Crashplan – My Favorite Backup System

Yesterday I had an amazing customer service experience. My backup app’s status said “0GB completed” and I subsequently freaked out a bit. I’m using Crashplan and this was on a computer that’s been acting a bit tired lately. I immediately went to their website and (after looking in the help section) was able to chat with a live person. The most amazing part of this is that I didn’t even have to log in. It made no difference whether I was a paying customer or not, Crashplan wanted to help me with their software. Their free to use software with live chat support. Just thought I’d repeat that to let the awesome sink in.

Crashplan is an all-in-one backup service. You can keep your data safe in three ways: on the cloud, locally, and on your friends’ computers. Crashplan does it all, and on pretty much any OS you might run. The software encrypts all of your data before sending it anywhere, so no matter where you back up to, you know it’s secure. I don’t currently use the cloud service they offer, but only for a lack of desire for more monthly payments. I can definitely see myself using it in the future though. I’ve used the app for about four months now, and I’ve actually had to put it to use twice to fully recover my laptop. The Crashplan program is really simple to use for restoration. It keeps all files including old versions and even saves a copy of all deleted files. Never again will I lose a file! When you go to restore, the app lets you choose whether to put the file in its original location or save it to the desktop. You can also select any old version (of which it keeps many) and keep or change the file’s permissions.

My setup is based around the tower I built and its two hard drives. The 1.5TB extra drive I have is big enough for all the backups I need. Crashplan fully backs up three machines for me. My main tower and my laptop, which are both running Ubuntu Linux, as well as my wife Kenzie‘s Macbook. One of my favorite features of Crashplan is that it eliminates duplicate file storage behind the scenes.  If I have the same photo in two places on my computer, the app will show show the file twice just as you’d expect, but Crashplan knows that they’re made of the same data. It only saves these bits of info once, which cuts down massively on how much space your backups take up. It’s also extremely efficient at keeping old copies of files by only storing the changes that were made.

The only downside I can see to Crashplan is the reliance on the company itself. The service requires logging in, which means I’m relying on Crashplan staying active. Honestly I don’t see them going anywhere, especially because their corporate-level clients are ultra huge. However, I have to point it out because I’ve thought of it from time to time. Perhaps I should do a manual backup every month or so just to keep everything perfectly safe.

All in all I’d recommend the app (and the cloud service if you’re in the market for paid cloud storage) to anyone looking for an easy backup solution. It’s free and has saved me from one OS corruption and a hard drive failure in the short time I’ve used it. If you have any questions about my experience please feel free to ask.

I have no affiliation whatsoever with Crashplan or any associated company. I am simply sharing my experience with a service/application that I really like to use!

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