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!