Choosing the right backup provider for your needs is tricky. In this Carbonite vs CrashPlan comparison, we’ll see which one of these popular online backup services is the better fit so you can rest easy knowing your data is safe.

We’ll be taking a look at one specific Carbonite plan, namely the one called Safe Pro, which is the backup solution intended for businesses and advanced users, and comparing it to CrashPlan for Small Business, which has a similar focus. 

CrashPlan is a backup solution intended for small business users. Although it used to offer a personal plan as well, this was ditched back in 2017 in favor of focusing entirely on small businesses. That said, individuals can still sign up for the service.

For this CrashPlan vs Carbonite comparison, we’ll go through six rounds, each worth one point. We’ll be looking at features, pricing, usability, file backup and restoration, speed, as well as security and privacy.

cloudwards rating
$ per month
top features
  1. 1
  2. /month
    • Continuous Backup
    • Incremental Backup
    • Yes but not on Basic plan (all other plans) External Drive Backup
    • Yes but only on Safe Backup Pro plan NAS Backup
    • Unlimited Backup
    • Versioning
    • Private Encryption
  3. Visit CarboniteCarbonite Review
  1. 2
  2. $ 1000
    /month
    • Continuous Backup
    • Incremental Backup
    • External Drive Backup
    • NAS Backup
    • Unlimited Backup
    • Versioning
    • Private Encryption
  3. Visit CrashPlan for BusinessCrashPlan for Business Review
1

Features

We’ll start our comparison by taking a look at features. This includes backup functionality like scheduling, file versioning and throttling, as well as the number of supported platforms and user management. Other features more common to cloud storage services (such as Dropbox), like file sharing and syncing, also play a big part.

Carbonite

It’s clear the developers of Carbonite decided to value usability over cluttering up the client with support for a lot of advanced features. Because of this, certain functionality — like cloning hard drives, hybrid and mobile backup, as well as support for file sharing and multithreading — are all missing.

That said, there’s still plenty that Carbonite can do. Backups can run on a daily or weekly schedule, as well as continuously and incrementally. This means that files can be uploaded the moment there’s a change. Plus, the block-level algorithm ensures that you won’t waste bandwidth reuploading parts of a file that haven’t changed.

Carbonite-Settings-Panel

With the Safe Pro plan, you get support for NAS and external hard drive backup, but not servers because this is limited to the dedicated server plans. Although throttling is included, it doesn’t allow you to specify exactly how much you want to limit the software in terms of available bandwidth.

As mentioned, there’s no way to backup mobile devices. In fact, there’s no mobile app available at all. This means that you won’t be able to manage or access your files from your phone or tablet like you can with CrashPlan.

File versioning is decent, if somewhat limited. You can restore changed files, with up to 12 older versions being retained on the server. This breaks down to one version for each day of the previous week, one version for each of the three weeks before that and one version for each of the two months before that again.

If no changes have been made in a long time, Carbonite keeps three old versions of your file regardless of age. As for deleted files, these are kept in an archive for 30 days after they’re deleted, but once that month passes, they’ll be gone for good.

Although the cheaper Carbonite plans offer unlimited cloud storage, Carbonite Safe Pro does not. Instead it lets you backup as many as 25 different computers or external drives, and it includes 250GB of storage space by default. It’s possible to increase your storage allotment, but we’ll cover this in the price section later on.

Since Carbonite Safe Pro is partially intended for business use, it also allows you to designate administrators, who can create, edit and delete other users and groups. This includes changing the backup settings themselves, either individually or on a group level, as well as the ability to adjust account settings, such as billing, passwords and security questions, for other users.

All in all, although Carbonite certainly isn’t the most feature-rich online backup service out there, it’s not terrible in this regard either. Now we’ll take a look at CrashPlan’s features to see how they compare.

CrashPlan

Although CrashPlan also doesn’t have the richest feature set of all the online backup services out there, its functionality is still quite a bit more extensive than that of Carbonite. Support for server backup, hybrid backup and external hard drive backup are all included, but there’s no way to backup mobile devices.

Besides this, the only things missing from CrashPlan are support for hard drive cloning and multithreading. However, the lack of the latter doesn’t seem to make much difference, as both uploads and downloads are still very fast.

With everything missing out of the way, let’s move on to what other features CrashPlan offers. You can run backups either on a schedule, incrementally or continuously. Furthermore, a block-level algorithm is used to prevent waste of bandwidth when uploading parts of a changed file. Unlike Carbonite, CrashPlan is also available on Linux in addition to Windows and Mac.

Throttling is also included and is implemented in a way that gives you a lot of control. Not only can you limit how much bandwidth CrashPlan is allowed to use, but also how much of your CPU capacity it can utilize. File versioning is unlimited, meaning you can recover old versions or deleted files from as far back as you want.

