02 March 2011

Hello CrashPlan+

As I mentioned in a previous blog post I was forced to change provider for my online backup due to the hideous price increases Mozy recently announced. I spent some time in the original blog post to summarize some of the alternatives for customers leaving Mozy. My migration has now ended and I figured I should share my conclusions.

My initial favorite was Backblaze, due to their straight forward explanation to how they can profit on selling unlimited backup as well as recommendations from some people I trust. I signed up for their trial and decided that they were not for me. The reason for this was that their software is very focused towards backing up everything on your computer. They have some built in folder exceptions (like the OS and programs folders) and allow you to add more folders to this “blacklist” but don’t show clearly how much space each folder (or exception) represents. I have a fairly poor quality internet line (realistically 0.5 Mbit upload) and therefore want to be quite strict with what I back up online or not. Had I been on a better line I might have stayed with Backblaze but for now I will put them on my watch list for next year to see if their software develop in the direction I would like.

My second alternative was CrashPlan+. They attracted me due to their combination of cloud and local backup (a feature I really liked in Mozy). I bought their one year plan (trusting their money back guarantee) and have been quite happy. It probably took around three weeks to get my 90GB up in the cloud (RAW images are big), but now it is all there. CrashPlan+ has a nice software client that lets you specifically choose what to back up. In addition I like the option to add exceptions to this, to be able to eliminate cache and temp folders etc. I think Mozy was better at suggesting a default backup set than CrashPlan+, but after some tweaking I have managed to make it work fine.

In the midst of my CrashPlan+ testing, another contender presented itself. I was lucky enough to win a free year of backup from LiveDrive after having tweeted about them. I installed their software on a virtual machine to test it out (to not interfere with my current CrashPlan upload) and found their software ok. However, LiveDrive does not offer encryption with a custom key, making it a no go for me. It is not that I don’t trust LiveDrive nor have data of special importance, but I don’t want to become an offer for future data leaks due to bad standards, rough employees etc. So I ended up using my free year on a secondary system and stuck with CrashPlan+ as my final choice for the next year.

I hope that it continues to be worthwhile for online backup providers to back up my sub 100GB data for around $ 50 per year and that Mozy’s fall will not be the start of a Domino effect. And specifically I hope that CrashPlan+ offers a service they can profit on and continue to develop, as I generally am happy with them. (I tested them a few years ago and lots has improved.) Feel free to use the comment field or twitter to share your views on the general situation or any of the providers in specific.

Oh, and as to Mozy? They paid back the proportional part of the time I had left when telling them I wanted to cancel. No questions asked.