CrashPlan vs Backblaze
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Pricing Starting From
For 1 Month / 1 user(s)
For 1 Month / 1 user(s)
Unlimited file size & type
Backup to the Cloud
Restore to your Computer
Unlimited Cloud Backup
Backup All Data
External Drive Backup
Backup and Restore Anywhere
Your Data is Safe
Free Trial Availability
Cloudswave Editorial Review
CrashPlan Review by Cloudswave
Data protection is a critical cyber security investment in this day and age where security breach is commonplace. Ransomware, cyber espionage, malware, security bugs, computer viruses, phishing threats, malicious hacking – if you haven’t been living under a rock, chances are you’ve heard the horror stories.
There’s also the all-too-common hardware failure that can wipe out your data in the blink of an eye. All these can happen when you’re least expecting them, which is why having a “crash plan” is not just a sound idea but also a potential lifesaver.
What is CrashPlan?
CrashPlan is a computer backup system that protects your files, documents, and other data with easy-to-use software and high-performance hardware storage. It allows you to back up all your distributed end-user data through a single, secure platform for complete visibility and control.
The brainchild of Code42, an enterprise SaaS provider headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota and trusted by companies such as Boston University, Key Forensic Services, Texas Air Systems, and Lockheed Martin, CrashPlan offers three ways to back up your files – what it calls triple-destination protection: local, offsite, and online backup.
Free versus paid plans
While CrashPlan offers local and offline backup services free of charge, the features that come with the free plan aren’t necessarily lacking. There are no bandwidth caps or file size limits to worry about. Multiple file formats are supported, and once-daily, unattended backups are performed automatically.
A secure cloud solution that enables IT and security teams to limit risk, meet data privacy regulations, and recover from data loss no matter the cause, CrashPlan encrypts your data using 128-bit AES transmission encryption, and a personal encryption key is needed to unencrypt your data. So if, for example, you choose to back up your data to a friend’s computer, your friend has no way of accessing your files without your permission.
Take note, however, that this can be a double-edged sword. While you can rest assured that unauthorized access to your data is impossible, if you lose your encryption key, not even CrashPlan can recover it for you. Also, CrashPlan pauses backups while your device is running on low battery and over selected Wi-Fi and network interfaces.
For data you need to access anytime, anywhere, on any device, CrashPlan offers premium subscription plans that include online storage. Daily data backups are automatic, unattended, and continuous, and aside from 128-bit AES encryption, you get 448-bit file encryption (Blowfish) and a restore-to-door priority recovery option where CrashPlan sends you a hard drive with your data, allowing you to restore your files locally.
Features of CrashPlan
No software provider can claim that their product is flawless, but there are several reasons CrashPlan is worth checking out. Below are some of the features it offers:
CrashPlan lets you enjoy free backup to:
- your local computer,
- external drive and offsite computers,
- and CrashPlan’s online backup system, which is a paid subscription.
Whether you back up your files to an offsite computer, an external storage medium, or the cloud, CrashPlan offers no limit to how much data you can back up. All file types, including videos and Outlook archives of your emails, are supported.
CrashPlan employs a multi-layered security component to protect and secure your data – from transmission to account access, from password security to secure messaging. Furthermore, CrashPlan data centers use military-grade cryptographic formulas and follow industry best practices for power redundancy, cooling, and fire protection.
This combination of security measures creates a shield around your data to make them virtually impenetrable.
CrashPlan offers a mobile app for premium CrashPlan subscribers who are always on the move. Aside from the continuous, automatic protection of your important data, you can access and retrieve files from your backup stack via your mobile devices. The mobile app can be downloaded from the App Store, Google Play, and Windows Apps.
Silent and continuous backup
CrashPlan is your silent computer backup partner providing real-time protection to your valuable files and folders. Because it uses minimal CPU power, you won’t even notice it is running. It only stops running if the backup process is interrupted or your computer goes to sleep. It automatically resumes backing up your data when your computer becomes available again.
When you’re subscribed to any of CrashPlan’s online backup plans, you can set backup frequency to as frequently as every minute.
CrashPlan believes you have the right to back up all your data and files. However, different types of files require different levels of backup protection. CrashPlan has an exclusive ability to create backup sets that let you handpick and prioritize which files go where, how backups are done, and how often.
In real life, you cannot live in the past. But when it comes to your data, you call the shots. With CrashPlan, it’s easy to go back in time, to a previous version of a file or folder. In addition, there’s no limit to how many file versions you can back up.
Digital legacy preservation
CrashPlan’s Family plan allows you to back up as much as ten computers under a single account, using one email address, and a single password, which is one way of preventing your digital legacy from becoming history. Through CrashPlan’s reporting and alerting mechanisms, you keep track of each of your family members’ backup status via the admin console.
Deleted file protection
CrashPlan’s cloud plans are a regret-free zone. Unless you say so, CrashPlan keeps your deleted files forever. Hence, no matter how much time has passed since you trashed a file, restoring it wouldn’t be a problem – definitely a worthy investment as it reduces anxiety over accidentally deleted files.
