Overall Rating 87%Very Good
Speed & Performance
80%Good
Plans & Pricing
90%Excellent
Backup & Client
90%Excellent
Security
90%Excellent
Features, Extras & Mobile
85%Very Good
Restoring files
85%Very Good

Who is Crashplan for?

If you are serious about backup and constantly think about the best way to protect your computer(s) from data loss then Crashplan is an option that we can recommend. Crashplan tries to combine both worlds: inexpensive and easy-to-use online backup with a vast feature set. 

Our Crashplan Video Review 2017

Crashplan Review 2016 | THE BEST CLOUD BACKUP?!

Sometimes they manage this seemingly adjacent strategies very well. However, in some occasions not so much and we’re are going to cover the pros and cons in this review. 

Crashplan for experts and novices alike

Nevertheless, Crashplan is a backup solution for experts and novices alike: beginner computer users will find the backup wizard as easy as pie, getting started as quickly as possible with their first online backup while professionals and geeks can dabble into some of Crashplan’s advanced features like scheduling and multi-location backup. 

Our team loves Crashplan because of its inexpensive Family Plan that allows you to backup up to 10 computers neither limiting file sizes, bandwidth or storage. That being said, Crashplan is one of the only providers that offer true unlimited online backup. 

How does Crashplan compare?

One of the most pressing questions you as a consumer have is how Crashplan compares to the rest of the providers in terms of features and overall rating and if it is the best choice for your needs. Crashplan performs exceptionally well when it comes to backup. It comes along with a great deep feature set for advanced users while not overwhelming the inexperienced user too much. 

Crashplan doesn’t have features like collaboration, multi-user support, file sharing or syncing but it is truly unlimited. No limits in file size or storage capacity make the pretty good allround backup solution. 

  • *> Affordable, unlimited online backup   *> Many useful features    *> No file sync or file sharing
Crashplan Comparison

It would be impossible to count and compare all the features in this one review so we developed a system that allows you compare each and every online backup service in a detailed comparison chart. Just hit the “Compare” button and the provider is added to your list possible alternatives right at the bottom of your browser window. 

If your done selecting your favorite providers, hit “Compare” and look at the extensive feature list we carefully researched for each service. 

This will make your choice a whole lot easier as you’ll know exactly what you will find when signing up. If you miss a feature that we have not researched you can send us a request and we are more than happy to include it in our database. 

 

Alternatives for Crashplan

Speed & Performance

80% – Good

Full initial backups can take time. All of your files have to be transferred over the Internet to the respective service provider and, depending on your connection, this might take weeks. We use our 10GB test folder to test Crashplan’s speed and performance on this selection of files. Of course for 10GB Crashplan might be an overkill as they offer unlimited online backup and with 10GB we’re hardly scratching the surface. 

File detection

We are surprised to see that Crashplan is one of the few services that really detected all of our test files within the folder and is willing to back them all up. Carbonite, for example, is a pain, as it won’t back up movie or audio files in the trial version and even if you pay for it, you can’t back up movies automatically. Therefore, Crashplan was a relief, no fiddling with the files, no guessing what the hell happened to our files – nothing, just plain backup. 

Slow initial backup

Thorough file detection seems to come at a price with Crashplan. The initial backup is rather slow when you compare it to SOS Online Backup (8 hours). Crashplan takes over a day to backup all the files we have which is OK if everything is backed up properly. 

The backup started rather fast at around 300KB/s but later plummeted to only about 30-50KB/s which is only a fraction which our connection is capable of. One reason might be our location: we’re based in Germany so files need to travel over the Atlantic all the way to California. We tried to change the network and CPU settings but couldn’t get an improved throughput, unfortunately. 

Interesting fact: even if you “quit” Crashplan it will continue to back up in the background. In order to really pause your backup you have to hit “pause” in the client itself.  

So all-in-all we’re a little disappointed by the speed of our backup but it is a small price to pay for an otherwise incredible powerful online backup solution. And we cannot stress enough that it’s not really about the backup it’s about the restore. So let’s see how that goes. 

Let’s get our files back!  

As we’ve mentioned before, it is all about the restore so let’s see how Crashplan performs in this regard. The beauty of Crashplan is that it’s just working. Just select your files, hit backup and – there you go. No long caching or preparing files for upload. It just starts right away. The same thing happens with the restore. Just hit the restore tab – select the files you want – and Crashplan starts the download immediately without delay. 

Again, Crashplan doesn’t really impress us with download speed either. With an average of 412 KB/s, it falls way behind of what our connection is capable of and what competitors can do. So prepare yourself for longer backup and restore periods before getting your files back. A selective restore process seems to make more sense – just start with the files you need the most and postpone the full restore to a lazy Sunday afternoon.

About Crashplan

Crashplan is part of the Code42 Inc. and is their main product that comes in a variety of shades: Crashplan, Crashplan+ (the individual cloud backup plan), CrashplanPRO and CrashplanPROe for businesses and enterprises. They’ve been in the backup and storage business for quite some time: starting in 2001 as a software development firm they quickly dived into the topic of becoming a data storage and backup provider for home and business users.

Founded in 2001 they are unlikely to go out of business

About Crashplan

According to Crashplan they store over 100PB in various data centers around the world. If you want to know more details about the company, their philosophy and staff you should check out their About page.  Recently, Code42 got over $50m in venture capital. This clearly shows how much cloud storage and backup is growing as our lives get more and more digital. 

