CrashPlan Review – A Valuable cloud Storage Service
Navigating the plethora of cloud data storage providers can seem daunting. There are many factors to consider like storage limits, pricing, security and more. One of the many options available to choose from is CrashPlan.
The purpose of this article is to offer a definitive review of CrashPlan’s services and features. We will cover their pros, cons, and offer a final verdict at the end of the article. Continue reading to discover more about what CrashPlan has to offer.
What Is CrashPlan?
CrashPlan is one of the oldest and most trusted cloud backup storage companies around today. They were founded in Code42 back in 2007 and have grown exponentially with time. They offer a wide range of backup and cloud data storage solutions for individual use, businesses, and even enterprise level service.
For their individual plans, they have three options available. The first option is the free account. This is best suited for local backup only. This type of account comes with 448-bit encryption, once daily backup sessions, and online support. If you are looking for a basic way to backup your files to external drives, this option may work for you.
For access to cloud storage services, you will need to purchase either an individual or family plan. The individual plan is $5.99 monthly and comes with several additional features including unlimited cloud storage capacity, continuous backups, access to email and live support options, file restoration from any web browser, and access to your files using the mobile CrashPlan app.
The family plan is $13.99 a month and includes all the features of the individual plan above. However, it supports up to 10 computers instead of the one the individual plan supports. This makes it ideal for users with multiple devices or those who want to backup household devices.
For business level plans, you can expect to pay $10 per month for each computer. While this plan is more expensive, it comes with several additional features compared to the individual and family plan above. One of its most notable features is its enhanced encryption. Business plans use AES-256 file encryption which is much more secure than the 448-bit encryption of the individual and family plans.
In addition to stronger encryption protocols, business plans also offer a unique administration menu that allows you to quickly and easily manage user permissions for all sub-accounts. This is great for those who need to tailor multiple user access levels all in one location.
CrashPlan also offers enterprise level plans for large scale accounts. This includes all the standard features of a business account and allows for greater customization of how you store your data. Unfortunately, pricing is not available for this account type on their website and you must contact them for further details.
It is clear that CrashPlan has a lot to offer when it comes to cloud file storage. Their service has many positives and negatives that will be further reviewed in the below sections. Continue reading on to see where CrashPlan shines the most.
The Pros Of CrashPlan
CrashPlan has many features that make it a great choice for those seeking a reliable cloud storage service. The purpose of this section is to examine those elements in greater detail. We will cover things like encryption capability, file restoration options, and more.
Multiple Encryption Options Available
One area where CrashPlan excels is in its encryption technology. Free accounts, individual, and family plans all utilize 448-bit encryption technology. This type of encryption is less targeted by hackers and is suitable for protecting a variety of file types and documents. This is due to the fact that it is used far less frequently than its beefier counterpart, 256-AES encryption.
Business level plans and above come with 256-AES encryption. This technology is the gold standard when it comes to security and reliability. It was adopted by the federal government in the U.S. and is supported by the NSA for data protection. However, it is important to note that due to its popularity this encryption type is most often targeted by hackers.
Unlimited File Version History
One key benefit of individual, family, and business plans is that they come with unlimited file version history availability. This is a great benefit for those who frequently modify files for work and sometimes need to roll back to other versions due to corrupt saves or errors in their work. Many other cloud data storage sites cap file version history to 30 days. This makes CrashPlan superior to many other choices available today.
Mobile App Availability
Another great feature of CrashPlan is the availability of their mobile apps. The CrashPlan app is available for download on Android, Windows, and iOS devices. This allows users to quickly and easily access their stored files while on the go. This service is of particular benefit for clients that regularly travel for work and need access to their files from remote locations.
Interface Is Very User-Friendly
Another great feature of CrashPlan is the design interface of the PC client. The interface is extremely easy to use and very user-friendly. Whenever you need to restore a file, you simply go to the restore tab and are able to restore a given file in one or two clicks.
This is great for users who want a way to effectively manage files in one program. The client makes finding previous file versions, searching for specific entries, and more very easy. This is a great plus for those who may not be as tech savvy.
Live Customer Support
Live customer support is another area where CrashPlan shines above the rest. If you subscribe to their paid plans, you receive complimentary access to a variety of support options. The first option is live chat support. This feature is available from their website during certain hours.
You can also speak to a live representative via telephone if you would like. This option is available Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm central time in the United States. The availability of live customer support is a huge plus when compared to many other cloud storage providers.
Fast Download & Upload Times
The average download and upload times you experience with CrashPlan are very fast. This is likely due to their efficient encryption technology and multiple server locations. For those who regularly upload and save large files, this is sure to be a huge plus.
Refunds For Cancelled Annual Subscriptions
To save money on a plan, you can elect to pay in advance for an annual subscription. This has the potential to save anywhere around $12 to $18 a year. However, if you decide you no longer need cloud storage after paying for an annual subscription, you can cancel at any time and receive a prorated refund for the unused portion. This provides an excellent way for you to save money on your subscription while avoiding being locked into a commitment.
The Cons Of CrashPlan
While CrashPlan does have many features that are great, there are also some drawbacks to the service as well. This section is going to examine some of the main negative elements of CrashPlan in greater detail.
Hard To Navigate Website
One major drawback of CrashPlan is that their website is very difficult to navigate. For instance, their pricing plans for individual and family plans require multiple pages to be clicked through before you can finally find a comparison page. This makes locating information difficult.
Also, they do not have any enterprise information available on their website. To get more information, you have to request a consultation with them. It would be more beneficial if they had all their available plans and features on one easy to understand web page.
No File Sharing
One glaring omission from CrashPlan’s services is the lack of file sharing capability. You can access your files from a broad range of devices using the CrashPlan app, the platform, or the web interface.
However, when it comes to sharing files with friends and family, CrashPlan has no features that can accomplish this task. This is a major drawback for companies and individuals that are looking for ways to quickly and easily send and receive files from other individuals.
Data Restoration Caps
Another negative element about CrashPlan is the caps they place on data restoration. If you use the web client instead of the PC platform, you are limited to 250MB of data recovery as a pro user. Other users receive 500MB of data recovery. This means that if you are unable to use the PC platform for whatever reason, your recovery options are going to be extremely limited.
Mobile Functionality Is Limited
The lack of mobile functionality is another big drawback of CrashPlan. CrashPlan supports a broad range of mobile device operating systems including iOS, Android, and Windows. However, the degree of functionality is severely limited in these apps.
For instance, you cannot save any data from your mobile device to the cloud even when using the app. Instead, you are limited to being able to view and download existing files. Also, the mobile apps do not have the handy search function like the PC client. This results in a limited degree of functionality when using the CrashPlan apps.
Limited Web Access
While it is nice that CrashPlan has allowed for web access with their services, it is clear that they strongly favor the PC client version instead. The web access version allows you to view files using a folder tree that is broken down into several different categories. You can also do things like manage your account status and more.
Unfortunately, the web access version lacks the search function that its PC client equivalent possesses. This makes locating a specific file both cumbersome and time-consuming. In addition to the limited restoration file size mentioned earlier, the web version also does not support backups. This means users are forced to use the web client for the majority of their needs.
CrashPlan is a valuable cloud storage service that offers many benefits including unlimited cloud storage capacity, multiple encryption types, continuous backups, and more. There are some drawbacks such as limited web access, mobile device functionality, and no file sharing.
However, with those caveats in mind, CrashPlan is still a great cloud storage solution that has been around for quite some time. Their PC client is extremely easy to navigate and it makes restoring files a cinch. Their prices are competitive and the unlimited storage capacity is a great benefit for those who have lots of data to protect.