Overall Rating 84%Very Good
Features
80%Good
Speed and Performance
95%Excellent
Online Backup
90%Excellent
Security
90%Excellent
File Restoration
80%Good
Mobile Access
65%Decent
Web Access
90%Excellent
Support
85%Very Good

CrashPlan Overview

Our CrashPlan Video Review 2017

Crashplan Review 2016 | THE BEST CLOUD BACKUP?!

A service that was developed by Code42 back in the year 2007, CrashPlan is one of the oldest and most established cloud backup services in the market today.

CrashPlan is part of Code42’s main product that comes in a variety of shades:

  • CrashPlan
  • CrashPlanPRO
  • CrashPlan Enterprise

They’ve been in the backup and storage business for quite some time now, starting in 2001 as a software development firm that quickly dived into becoming a data storage and backup provider for home and business users.

With plans costing as little as $6 per month, it’s accessible to just about everyone. 

CrashPlan is fast, easy-to-use and even easier to install. Besides offering backup, the service also offers local backup.

However, it’s not all good news: there are a few downsides to this service as well, which we’ll talk about in more detail below.

 

CrashPlan’s Audience

The company’s services and features serve an audience of both home users and business people.

To cater to different types of consumers, CrashPlan offers a wide range of plans and deciding which one will work best for you may feel a little overwhelming.

However, most individuals will be able to find the perfect plan, and some of them will be free, to boot.

Additionally, CrashPlan’s unlimited backup capability makes it great for businesses that want to protect themselves against data loss.

Strengths & Weaknesses

Plans and Pricing

CrashPlan’s pricing is not as straightforward as that of Carbonite or pCloud.

Code42 reserves the right to agree on business plans on a case-by-case basis, so the only hard figures available are for personal plans.

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.

For most, the standard individual plan is the right choice.

If you have more than one computer, look at the family plan to save some money. Business users will enjoy more control and an excellent backup dashboard of all machines and current system states.

Features

80% – Good

CrashPlan comes in three different packages, and not all of them sport the same features.

One of the biggest differences is that the home package comes with 448-bit encryption, while the business package comes with AES-256 encryption, a more secure option for sensitive data.

Although the service predominantly markets itself as an online backup application, CrashPlan can also backup external drives and devices connected to the same account, including tablets and smartphones.

This extra feature is complimentary and adds a great deal of protection against network related data loss.

The actual backup space offered is unlimited on any but the basic plan, a bold claim that seems to bear out. CrashPlan can schedule backups and even lets users decide how to prioritize them, so critical data is almost certain to be secure.

Restoring backups is not only quick and easy, but since CrashPlan lets you keep an unlimited amount of versions of files, rest assured that your data is safe from those pesky meddling kids.

Last but not least, CrashPlan also allows users to track all backups connected to an account and cover their digital tracks by disabling history.

Speed and Performance

95% – Excellent

The first step was testing CrashPlan’s speeds.

So I ran the Internet speed test kit and found out that although our speeds were low compared to previous sessions, they were still sufficient and stable enough for uninterrupted data uploads.

I initiated my backup of data at exactly 9.34AM.

Honestly, I expected it to take as long as Carbonite’s 12 hours, but amazingly, my entire local disk had been backed up by 11.07 AM- in just 1 hour 27 minutes.

That translates to an average upload speed of 57.6 Mbps.

Pretty smooth for a cloud backup application.

I then tried to backup Cloudward’s 10GB test folder, just to see how CrashPlan compares with the rest. Oddly enough, it took 2 hours and 22 minutes to backup the folder, translating to an average upload speed of 8.82 Mbit/s.

Online Backup

90% – Excellent

One of the best features of CrashPlan is its ability to move files around using a central hub: it’s very easy to, say, move a file from your phone to the computer and then on to a friend’s tablet, using CrashPlan’s client.

Any computer can be backed up using your CrashPlan account as long as you install the client and use a unique six-digit code.

It’s handy for personal use but truly shines when used for business purposes.

Though CrashPlan is a backup app, through their handy P2P feature, it can also be used for secure online collaboration as all files get kept in a central hub, and thanks to versioning, anyone can easily see changes made.

Few cloud backup providers offer a proper sharing function, and technically, neither does CrashPlan.

Security

90% – Excellent

CrashPlan has excellent security, though it scales the more you pay: the free plan, for instance, comes with 128-bit encryption, while paid personal subscriptions to the Pro plans have 448-bit Blowfish, a much more robust solution.

Business plans get protected by AES 256-bit and 128-AES communication encryption systems, which are considered among the best when protecting large files. The only downside to AES however, is that it gets often targeted by hackers.

CrashPlan encrypts data at the local level before sending it securely through SSL.

One major security concern for anyone using cloud services is government policy, CrashPlan is fully compliant with data management and privacy laws in the:

  • U.S.
  • Ireland
  • Australia
  • Japan

Where its servers are located, unfortunately, users don’t get to choose where their data is stored, as CrashPlan reserves the right to transfer data to the nearest server.