In this review, we’ll have a look at Crashplan+ which is the unlimited personal plan that many of us here at Cloudwards.net use. 

Plans & Pricing

90% – Excellent

Crashplan’s pricing is pretty simple. For most the standard individual plan is the right choice. If you have more than one computer you should look at the family plan to save some money. Business users will enjoy more control and a nice backup dashboard of all machines and current system states. 

PlanPrice PlanStorageDetails
Individual
$ 5.99 Monthly
$ 71.88 1 Year
$ 59.99 (-17%)
Unlimited GB

Includes 1 computer. 448-bit personal encryption key.

Family
$ 13.99 Monthly
$ 167.88 1 Year
$ 149.99 (-11%)
Unlimited GB

Same as Individual plan. Best plan for 2-10 computers.

Business
$ 10 Monthly
Unlimited GB

Includes: Real time dashboard/reporting and user level access. File sharing and syncing available through Shareplan.

Signing up

30 Days Free Trial

Like many other cloud backup services Crashplan will give you a generous 30-day free trial that will allow you to play around with their software. 30 days might not be enough to back up all of your data but certainly enough to get feel if this service is valuable to you. 

Crashplan wants you to download the software client immediately as the first thing you see is a nice green button that invites you to download. Crashplan is one of the few services with a variety of available operating systems. You can select between Windows, Mac, Linux and SolarisSo there should be a client for everybody’s needs. 

Crashplan Sign Up

Create a new account or use an existing one

After installing the software client you need to choose if you are an existing user or if your want to create a completely new account. If you happen to experience a hard drive failure you can just re-download the client and insert your account details here to start restoring. 

Crashplan - Create an account

If you create a new account make sure to choose a secure password and don’t get fooled by the password strength indicator. It will show passwords that are weak as strong. We tried passwords like “qwerty” which were shown as “Good”. Clearly, they are  not. In order to start your free trial you do not need a credit card. That way you can test the service without feeling overly committed.


  •  Be sure to choose a good password

Backup & Client

90% – Excellent

After signing up you get a first glance at the client interface which can be overwhelming at first. But don’t worry we’ll dissect it for you here. 

Crashplan uses tabs to logically split the backup task into its vital parts: backup, restore and settings. The “Backup” tab allows you to organize your backups and that’s where things can get complicated for some inexperienced users. 

The people behind Crashplan love redundancy and so they packed the client with backup features that will ensure, if used properly, that you’ll never have to worry about data loss ever again. 

Crashplan Central – The cloud 

The online backup part of the client is called “Crashplan Central“. “The central” being the famous cloud where your data is transferred to if you choose to go for the paid version. Crashplan will upload anything that you specify in the “Files” section of the client. 

If you are a Windows users Crashplan does a pretty good job selecting the folders and files from “My Documents” but you certainly need to revisit that to make sure to grab everything. The file selector is rather dull if compared to the overall feature-richness. We would have liked to see a little more control over file sizes, types or creation dates which can be especially useful for the backup sets that we’ll dig into a little bit later. 

The good part about Crashplan is that you can also select attached drives to be backed up at no additional cost. 

Crashplan File Selection

 Hey, buddy, you back me up?

One of the things that make Crashplan unique is its peer-to-peer backup ability. That will allow you to backup anything – obviously encrypted – on a friend’s computer if she also installs a Crashplan client and is willing to dedicate some space on her hard drive for your beloved movie collection. 

And the best part of it – it’s completely free! So technically, you can get a free off-site backup for a phone call to a friend or colleague. We particularly like this feature as it adds another layer of security on top of the online backup part of the client. 

Crashplan back up to a friend

Backup to another machine 

Crashplan wouldn’t do its name justice if there wasn’t another layer of backups that you could add to your already backed up files. We like the extra options, however, most users will think: “Why do I need so many backups?“. Well, because it’s better to be safe than sorry. In our experience, at least one backup will fail any time soon.

You can select a computer that is in your network or under your control to backup your files or just choose a folder on an external hard drive to move your backup onto that drive. 

You’ve got a backup!

When your backup is finished you can get a notification via Email or via Twitter which is a nice addition we haven’t seen elsewhere. Especially, if you’re paranoid about backups you cannot live without a notification feature for on-the-go updates.

Crashplan Twitter Updates

Speed up your backups with seeded backup

If you’ve made a backup over the internet before you know that transferring hundreds of gigabytes of data can take a while, sometimes weeks to finish. If you don’t want to wait that long Crashplan offers something called “seeded backups”. 

You simply order an external hard drive which they send to you. Then, you can use their client to backup your data with Firewire and set that hard drive backup to Crashplan. They’ll take care of the rest. So, instead of waiting for weeks or possibly months you can have everything up and running in a couple of days. 

Keep in mind, however, that this service cost $124.99 and is only available in the US. 

Security

90% – Excellent

Is your data really safe with Crashplan?

To us, security is of great importance when we review new online backup services. Nobody should be able to look into your data, not even employees of the company. Crashplan offers a variety of security features depending on the plan you choose and how far you want to go. 

Crashplan Security

The first level of security is your password that you use to access your client. However, as we’ve seen Crashplan is content with rather weak passwords so this can’t be your only layer of security. 

The second level is a local encryption before your files are being sent to their servers. You can set your own private key to encrypt your data with either a 128-bit (Crashplan) or a 448-bit Blowfish (Crashplan+) security mechanism. Beware though: if you shall ever lose that key, you’re never getting your data back. Not even Crashplan employees can help you with it. 