Version retention settings, which are set to never remove deleted files by default, can be tweaked to determine the number of file versions to keep, and when to remove deleted files.
Restore-to-door priority recovery
This is an optional service that allows you to quickly recover your files, as well as your emotional footing, after a heartbreaking data loss and an epic meltdown. The service is highly recommended if you have more than 300 GB of files to recover. A restore kit containing a hard drive with your cloud backup will be sent to you via snail mail.
Follow the instructions included in the mail, restore your files locally, and send the restore kit back to Code42 so you don’t get charged an additional $150 for keeping the hard drive. A return stamp is included in the kit.
Even while you’re working on a file – a letter, for example – CrashPlan quietly performs an analysis of your file in the background, block by block, scanning the file for pieces of content that have already been backed up. Fresh blocks, meaning those that CrashPlan hasn’t backed up yet, are compressed to save storage space, encrypted for transmission, and then sent to their backup destination.
Backup destination prioritization
To ensure data security and fast retrieval, CrashPlan recommends using multiple backup destinations for your data. It then prioritizes your chosen destinations according to which can back up your files the soonest.
For example, if you opt to back up a file locally and to the cloud, CrashPlan first saves a backup of the file to your local drive. Once done, it transmits your encrypted data to the cloud.
Support and services
CrashPlan has a support page where you can send help desk ticket requests or call them for technical assistance. You can also join threads in the discussion forum, where answers to frequently asked questions are available. It is highly recommended that you use the provided user guides throughout the site to get the most out of CrashPlan’s features.
The support section of the site, which can be accessed via a quick link on the upper right-hand side of the CrashPlan homepage, also provides information on how to back up to external hard drives and Windows network drives, restore files, use CrashPlan on a headless or remotely controlled computer, speed up your backup, uninstall and reinstall the CrashPlan app, adopt another computer, and other relevant questions.
The page also features articles and guides on how to download, install, and get started with SharePlan, which is CrashPlan’s answer to all your file syncing and sharing needs. You can find guides on how to use sharing links, and add and remove members, among others.
CrashPlan’s knowledge base likewise carries in-depth resources on how to manage the Code42 platform. You can find articles on how to set up your private cloud, adopt a computer from the administration console, prepare the CrashPlan app for deployment, and more.
Should you use CrashPlan?
Whether you’re a regular individual who simply wants to preserve his/her digital life, own a business, or an artist with tons of photos and videos on your computer, CrashPlan offers essential tools and features to address your data backup requirements.
The software is highly recommended, especially for people on the go and enterprises with a lot of digital files to store and back up. With its high-level encryption and protection, you can rest assured that your data and files are safe and secure.
Sign up for a free 30-day trial and see how it works for you. CrashPlan keeps your data intact through its unlimited cloud storage and restore-to-door service.
Backblaze Review by Cloudswave
Is your hard drive dead? Is the USB flash drive is not readable again? Backblaze knows hundreds of such stories. Since 2007, this software makes online backup of user data and restores files on demand. Among the offered features are quiet task processing in the background, copying of only changed files for saving space, the 30 days storage for deleted files, strong encryption at the user side.
How to backup the files safely?
There are many ways of making the backup of important files. For example, you can save files on the USB flash drive or memory card, burn the files on DVD, buy the external HDD and make a copy there, or just use one of the cloud storage solutions. The last option makes sense because you don’t depend on the storage media and can grab your files even in case of emergency.
But not all cloud storage services may fit well, because if you have a lot of files to backup (photos, videos, music etc.) you should pay extra for the additional space. For example, popular Dropbox offers 1000 Gb of space for $99 a year, e.g. $8.25 a month. And what if you want to backup more than a terabyte of data? Well, another popular cloud provider Google Drive offers 20 TB for $199.99 a month. Pricey, eh?
So, one could think that the more data you need to be stored online the more money you should spend. Well, not actually. It is a great idea to look for the solutions that do not limit the uploaded data. Though it may sound impossible there are such services. Backblaze is one of them. For only $5 a month you get unlimited space to backup all files online.
If it sounds too good to be true you probably will ask what's the catch? Well, actually Backblaze will not replace Google Drive or Dropbox functionality. This software is made only for backup and restoring, and there is no usual sync there. You don’t have sync folder on all your devices; you just copy data to the server and may restore it anytime. And if you want to backup files from the other device you need to pay $5 more.
Start using Backblaze
The registration process is fast and clear (you don’t even need to confirm the email address). Since you downloaded the desktop client for Windows or Mac, you may start your free trial. Backblaze doesn’t offer free version and the new users have 15 days to learn and evaluate the software. Some may be disappointed, but such policy gives an opportunity to keep the price low.
Backblaze automatically finds out all local and external hard drives and immediately starts to backup them. The user may pause the copying if there is not enough bandwidth, but in most cases software silently works automatically in the background mode. The first backup may take several days, a week or even two weeks, but it will not generally prevent you from using computer normally.