The recent Safe Harbor ruling, which scrapped appropriate policies governing data transfer between EU countries and the U.S., means that your data may not always be safe from NSA surveillance.

File Restoration

80% – Good

Of all the different applications it offers, CrashPlan’s PC client works the best for file restoration.

Once backed up, files are easily restored using the “restore” tab going through a Windows-style file tree. The system works great and users are not likely to encounter any problems.

Scrolling through, you’ll notice a couple of buttons at the bottom of the page, which provide additional restoration options. Users can pick specific file versions, a new folder to restore data to or they can even overwrite and rename files.

There is also a handy tool available which lets you pick which version of a file you’d like. Once you’ve decided which files to restore by checking the appropriate boxes, hit the “Restore” button and the download will start.

Though slightly more cumbersome, restoring through the web application works much the same way, users are however limited to 500MB of data at a time on the Home plan and 250 MB on Pro.

Mobile Access

65% – Decent

CrashPlan’s mobile applications are available for:

  • Android
  • iOS
  • Windows Phone

Once users sign in to the app, they can view and download any backed up files. Just like with the PC client, all files are accessed through a folder tree, though the search function is missing.

A downside is that CrashPlan’s mobile applications only offer remote access to existing backups.

Unlike IDrive and Carbonite, users don’t have the option to backup files, photos, contacts and social media accounts from their smart phones.

CrashPlan does, however, offer the option to stream media files from a phone or tablet, meaning your local storage needn’t be filled up with videos and music.

Web Access

90% – Excellent

CrashPlan’s web application may not win any design awards, but it’s very straightforward and intuitive. Finding your way around and exploring file options is very quick and direct.

Via web access, you can download zipped folders of backups and manage:

  • Devices
  • Account/Billing preferences
  • Friends
  • File destinations

The web app might look a little too simply designed and limited at first, but logging in gives you an accurate picture of what it’s capabilities.

In the Account tab, users can edit critical account and profile information, view time remaining on active subscriptions, manage subscription renewals, and edit billing information.

To view and manage backups, go to the Computers tab, from where you can see and manage files to restore, CrashPlan’s backup history, the percentage of selected files that are currently backed up, plus the total number and size of files already backing up.

Sadly, although users can restore files through the web app, it’s practically impossible to backup computers connected to an account.

Backups can only be conducted through the PC application.

CrashPlan’s web application also provides a calendar, which comes in handy when tracking files backed up during a certain period.

I was able to use it to find past file versions, which would otherwise have taken me a couple of minutes of digging through my folder tree.

This feature is quite useful, because CrashPlan, unfortunately, does not provide a much-needed search tool on their web application.

I wonder how they forgot about that.

Support

85% – Very Good

In addition to a comprehensive knowledge base, user forums, and documentation, CrashPlan allows users (including the free tier ones), to submit tickets on various questions through the main site, and they will subsequently respond via email.

Staff took about 18 hours to answer my ticket, which is rather slow, but then again, I assume they’re already dealing with thousands of requests on a daily basis.

If you’d like queries solved faster, my advice would be using the online chat option– though it’s only available during certain hours.

Alternatively, paid users can directly call Code42’s on any working day between 9 am and 5 pm US Central Time. As a matter of fact, it’s completely free of charge for domestic callers.

After paying a year’s worth of subscription, CrashPlan will refund any unused months if you decide to discontinue a subscription early.

This is a plus for Code42, especially when compared to Carbonite, which is still facing many complaints on pending refunds — going by our readers’ experiences and reviews.

For the period I was testing out their services, I was glad that CrashPlan did not spam my mailbox with unsolicited promotional material.

As a matter of fact, during sign-up, the service indicated that it would keep my email address private, and safe from spammers. I like my mailbox clean, thanks.

Final Verdict

Although CrashPlan’s free tier is useful for primary backups, I’d advise you proceed and subscribe to the Pro plan, which provides secure, unlimited storage with a high degree of control.

The Family Plan is even better, thanks to additional features at a significantly reduced cost, consequently making it worthwhile. As an individual, finding a couple of friends and family members to split the cost shouldn’t be hard, considering the bargain.

That plan will also be ideal for businesses, although the small business plan is more suitable, considering AES encryption, which is perfect for large volumes of data.

CrashPlan’s biggest downsides are a lack of file sharing and syncing features (which cannot be mitigated through SharePlan anymore), and lack of free backup options, which I think can be overlooked if you find ways of backing up files to the PC.

Regardless of whether you choose to go with CrashPlan or any of its competitors, it’s always advisable to backup data on physical drives before proceeding to the cloud.

The cloud is useful as a secondary backup option, particularly for businesses, where downtime may be as long as the cloud restoration process in case of a disaster.

What are your thoughts on CrashPlan? Share them with us in the comments section below,

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

51 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 🙂

      1. I’m confused about this 500MB.

        So, let’s say, you backup 1TB of stuff (if that’s even realistic with normal user upload speeds). Then your disk crashes. Do you have to restore it 500MB at a time?