Then, your files are being transferred with a 128-bit SSL communication encryption keeping strangers from spying on you. 

Even though be believe that Crashplan has done a pretty good job of ensuring your data safety, it might make sense to encrypt your hard drive with TrueCrypt (Windows) or FileVault (Mac). But it is certainly not necessary to make this extra step, unless your data is highly sensitive. 

Crashplan Blowfish encryption

Features, Extras & Mobile

85% – Very Good

Features and Extras

Crashplan is certainly aiming to make online backup as easy as possible while still offering many advanced features for power users. As with all “two birds with one stone” solutions this is very hard to achieve. That’s why we’d put Crashplan more into the advanced category because getting to your first backup is not as intuitive as with other providers such as Backblaze. 

If you like, however, to dig a little deeper into the preference menu you’ll find a great set of features to fully customize your backup experience. Keep in mind that Crashplan is a backup only provider so there is no way to sync or share data as you might know it from Dropbox or other syncing services.

Let’s throttle it!

Backup throttling can be extremely useful if you are behind a slow internet connection or if you have an older computer. For most users bandwidth throttling might be the most important part. You can even specify your bandwidth depending on what kind of connection your currently using (WAN or LAN). 

Crashplan Bandwidth Throttle

Crashplan goes beyond mere bandwidth throttling: you can define CPU usage for both when the user is using the computer or when he is away. 

Schedule your backups

Initially, Crashplan will run continuously in the background so you don’t have to worry about your files being backed up. If you like, however, you can set your backups between specific times of the day. 

Schedule your backup while you are at the office

That can be convenient if you only want to backup your files while you’re at the office. So you could go ahead and schedule your backups from Mondays to Fridays from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM and when you’re at home your backup is ready. 

Like to dig a little deeper?

There is even more to discover when you’re willing to dig a little deeper. In the “Advanced Settings” you can select if you want your data to be compressed and if you’d like to use data de-duplication both of which settings will reduce the file size and thus speed up your backups quite a bit. 

Also, you’ll have great control over your backup frequency: how many new versions do you want Crashplan to upload? Every hour? Every 15 minutes? Every minute? You can have it all setup in the “Frequency and Versioning” pane. 

Very important: make sure the slider “Remove deleted files” is on “never“. That way even if you delete files from your PC or Mac they still remain in the Crashplan cloud.

Crashplan File Versioning

Access your files on your mobile device

Crashplan Mobile

Knowing what consumers want is one of Crashplan’s strong suits. Their mobile app for Android, iOS and Windows Phone allows your to access your backed up files when ever you need them. Forgot the presentation for your business meeting at home? No worries, just send it to your Email via Crashplan and there you have it. 

We have used this feature many times and couldn’t live without it. The mobile client is very solid and runs quite smoothly on our iOS devices. The file search feature could be a little faster if you need your files quick. 

Crashplan is one of the few online backup providers that offer a native app for mobile devices where others merely give you a web client that is optimized for mobile.

Restoring files

85% – Very Good

Had a crash? – Get your files back!

What’s the best backup worth if the restore doesn’t work properly? You’re right. Nothing. That’s why we always test the restore process of the providers we review here. If you decide to go for an online backup service always make sure to set a schedule for restore testing purposes, say, once a month or quarterly even if your machine is running properly. That way you know that your data is safe. 

Crashplan File Restore

 Restoring files is as easy as backing them up. All you have to do is switch to the “Restore” tab that shows you a file tree of all your backed up data. Now you can go ahead and restore files by searching for a name or specific extension, like .jpg. 

You can choose any location you want to restore your files, even an external hard drive. If you have a backup from other destinations than Crashplan Central then you can switch those around as well. 

If you have a current local backup made with Crashplan the restore process will be faster than going over the cloud. Obviously, restoring your files from the software is not the only option: if you happen to be in a hurry or if you’re just not at your computer you can access Crashplan’s web client and browser/restore your files directly from your browser. 

 

Final Verdict

Deal or no deal? We say: deal!

Crashplan is one of our favorite online backup services. It is fairly easy to use (though not completely hands-off) but offers a huge variety of feature that allow you to customize your backup strategy. 


  • Unlimited online backup and storage
  •  Unlimited file size 
  •  Great control over your backups
  • Triple redundancy, including rare features like free peer-to-peer backups
  • No sharing or syncing features
  • No integration into Windows Explorer 
  • If you’re out the US backups can be slow

Overall, there is very little bad to say about . If you’re looking for an online backup solution for yourself and if you’re not completely illiterate when it comes to computer, you should give it a try. 

If you’re looking for a backup solution for somebody else, probably Backblaze is the better alternative as it is easier to use,

Alternatives for Crashplan

Features

Crashplan Features
www.crashplan.com
Free Storage
Free Trial30 Days
System
  • windows
  • mac
  • linux
PriceStarts from $ 5.99 per month
Mobile Access
Mobile Apps
  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Android
  • WindowsPhone
Syncronisation
Free External HD Backup
Continuous Backup
Incremental Backup
Backup Scheduling
Bare Metal Backup
Exclude File Extensions for Backup
Network Drives
Bandwidth throttling
Web Access
HIPAA Compliant
File Size LimitUnlimited GB
Included Machines1
File Sharing
Multiple Accounts
Share Photo Albums
Music Streaming
Folder Collaboration
Outlook Backup
Local Encryption448-bit
Server Side Encryption256-bit
Keeps deleted filesUnlimited
File VersioningUnlimited

Crashplan Review

Unlimited online backup.