Unlike Carbonite Safe Pro, CrashPlan offers unlimited cloud storage, but each license covers only a single computer. Again, we’ll take a closer look at how this stacks up to what Carbonite offers in the price section further down.

In terms of business features, CrashPlan provides an in-depth control panel that lets you create multiple users and assign them to groups. You can then adjust all of the backup settings for the group as a whole or for individual users. If you need to create a lot of these users, you can import them in bulk from an external source via a TXT file.

Round 1 Thoughts

Our first round is an easy win for CrashPlan, owing to its unlimited backup storage and file versioning, as well as excellent user management and in-depth throttling controls. Although Carbonite is far from the worst online backup service in terms of features, it doesn’t come close to offering the same level of functionality that CrashPlan does.

That said, neither service includes features like file sharing and syncing. Some backup services like SpiderOak do offer this, but it’s more commonly found in cloud storage solutions such as Dropbox. If syncing and file sharing is what you’re looking for, then you should head over to our list of the best cloud storage providers instead.

Round: Features Point for CrashPlan for Small Business
2

Pricing

Now that we’ve covered the features of each backup service, we’ll move on to their price plans. Neither service offers any type of free plan, so if that’s what you’re looking for, you should head over to our list of the best free cloud backup services instead.

Carbonite

The first thing to note about the Carbonite pricing structure is just how complicated it is. As a whole, the backup service offers three different plans, several of which have multiple tiers and additional functionality that can be added to the subscription.

That said, this comparison is based solely on the “Safe Backup Pro” version of Carbonite, which offers only a single tier. This plan will cost you $24 per month if you sign up for one year, with a five or 10 percent discount applied if you opt for two or three years instead. There’s no monthly billing option available, so you’ll have to pay for at least a full year upfront, which is unfortunate.

With this plan you can backup as many as 25 separate computers, but you only get 250GB worth of storage. Because of this, the high price tag can be worth it, provided you have a lot of computers or external drives to backup, but otherwise it becomes an incredibly expensive option. 

With the exception of unlimited cloud storage, the Safe Pro plan includes all of the features of the cheaper personal plans, including external hard drive backup and support for automatic video backup. There is also a free trial available, which will allow you to test out the backup service for 15 days.

CrashPlan

By comparison, the CrashPlan pricing structure is very straightforward. Each license will cost you $10 per month, and there’s no annual plan available. Each license covers a single computer, but there are no limits on storage capacity.

This is fairly expensive, as there are plenty of unlimited cloud backup services that cost significantly less, such as Backblaze (check out our Backblaze pricing guide), which only costs $6 per month. 

This means that the CrashPlan business pricing is almost twice as expensive as the alternatives. Luckily, there’s a free trial lasting 30 days that you can use to test out the software.

All this means that the CrashPlan for Small Business pricing can be quite steep, especially if you need to backup multiple computers. On the other hand, users who want to backup large files from a small number of computers will find it significantly cheaper than Carbonite Safe Backup Pro.

Round 2 Thoughts

The winner of this round largely comes down to what you’re looking for in a backup service. If you only need to backup a small number of computers, but each with large amounts of data, then CrashPlan is the clear winner. 

On the other hand, if you want to backup a lot of different computers but don’t need unlimited cloud storage, then the CrashPlan cost can quickly become prohibitive. That said, we’re giving this one to CrashPlan, as Carbonite Safe Pro comes with a surprisingly small amount of storage space and costs two and a half times as much, plus it’s free trial only lasts half as long.

Round: Pricing Point for CrashPlan for Small Business
3

Usability

Now that we’ve covered features and price, it’s time to look at the usability of each backup service. In this part of our CrashPlan vs Carbonite comparison we’ll be focusing on things like interface design as well as how easy it is to setup your backup and learn the ins and outs of the software. Mobile apps and web dashboards also factor into this round.

Carbonite

As we noted earlier, usability was clearly a primary focus during the development of Carbonite. The client itself is incredibly simple, making it so that even the least tech-savvy of users can easily learn how to do cloud backup using the software.

The client itself is as simple as it gets, with a main panel showing you how many files you have backed up, the time of your last computer backup and whether or not there are any files that still need to be uploaded.

In addition to the main panel, there’s a menu with a few settings you can adjust, such as scheduling and throttling.

Finally, if you click on the button to restore your files, you’re funnelled through a third set of menus that asks you what you want to restore and the destination for your download.

Besides the regular client, Carbonite also adds a virtual drive to your computer that mirrors your cloud storage. All your backed up files are visible here, as well as those that are pending. You can drop files directly into this folder to back them up, and removing them also removes them from the cloud.

Although there is no mobile app available, there is a basic web dashboard in addition to the dedicated client. Here you can adjust various account-wide settings, like security and billing. You can also view a list of all your backed up computers and the files from each one, which you can manage and restore directly from the website.

