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Here at HostingPill, data and its movements are very important to us.Whether you want to consistently add content to your site or work offline, digital storage is an essential part of everyday life now.

A single computer can hold and process vast amounts of information, and made almost everything about information (creating it, accessing it, sharing it) more efficient.

Of course, the downside is that if your device crashes, breaks, or gets stolen—you may have lost all those files you kept in one place.

Hence the importance of backing everything up. But hey, that’s easier said than done—we might back up once in a while manually, but I doubt anyone regularly does manual back-ups consistently enough to preserve all the new stuff on their device.

Enter CrashPlan.

CrashPlan is a product developed by Code42, a software company that deals with backup software.

Code42 offers two main products: Code42 Enterprise, which is backup software for big businesses, and CrashPlan, which is for small businesses.

Specifically, CrashPlan is geared to accommodate up to 200 employees (or 200 devices—there is a difference!).

CrashPlan is now specifically for small businesses, though it used to be for personal use as well.

In my humble opinion, you can use the current CrashPlan for your personal devices as well as your business just fine.

This all sounds great—but is CrashPlan really that good?

Well, Expedia thinks so. As does the United States National Park Service. As well as Square, Adobe, and Yelp—if you’ve ever heard of them.

So clearly Code42’s software does well with the bigger clients. Can its software for small businesses hold up just as well?

Let’s take a look!

Cons

CrashPlan sounds good outwardly. Once you dive in, there are a few unfortunate flaws. Luckily, they’re not major, but we should still take a look first.

One issue I have with CrashPlan is that it only covers computers.

cons

Having a CrashPlan app for tablets and smartphone sounds kind of basic to me—a representative told me CrashPlan used to offer those options—so I think it’s very unfortunate it gets limited to desktops.

Aside from that, CrashPlan’s customer support could use some work.

My main issue here is with the on-site resources. Because CrashPlan is a part of Code42’s backup services, it gets half of Code42’s support page.

support page

It doesn’t have a lot of articles, and is not good for browsing. You can search, but it’s not very resource-heavy anyway.

Finally, while the representatives are helpful, they can be a bit hard to reach. Sometimes you might visit the website and find a pop-up window, but other times it won’t be there, even during business hours.

Also, there are no easy options for contacting support within the software itself, so you have to do everything on the site.

Lastly, phone and live chat hours are indeed limited. Neither is 24/7, just the ticket system.

That’s basically it. As you can see, the shortcomings are mostly concentrated in customer support.

While coverage for more devices would be great, most businesses primarily use computers, so it’s not too much of a loss.

Ready for the positives?

Pros

CrashPlan does have plenty to make up for those weaknesses.

For starters, the pricing is very simple and flexible. It’s a (reasonable, in my opinion) fixed price per product, and you can add a bunch of products.

price

The expenses are exactly proportionate to the amount of devices you wish to have covered by CrashPlan.

Secondly, I really like that CrashPlan doesn’t burden its service with junk. You get what you ask for, and even for that product, it’s extremely flexible.

You can edit a ton of preferences and settings, to make CrashPlan’s service as optimal for your schedule and preferences as possible.

While the customer support is the weaker side of CrashPlan, I have found the representatives to be particularly helpful.

Lastly, CrashPlan is very easy to use and also has great performance.

In all, I’d say CrashPlan has a lot going for it. But that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone—so keep reading to get the details that matter to you.

Pricing

CrashPlan’s pricing is one of the most straightforward of any product I’ve reviewed so far. That’s because there’s basically one price tag.

The magic number is $10.

price

CrashPlan’s price is $10 per month per device, so how much you pay is largely up to you—you can cover just your laptop for just $10 a month or all the computers used by the people in your business for however much a month.

With that out of the way, I think the bigger question left over is whether there are any hidden costs.

Typically one would expect options for upgrading storage, or maybe a hidden fee for actually restoring files.

CrashPlan manages to not charge you for any of that (actually, you have unlimited storage, too). There are also no fees for adding devices, with the exception of the 200+ device threshold.

At that point you need to upgrade to Code42 Enterprise, which makes perfect sense. For most small businesses, a 200-computer limit is more than enough.

CrashPlan has a one-month free trial for those of you who are unsure about it. Personally, I’ve been using CrashPlan for a few months, and I can honestly say I haven’t seen any changes in what I pay.

free trial

It’s the same month to month and nothing has popped up to make me pay an extra fee or necessary upgrade.

I think this is probably because CrashPlan’s service is so straightforward there isn’t much room to hide. It’s not a bunch of tools packed into one package: it’s data backup and recovery.

In all, it’s a relief being able to report on a transparent pricing structure.