Decent backup speeds. Cross platform Java client. A near perfect balance between ease-of-use and features.
Starts from
$ 5.99 per month
Visit Crashplan

41 thoughts on “Crashplan”

  1. CrashPlan seems to do everything I need it to do. The ability to create multiple backup sets has been very useful to make sure my important files are backed up first. The filters for backup sets can be a bit confusing if you are trying to do something other than backing up all files with a specific extension, but there are examples on the forums to help with those instances.
    The interface quite easy to follow once you start using it. The only issue I have had with it is when I am trying to restore files backed up from another computer. When attempting to get a list of the other computer’s files it can take a really long time. The speed of the uploads seems slow to me but I have started backing up almost 50GB of pdfs on a rather slow connection. Luckily I also have my backup set to be stored on another local computer which went much faster (free version of the software allows this which is really nice).
    I am glad I went with the CrashPlan+ Family Unlimited backup because I have multiple computers that I need to backup. For a little more than twice the price of the single computer unlimited data plan, you can backup up to 10 computers!
    Overall the software is quite easy to use and for the price, definitely worth looking into.

    1. I agree with what others have said – the service works well, software is fairly simple, and this is great… if you don’t have much to upload.

      That said, their upload speeds are atrocious. You’re lucky to get 10 megabits/second on a good day, even if you have gigabit upload speeds. Backing up a large set of files can literally take months with CrashPlan.

      1. It speeds up a hell of a lot if you turn data-deduplication to a minimum on the advanced settings! My 7.5TB server was going to take months to do the initial backup, but that dropped to a week or so when I changed that setting! I don’t suppose Code42 would shout about that!

    1. Hi Ted,

      No, Crashplan does not support so called bare metal backups. So what you’d have to do first is create an image with some kind of software and then tell Crashplan to upload that. For the Mac you can use a program called SuperDuper.

  2. I’ve been using Crashplan for a little over a month now and can’t believe how easy and reliable it is. I like that you can backup not only to external hard drives, but to Crashplan’s servers as well. They also have a very cool (and free) feature where you can keep an encrypted backup on a friend’s computer offsite if you prefer to avoid cloud services– and this method is smart enough to let you backup locally to an external drive first, then take that drive to the friend’s house and attach it to their free version of Crashplan (so you avoid having to use up bandwidth if that’s a concern).

    Their Support folks have been super helpful and friendly in answering my questions, and both the PC/Mac and mobile versions are elegantly designed and easy to comprehend. If you backup to Crashplan’s servers, you have access to those files from your mobile device, and multiple historical versions of those files as well.

    For $60/yr for unlimited storage per PC, you really can’t go wrong. Excellent software and company!

  3. Can I access my files from another computer?

    I mean, if I travel, can I access my files from the hotel’s business center computer? Or must it be one of my computers?

    1. Hello Jaime,
      You can most definitely access the files from any computer (as long as you remember your username, password and the encryption key, if you have one).

      If you have a smartphone, you can use the iOS or Android app to quickly download it. If you’re on one of the computers on which your CrashPlan is installed and activated – you can use the software itself to restore any file.

      Coming to your main question, you can access any file online through a browser by using the “Web Restore feature” on the CrashPlan My Account Page. On the page, you can select either individual files or whole folders (which can downloaded as a zip file) to be downloaded. The only limitation using this feature is that each individual restore cannot be more than 500MB in size. You have to select your required files/folders and click on restore; after a few moments, it will provide you with a download link that is accessible for 24 hours.

      I understand your purpose, you might want to quickly have access to your files where ever you go. The problem is – while its possible, it might not be as quick as other cloud storage services like SugarSync, DropBox or Bitcasa; or for that matter the CrashPlan mobile apps themselves!

      CrashPlan being a backup service, its main priorities are backing up and restoring files, where it definitely excels – so instant access online is not one of its strong suits. But then, its definitely possible 🙂

    2. I used crashplan pro for several years and had all my computers backed up, paid for their premium plan but 2 of my computers were put off line for technical reasons, I did not know at the time but a hard drive crashed completely. They were offline for over 6 months so crash plan deleted my information (275GB) and that’s it irrecoverable. My contract did not decrease in cost they just deleted everything. So unless you intend to use it everyday I would recommend going elsewhere. It is loke renting a storage box for 3 years coming back a year into the contract and finding that they had emptied the bow and rented it out to someone else but continued charging you because younever visited your box….

  4. CashPlan has been struggling for a week with some of its servers at end of October 2013. The problem is still not resolved and backup are not possible.

    I am a paying user of CrashPlan with their “3 years unlimited plan”. Unfortunately (and regardless of their current technical issue) the bandwidth offered is extremely limited and while CrashPlan offers an “unlimited space” plan, it is very practically limited to small setup (looks like less than a Tb). There have been rumours of throttling but CrashPlan has always denied that fact. They might be simply using other techniques to limit the bandwidth thus they can deny the claim of throttling.