CrashPlan

Although CrashPlan comes with a lot of advanced functionality and several separate settings menus, it’s still incredibly easy to use. While it seems complicated at first — and can take a bit of time to get used to — once you learn where everything is, using CrashPlan’s cloud for backups becomes a breeze.

The main panel of the application contains an overview of all of your backup sets (more on these in the next section), as well as information about any backups currently in progress.

There are two settings menus, one that covers application-wide preferences such as encryption, and another one that’s specific to each backup set where you can adjust throttling, scheduling, notifications, versioning and file selection.

As mentioned earlier, there’s no support for mobile backup, but there’s still an app for iOS and Android, which you can use to manage your backup storage and computers. Using the mobile app, you can download any file that’s been backed up from any of your computers or external drives, as well as delete them from the cloud.

There’s also a fully fledged web dashboard that includes support for all the same actions and settings that the client itself does. This is also where you manage users and groups if you’ve purchased multiple licenses, and there’s a handy link to quickly access customer support. 

Round 3 Thoughts

Although CrashPlan certainly isn’t difficult to use by any measure, it is still significantly more complicated than Carbonite, which is so simple pretty much anyone can pick it up easily. Because of this, Carbonite wins this round, finally earning itself a point.

Round: Usability Point for Carbonite
4

File Backup and Restoration

Now it’s time to consider the actual backup and recovery process itself. The most important thing here is how flexible the client is in allowing you to tailor your backup plan to your personal needs, but also how much information it gives you about a backup in progress.

Carbonite

Although Carbonite’s backup process is easy to manage, it’s also somewhat inflexible. Setting up your backup is as simple as selecting the files you want to protect by right-clicking them and selecting the “back this up” option in the context menu. Alternatively, you can simply drop them directly into the virtual hard drive.

Unfortunately, the settings menu is incredibly sparse. While this does make the process simple, it also means that you don’t get the same degree of control over things like throttling, versioning and scheduling that you do with CrashPlan.

Luckily, the Safe Pro subscription includes support for automatic video backup, unlike the cheaper plans where you have to manually select each video file rather than the folder they’re contained in.

One edge that Carbonite has over CrashPlan is support for courier recovery. Essentially this means that you can have Carbonite physically ship an external hard drive containing your files, which saves you from downloading them. This can be incredibly useful, especially if you need to restore a large amount of data on a slow connection.

For Carbonite Safe Backup Pro subscribers, each of these transactions using external hard drives will run you $99.99, with an additional fee if you fail to return the drive. For external drives smaller than 3TB, the fee is $129.99 while for larger ones it’s $300.

CrashPlan

CrashPlan offers an impressive level of control over the backup and restore process. You can organize your personal cloud backup into separate “backup sets,” each with their own settings, such as scheduling, throttling and security.

Each of these sets can be given different priorities, which is a great way of ensuring that some important file doesn’t get uploaded because CrashPlan was busy with something less critical. One of these sets is created automatically, which by default includes your user folder.

While a computer backup is running, CrashPlan provides you with all the information you could possibly need. This includes an estimated time of completion, what file is currently being uploaded and how many files remain.

Restoring your files is also simple, as all you need to do is click the blue button labelled “restore files,” which will prompt you to specify what files you want restored as well as where you want to download them.

Round 4 Thoughts

There are very few online backup providers that offer the same level of control and flexibility that CrashPlan does. Despite the fact that Carbonite will ship you an external hard drive to restore your data, this advantage is not enough to make this any less of an easy win for CrashPlan. 

This brings the current score of our CrashPlan vs Carbonite comparison to 3-1 in CrashPlan’s favor, which means that the best Carbonite can hope for at this point is a tie.

Round: File Backup and Restoration Point for CrashPlan for Small Business
5

Speed

The next way that we’ll compare CrashPlan and Carbonite is by their speeds, both in terms of uploads and downloads. This is an especially critical factor during the initial backup, as these can possibly take a very long time.

To test the speed of each service, we uploaded and downloaded a 3.51GB folder twice using an internet connection with download and upload speeds of 120 Mbps and 15 Mbps, respectively. 

Carbonite

Speed is a big problem for Carbonite. Although the upload speed is decent, despite the lack of multithreading, users are required to restore their files via the web interface, which results in incredibly slow data recovery.

 First attemptSecond attemptAverage
Carbonite download:0:24:000:21:000:22:30
Carbonite upload:0:59:000:52:000:55:30

From these results it’s clear that while upload speeds are fine, the service struggles to maintain good transfer rates when restoring your data. This can be a huge problem, especially for businesses, since users are likely to need access to lost files and data as quickly as possible when something goes wrong.

CrashPlan

CrashPlan, on the other hand, sports great data transfer speeds, both for backups and recoveries. The fact that both operations are done from the client itself gives it a massive edge over Carbonite, something that’s clearly reflected in the results themselves.