After the first backup is finished Backblaze uses incremental backup. E.g. it constantly looks only for new and changed files and uploads it to the server. Backblaze also looks for the deleted files. The files that were deleted from the computer are saved on the cloud server for 30 days and then deleted.
Keep in mind that this rule applies to the external drives too, so to keep the copy of them on your Backblaze account you should connect them no at least once in 30 days.
Additional settings for every user
Though in most cases Backblaze works as it and doesn’t need additional tweaking, there are some useful settings that may be changed if needed.
For example, if you feel that while Backblaze is working the webpages are loaded too slowly, you may reduce the speed of backup. Just go to the “Performance” tab in program settings and turn off the automatic throttle. You then will be able to change the copying speed manually and also set the number of backup threads (from 1 to 10). There is also an option that may prevent the Backblaze from uploading files when the laptop is working on battery power. This will increase the battery life.
Backup time setup
By default the backup occurs continuously, but it is possible to set the daily backup specifying the time of start and end. However there is no flexible configuration of the scheduler.
Say, you can’t choose several days of the week or configure the uploading time for different days separately. On the other hand the automatic backup may be off completely. In this case the user needs to click “Backup Now” button every time when he wants to copy files to the server.
File and folder exclusions
To store the bandwidth (and the disk space at Backblaze datacenter) the software doesn’t copy some data by default. For example, usually there is no need to save the copy of operating system, application folder, and temporary internet files. Such files as ISO (disk images), DMG (mac disk image), VMC VHD VMSN (virtual drives), SYS (system configuration & drivers), EXE (application files), backups like Time Machine and Retrospect RDB are not copied on the server too.
But if the user decides that he actually needs this data it is possible to set the exclusions manually. Just go to the “Exclusions” tab where you can set the folders and file types that will not be backed up. It is also possible to set the file size limit and not upload files that are larger than the size specified (say, 4
Like many other similar solutions Backblaze uses AES encryption on the user’s side. It means that all data is sent on the server in encrypted form. It may be decrypted only per user request, and one needs to provide email and password to do it.
However some may think that such level of security isn’t enough because the password can be retrieved in some way. So there is private encryption key that provides an additional layer of security. The private encryption key is used together with the email and password to decrypt and restore data.
This key is never stored in Backblaze and can’t be retrieved in any way. If the user forgets this key there is no way to restore the decrypted data, so it’s better not to lose it or choose the basic protection instead.
It is possible to recover all backed data at any time. There are several options for restoring: to retrieve the files through web interface, to order USB flash drive (with up to 128 Gb of data) or USB drive (with up to 3 Tb of data). These options are great because the user can get all files even if the computer was burned down, the laptop was stolen etc.
Restoring of files through the web interface is completely free. You just login into your account, go to the ‘’View/Restore Files” section and check the files or folders in online file manager.
Backblaze will prepare the files and once they are ready you will receive the download link through the email. All files are packed into ZIP for convenient download. The ZIP archive is stored on the server for 7 days and may be downloaded as many times as needed.
Web interface may be used not just for the restoring of files. Here you can see the past restores and download the files again, check the backup status and also view the last uploaded files. But maybe the most useful feature of the web interface is “Locate My Computer”. Iа the laptop was stolen this feature may help to retrieve it.
Despite the fact that you may cancel your Backblaze account anytime it is not recommended to do it if your laptop was stolen. If the theft was using your PC with Internet on you will see the statistics collected by the Backblaze software. It includes the last copied files (it may help to find out which files the thief has uploaded in recovering your computer), computer IP address, the ISP that was used, and ISP contacts. Having this data in your hands it is possible to contact the police and include the network address in the police report. And if you worry that the thief may log in into Backblaze account, you may just change the password from the web interface.
Backblaze is simple yet powerful online backup solution that can be used by everyone. There is no need to be a geek to use it. It automatically copies all data that can be valuable for user and continuously monitors all new and changed files.
At the same time it allows some tweaking, making it possible to exclude some files and folders from the backup, to reduce speed or to set the appropriate time for files uploading. Also it’s worth to mention that Backblaze doesn’t limit the amount of files, the file size and disk space. Just for $5 a month you really get truly unlimited backup solution for one device.
Most Favorable User Review
No favorable user review available yet for Backblaze.
Most Favorable Critic Review
CrashPlan is one of those rare tools that is useful for both individuals at home and massive organizations with hundreds of thousands of computers. It's no substitute for a file syncing solution like Dropbox, but it's a powerful and flexible backup solution that works just as well in the cloud as it does with your own local servers.
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For the personal user who doesn’t have a ton of files, Backblaze is a very affordable and easy-to-use service that automatically saves all your files without having to think about it. This is a great choice for people who just want to set it and forget it and have access to their files in case of emergency.
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Most Unfavorable Critic Review
No critic review available yet for CrashPlan .
To be fair, cloud-based backup and restore can be very slow, anyway. Moreover, many users have complained online about a range of problems with competing cloud services, including lengthy restoral processes, installation headaches, exclusion of certain file types from backup, and even loss of data.
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CrashPlan Demo Video
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