    In my personal setup, I have a backup set of currently (25 Oct 2013) 3.4Tb, which I started to backup on August 2nd at the time at 3.2Tb. CrashPlan is reporting weekly by email the progress of the backup and I have thus used it to calculate the average transfer speed each week since the backup started (in % completion, speed)

    week 1: (4%, 2 Mbps)
    week 2: (8%, 1.7Mbps)
    week 3: (11%, 1,.3Mbps)
    week 4: (15%, 1.6Mbps)
    week 5: (19%, 1.9Mbps)
    week 6: (23%, 1.8Mbps)
    week 7: (27%, 2.3Mbps)
    week 8: (31%, 1.8Mbps)
    week 9: (36%, 1.9Mbps)
    week 10: (39%, 1.4Mbps)
    week 11: (41%, 1.3Mbps)
    week 12: (44%, 0.9Mbps)

    As it can be seen, the backup started at a meagre 2Mbps (I am on optical fibre on my end so my internet connection is not the bottleneck) and it remained stable until reaching 30%, since then the throughput is consistently decreasing week after week. The last figure is of course much worse as CrashPlan was unable to backup for a number of days. Even ignoring this data point, the trend is very clear: CrashPlan might not be throttling users but they are surely using other means to reduce bandwidth, this echoes a number of other similar report.

    I’d be happy to provide the actual time series if any user or prospective user would like to have a better look. It factors for the size increase of the data set during the period.

    I have been in contact with their “Champion” in the past, providing extensive logs, but all they say is: it’s normal, everything is a-ok. So what I experience is what every CrashPlan user should expect: if your dataset is big your backup might come to a crawl…

    I have, maybe naively, put this comment on their Facebook page but it was removed. I guess they prefer to have only happy users telling about happy stories of their experience with CrashPlan. The fact is: 12 weeks ago CrashPlan was predicting my backup to end in about 4 months, 3 months later it tells me that I should expect another 6 months to complete. If other experience is right, this time is likely to continuously increase and I might never be able to complete my backup.

    Still I have paid and I will continue to monitor and to report back my experience. In the meantime I have completed a 2nd backup (my strategy being anyway in redundancy) with Amazon Glacier and the same amount of data was backed up in 3 months (it just finished).

    Bottom line: for prospective clients, be careful and think twice if you plan to backup large amount of data!

    1. Very interesting review Christian. I am currently doing the research into an online backup solution for about 3TB of data too. I have recently installed crashplan to try out. Have you had any luck since this reveiw? Would you recommend crashplane or have you found any others that will do the job better?

      1. I am also interested.
        What solution do you finally acquire Rowan?
        Christian, did it improve CrashPlan?

    1. Hi Vic,

      You can simply select your external hard drive in Crashplan’s backup client. Of course, it needs to be connected when you want to transfer files to the Crashplan cloud. Hope that helps.

  5. I’m looking into getting a Synology DS1513 to backup 5 computers at work, setup data pool sharing for them, and something like a dropbox folder. My only fear is that if the Synology DS1513+ malfunctions, I’m going to be in trouble. Is there a way to use crash plan to do the following

    1. Back up the entire Synology DS1513+ so that I can restore it in case it gets stolen or it breaks and I have to get another one.

    2. Someone might delete a file from the synology shared folder, can crash plan be used to restore any given file without having to restore the entire synology?

    Thanks in advance for your comments 🙂

    1. Hi Native,

      I use a Synology myself and until it hasn’t failed me. Yet sometimes it’s kinda slow. In theory you can do what you have described above. Crashplan allows backing up NAS devices as long as they are mounted. You can specify the file retention policy in the Crashplan client. So if a file gets deleted for how long Crashplan will retain it.

      Hope that helps.

  6. Their upload and download speed are very bad. Maximum upload speed 2 mbps, download speed 4 mbps…

  7. CrashPlan has failed me, big time! I have been paying for the unlimited service, and with a little help from the support staff, set up was relatively easy. However, even though I continued to get emails telling me I was 100% backed up, I was not. I found out the hard way.
    My hard drive crashed and when I went to recover my data, there were random folders and files missing. When I went to them, after 3 weeks of back and forth, they basically said “Oops, our system failed because you have so much data. You should have got warning emails (I didn’t) We’ll refund you for the last year.” that was it!

    *Still waiting for a refund, and they just charged me for this month!

  8. Does Crashplan delete your backed up files from an external hard drive from the cloud if it is disconnected?

    1. Hi,
      Crashplan never deletes your files. Just make sure to set it right in the preferences to “Never”, so it really won’t distinguish between deleted files or disconnected hard drives.

  9. Had a subscription to CrashPlan and performed the initial back-up and scheduled subsequent back-ups at regular intervals. When I went to restore them after my hard drive failed last month, CrashPlan claimed I had never backed up my files. My guess is their system had a hiccup and lost my data but since I didn’t screen cap the process, and I move my emails to my hard drive after I open them, I have no proof. So my suggestion is go with someone else if its data you really can’t afford to lose.

  10. In spite of the fact that I get e-mails at frequent intervals assuring me that Crash plan has backed up my files, I was very disappointed to find when I tried to access my data that nothing had been backed up. Further, nothing had been backed up for more than a year and what was backed up was all the nonessential files. None of my actual data had been backed up. Was this a glithch in a system that normally operates well? Or an example of a serious flaw. I was saved, however!! It turned out I had engaged the parental control function of my computer which created two accounts. The new account was empty, but I had not actually lost my data. It was easily accessed with my parental control password. I panicked for a good week before I figured this out. This possiblilty never occurred to Crash Plan tech support. They were very “Oh, well” about the fact that they had only backed up a small portion of my total files. And they had no explanation of why this occurred. I will give another try, but will constantly check out if my data is really available and not take it for granted.