 First attemptSecond attemptAverage
CrashPlan download:0:06:000:07:000:06:30
CrashPlan upload:0:53:380:43:040:48:21

As you can see, CrashPlan is slightly faster when it comes to the computer backup itself, and significantly faster when you need to restore your files. In fact, these results are excellent, as they’re well within what we’d expect, given the connection speed used for the test.

Round 5 Thoughts

This round was a slam dunk for CrashPlan, as download speed is one of Carbonite’s biggest weaknesses. The fact that CrashPlan manages its speeds without supporting multithreading is impressive, as even services that do offer this functionality struggle to achieve the same results.

Round: Speed Point for CrashPlan for Small Business
6

Security and Privacy

Finally, we’re going to take a look at the security and privacy that each service offers. Although those keeping count will know that CrashPlan has already won this comparison, there’s a chance for Carbonite to narrow the gap before we’re through.

Encryption is the most important security and privacy feature for a backup service to ensure your peace of mind. However, other security features like hardened data centers, two-factor authentication and the geographical location of the servers will also play a part.

Carbonite

Security and privacy are areas where Carbonite does very well. SSL is used to protect your files while they backup to the cloud, keeping them safe from prying eyes. Once on the server, your files are encrypted with AES 128-bit encryption, which — while not as strong as the standard 256-bit — is still good enough to keep your cloud backup safe.

Support for two-factor authentication is also included, which provides users with an extra level of security, should someone get a hold of their password.

During the installation process, the client will ask you whether or not you want to manage your own encryption key. This is known as private encryption, and it ensures that even if Carbonite is forced to hand over your files to an external entity, no one but you will be able to decrypt them.

If you do opt for private encryption, it’s important to remember that customer support won’t be able to restore your password for you. This means that if you want this extra layer of privacy, you should install one of the best password managers first to make sure you don’t permanently lose access to your files.

In terms of privacy regulation, Carbonite complies with both GDPR and HIPAA, though adhering to the latter requires you to enable private encryption. Its data centers are also hardened to ensure that your files are protected from both natural disasters and physical security breaches.

The only major downside to Carbonite’s privacy is that all of its data centers are located in the U.S., which is infamous for its terrible cloud privacy laws. This is a common problem for backup solutions though, as there are only a handful (like Jottacloud or Acronis True Image) that give you the option of storing your data in a more privacy-friendly country.

CrashPlan

CrashPlan also does great with security and privacy. Strong AES 256-bit encryption is used to protect your files while on the server, and TLS accomplishes the same while they’re in transit.

You can manage the encryption key yourself, which ensures that Code42 (the company behind CrashPlan) can’t decrypt your files and hand them over to an external entity, such as law enforcement. However, once again this means that customer support won’t be able to recover your password for you if you lose or forget it.

There’s support for two-factor authentication, which can be managed by each user personally or by the account administrator. You also have the option of handling your own encryption key, making CrashPlan a zero-knowledge service. It also complies with GDPR and HIPAA, but once again compliance with the latter depends on the user enabling private encryption.

Hardened data centers — unfortunately located in the U.S. — protect the stored data from natural disasters, power outages and physical break-ins. However, unlike Carbonite, there is one exception to the U.S.-based data centers, namely that customers located in Australia or New Zealand will have their data stored in Australia instead.

Round 6 Thoughts

This was by far the closest round, as there is very little difference between the two services in terms of security and privacy. Both offer private encryption, two-factor authentication, SSL/TLS in transit, compliance with major privacy regulation and hardened data centers. Indeed, they even share the same weakness in that their data centers are located mostly in the U.S.

Even so, we’ll give this one to CrashPlan, albeit by the smallest margin possible, for offering somewhat stronger encryption and allowing a small number of its users to store their data outside of the U.S.

Round: Security and Privacy Point for CrashPlan for Small Business
7

The Verdict

With that, our CrashPlan vs Carbonite comparison is finished. By winning five out of six rounds, this was a clear victory for the former, as Carbonite only managed to score a single point in the usability round, with the remaining five points going to CrashPlan. Small business users will get a lot out of the service, but it’s a great choice for individuals, as well. 

That said, Carbonite Safe Backup Pro is far from a bad service, and if what you’re looking for is a simple backup solution that lets you backup a bunch of computers and external drives, then it might still be the better choice out of the two.

Winner: CrashPlan

If you’d like to learn more about other CrashPlan competitors, make sure to check out our list of the best online backup for small businesses, which includes CrashPlan, Carbonite and several other backup solutions.

For those who are curious about CrashPlan vs Carbonite vs Backblaze, make sure to read our Backblaze vs Carbonite and CrashPlan vs Backblaze comparisons, as well, to get the full picture of how these three cloud backup providers compare.

