Jump to content


Photo

CrashPlan


  • Please log in to reply
33 replies to this topic

#1 James

James

    Member

  • Sponsors
  • 4,833 posts

Posted 04 August 2008 - 02:03 PM

With all these disk failures it only seems sensible to mention a backup solution that I've recently discovered. It's called Crashplan. It works on PCs, Macs and Linux, comes with a 30 day free trial and creates an off-site backup of your disk. You can select whether to backup all your files or just a few key ones, and if anything changes it automatically updates. You can opt to use a friend's spare disk space (or another PC) for your backups and if you do it that way the storage is free... otherwise you can pay a very small subscription and use their servers. Data is compressed, encrypted and verified for extra peace of mind. If anyone fancies giving it a whirl and would like a testing buddy I'm happy to help by offering a bit of my own disk space for your files - just a few MB on a temporary basis so you can see how it works - just to get you started. Contact me by PM after you've installed the software and I'll send an invite to you. Visit http://www.crashplan.com for information and downloads (n.b. this is just a friendly offer... I'm not earning any commission for mentioning this product and I won't be able to read your data - there's nothing in it for me)

I just thought I'd update everyone on my experience using the Crashplan software to back up my computer - so far everything has worked exceptionally well.

I bought a license for CrashPlan Pro bundled with an annual subscription to backup 50GB of data to their central servers (you can have more if you want). I also have a friend set up as a second backup destination for extra backup protection.

One of the features I have found particularly useful is that I can set the network upload speeds for when I'm at the computer and when I'm away. It enables me to get the most out of my upload bandwidth without having to over-ride it whilst I'm working. Since the data is mostly uploaded rather than downloaded I haven't noticed any difference to my web usage.

If anyone wants to know more visit http://www.crashplan.com or ask me a question and I will do my best to help.

European.vote - EU Referendum


#2 RetiredMember1

RetiredMember1

    Member

  • Members 3
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,066 posts

Posted 04 August 2008 - 03:23 PM

Hi, James

I've been using BT Digital Vault since last November and have experienced no end of problems - normally 4.99 per month, I've been refunded a year's fee because it's so full of holes! After I complained to BT's CEO (and got an emailed reply from him, personally, in 17 minutes - though that was the last time I was impressed with their service), I was assigned someone to look after my 'case' and have had countless long conference calls to Canada with him and the developers to try to sort out the numerous bugs. I thought that all the problems had been resolved when we last spoke back in April, only to find, on checking yesterday, that none of my data has been automatically backed up since the last test run! I am at my wits' end, so this could be the ideal next step for me. I'm no techie and much of the info on the CrashPlan website went over my head, so I wonder if you could help me by explaining how the service compares with what BT Digital Vault offers? http://www.productsa...ductId=CON-3291

Gill

#3 James

James

    Member

  • Sponsors
  • 4,833 posts

Posted 04 August 2008 - 03:38 PM

Well the first thing that is different is price - it's much cheaper. And if you back up to a friend's computer your storage is completely free. However only the person doing the backing up needs a licensed copy of their software so it would only set you back 12, and it wouldn't cost your friend anything other than a slice of their spare disk space (they can decide how generous they want to be).

Files are encrypted before uploading so your friend can't do anything with your data.

You can backup to more than one friend if you want.

It has a built in file verification step - you can decide how often the backups are performed and how often to verify. I opted for CrashPlan Pro so that previous versions of the same file are available - so if I save a change to a file I wish I hadn't made, or delete a file by accident my offsite copy is safe.

I also use Apple Time Machine for instant backup to a second drive and Dantz Restrospect for storage on DVD-RW. However CrashPlan gives me peace of mind that I have an off-site backup for disaster recovery. It's much easier than giving disks to a friend and only uploads the files I need it to do. I could have set up a script and uploaded to one of my web servers but the ease of use won me over.

If you download the free trial you also get free backups to their server at the same time - so you can see how it works.

I'm using a Mac but it is also available for Windows.

