Digital storage is something every household needs. It may not be something you think much about, but just wait until you have some type of hard drive crash or data gets corrupted in some significant way, and you’ll wish you had thought about your digital storage plan.
There are lots of offerings for digital storage in the market place. They range from 5GB or more for free, to terabytes available for high performance and high availability needs.
Most of us don’t need that much. But we do need enough to back up files, especially photos and videos that are highly valuable, if only to us.
Founded by CodeFortyTwo software, CrashPlan provides an amazing set of products that work across all desktop operating system environments. This is the service that I am moving my family to, and one I can recommend highly based solely on the feature set and pricing options.
The Good Stuff
1. There are clients for Window (from XP through Server 2008, and everything in between, including 64 bit versions), to Linux (any distro that can run Java 1.6), Mac OS X (G4 and Intel versions from OS 10.4 through 10.7) and for the uber-nerds among you, OpenSolaris.
2. Basic version is free for both onsite (local) and off-site (not cloud, but a friend) back up.
3. Paid versions add significant advanced features. Paid versions provide varying levels of storage and price. Paid versions cost starts at $2.50/month when paid monthly or $24.99 per year for a single year (if prepaying) for a single computer, with 10 GB of storage available. CrashPlan+ Unlimited for a single computer starts at $5.00/mo when paying monthly or $49.99 when prepaying for a full year. CrashPlan+ Family Unlimited is up to 10 computers with unlimited storage, starting at $12/month on a monthly plan, or $119.99 when prepaying for a full year. Significant discounts are available for prepaying up to 4 years.
3. Encrypted on rest (in the cloud and locally), meaning theft of a storage device is virtually inconsequential.
4. Encrypted in transit. SSL encryption is industry standard for Internet data transmission.
5. Features include automatic backups, scheduled backups, backups of attached drives, unlimited file size, open/locked file backup (process varies by OS), and “smart backup” which prioritizes local first backups due to speed and efficiency. Please see this link to read all features.
6. Flexible restore options are available, and deleted files persist at CrashPlan until specifically purged.
7. If you will be backing up significant amounts of data, CrashPlan offers a service to send a hard drive to your location that will later be added to your cloud based storage. This is a very fast means of getting large data sets backed up.
8. To Your Door restore is available for large data sets restored at your home or office.
9. You can access your archived files using one of the free CrashPlan mobile device apps (iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone).
All in all I am very impressed with this service. As I mentioned before the break, I am moving our backups to CrashPlan. I will write further on the service after we have moved fully to the new system.
What is your backup storage solution? Do you have one? If not, I encourage you to think through what would occur if your hard drive(s) die or if they are destroyed some how.