If you’re not interested in something quite as advanced as the two plans covered here, you can check out our list of the best online backup providers. Topping that list is the feature-rich IDrive, safe-and-private Acronis True Image and the easy-to-use Backblaze. If what you’re looking for is the best way to do photo and video backup, check out our list of the best online backup for photos instead.

What did you think of our CrashPlan vs Carbonite comparison? Do you agree that CrashPlan is the clear winner, or do you think we judged Carbonite too harshly? Which one do you prefer, Carbonite or CrashPlan? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.

 

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40 thoughts on “Carbonite vs CrashPlan: Picking SMB Backup in 2020”

  1. I tried to install Crash Plan on my Mac. The first thing that pops up is “There is a known problem with installing on Mac. Please follow these steps…” No way. If they can’t get it to work the first time, I’m done. Went with Carbonite.

    1. If your gonna have a sub standard, poorly written Operating System you can’t expect that every 3rd party software is going to be optimized for it. Anyway your loss.

  2. You wrote
    “What makes CrashPlan compelling is that they never delete any data that you upload to their servers, even if you delete those files from your machine”

    I created an account and while selecting folders to be backed up, I unchecked one folder and immediately got a warning:
    Something like :”pls note that any folder you remove will be erased from our servers, for good”

    Does it mean that, as long as I keep the same one folder for my videos, they will keep forever all those videos, even if I erase them after viewing. This would be great for me, but could cause some headaches for Crashplan, as it could add up quickly to terabytes of storage

    1. Cloudwards.net - CEO & Co-Founder

      Hi Bob,

      You’re right. Crashplan keeps your data even if you delete it on your local hard drive – provided you leave the folder checked and backed up. Of course, Crashplan knows that there might be users with huge amounts of data, but this is only a minority. They basically make money on the “average Joe” who only has a couple of important gigabyte to backup.

      Hope that helps.

  3. This is tremendously helpful- thank you! I travel full time and need backup I can depend on. These two stand out among the crowd of alternatives, but I was struggling a bit to clearly compare them- I greatly appreciate the shortcut.

    1. Cloudwards.net - CEO & Co-Founder

      You’re welcome. Any questions you have just leave them here and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

  4. I have used both. Both have great features.

    I found Carbonite backed up faster initially AND had an small icon on each file to indicate if that file has been backed up, backing up, or not selected to back up – helpful sometimes to know your files are backed up. Drawback for me was mp4 or AVI files – and I’m not looking to back up some crazy movie storage – just videos I have from my cell – I shoot alot with the kids and all their activities.

    Crashplan has some issues with really large backups and getting that backed up initially but eventually they back up the whole thing ( I’m dealling w 800G of photos & short videos ). CrashPlan backs it ALL up – so I don’t need to find each mp4 file & select it for back-up like on Carbonite. That’s mainly why I switched – the video backup was by default. Unfortunately Crashplan has no ion on the files to show that the file has been backed up ( not a major but a nice to have feature ). Crashplan also runs on Java so it’s got some issue but I’ve heard they are working on Ver 4 that will deal with the Java issue.

    As I said, the video issue is why I switched.

    1. Cloudwards.net - CEO & Co-Founder

      Thanks for the input. Certainly, not backing up video automatically is something that might be annoying for some customers. We also found that Crashplan running on Java might cause some problems. It’s good because of cross platform availability but could have some performance issues.

  5. Carbonite back up is not unlimited. If you delete a file from your lap top carbonite deletes the back up file after 30 days. In effect, you have to keep a local copy of every file you back up on the device from which you backed it up to keep the file stored with Carbonite. This means that your back up is limited to the size of the drive (device) that you backed up. For example, if you backed up a 300 GB laptop, your Carbonite stored files will be limited to 300 gigs for that device. Delete files on the laptop and they delete them from your backup files

    1. I think everyone should also keep in mind that when using these services they are an online backup, not online storage. They are backups of your files in case the unthinkable happens and you have a local data loss. The backup is unlimited if your data is unlimited, they are not going to keep files that you don’t have because it is only meant to be a backup. They keep the file for 30 days so you can restore it if you lose it, not to increase your overall storage.

  6. Cloudwards.net - CEO & Co-Founder

    Hi Joyce,

    that is true. But as I mentioned in this article those services are backup services with their goal being to mirror files from your HD to their servers. They should not be mistaken for online archiving services. It is always recommendable to have a local copy of your files at home or at the office – never trust one single source.

  7. You mention redundant backups. While l think i understand what this means from the context, please define redundant. And why doesn’t crashplan’s reduntant backups give it a clear advantage?

  8. Carbonite worked great on two machines with under 200Gig of data. Added a 3rd (an iMac) with about 320Gig and all was fine until I hit about 220 GB. From here on in…it just shut down. Help Desk calls for Tech Support, several installs/unistalls…and nothing. It seems the rumours on the Net that Carbonite throttles uploads after 200GB are in fact true. I’m on my Trail with Carbonite for this machine and will delete/remove and try Crash plan. Too bad…the Carbonite app is very nice. Oh well.