Mac Requirements:
* Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5
* G4, G5 or Intel CPU
* 1 GB RAM
* 50 MB available disk space
Mac Universal
Supports OS X Leopard


Windows Requirements:

* Windows Vista, XP, or 2000
* Windows Server 2003, 2000
* 1 GB RAM
* 50 MB available disk space

VSS Beta Client
* (Backs up open files)

Linux Requirements:

* 1GB RAM
* Java 1.5 or higher
* 50 MB available disk space

European.vote - EU Referendum


#4 RetiredMember1

RetiredMember1

    Member

  • Members 3
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,066 posts

Posted 04 August 2008 - 04:57 PM

Thanks, James. Really helpful. I'll give it some thought.

#5 James

James

    Member

  • Sponsors
  • 4,833 posts

Posted 09 August 2008 - 01:58 PM

After reading about the story of Tamy Dahan, who lost all her possessions in the fire at Camden Market, I think it really brings it home how important and upsetting it would be to lose all of those irreplaceable personal objects such as photos. Tamy is a professional photographer and has lost her entire photo library. She says she also lost all of her digital photos.

European.vote - EU Referendum


#6 James

James

    Member

  • Sponsors
  • 4,833 posts

Posted 16 August 2008 - 08:08 AM

BT Digital Vault freebie cancelled, entry level now 4.99/m

http://www.theregist...vault_not_free/

Customers will lose online access to their files on 30 October unless they upgrade to a paid-for Digital Vault account. Digital Vault is pitched as a backup service rather than an alternative to local storage. The free version of the service launched in October 2006. Now BT has emailed users to say it's time to cough up. "Make sure you upgrade now to get continuous protection for all your precious photos, files and more," it wrote.

European.vote - EU Referendum


#7 James

James

    Member

  • Sponsors
  • 4,833 posts

Posted 12 March 2009 - 11:48 AM

CrashPlan have now introduced a free version of their software...
http://www.crashplan...pport-free.html

European.vote - EU Referendum


#8 James

James

    Member

  • Sponsors
  • 4,833 posts

Posted 12 August 2009 - 07:51 AM

Backup space is now unlimited with Crashplan

Individual Unlimited Plan (back up one computer)
* 1 year $54 ($4.50/month)
* 2 year $99 ($4.13/month)
* 3 year $125 ($3.47/month)

Family Unlimited Plan (back up the entire family under one account)
* 1 year $100 ($8.33/month)
* 2 year $150 ($6.25/month)
* 3 year $180 ($5.00/month)

European.vote - EU Referendum


#9 James

James

    Member

  • Sponsors
  • 4,833 posts

Posted 19 September 2009 - 04:44 PM

Also, backing up to Crash Plan is very slow and need to get this finished first. May get a Time Capsule too so I can back up locally as well as online. A project for next month I think.

With Crashplan you can select which folders to back up, so it may help to start with your folder selection excluding all of your folders except for something small (e.g. Public folder) so that you get going then gradually adding in other folders, leaving larger less critical ones to later in the backup cycle (e.g. Applications). Music and Pictures may run to several GBs and require several days to backup so you might find it easier to get other stuff backed up ahead of those folders. I have gradually been adding in more of my disk to my backups since it went unlimited. Crashplan automatically excludes caches.

Apple Time Machine also works with external drives so when you look at getting the Time Capsule you might want to weigh it up against a standard drive. Again, you can select folders, so you can use a smaller drive than your internal disk, and you don't have to mirror all your data. For non Mac users you can use a variety of backup solutions to mirror your data but Crashplan can also do this for you too.

European.vote - EU Referendum


#10 gekko

gekko

    Sponsor

  • Sponsors
  • 4,570 posts

Posted 30 September 2009 - 11:17 AM

Hi James,

Thanks for this advice. Now I'm back from Scotland I'll be looking to get this started again but will definitely be more selective in what I back up first!
Mel, Forum Moderator

#11 James

James

    Member

  • Sponsors
  • 4,833 posts

Posted 27 November 2010 - 12:04 AM

Crashplan is running a sales promotion until Monday. You can get a 3 year unlimited subscription for the price of 2 years... for $99 (about 63)... 21/yr.

After Monday they are putting their prices up.

