloaded the CrashPlan trial for testing the speed before buying and I had to tell that this is veery slow. Stable 1.5-1.7mbps uploading speed reached. (all WAN and LAN setting at default ‘none’) This worse speed may comes from that I’m in the EU and backup server may in somewhere in the US.Earlier I used Acronis true image online service and there was no speed problem (stable 15mbps upload) because they had a server in the EU but that is worked perfectly on XP but when I changed to Win7 Acronis stopped to working and after some months of mailing with support for solving the technical problem finally they gave back the subscription fee.

  5. Well, indeed online shopping is the easiest and fastest way of buying the stuffs you need; perhaps there are so many people that now shopping online because of don’t having enough time to go to the mall.coupon code

  6. Recently it bacame unacceptably slow ~220kbps

  7. PTs use an individual’s history and physical examination to arrive at a diagnosis and establish a management plan and, when necessary, incorporate the results of laboratory and imaging studies.

  8. Same slow bandwidth issue here — EVEN AT OPTIMAL SETTINGS. 200kbps. However, the UI is pretty good. SOS Backup works at my full bandwidth at 4x CrashPlan+ speeds.

  9. Way to slow

  10. You need to be VERY careful using this system!!!

    • I agree that this is a flaw.

      • Doesn’t it automatically save all deleted files? Forever?

        • It’ll save deleted files, but if you explicitly uncheck them from the

    • If you’re done with a project, CrashPlan won’t back it up anymore, as the files don’t change, so just leave it selected!

  11. To those complaining about your upload speeds:Make sure you’ve checked the steps listed above.

    • 4.2 Mbps is way too slow for the amount of data I’m trying back up. I usually get somewhere between 5-6 Mbps, but it’s still less than adequate.

  12. I signed up for the 30 day free trial, and after the 30 days only 18GB of the 56GB of files on just one computer had been backed up to their system. I hadn’t even tried to connect my other 3 machines.

    • Sorry to hear that, Ed, but thanks for sharing your experiences. Did you update the options to increase your upload speeds? What kind of Internet connection do you have (DSL, cable)? Do you get good upload speeds at speedtest.net?

      • I’ve had a similar issue. On the 30 day trial at the moment and the speed wont budge above 500kbs (I have 20mps upload and yes, I’ve checked its working ok). I have tried all the suggestions on the Crashplan website such as turn off compression and data deduplication, allow full cpu use etc. No change to upload speed :-(

  13. I am surprised to read some of these negative comments, and would like to chip in my own positive experiences.

    • I can’t really believe that it’s possible to get 90.8Mbps.

  14. So, Crashplan is only for backup? Not for using it in

    • Correct – CrashPlan is for backup. If you need a cloud drive, look at Dropbox

  15. I also posted a video about how to speed up CrashPlan’s backups:

  16. Appalling product, continuous messages “could not connect to server”Support are in denial, “we’re hiring new staff, rapid growth, blah, blah”You cannot rely on this company.

  17. I really wanted this to work. I had evaluated many backup solutions, and this was the first one that looked like it would meet my needs. I am on a Mac OS 10.5.8. It was working for a while, then it couldn’t connect to the backup server, then it crashed, and I could not restart it. I t crashed immediately on start up. I contacted support, and they very promptly replied that this was a known issue with it not working with OS 10.5.8 and earlier. They said they had a fix they could send me. The fix did not work, and I have not heard back from then since. I really hope they can fix this very soon.

    • Why not update your OS?

      • Doesn’t the new OS break MS Office? I’m pretty sure I read that, and other bad things about it. I depend way too much on my machine for work to have things break and/or have to spend a lot of time fixing/troubleshooting.

        • So upgrade MS Office, they are on version 2012!

          • Perhaps I’ll give Snow Leopard a try. I’m always many years behind. And I always have a lot less pain and agony then all my friends that are upgrading all the time.

          • Lol, I know what you mean, that’s why I always wait at least 6 months to upgrade OS.

          • The more I think about this, the less likely I am to do it.

    • You’re running a MAC? You deserve to have problems! For the vast majority of businesses and individuals it’s overpriced trash. There’s a REASON 92% of the business world runs on Microsoft.

  18. While Chashplan 3 has fantastic features, there are 2 major flaws that can result in unexpected data loss:1: Setting Quotas: Once a friend reaches the quota you have set for them, subsequent backups will FAIL (abort) rather than just deleting older files and continuing the backup.2: Unchecking “Allow this friend to backup to this computer” will PERMANENTLY delete all of their backup data, rather than temporarily disabling incoming backups as expected. The tiny warning that appears way down at the bottom of the window (if you happen to notice it) is not helpful, and simply says “may result in data loss”.

  19. I have over 400GB backed now, it always maxes my upload connection (configured to). worked like a charm for restores also. I have a feeling have of the people giving bad reviews are techno tards.

  20. They were nice about losing my data when I contacted tech support. They looked hard for it, and initially accepted responsibility. They were professional and usually returned emails about a day after I wrote them.BUT, they lost over 100GB of data that I had on their servers for months. When I tried to grab it, poof! It was gone. They agreed (in print, ie email) that it was unacceptable of them and looked hard for it, but eventually suggested that I’d changed my preferences, causing the data loss. I did NOT change my settings — I understand exactly how to do that. (When you do change your settings, however, you are only given the faintest little warning, in greyed out tiny font toward the bottom of the screen. BE AWARE OF THAT.) They said my 100 GB of data was trashed by their system about a week before I discovered their error. I asked if they, as a company whose customers pay them for cloud storage, didn’t have any safeguard for RECOVERING DATA, as that’s their business. They do not. Brutal truth for me.They offered me a free month to re-back up my lost data. I guess whoever was writing to me didn’t understand the premise of their business: people use it IN CASE THEY LOSE DATA. I CANNOT BACK UP WHAT I LOST. THAT’S WHY I PAY YOU. All that said, they were nice.

  21. great software and i have been using it since 2010 for my servers backup and it was really usefull. i have got from it website through a coupon code from http://www.come2save.com/stores/crash... thank you so much crashplan

  22. ~ 250 kbps. Tried al kinds of tweaks and settings. 100 days left. Too slow!

  23. Crashplan went from 35 days to finish my backup to 2200 days. I’ve not changed a thing on my end and my upload speeds have not changed per speed check websites. I’m a paying customer. Don’t go with Crashplan.

  24. Just as an aside: Are you sure that you want to have three computers depending on one backup on an external drive?

  25. The Linux version of CrashPlan is really poorly written. The installer doesn’t work, the uninstaller doesn’t work, it can’t detect when a removable drive is present, so it just makes a new folder on your root partition and clobbers it with data until your computer crashes. It hogs system resources and slows down your computer on both ends.And yes, it’s extremely slow, even over LAN to my own computer!

  26. Can you back up your external drives too with the family unlimited plan?

  27. Does CP provide for back ups of an ipad like Carbonite does?

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