  9. Your review compares the standard product for each site. One PC / one year for $59.99 / year. However, in your comparison, which is very good, you state that with Carbonite, “you can backup external hard drives for free”. Because this is an important feature for me it’s what I’ve been looking for. The correct product offering free external backup is CrashPlan. To get that with Carbonite you must upgrade to the “Plus” plan (99.99/year).

  10. (Typo above “never pulished” should be “published.” I’m a proofreader at heart.) However, I am also pretty old and therefore am an immigrant in the land of technology. My son is the native. I have decided to back up my laptop computer and am researching options. I have read several comparisons of CrashPad and Carbonite and have a couple of questions. I am looking to back up my entire laptop (about 100 GB on the hard drive–lots of photos, many duplicated in more than one file, I think, but oh well, I guess? Very few videos. I fair amount of music, most loaded from CD’s.) Questions: First, what exactly does “Sync” mean here? I think it might push me to Carbonite, because one thing I very much would like is to edit a document on EITHER my laptop or iPad (or even iPhone) and have it done both places. Is that syncing, and how would it work? Second, re speed, how much time for that 100 GB and how inconvenient would it be? Thanks for any help you can give me.

    1. Cloudwards.net - CEO & Co-Founder

      Hey Nancy,

      OK, let’s explore your questions:

      1) What does sync mean?
      Sync means you can allocate storage in your online backup plan with Carbonite to be synced to other computers. So yes, you can edit one document on your laptop, save it, and have it available on your PC once it is “synced” through Carbonite’s servers. Crashplan has no syncing option, yet.

      2) How long does it take to upload 100GB?
      Well, that depends mostly on your internet connection. But let’s assume your behind a broadband internet connection, so you might be able to upload anywhere from 500MG to 3GB per day. As a rough estimate I’d think of a couple of weeks for 100GB to be fully uploaded.

      Let me know if you have any more questions.

  11. Hmm. I left a rather detailed comment/question earlier today. I thought it appeared at that time, but it seems to be gone now. I guess I’ll see what happens to this one.

    1. Cloudwards.net - CEO & Co-Founder

      HI Nancy, thanks for your detailed comment – very valuable. We’re moderating our comments and on the weekends it can come to some delay. Sorry for that. You comments should now appear on the web site.

  12. Thanks for the reply. (Yeah, I did figure out after I posted the second comment that the first had gone to moderation.) Anyhow, just a little more clarification, if you would be so kind. On the syncing question: can I actually edit a document on either the laptop or iPad, save it, and it becomes the new version immediately on both devices?
    On the time question: Yes, we have broadband. Now, regarding that couple of weeks estimate–when and how does that happen? In other words, is the laptop unavailable for use in any way while this is going on?

    Thanks for much for your help. (You still need to make pulished under the email space into published…. Nag, nag.)

  13. We have a TON of information here where I work and we decided to go with CrashPlan, mainly because we found the seed package to be worth the extra money. Something Carbonite doesn’t offer when you’re dealing with TB of data it’s your best option for your money. Carbonite does have a cheaper plan, however the extra money you spend on CrashPlan goes to features that are worth it.

    Carbonite offers network drive back up, which is something that CrashPlan you need to set up a work around, not like it was all that difficult to figure out.

    1. I’ve been using CrashPlan for over 1.5 years now for several small businesses I manage. I haven’t had any problems with the service or the software. However I feel dubious about their “champion” support. First of all, it’s almost impossible to talk to a live person and secondly the responses to the technical inquiries I received were unprofessional at the very least. Perhaps I dealt with one incompetent egg… Looking to switch to another provider now.

  14. I’ve been testing out crashplan this weekend. So far I’m medium level impressed. I started my backup Friday of 102 GB. By Sunday, that backup was done and I was ready to begin my restore test. It should note, it appears 2 of my folders are almost completely identical, so the total amount of unique data was about 70 GB. I’m now restoring the 32 GB folder to my desktop. Estimate is it will be complete by tomorrow morning. If so, it means both for uploads and downloads I’m getting around 30-40 GB per day. Not great, but better than the minimum of 10 GB crashplan promises.

    In total I have 12 TB worth of unique data to backup. It would take more than a year to backup all this data. If a fire happened, and I had to restore all 12 TB the restore would take equally long. So in the disaster recovery scenario I would probably have multiple drives sent via e-mail. Expensive, but probably better than no restore.

    But what this points out is there probably is little need for “unlimited”. Realistically, if I always plan to upload and download by internet. Then a 1 TB limit is effectively unlimited. In that I would probably never attempt to restore more than 1 TB across the internet.