Features

CrashPlan is a simple service. That’s not by any means a bad thing, but it’s still an important fact of CrashPlan’s essence.

CrashPlan is a backup and restoration tool. It’s geared towards small businesses, but you could use it for your personal computer just as well. That all sounds good, but is there any need to talk about features aside from “backup” and “restore”?

Yes. Because backup and restoration tools are fairly common, either by themselves or as optional add-ons in site-building or hosting packages. A service can be both simple and well-featured, and CrashPlan is an excellent example of that.

Let’s start with the basics.

The feature that is CrashPlan’s selling point is affordable expansion. You can add device after device without any additional fees, up until you hit 200 devices.

crashplan features

Most importantly, in particular the backup capacity is unlimited. This applies for each device, but even better, there are no limits on file sizes.

You wouldn’t need to break up a large file into smaller parts, for example, which can be really handy.

One feature that CrashPlan provides is pretty simple, but very useful. That would be the ability to edit your back-up schedule. Many back-up add-ons provided by hosting or website-building companies do not have these feature.

One can also customize how long files are kept and what versions are to be kept or discarded.

buisness-backup

The desktop software dashboard lets you look at the storage and backup status of all the computers on your plan—I was just using my own, but it’s a good feature to have for business settings.

Other things you can do involve extensive settings and option-toggling.

That is to say, you can customize your CrashPlan software to work close to what is ideal for you: you can edit connection/network settings, add mandatory passwords for opening the software in the first place, set alerts for yourself, stop back-ups when your computer battery reaches x amount, and much more.

Although the desktop software works fine, I wish they had CrashPlan available for tablets or phones as well. Even if not for backing things up directly from those devices, it would at least be handy to edit your settings and preferences using apps on other devices.

Lastly: though it should go without saying, CrashPlan uses top-notch, industry-standard encryption measures to protect your data.

data-security

I’d overall say that CrashPlan is top-notch feature-wise. Again, the service itself is very simple. Other companies might try to spice it up by adding bloatware or unnecessary tools.

CrashPlan keeps its function straight, but makes it extremely usable and malleable. It’s a powerful software that leaves its potential completely open to the user.

Ease of Use

If you were thinking that a software that centers around one or two core function would be a pretty easy to use software…you’d be generally right. At least on the consumer side, that’s generally true. But it’s not always true!

And even if a service isn’t exactly technically difficult, it can be so badly designed that it becomes frustrating and inefficient to use, especially relative to other options. Does CrashPlan fall into this trap?

No. See for yourself.

create backup selection with crashplans

I selected a folder for backup. When I’m not writing about hosting, I like to read—lately I’ve been reading up on consciousness—so here’s me backing up my light reading.

backing up with Crashplan

Once I was happy with my selection of files/folders, I just hit the “Save” button and waited as things uploaded. It was pretty fast (though admittedly I used an Ethernet cable), and very easy to use.

CrashPlan is exceptionally easy to use. All the features I talked about earlier can be accessed in the “tools” tab above, or the “settings” button by the backup sets.

I don’t know if the user interface is intuitive to you, but it has been to me. To-date, I haven’t had any confusions navigating or toggling options (there isn’t that much to navigate anyway).

In conclusion, I would say CrashPlan is very easy to use, and beyond that, intuitive to the user.

Customer Support

I’ll be honest with you. As I’ve emphasized, CrashPlan is very straightforward as a product—so customer support isn’t as important as it is for more complicated and all-in-one online software.

Nonetheless, you never know when something will come up—I actually did have a question the CrashPlan website didn’t address well. So how does CrashPlan’s support measure up?

For this answer, I’ll be looking at both the representatives and the on-site resources CrashPlan provides. Let’s start with the former.

I wish the customer service representatives were a little easier to access. Maybe it’s because CrashPlan is a relatively straightforward tool, but either way you have to take a few more clicks to get to the necessary contact pages.

Another minor nuisance is that live chat and phone hours are both limited to Monday to Friday, and from 7am to 7pm (US Central Standard Time). Luckily the ticket system is 24/7, but I think at least phone or live chat services could be open longer.

Note: if you access the website during the right hours, you might find a live chat pop-up. This has not been my experience every time I visit the site, even during official chat hours—so go figure.

Once you do get ahold of a rep, you’ll probably find it a good experience. You fill out a basic live chat form and then wait for someone to pick up your case.

crashpaln support

crashpaln chat 1

crashplan chat 2

crashplan chat 3

As you can see, the live chat was overall pretty responsive. Although it felt longer at the time, I only waited a couple of minutes, and then got the answer.