Crashplan+ (enhanced version of their software) is currently unavailable pending some 'news' next week, which I'm guessing may be that it is being discontinued and advanced features such as versioning are being rolled into their free software edition.

http://b2.crashplan....sumer/store.vtl

Try before you buy - 30 free trial available.
Buy before you try - they have a 30 day refund policy.

Remember, to go forward you must backup!

European.vote - EU Referendum


#12 matt-h

matt-h

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 530 posts

Posted 27 November 2010 - 12:15 AM

I've been looking at cloud backup services too and reviewing lots of products. Strangely, Crashplan does not figure at all in any of the "Top 10 Backup Services" articles that I've read. What's wrong with it? ;)

#13 charlie

charlie

    Member

  • Members 3
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,623 posts

Posted 27 November 2010 - 12:19 AM

James,

I'm not a techie so your advice would be much appreciated

We back up using Norton and I think we have paid for 5 GB Storage - it takes an age.

Why should we use Crashplan?? Is it just the cost? or is it the fact that you can be selective about what you back up?

Yours - completely confused of Upper Norwood

PS what are tracking cookies in plain english

Edited by charlie, 27 November 2010 - 12:20 AM.


#14 James

James

    Member

  • Sponsors
  • 4,833 posts

Posted 27 November 2010 - 02:43 AM

matt-h, I guess that Crashplan isn't included in your list because they don't offer disk space that can targeted by off-the-shelf backup utilities. They do however provide unlimited storage through their own client software (mac/pc/linux). I guess it was excluded because techies tend to prefer open systems. However Crashplan is cheaper than Carbonite, Mozy and Amazon S3 as you can see here... https://b2.crashplan...es-compare.html

The majority of backup solutions will tend to focus on storage capacity, e.g. Norton has 5GB, BT offers 1GB for 5.95/m. 7GB is the max capacity you can get from BT and comes in at a whopping 24.60 per month. It's not fair to compare fixed to unlimited but Crashplan is cost effective compared to even the cheapest of plans... 1.75 per month.

The main downside to unlimited online plans is you still need to consider the data needs uploading at some point - true for any online solution. However if you have a lot of data to get online to start with they offer a hard drive by post upload service.

I like the fact that Crashplan compresses data before sending, so upload performance is improved and that it is stored encrypted (military grade).

However key to a backup solution is the scenario of restoration. It's no good if that is problematic. Say you are a student and the day before you hand in a final essay your laptop gets pinched... you can go to any other computer (system requirements are modest), install the software for free, login to your account and select the file(s) you want to retrieve. Nothing too technical and perhaps several days quicker than the disk snapshot restoration approach. No disks to fumble around for either (blank CDs/DVDs probably cost more anyway). I also like the way that after the initial backup it will monitor for new files or updated files and only sends the changes. It doesn't upload things twice. My computer scans for changes in the background every 30 minutes (you can adjust this) and sends automatically. It can email or post to twitter if there is a problem.

For anyone that wants some typical user stats I create about 200MB of new or amended files per week and my current online storage is about 230GB. On an 8MB broadband it would take perhaps a couple of weeks to upload all in one go but what I did was to start with my more important folders first, and then gradually increased the scope of the backup to include more of my computer folders over time.

***

charlie, cookies are small files used by web browsers to personalise your web experience. for example when you visit the forum and login it stores your username/password in a cookie and when you come back it 'remembers' your details so you don't have to enter them again. tracking cookies are typically used by advertisers, so for example if you visit a kids toys web site and then go to another shopping web site it may show you ads for toys because it tracked your behaviour on the other site. this tends to work because there are a few dominant advertisers like tradedoubler who have their code on so many sites. you can configure your web browser to block all cookies or ask you whenever it is requested.

European.vote - EU Referendum


#15 charlie

charlie

    Member

  • Members 3
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,623 posts

Posted 27 November 2010 - 08:24 PM

Thanks for the explanation James - very helpful. And, crashplan sounds pretty darned good value. One further question if I may. My computer ©says that I have 157GB remaining of 222GB. Assume this includes all the software I have on the computer? What does this actually mean when I am backing up - Am I just backing up my files - documents, pictures etc. Where can I find out how much space they are taking up please.