    A bigger concern is privacy concerns. Granted miltary grade encryption is being used before I upload the data. But how do I confirm that? How do I know if there is a backdoor, or a second key used in the encoding that would allow access to my data? How do I know meta-data like the filenames is also protected? Or is it?

    I can well imagine the following scenario. The movie industry starts using subpoenas to access cloud providers data. Lets say the files are protected, but the file names and sizes are not. They see the list of movie titles I have backed up and assume I must be a pirate. I’m not even sure if Canada still considers it fair use to backup my own movies. So they show up on my door with a lawsuit. This having been after the fire for which I wanted to protect my data from, I no longer have any of the blue-rays and DVD’s. Just a pile of ashes that were sent to a landfill, and the insurance check that covers replacing a small fraction of what I owned. So now I have a multi-million dollar piracy lawsuit, just because I wanted to protect myself by backing things up.

    Will this happen? I don’t know. I do not have a way to do the due diligence to find-out.

  15. “Although we’re pitting two well-known cloud providers against each other, we’re not big fans of either of them”

    What online backup service(s) with unlimited storage are you a big fan of??

  16. Thank you for this comment (and thanks to the person who put together this comparison). The things you mention about CrashPlan are complete show-stoppers for me.

    I’ve been using Carbonite and my main interest in CrashPlan was that it never deletes anything– I have not needed a full restore in all the years I’ve done this– and I’m an average user with a small business, not a techie– but the way I lose files is either by a) accidently over-writing them or b) accidently deleting them. I thought the fact that CrashPlan doesn’t sync and doesn’t delete might be the solution I needed.

    However, now that I’ve read about speeds, crashes, and losing data, I’ll stay with Carbonite for another year.

    Thank you!

  17. Great comparison article overall! I would like to weigh-in with my real world experience with each.

    For years, I’ve handled all system backups at home with external drives. Quite frankly, any time there has been a major system issue, the most important things that needed to be saved and restored have been the nearly countless YEARS of photos and videos my wife keeps. I’m primarily a cloud-based user so everything that is of utmost importance to me is saved in Google Drive. Anyway, this year I decided (after re-building our main home PC) to try out these services to see how they would work out so I would have to worry about loosing any pictures/videos on one of the external drives I have been using (which happened, but I restored them – that’s a different story!)

    I initially started with Carbonite. I personally didn’t find the initial upload to be too bad. It took about 8 days to upload 1.7TB worth of storage. I thought, “cool – Carbonite it is for my home!”. I also have a PC with external drives that is used as a media server, and 2 laptops. Once I decided to go from free Carbonite to a subscription, THAT’S when I decided to shop around. I also tried Backblaze – similar experience.

    For me, it ultimately came down to the math. Simple as that.
    To stay with Carbonite or Backblaze, my cost would have been (for a total of 4 systems) $239.96 / year. But since one of the systems have external drives I want to keep backed up, for Carbonite that costs jumps to $279.96 /year.

    With Crashplan, my cost for all systems with external hard drives is $149.99.

    As for the upload speed / time – YES CrashPlan can be VERY slow. At first. There are some settings that can be adjusted to help this along. But, there is also a somewhat hidden setting that doesn’t really “jump out”. Unlike the others, CrashPlan has a command line that is actually easy to find by clicking on the little “house” symbol. There is a java command that can be entered/adjusted (depending on the drive you have). I found this out from a friend who runs the CrashPlan Enterprise edition for a company and I had complained about how slow the uploads were taking because I got the “1 year left” completion notification as well.

    After a couple of tweaks, I haven’t had further issues. As for losing data – I can’t speak on that. Other than price, I took into account my friend’s recommendation, as he is a trusted fellow IT professional who has been using CrashPlan at the company he is the IT Admin for.

    Again, great review. And I have to agree – there truly is no “one size fits all” solution to data backup. What works for some may not work for others. Fortunately, there are some great choices out there!

  18. A couple of years ago I switched from Carbonite to Crashplan, and until very recently, was happy with that switch. However, 3 problem have arisen in the past few weeks which have turned me very sour on Crashplan:

    1. I used to love being able to retrieve backed up files onto my Android phone – very useful in meetings when I need to quickly access a file. The Android app no longer works. Crashplan admits this, and does not know when it will be fixed.

    2. My backups are hosed. I am backing up to 3 different locations – 2 local and 1 cloud, but my backup jobs for the past week or so keep disconnecting, retrying, backing up for a little while, disconnecting, retrying, etc. At this point, I don’t have any valid backup at all.

    3. There is supposed to be customer support, but I have found it to range from very slow to non-existent. I reported my backup problem on Sunday, and have asked twice since then for a status. It is now Thursday, and I have not heard a word.

    I am extremely disappointed with Crashplan, and am now looking for alternatives. For now, I am using Dropbox for cloud and FBackup for local backups.