  11. Crashplan is fundamentally flawed as a cloud backup solution. In the advent of a computer crash, you are just as likely to lose all your data as be able to recover it with crash plan. It is sad really, because for the first 15 days of testing it looked so good. Then I read the amazon.com reviews and decided to see just how good it is…

    Here is a simple test you can perform.
    1. Backup lots of data. Say a couple of hundred gigs. Make sure it all shows up for the cloud restore.
    2. Now delete a 32 GB folder on your disk. Let crashplan run for a few days. You should see the folder you deleted on disk is still available for restore.
    3. Now uninstall crashplan. (You don’t have to purge the AppData for this test, but if crashplan fixes this bug, that would be my next test.)
    4. Reboot and then reinstall crashplan. At first you will probably see all your data available for restore. Soon though everything will disappear as crashplan syncs. Do not worry it will reappear. You may even have the opportunity to backup some more data.
    5. Now leave everything running and go to bed. When you get up in the morning, your restores will just be empty folder. Again don’t worry, your storage on the server has not changed.
    6. Run the backups. The backups will run very quickly, as they only need to relink to the data on the server, not re-upload everything…
    7. Walla, everything is available for restore, or is it? Look for the 32 GB folder you deleted a few days ago… It will be missing.

    So even on a simple reinstall, crashplan can only restore files you already have, unless you do the sequence of operations just right.

    There are many more failure modes. The basic problem is crashplan will automatically delete items that are not selected for backup from your restore. If you don’t have the files, in a recovery scenario they will be deleted. Your only hope to restore is start the restore before crashplan decides to delete the files, and hope they don’t get deleted before your restore is complete…

    Now, it turns out you won’t have this problem if you completely replace your PC, provided you don’t make the mistake of pressing the adopt button before the restore is complete. But that does mean if you have a large amount of data, you can’t begin backing up again until your restore is complete. For an 8TB drive, that might take over a year…

    1. Way to fix this flaw is fairly obvious. They want the autodelete to limit excessive unneeded storage, so they clearly are not going to remove that feature…

      However, instead of instantly deleting a folder or file when it is detected as deselected add it to a pending to delete list. The user can then have a reasonable period, say 30 days, to remove the folder or file from the list before it is actually deleted. Then crashplan can still delete unneeded data from their server, but not cause users to lose all their data when attempting to restore.

      I see reports on this type issue as far back as 2010. Code42 knows this is a problem exists, but is either incapable, or unwilling to implement a solution.

    2. I think that this happens if you adopt the old computer. If you actually need to restore old data in this way, do NOT adopt the computer. Let it think it is a new computer, and then restore.

      I had a computer that died. The drive was encrypted with Bitlocker, and for some reason other computers will not recognize the drive at all. So I would have lost a terabyte of data, but I recovered it all by restoring from CrashPlan. I did this without ever adopting the old computer. Once I was done, I adopted the old computer with a new laptop, and pretty much immediately the old stuff disappeared.

      It should definitely not work this way, and code42 should fix this as soon as possible, but as long as you avoid adopting you can recover your old files.

  12. I don’t really feel like this is 5 star, but after tech-supports excellent responses, I feel like my previous review was too harsh. So I am giving 5 stars in the categories I would like to raise in my previous review.

    1. OK this should raise it back to the right average. Basically what I learned my uninstall/reinstall test showed me is crashplan’s installer is badly broken. It leads to corrupt cache files and such. In the end that is a horribly bad problem, in that users are of course going to trying and fix those things themselves. They are just as likely to accidentally erase all there data as restore it in their attempts. Hence the really bad reviews on amazon.com of people losing data.

      However, if one happens to contact technical support first, they can walk you through the steps to fix things and avoid this happening. So the software, I’m still rating as 3 stars. Not the best, not the worse. It can do the right thing, but it takes some manual intervention… In my scenario no data was lost, because I was wise enough not to mess around with settings I already knew caused data loss from my previous experiments. Other people who are more trusting and don’t carefully test their software, can and probably do lose data.

      I will probably to a full system replacement test next. I have an old laptop, and I can pretend like that is a new computer to replace a dead one. The think I keep in mind is I don’t expect 100% reliability from crashplan. It is part of a multi-backup strategy. I have my local backups which normally is all I need. If those have a 95% reliability, and crashplan has a 95% reliability, then I’ll have a 99.75% chance of recovering my data.

      What has me hesitant now about buying this product, is I know the current set of bugs I’ve uncovered and how to work around those. However, by the time I need to restore, it will probably be a new version of the software. If I hit similar, but different issues then, I might only have a 50% chance of data recovery.

  13. I figured I’d just keep this factual. I paid the $60.00 for a single user license. I downloaded the software onto my computer. It wouldn’t even load. I have never had this problem before. I then called customer service and waited for 15 minutes before someone answered the phone. The technical customer service representative told me they would have to get a technician. No technicians were available and I was told to fill out a ticket. I had literally purchased the software not more than 30 minutes ago. After realizing that I was going to have to fill out a ticket for a piece of software that had been purchased not more than 30 minutes ago I asked the representative to cancel my subscription. He was very nice about it. We will see if I actually get my $60.00 back. I’ll update this review when I actually get my money refunded. In the meantime, be prepared to spend a significant of your time getting this to work. I would download the free trial. If it does not install easily then simply move on and look at something else such as Dropbox. I have never had any issues with Dropbox the entire time I have used it. Best of luck to the company, but my recommendation is to be wary of purchasing this product.