    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?

    2. Hi Christian, thank you for your very detailed and thorough analysis. It reflects my own experience rather precisely. How do you get Crashplan to report weekly? It’s taken almost 4 months so far to (not) back up my 3TB; still has a week to go. I’m also on fibre with no throttling – I upgraded to a very expensive unlimited, unthrottled un-everything(!) package to get this data up there – but although it has the occasional little spurt (after a change a setting or location), it soon slows to a crawl. I agree with you, Crashplan may not be throttling, but they’re certainly managing to slow it down somehow. I’d like to know what it’s like for big businesses; I’m told Apple and Adobe use them, and I doubt very much they’re not putting up with these slow speeds. Very disappointing indeed.

    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.

      1. CrashPlan deleted all my files without even asking me, even though I had an active CrashPlan subscription (2 years) at the time they deleted all my files. They said they had emailed me several emails – well, yeah, all the time. But none of those emails said anything other than “0” (zero) activity had occurred. I am extremely disappointed with this service. They would not even try to work with me to deal with the change in Internet services in CA that I experienced after moving.

  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.

    3. This is shockingly bad. If your data is stored off your computer (e.g. on extremal hard disks) and you change computers whether due to a computer fault or an upgrade, it’s a nightmare; if you ‘adopt’ the new computer IT DELETES ALL THE DATA YOU’VE BACKED UP PREVIOUSLY AND STARTS A WHOLE NEW BACKUP!!

  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.

    1. 1. Yes, European countries can subscribe too. Speed isn’t necessarily slower, but it’s not fast to begin with. Don’t expect more than 300 KByte/s (2400 KBit/s).

      2. No longer existing files will be kept until the next pruning occurs (~30 days). It’s not supposed to archive all your files, but back them up them from the source. So basically: if you don’t restore lost files, they will be lost permanently sooner or later.

      3. Yes, all CrashPlan plans offer file versioning. And no, files will be uploaded in the background automatically. No need to take care of that on your own.

      4. I didn’t encounter any yet (my biggest was about 8 GB). It’s not possible to backup system files (C:/Windows/) and programs (C:/Program Files/). You can restore any file size, but the web(!) version (if you download a backup file using your browser) restricts the maximum file size. You need to use the desktop client (the native Java client) to restore bigger files or chunks of data.

      5. I’m not a Mac user, but other than system files and programs, there’s probably no limit.

      6. Yes. You can either restore to the original location or in a separate directory of your choice. You can also chose which version to restore, if there are more than one.

  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.

  26. Have tested Crashplan for almost a month now. I get an upload speed around 20-25MBit/s (My maximum upload speed is in theory 40MBit/s but “Speedtest” usually states around 30MBit/s). Hence, a really good upload speed which is nice given that I have 1.8TByte of data to backup, all of it being on an external USB hard drive. It has worked fine so far. I had a few questions regarding disconnecting and reconnecting my USB hard drive and e-mailed support. Got a response the next day with very helpful answers. So far a winner for me.

    1. I’m curious about your questions and their responses regarding disconnecting an external hard drive. Will they retain data if the drive remains disconnected for an extended period?

  27. The one thing that I am most interested in, I am not seeing listed anywhere on this page (but I read it somewhere else)

    If I delete a file from my HDD that I have backed up with crashplan, will that file be deleted from crashplan in 30 days, or will it remain indefinitely? 99.99999% of cloud backups will “mirror” your hard drive every 30 days and will delete files that you delete from your computer. Im looking for true cloud “storage” where I can free up some space on my local storage.

  28. Does your review reflect that CrashPlan discontinued it Restore to Door service?

    Which cloud backup service is best in case of a hard drive catastrophic failure and need to restore +600GB of files+?

    Which cloud backup service has the biggest file size limit?

  29. I think CrashPlan rather awful & a waste of money. CrashPlan cheerfully charged me an annual subscription of 60 dollars for two years but when I needed it, nothing was there. My computer’s hard drive folded and I looked quickly to what CrashPlan had. Having first turned the computer off for 24 hours CrashPlan had only 544 retrievable of 223 GB and those files were silly pieces of old dll’s. Gosh, that was such great news! I have a cloud drive myself & 2nd computer basically running in parallel so managed but what a complete waste of money and “imaginary back up” on my part. Carbonite had been even better than this though not a great solution. I find CrashPlan mostly a scam but am glad it works for some. I was appalled by the joke of support which simply sent back surveys “How Did We Do?” without ever answering the original query for help. Chat would fold, calls told me: “Maybe that’s in The Pro FAQ?” and then vansih. Also, to answer an earlier query: if you take out a file from your HDD, in addition to all woes, yes CrashPlan removes it from the nest. For me, it simply tossed the whole nest I suppose when it couldn’t read it. Sort of like paying for fire hazard insurance and then having it come and carefully burn all the house twice. NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART

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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
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