By the way, my question was whether CrashPlan was available for other devices, such as phones or tablets. Their website refers mostly to computers, but also says “devices.” I wasn’t sure if it was obvious CrashPlan is available for other devices, or obvious that it isn’t.

I was additionally impressed by the employee’s kind of answer, which felt very personalized. I felt the representative was a person who worked in the actual company, perhaps in their actual offices, rather than someone copy-pasting answers from a random location.

Whether that is true or not, it was a good answer.

While I’m happy with their live chat, I’ll reiterate that the limited hours and the extra steps needed to get to a contact page are frustrating and not industry-standard. Certainly not the end of the world, but a minor nuisance at least.

CrashPlan’s customer support page is Code42’s support page, which is itself divided into the CrashPlan half and the Code42 for Enterprise half. CrashPlan’s half isn’t exactly great for browsing.

You can only look at a few guides and resources, and the “top articles,” but only what’s listed to you under those categories.

There is a search function, but it applies to all of Code42’s support page information. You can apply a CrashPlan filter to the search function, but it’s still much less than you’d get with other support pages. I don’t even know if I would call it a knowledge base.

Having looked through the support page’s articles—which means by doing searches—I can say that I’ve seen better. The essentials are mostly taken care of, but if you have an odd question you will most likely need to go contact a representative.

They also have a resources page that isn’t super related to CrashPlan and is geared more towards small businesses and their data. It might be useful, but you can find tons of stuff like that outside of CrashPlan on the internet anyway.

In all, CrashPlan’s support is alright. Their on-site informational resources are lacking both content and a more comprehensive user-interface.

Representatives are very good, but the hours are limited if you want immediate assistance. Which wouldn’t be too bad, if the on-site information was better.

But hey, nothing’s perfect. CrashPlan’s a simple service, so it’d be unreasonable to expect fully-fledged customer support for it. And if everything performs well, you probably won’t need customer support much anyway…

Having looked through the support page’s articles—which means by doing searches—I can say that I’ve seen better.

The essentials are mostly taken care of, but if you have an odd question you will most likely need to go contact a representative.

They also have a resources page that isn’t super related to CrashPlan and is geared more towards small businesses and their data. It might be useful, but you can find tons of stuff like that outside of CrashPlan on the internet anyway.

In all, CrashPlan’s support is alright. Their on-site informational resources are lacking both content and a more comprehensive user-interface.

Representatives are very good, but the hours are limited if you want immediate assistance. Which wouldn’t be too bad, if the on-site information was better.

But hey, nothing’s perfect. CrashPlan is a simple service, so it’d be unreasonable to expect fully-fledged customer support for it. And if everything performs well, you probably won’t need customer support much anyway…

Reliability

After using it for a few months, I can honestly say CrashPlan performs as you’d expect it to if you just finished looking through their site. Okay, maybe not as perfect as the company makes it out to be, but that’s a given.

I’ve still found CrashPlan to be generally speedy. My laptop isn’t a heavyweight, and I worried about how much of my PC’s resources would be pulled away to CrashPlan’s constant background activity—though I’ve done some setting editing, I’ve found my computer mostly unaffected by CrashPlan.

When backing up folders, I haven’t found particular files stand out un-backed-up (which sometimes happens when I use back-up add-ons in other services). Everything gets transferred just fine.

Features Functions Continuous Backup Crashplan

Ultimately, it comes down to whether I’ve noticed any irregularities, failed backups, corrupted files, or slow speeds.

So far, I have not. Which leads me to say that, unless I happen to be exceptionally lucky, CrashPlan works just as intended.

Do I recommend CrashPlan?

If you’ve made it this far, you’ve either read (or skimmed) a lot. In case everything’s jumbled, let me wrap everything up for you.

Code42’s Enterprise products have been used by the world’s leading brands, names you’ve almost definitely heard of.

CrashPlan for Small Business might have less of those heavyweight clients, but it still does well.

Its pricing structure is very simple—$10 per device per month. I think the price is quite reasonable, and it’s certainly flexible—you could just use it for one device, if you’re a freelancer, for example.

You can add a bunch of devices, as many as most small businesses would need in my opinion, and the service is highly customizable. You can seriously edit things you wouldn’t think of editing (but you’d find out later it comes in handy).

Not to mention, the performance is very solid and the software is super easy to use.

I wish customer service representatives were more accessible and the on-site information was much better, but the representatives are great if you can get ahold of them.

It’s secure, reliable, very malleable, and in my opinion well worth the price. If you’re unsure, you can always try it for a month free and cancel if you decide it’s not for you!

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Aggregate Rating
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Product Name
CrashPlan
Price
USD $10