  14. I’ve been using CrashPlan for about three years now. No real problem with it. I’ve never needed to restore more than one or two files at a time and that went smoothly.

  15. I’ve been using Crashplan for a while now and it appeared to be working OK-ish. A little slow but I have 1.7Tb data to back up on my main Mac.

    However, about a week ago, my little menubar icon was grey, rather than the normal green (meaning its working). Grey isn’t good. I also started getting emails from Crashplan stating nothing had been backed up for 2 days, 3 days, 4 …

    Opened a support request with Code42/Crashplan. They got back with an email suggesting a fix AND CLOSED THE TICKET. Without any consultation with me. Subsequent updates from me, saying I’d tried their fix and it hadn’t worked, have gone completely unanswered. Nothing. Meanwhile its now day 8 without ANY backup from Crashplan. Although I do have a red icon now and a yellow one before that but no green = no backup.

    One further point that isn’t particularly clear, Crashplan will NOT EVER backup system files. In other words, no OS files are backed up. If you ever need to restore a whole machine you’ll have to get the OS installed first THEN restore the rest from Crashplan.

    1. “You wil have to reinstall the os first” lol.. yeah how else is that gong to work? How will you run crashplan without an os? If you need an image of your harddisk, just make one and back it up with crashplan.

  16. Very disappointed with telephone support. Telephone support is only available Monday – Friday 9 to 5 pm. Therefore, if you need telephone support you have to take time off from work.

    So you leave work early and try to call. You wait get put on an endless hold loop that every 20 seconds reminds you that you can get help by submitting your question through email. Problem with that is sometimes you really need to talk with someone versus get a canned email response to a typical problem there customers experience.

    The first time I left work waited 35 minutes for someone to answer the phone and I was told that no one was available from tech support and they would call me back the next day. I told them I would leave work early please call me after 4pm local time. I never received a call.

    Late the next day, I received an email telling me that they don’t schedule calls because they can’t guarantee someone will be able to call at a certain time.

    I called again a couple of days later, and was put on the endless hold loop again. It took 20 minutes before someone picked up and told me that they would connect me to tech support. Put on hold for tech support person, sat on hold loop for 15 minutes and then they hung up on me.

    If my hard drive hadn’t have crashed, and I didn’t need the information I have been paying them to hold on to, I would leave them in a second.

  17. I recently subscribed to backup package, I am happy but one thing that I don’t like is its App very much old fashioned with very less facilities. Its structure is just like backing up on a hard drive click on the ‘Restore’ just a tree list not giving any options to list files & folders in a nice & different formats. Its download facility either a single or multiple files is way out of fashion. It doesn’t matter which package you subscribe but app must be up to the standard for all users. Yes, just like others you can add couple of £s extra to let someone down load a better app which can facilitate a user in a better way do I not know once app designed it stays there for ever but can be improved as time passes. There should be a download tab and once clicked, let you choose you the place where to save that download on your computer. Just like others, there is no sync folder where someone can temporarily add files to down load from any other computer through login. Well, it is not the money that counts but app layout and highlights, good but not that good enough to enjoy that is my findings.

  18. June 11, 2016: Thanks for the review. Despite some problems reported by commentators, I’m going to try Crashplan (terrible name! – where were the marketing people?) My heavy-duty archives (pix, movies, music) are already clear-copied to disks and stored offsite. All I need is continuous backup of current work in case my house is robbed or my computer blows up. That’s less than 100 gigs in fewer than 50k files. I don’t expect useful tech support from any software company anymore, so that’s not an issue. The price is good, and if it works at least as well as Carbonite (which I am not renewing), I’ll be happy. I will do test backups and restores on the trial version before I sign up and pay.

  19. Hi there,

    I have multiple external hard drives (more than a dozen) which i would like to backup in a cloud system. Do i have to have them ALL plugged in at all times in order to have a back up or can i simply upload one HD after another and only plug them into my system if i’ve modified that HD?

    The external hard drives are only backups of older projects and i don’t really need to access them on a regular basis. Its more in case a customer requires them in the future. In this case i couldn’t just plug in the HD, upload it’s content, and move on to another HD?

  20. A very interesting feature I’ve not seen with other similar apps is to backup from different machines and this includes a virtual machine!
    CrashPlan runs also on Linux, so you can install CrashPlan inside a VM (eg. VmWare), add the paths you need to backup (eg. system settings, PHP settings, server settings etc) and select as a target the host computers name which is displayed as a target computer).
    Now you can backup the files from your Linux running inside the VM to the host.
    This saves a lot space because it doesn’t need to backup the complete virtual disks and the same time the files are also available on the host which can be sometimes very useful. Great!

    The idea of this feature is to backup different computers in the same network to a dedicated backup computer/server without the needs to work with network path mappings or virtual networks drives etc. The data is directly transported between the different CrashPlan installations.
    This works also with NAS in both directions because most/all NAS servers running Linux and so CrashPlan is supported.

    There is a lot good stuff with CrashPlan but also some cons:
    – a file from the archive cannot be directly opened/viewed it must at first restored

    – CrashPlan is working with a unique id which will be used as the folder name where the backup is stored. After a re-installation of CrashPlan this id was changed, so CrashPlan creates a new folder with a different id.. to tell CrashPlan that this are the same archives this old folder must be opened and CrashPlan is chaining this both folders… you get the picture. This ID thing is IMO a bad idea and makes things more complicated

    Performance is ok, also the upload to the cloud. Because of the used compression the values are often not the real values and higher but the lowest upload speed was near my real available upload speed.
    The backup speed can be very different because if the app is running in the background it’s only using some percent of the CPU.. this settings can be changed.. if not, the default CPU usage is set very low so the backup needs a lot longer than expected.

