CrashPlan Review

CrashPlan ReviewCrashPlan is an online data backup and storage site hoping to beat the competition with its low prices and comprehensive service plans.

Introduction
CrashPlan supports all major platforms – and even more obscure ones, like Solaris, and offers a variety of service plans designed to suit different users with varying data storage needs. The site was launched in 2007 by Code 42 Software. The company has expanded to include an extended personal use plan, which it calls CrashPlan+, as well as two specialized programs for businesses, CrashPlan Pro and CrashPlan Pro-e (the “e” stands for enterprise). The basic service is free and CrashPlan+ offers three very affordable membership plans:

  • CrashPlan+ 10GB gives you 10GB of backup space for $1.50/month per device.
  • CrashPlan+ Unlimited gives you access to unlimited backup space for $3.00/month per device.
  • CrashPlan+ Family Unlimited allows unlimited online file backup for $6.00/month per household.

Features of CrashPlan

CrashPlan offers plenty of impressive features, including:

  • Remote, secure backup.
  • No limit on file size for backups.
  • Automatic backup and option for user scheduled backup.
  • Mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.
  • Customizable backup options.
  • Extensive access to multiple versions of backed up files.
  • Encrypted data transfer.
  • Multiple customer support channels.
  • Unlimited data storage.
  • Backup to and from unlimited devices.
  • Seeded backup and “Restore To Your Door” for faster data transfer.
  • Ability to backup to multiple devices via CrashPlan app.

For small-to-medium business owners, the company has introduced CrashPlan Pro which features advanced options and capabilities, including providing service to networked groups of devices and multiple users. CrashPlan Pro offers more administrative options to help business clients micromanage all of the data coming and going within their network.

Pros:

Low Prices, Lots of Space
CrashPlan gives users lots of storage space for very low prices. For only $3.00 per month, you can get unlimited space. The ability to backup and restore with abandon, never having to add up how much space you’ve already used can be a real boon. Most individual users don’t want to be bothered with keeping track of usage. Being able to load your computer with all the music, videos, and any other types of files you use and know that every last bit of it will be added to your backup file at CrashPlan is nice and takes a lot of stress out of the data backup process. With so many impressive features, you might think that CrashPlan would gouge its customers a bit with membership fees. Instead, CrashPlan comes in at the lower end of the scale for plan pricing. (Technically, CrashPlan is free – paid memberships fall under the CrashPlan+ name).

Advanced Saving Options
CrashPlan allows you to save documents at each stage of editing, saving multiple versions of the same document instead of overwriting the old one with new changes. This is not uncommon among online storage sites, but CrashPlan does its users one better by keeping these saved versions available until you manually delete them. Most similar sites routinely delete working versions of documents after a certain amount of time has passed since they were last worked on. You can also backup your files in multiple places besides the cloud, including other computers and devices. This is great for those who lose sleep at night worrying about losing those precious family pictures or the half-finished novel sitting on their hard drive.

Seeded Backup Available
If you don’t want to transfer your data for backup via the internet, which can take days – and even months – depending on the amount of data you’re moving, you can opt for the “Restore To Your Door” option. CrashPlan will send a 1TB drive to you, which you can plug into your computer and transfer your data to. Direct transfer like this takes place at a much more rapid pace than doing it over your internet connection. You can then send the drive back to the folks at CrashPlan who will upload your data into their backup system. This feature also comes in very handy when you need to have your data available to you somewhere you might have intermittent – or no – internet access. CrashPlan will mail a drive loaded with all of your data right to wherever you may be, so that you can upload your files directly to any device. This service comes at a price, in addition to membership package fees.

Cons:

Spotty Reviews for Customer Support
According to many users, CrashPlan’s customer support leaves something to be desired. While there are several ways to contact customer service representatives (CrashPlan offers call center, email, and live chat support), several CrashPlan account holders have complained that customer support does not respond as quickly as they’d like. Additionally, there is no support at all available to free plan users. There are, however, user-populated forums available as a resource to free membership holders.

Interface Not So User-Friendly
While more tech-savvy users will probably have no trouble navigating the CrashPlan interface, some users feel like things could be simplified a bit. The less-than-intuitive controls can leave novice computer users feeling a bit confused. Important information about which files will be backed up (and, more importantly, which ones will be deleted from the user’s account upon backing up new files) should be more glaringly apparent. Sometimes when tech geniuses design something, they forget to make things obvious enough for the rest of us. This is not to say that there is an inherent problem with the interface, and CrashPlan could easily address any perceived issues in future updates.

Conclusion

For simple backups, CrashPlan seems to fit the bill. It’s easy to install, rife with features, and offers free storage space for personal storage users. If impeccable customer service is a must, you might want to explore further the claims that CrashPlan’s is less than stellar before committing to anything.

To sign in and for further information, visit CrashPlan.

Plans & Pricing
CrashPlan +:
10GB for $1.50/month (1 computer)
Unlimited for $3.00/month (1 computer)
10GB for $6.00/month (2-8 computers)
CrashPlan PRO:
50GB – 4TB starts at $5.83/month OR
50GB starts at $4.97/month for 1 year OR
50GB starts at $4.71/month for 2 years
Unlimited for $7.49/month (3 computers)
CrashPlan PROe:
Visit CrashPlan for further details
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