CrashPlan Review

Some of our most precious possessions are intangible and we can’t put a price on them. They are our memories, our ideas, our dreams and while they are non-physical valuables, we can capture them in photos, documents and other files that are saved on a computer. Many people still believe that their information is safe as long as it is kept on their personal computer, or protected by a password. However, your files are not only at risk of being accessed by others. If all your data is saved in one location, you are more likely to lose it. All it takes is a system error, a computer that gets damaged, or stolen, or any other calamity and your data could be gone forever. Many irreplaceable files like videos and photos from a special day could disappear, unless you backup your data.

There are many ways to prevent data loss, but one of the most convenient and effective options is online backup. As the popularity of these services has increased substantially over the last few years, it is possible to find many companies that offer products designed to help you to protect and manage access to your files. CrashPlan has earned a top place in the list of online backup services available and it is the solution chosen by many companies that handle large volumes of important data, as well as individuals who need to protect their digital treasures. With CrashPlan, you can ensure that all the information that matters is available whenever you need it.

The company behind CrashPlan is Code42, a reputable software company based in Minneapolis. Since 2001, Code42 has dedicated its knowledge and experience to develop solutions for everyday needs. CrashPlan has been around since 2008 and it has become their flagship product, being one of the most comprehensive and advanced services that you can get. The system is designed to protect your information with high technology and a user-friendly software. CrashPlan can backup data from Windows, Mac and Linux to the cloud, or to other locations. We will take a closer look at CrashPlan to find out what it offers and to help you decide if it is the right service for you.

What does CrashPlan offer
CrashPlan allows you to implement an effective backup strategy as you can rely on multiple locations to make sure that your files are not lost. With their Triple Destination Protection, you can backup to external drives, to other computers or to CrashPlan Central, their cloud-based destination. It also offers the possibility of restoring your files so no matter what happens to your computer, or external hard drives, you can get your information back when you need it. CrashPlan is a convenient solution to save copies of your important data, but unlike other services, it does not support file sharing or file syncing.

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How does it work
CrashPlan automatically backs up the files and folders of your choice. It works on the background, taking care of your data and making sure you don’t lose it, even while you are away from your computer. The software interface is easy to use, clear and it includes all the options to configure backup, restore and other settings. It allows you to select folders to be backed up, add backup destinations and more. CrashPlan aims to make things simple and you can click Start Backup and let the software look after your data, but if you prefer to manage the backup process, you can adjust every aspect involved. From network speed limits, CPU priority to file version or file exclusion settings, you can customize the backup to make sure that it suits your needs.

The Backup Sets feature allows you to select the folders you want to backup and where they should be backed up to. You can decide which folders you want to backup to another computer within your CrashPlan account and which ones you prefer to back up to the cloud. By default, new versions of files are backed up every 15 minutes, but you can modify these settings to make backups every minute, or only once a day. CrashPlan runs regular integrity check-ups on backup files to solve any issue that may arise and they will notify you if data hasn’t been backed up for a few days. You will receive weekly emails from CrashPlan, containing backup status reports with details of the files that have been backed up, destinations, etc. It is also possible to change the frequency of these email reports.

You can assign certain amount of space and invite your friends and family to backup to your computer, without paying an additional fee. CrashPlan provides a backup code that lets you link your computer to another account. You can backup your data to other computer by entering your relative or friend’s code on the computer you want to back up. This will allow you to transfer data to their hard drive and you can trust that your files will be secure since only you can access them, using your account password.

To restore files, you can go to the Restore tab in the CrashPlan software and choose the files you wish to reinstate. They will be downloaded to your computer and you can select if you wish to restore the latest version of a file, or an specific date. The location to restore the file can also be modified and you can rename, or overwrite existing files. Another option is to restore files from the CrashPlan website, but there is a limit of 500MB for these web browser restores. For $164.99, you can also request a USB hard drive containing your files (up to 3.5TB) to be shipped via FedEx.

CrashPlan is recognized by many as a rich-featured solution because it tackles the most important areas of online backup including security and functionality. It is also an affordable option with plans that suit different needs and budgets. There is an Individual plan that provides unlimited online backup for one computer for $5.99 per month, $59.99 per year (the monthly cost would be reduced to $5), $114.99 for two years($4.79/month) or $189.99 for 4 years, which would be just $3.96 per month.

The Family Plan allows you to backup an unlimited amount of data from up to 10 computers. This CrashPlan package costs $13.99 per month, $149.99 for one year (monthly price reduced to $12.50), $289.99 for two year ($12.08/ month), or $429.99, which would cost only $8.96 per month if you subscribe for four years. Both the Individual and Family plans offer options like unlimited online storage, backup to other computers or external drives, constant backups (as often as minute-by-minute if desired), the possibility to restore files from any web browser, access to files via CrashPlan mobile apps, 448-bit encryption and more.

Business users have a plan that provides all the features that you get from the previous plans, as well as administrator privileges to manage data from other users, real time dashboard/reporting and 24/7 phone support in case you experience critical issues. There is also a Free version that allows you to get a preview of what CrashPlan can do. The free trial allows you to backup to external drives or other computers. This option supports 128-bit file encryption, automatic daily backups and it includes 30 days of online backup.

Customer Support
CrashPlan offers dedicated customer assistance via email, chat and phone. You can contact them through the live chat from Monday to Friday between 7 AM and 5 PM CST. Phone support is generally reserved for severe issues and it is available Monday to Friday from 7 AM to 7 PM CST. On weekends, they are available between 9AM and 5 PM. Business users have access to 24/7 phone assistance for critical issues such as inability to restore files. CrashPlan also offers detailed responses via support tickets and cases that require immediate assistance are prioritized.

Although file sharing or syncing are not included, CrashPlan offers a complete, reliable and unlimited backup solution that helps you to avoid data loss. You can backup files locally, offsite and online, all thanks to the same service. It also offers a solid upload/download speed and an interface that includes advanced features, without being overly complicated. It supports unlimited file versioning, which means that you always have the possibility to restore your data, regardless of how old it may be. Overall, it is a good service to consider when you want to prevent your files from disappearing in case anything goes wrong.
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