  21. I’ve had a terrible experience with CrashPlan. In May 2016, all of a sudden and for no apparent reason the app could not connect with the server. Support (by email) instructed me to uninstall and reinstall. Could not uninstall following any of CrashPlan’s uninstall methods because Mac permissions would not allow it (“permission denied” error message). Support told me they could not help, that I had to contact Apple. Apple could not figure out how to uninstall it, either. Months went by with no backup, then in October I get a message from CrashPlan saying I had to backup soon or else my data would be deleted from the server, as they require a backup at least once every six months. Well, the nerve! Here I’ve been paying for a service that does not work for 5 months and I receive a message like this. Finally, back to the challenge of how to remove CrashPlan from my computer once and for all. After hours and even days of trying, was only able to do it via Terminal, following advice from Larry Aasen on http://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/121623/how-do-i-remove-crashplan-from-my-mac. DO NOT RECOMMEND

  22. I am a long-time Acronis TrueImage, EASEUS To-Do, Mozy, and Windows OS backup user. I back up my home PCs on a local drive. While CrashPlan works Ok, I find the interface confusing. I learned by trial and error that the scheduled backup times should be taken literally. It will start backing up at the start time and stop at the finish time – whether it has finished backing up all the files are not. Initially, I thought that it would start a backup sometime during the start and stop window and keep going until it finished – even past the stop time. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but they need to make this more obvious.

    Also, I use local computers for backup. Preventing CrashPlan from uploading to the cloud is VERY frustrating. But, lo and behold, buried under the “enable backup sets” button is the place where online backups can be disabled. I’m sure the marketing department determined the location of this feature, because it took some digging to find.

    CrashPlan will not back up an image of a client, so complete system recovery is not available. It’s not the end of the world, but saving backup images saves a lot of time when restoring a failed computer, not just a few files.

    Finally, there is no backup search feature. If you are looking for that one folder that you accidentally deleted last week, you must manually dig for it – a royal pain when you have terabytes of backed up photos, documents, etc.

    All in all, if I just installed Crashplan and let it go, it would work fine for most purposes. However, CrashPlan their cloud storage, which, admittedly, is very reasonably priced. (I thank Crashplan for letting people like me back up to local systems for free.) I would rank it number one among the backup software that I have used recently, if CrashPlan had an option to save drive images, add search, and clean up the user interface.

  23. I had a serious problem with CrashPlan recently when an external drive suddenly failed. Restoration from CrashPlan Central (their cloud) was easy, but the last two months of data wasn’t there. I had not allocated enough memory, and all backups for the last two months had failed with no warning—all their email notices said 90% to 100% complete. I increased the memory allocation, but the lost data could not be recovered (though I was able to rebuild most of it). I would give CrashPlan 4 stars for performance, 2 for the user interface, average 3.

  24. Hello Mauricio/everybody, thanks for sharing this information online. Indeed; very useful.

    I contacted Crashplan with some question about the “Individual” unlimited” plan, for one computer (US$59,99), but had no answers yet.
    Maybe you can help me:

    1. Can I subscribe being in Portugal (Europe)? Even expecting slow speeds?
    (maybe this sound strange but some unlimited services work only in the US)

    2. I´ve “Work done” kind of files (Will not edit those anymore) stored in external hard drives that I just want to backup online. If I delete those files from my hard drive (internal or external to the Mac); my uploaded stored files remain in the cloud to download one day? Or its a “mirror” process that always need the original files and my hard drives connected to my Mac from time to time?

    3. I´ve other “Work-in-progress” kind of files from projects I´m working on. The sync and versioning features are available in Crashplan? Or I have to close the projects first and backup to the cloud?

    4. Is there any limit of file sizes for upload or download?
    I had read something like this: “File Type Restrictions? No, but restoration over 250 MB via desktop only”; that I didn´t understand. Is this outdated information or there´s some limitations downloading our files?

    5. I´m using a Mac OS system with the usual Desktop Publishing, Photography, Video, Vectorial, programs and file formats. Any known file format retrictions using CrashPlan?

    6. To download a file or folder is easy and direct as to upload without the need for a unzip app or other time consuming processes?

    Sorry for so many questions.
    Thanks in Advance for all your help and opinions.
    Best regards.

  25. Check out Cloudberry.
    i’m not connected with them, other than being a customer for 3 years. Main con is that you have to learn a few things about S3 or Azure etc because Cloudberry uses the cloud of your choice for storage. Cloudberry is reasonable one time fee. S3 costs me a bout 25$/month for about 1tb of storage. Not ‘free” but much cheaper than the easy to use Barracuda. I also started using CB’s Office 365 cloud backup. Much cheaper than competion and fine for my needs except it doesnt back up “exchange public folders” in office 365.

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Crashplan Review

Unlimited online backup.

Decent backup speeds. Cross platform Java client. A near perfect balance between ease-of-use and features.
Starts from
$ 5.99 per month
Visit Crashplan
Starts from
$ 5.99 per month
Visit Crashplan
  • Free local backups
  • Seeded backup
  • Mobile access via apps
  • Windows, Mac & Linux
  • A lot of options
  • No sharing or syncing
  • Slow backups when outside of the US
www.crashplan.com