You’re looking for a data solution in the cloud and have somehow stumbled upon Crashplan. Now it’s time to find out if it’s the right service for your needs and what you can do with it. Crashplan offers many of the same functionalities as other storage services, so why do we speak so highly of them? Well, Crashplan is essentially a 3 in 1 service. You can use Crashplan completely free of charge to back up your data locally; for example to an external hard drive. Secondly, you can use Crashplan to back up your data to the ‘Crashplan Cloud’ which is a paid service. Lastly, you can actually store your data on a friend’s computer which will of course be encrypted for protection. By all definition of the term, it is a crash-plan. There are loads of other features that Crashplan provides while offering customers a user friendly experience and unmatched customer support, all at an extremely competitive price, which makes Crashplan a top cloud storage destination.
Crashplan offers a free 30 day trial which comes with some basic back up features. It is enough to back up essential files externally but you will need to upgrade to a paid plan for cloud storage space. They offer a restore option via web access which is a nice added bonus. You have the option for seeded back up. Want added security? Crashplan provides personalized private keys for encryption. There is a reason why so many businesses use Crashplan as their cloud storage option. Additionally, the family plan for individual users cannot be beat both on features offered and price point which we will get to later in this review. That said, here are a list of the main features Crashplan offers:
- Unlimited cloud storage space
- Unlimited file size uploads
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited file versioning
- Automatic, scheduled and/or selective backups
- Customizable status reporting
- Keeps all deleted files forever
- Web based access and restore
- Supports: Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris, OpenSolaris, Android, iOS, Windows Phone
- Peer to peer backup
For as good as Crashplan is in terms of their feature rich mentality, we were surprised to see that they don’t offer file sharing or synching. Also, it should be noted that a full restore process can take a while and that it dumps all of the files on to your desktop. While this clutters your desktop with what could be a massive amount of files and folders, this is actually a huge benefit. Many times with other storage providers, a full computer restore will dump your files somewhere in your computer. Good luck finding them if you are not technically savvy. Lastly, Crashplan goes the extra mile by offering a door to door delivery service. They will back up your data on to an external hard drive and mail it to you via courier delivery.
Crashplan Restore Feature
Ease of Use
We are no longer living in the ‘.com boom’ or even the earlier part of this century. Everything is automated and takes a matter of seconds. Crashplan’s software installation is standard. Roughly 60 seconds later, you will have Crashplan on your computer. So what is their distinction from the rest of the competition? As soon as the dashboard popped up, we were a bit overwhelmed because almost all cloud storage providers offer a similar layout in regard to user dashboards. Crashplan’s dashboard however is exceedingly exclusive. All options are laid out in a navigation bar on the left hand side. ‘Backup,’ ‘Restore,’ ‘Settings,’ etc. – all flowing very naturally. The actual backup process could get a bit confusing for a novice storage user because of the different design layout, however it is pretty self-explanatory. Follow a few clicks of the mouse and you are go to go.
Crashplan Control Panel
Generally, you will see big name brands who have a world class reputation charge up the wazoo for their storage services. DropBox and SugarSync are great examples of this. Crashplan no doubt ranks right up there with the industry leaders, however their pricing is set as if they are trying to break into the market which is great for potential customers like yourself. Firstly, you have the option for the free plan which does not come with a cloud storage option but you can back up your files externally. Secondly, the ‘Individual’ plan costs $5.99/month in you pay on a monthly basis. It will run you $5/month for a one year subscription, $4.79/month for a 2 year subscription or $3.96/month for a 4 year subscription. The family plan, which backs up 2-10 computers, costs anywhere from $13.99/month to as low as $8.96/month for a 4 year plan.
As for businesses, in our opinion Crashplan cannot be beat. It costs $10/month per computer. This is on the low side but still not the cheapest. However, you are getting the most outstanding customer support possible and the best security technology can offer, which leads us to…
Check out just about all other top cloud storage services. Every one either uses 128-bit SSL or 256-bit AES encryption. Crashplan uses 448-bit Blowfish encryption in their data centers which has never been hacked before. Further, they encrypt your data prior to transmission to the cloud using 128-bit encryption. You will also have a private password in order to restore your computer so if a burglar were to enter your home, he would not be able to access your files. Lastly, you are given the option to generate a private encryption key for added security. Crashplan is a clear cut leader in cloud security.
The more we went through Crashplan’s service, the more it wowed us. Crashplan offers live chat. LIVE CHAT! 24/7! That can’t be said for any other top cloud storage provider. They also offer 24/7 email AND phone support. They have an active community, a blog and a page that is essentially a Google like search engine that will answer any technical question you may have. You can also contact them through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube. Even this can be somewhat misleading but with Crashplan it isn’t. Their support reps are industry leader not only in customer care but also in the technical sense. Simply put, you will never find better customer support.
Crashplan literally exceeds their stellar reputation in all aspects of their cloud storage service. The only thing holding them back from being the clear cut industry leader is that they do not offer file sharing or synching. Other than that, you will not find a better service provider.