  19. I found a couple of very serious flaws with Carbonite
    1) If you run your machine 24/7, you *will* need to reboot your machine once a month because the program simply stops backing up. You’ll end up getting an email after a weeks ‘you haven’t backed up in a week’
    2) After the initial backup, there is no progress indicator as to how close you are to completing a backup.
    3) Get used to calling support. I’ve probably reinstalled the software 10+ times. Support staff don’t care why something stopped working, they just want to get it going again and move on
    4) External backups are unreliable – I could not restore after a serious crash.

  20. I did find a gotcha with CrashPlan. I backed up a computer with CrashPlan and reformatted the hard disk with the intent of restoring the data back onto the disk. I found out the hard way, that if the computer doesn’t sync with Crashplan after 180 days, they will purge your data. I only found this out the hard way by going to perform the restore and my computer was listed but had no data. I chatted with support and they directed me to the policy that stated they will purge the data.

  21. I am not sure which service is best. I just want to tell you, that I have been using Carbonite for 10 years without any problems – technical, customer service or otherwise.
    I like Crashplans “never delete” policy, though.

  22. I’m looking for a way to get 10,000 photos off my computer but keep accessible. It would be useful–in fact, it’s a dealbreaker, to be able to see thumbnails of the photos within a directory or folder on the actual backup site. Does Crashplan do this? Since Carbonite syncs, meaning once I get them all of my computer, Carbonite mirrors this action (deletes the only remaining ones forever), no good for my needs. So my one question: can I see thumbnails from which to peruse my backed-up library on line, with Crashplan?

  23. I have used Crashplan since 2009 and have about 50 customers backing up to my server with 8 – 4TB disks in 2 raids and this works wonderful. Crashplan automatically balances the load and keeps them equal.

    I have restored several times and one time the customer was flying back from japan on a Friday and Flying back out on Sunday and his computer had been stolen. He called his office admin and she got to me with the urgent matter. He does presentations in front of large groups.

    I was able to get him a new MacBook Pro and restore his data from my server here and give him a new computer to fly out with on Sunday.

    Because I had the data here and I was able to restore his whole computer. He was a very happy man.

    So speed is important sometimes and backup for sure.

    Crashplan sends me a report everyday of any computers not backing up.

    Also if a client starts having a backup problem there is a reason and it is usually a failing drive that needs to be replaced… What a wonderful help.

  24. CrashPlan does backup NAS devices. Just not with a Windows machine. They claim it has to do with windows access rights.

    They do say it will work with a MAC. I have tried using a MAC mini and it seems to backup NAS devices/folders with no problems ( note – I did this as a test – backup and restore – and do not have it backing up on a regular schedule like my windows machines, but it did work).

  25. Hello Joseph,

    Very detailed and useful comparison. You mentioned Crash plan is not HIPAA complaint? Is it still the case?

      1. Thanks for clarifying that. I was confused between idrive vs crashplan, but the fact that crashplan is HIPAA compliant makes it an easy choice.

  26. I had CrashPlan for several years an it worked flawlessly. I have a relatively large data set (about 1.5TB, including a lot of photos, videos, and audio files) and except for the long initial backup (about 3 months. I have ideally a 3mb uplink), it worked really well because it has great dedup.

    Then CrashPlan ended their personal plan and referred me to Carbonite. It had many drawbacks:
    1. Dedup doesn’t work well for me – when I do some restructuring of the folders or edit tags on all the audio files, CrashPlan would sync almost instantly (only read the files), while Carbonite resends the entire file
    2. I went for their Plus ($99) plan, since I have many A/V files, but then you realize that there are many other factors: they don’t back up certain file types (and you cannot override it for some). They don’t back up files larger than 4GB. There are workarounds such as manually selecting it, but it does not give the peace of mind that you expect for backup. With CrashPlan you know that it is all protected.
    3. Resource Usage – When I ran Resource Monitor when Carbonite was running, it is busy with the disk all the time (and I am talking about times when the backup is done and there are no major changes): keeps reading and writing VSS files, and generally creating a big load on my CPU and disks.

    Anyway, before my 12 month subscription ended (smart move by Carbonite locking people…), I was looking for another solution, only to find out that I can use CrashPlan’s business plan and it is only $10/month (not much more than the $8.3 I was paying Carbonite). Immediately subscribed again and now almost done with the 1.5TB upload. So far looking great and highly recommended

  27. Crashplan refuses to backup folder sets for an application we develop. Not about to change our entire folder structure for 500+ clients. Admin excludes? what a joke.

  28. CrashPlan is awesome. Unless you actually want to get back the files you THINK maybe got copied to their servers… The interface and server and “synchronization” for a mac and a LOT of data is impossible. I’ve switched to Backblaze and will ask to have them ship a disk if I need my files. Bah Bye Crashplan… Screwed up months of my life.

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