CrashPlan – the best backup service yet?

You know when you come across something so simple, so obvious and so brilliant you wonder, why didn’t I think of that? Well for personal/small business data backup I’ve just had one of those moments.

CrashPlan is a consumer/SMB orientated backup service following in the footsteps of Mozy (a service I’ve used in the past and still recommend to others) but CrashPlan has one extra little facility that makes it the best yet; the ability to backup not just to a secure off-site data store but also, as an alternative or as an additional backup, the facility to copy data to another local PC or remotely to a friend’s PC. And the best part is that backup to other PCs is free (after the once-off $20 software licence), so you could have a local copy for fast backup (and more importantly fasy restore) plus a free remote copy on a friend’s or indeed a work machine.

The data is compressed and encrypted thus protecting your data from prying eyes and your friend from any danger of virus/malware cross-infection. Any combination of Windows, Mac or Linux boxes are supported and they say the software can negotiate most firewall situations. Future support for Amazon s3 as a remote backup location is on the product’s to-do list. Brilliant!

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4 responses to “CrashPlan – the best backup service yet?

  1. Most online backup companies now offer local backup as standard in addition to online backup. We at http://www.backupanytime.com provide in addition, an encrypted local store. Given that this local store is encrypted, it will not be changed by the user and will be updated and reindexed per backup. The purpose is to allow restore if broadband is down or too slow to allow a complete restore in an acceptable time frame. Foe more details see http://www.backupanytime.com

    Kevin

  2. Yes, and many traditional in-house corporate backup solutions are now starting to offer online options. The difference with CrashPlan is it’s consumer/vSMB focused and its cheap up-front pricing.

    Tom

  3. I just went on to crash plans site. It would appear is that they are offering software only. You have to provide and take responsibility for the infrastructuse yourself. This type of softwsare is available freely anyway. I dont see any real benefit to this. The expensive part of online backup is the infrastructure, management and insurance. I would therefore see mozy as a far more beneficial service.
    Also had a look at backupanytime.com as mentioned in one of the posts above. Nice site! I guess their pricing is like all other Irish online backup companies, off the radar. If not, sorry, I did try to look for pricing but couldnt find. Why is it that backing up in Ireland is still so expensive? I dont like backing up in the US and as a home user cant afford Irish online backup. I had a look in the UK and it doesn’t seem to be a whole lot better. Can anyone tell me why it is so cheap in America which has a similar general cost base to UK and Ireland. Dont flame me on this. I know graet value can be found in the US generally but my point is that it is a first world economy with a well paid labour force….

  4. Hi Jim,

    The thing that differentiates CrashPlan is its ease of use (e.g. it’s ability to handle firewalls and easy versioning, if that’s a word!). Any sort of backup i.e. getting the data off your laptop/pc is 100% better than no backup which is unfortunately the norm amongst most home users (and a very large minority of small business users).

    I was a Mozy user but when Amazon S3 appeared I switched and initally rolled my own backup software (being a techie and all) but I now use JungleDisk (http://jungledisk.com/) which I would recommend.

    Amazon S3 now offers European storage “buckets” (which I think are Irish based but are certainly EU based) for a small extra cost.

    I don’t much need a local backup store of my data (and when I do I use USB sticks) as I’m now nearly exclusively “cloud based” but I know family members and friends who are big into music and digital photography/video and whose local stores run to 100s of Gigabytes (try loading that up to (or recovering from) an online service in rural Ireland), for them a local backup solution is currently their optimal option until we reach South Korean bandwidth levels.

    Tom