CrashPlan vs. Backblaze

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ora72601

I have been using online backup services for over 5 years and am currently using crashplan and most of the time happily.
Things I like is that in 3 years of usage I had to ask for help only twice, the rest of the time it just work.
In addition to allowing you to backup to friends it also allow you to backup to any locally attached disk, in my case the online backup is only there for disaster recovery, my main backup is on a local drive and because I am a bit nuts I have a third backup still on a local drive using Apple TimeMachine
Other plus is that CrashPlan does not discriminate and backup any file, including my Virtual machine files, although not very efficiently because of their size and the fact that every time the VM run the big files are modified.

What I don't like is that the backup engine is running in Java, I am backing up a 500 GB drive which consume between 600 and 700 MB ram sometime going up to over a GB. This is too much and although I run a laptop maxed out at 8GB of Ram, I am a developer running all kind of heavy stuff and need my RAM. Also although the support did help me configure Crashplan to access more RAM to solve instability issues, honestly, I don't want to know about that at all and really don't care about the fact that Java apps need configuring.
Java also mean constrains on the version of Java installed and if for some reasons I don't want a specific version of Java installed it can (And Has) created issues with CrashPlan
Finally I just renewed my subscription and was surprised to find that the yearly plan went up 10USD, which is the reason I am reading this article.
Keep up the good work.

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sarahiasat

Cool read Josh, and it's so amazing to see code 42 workers actually respond too ! However I'd like to recommend a third service which is Zoolz and would like to see it get some recognition too for I've been using it for the past couple of months and has gone unlimited now :D

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dakishimesan

I've tested both services on mac and win64 and found backblaze to be far superior for one reason: fast native client. It uses extremely little CPU % to do its work. Crashplan uses Java which I don't even have on my system because of its constant security holes. In the end, the features are largely comparable but the clients are anything but. I nonetheless have a lot of respect for CP too, esp the P2P backup feature, and both services offer private client-side encryption.

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BackblazeYev

Josh, just saw this whilst on vacation! Thanks for the mention! Always nice to be considered one of the most popular backup services out there! The landscape has certainly changed over the last few years. I just wanted to pop in and mention that Backblaze also has a few fringe benefits, like the Locate my Computer feature which can help you locate your machine should it get stolen, and that we run native on Macs, with no additional apps needed.

It's great to have folks finally start paying attention to their backups, and looking online to do so, and it's great to have a variety of choice in the field! We like to think of Backblaze as the brain dead simplest "set and forget" solution around, and find a lot of folks who want just that. Crashplan is a good alternative too! We always say, if you aren't backing up to at least 3 places, you aren't backing up! Use both ;-)

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pastorbob

For about a year I used Crashplan's subscription service ($12.00 per month at the time) to back up five systems. Then I had a drive crash on my main home desktop, losing a video project on which I had been working for a couple of weeks. "No problem, I say. "I have several backups and one of them is on the cloud." WRONG!! When I went to restore the project the most recent backup I could find of these particular files was four days old, even though Crashplan had been merrily reporting successful daily backups. Needless to say I was not a happy camper, having lost many hours of work that I had to do over. So I contacted support and told them my situation and cancelled my paid subscription. I still use the free version of Crashplan but it is limited to my home network between backup drives on my systems. And any critical or important work I back up manually.

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war59312

Hi,

Quick tip for those backing up large amounts of data (terabytes) to CrashPlan.

You will need to raise the amount of RAM CrashPlan (it's JAVA really) is allowed to use.

Please see this HelpDesk article which explains how to do just that:

https://helpdesk.crashplan.com/entries/22855142-CrashPlan-runs-out-of-memory-and-crashes

Take Care,

Will

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RyanatCode42

Good tip, Will.

Most users won't have to do this, even many with 1 TB or greater backups, but if CrashPlan starts crashing or doing "weird stuff," this is a common cause and solution.

And I would note that you can get help with this from our Customer Champion team at any time for this, so if you're having trouble or aren't familiar with terminal or what have you, we've got your back.

We're working on native versions that shouldn't require this sort of tweaking in the future.

Ryan

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ddimick

...and Crashplan gets the nod. Backblaze is a great service and I've nothing bad to say about them, but Crashplan provides more flexibility. I'm running their software on a Linux virtual machine that has NFS mounts to my FreeNAS server. They have an article that details how to load up a headless Linux install and use the management client from a Mac/PC. Upload speed seems to max out around 4-5mb/sec, which doesn't max out my bandwidth but is still plenty fast.

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ddimick

BTW I'm backing up ~4.5TB to them, so my initial backup takes _months_. But they never complain about my utilization.

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war59312

Hey,

Been backing 4 computers using 21TB ((4.2 TB) + (34.9 GB) + (16.9 TB) + (48.8 GB) = 21.1817383 terabytes) for 315 days to CrashPlan with no real problems, other than my slow ass upload. Only done about 4% so far, so going to be years. lol

Most important files are good to go though. And besides it's NOT a big deal anyways since all the files are already backed up locally as well.

It's really going to take "forever" sadly since I am adding more data needing backup on a daily basis then I can upload. he-he :)

So until I get at least 100Mbps upload speed I will never finish. oh well. Though I could using CrashPlan's seeding service @ http://support.crashplan.com/doku.php/feature/seed_service

So yeah, no problem backing up TBs of data.

cya,

Will

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RyanatCode42

That IS a lot of data, and it will take a long time to upload 100%.

We don't have any problem with the quantity though, so go for it!

Few things you might want to know about how CrashPlan prioritizes backups. We put most recently changed files first in the backup queue, so stuff that you're adding now will get backed up before CrashPlan goes back to complete other stuff.

Second, if there's a group of folders that you regularly want to back up before the others, you may want to use backup sets to do this.This lets you set up different groups of files that can have different priority, so CrashPlan can back up your documents first, then work on your videos (for example). More information on this feature can be found here:

http://support.crashplan.com/doku.php/feature/backup_sets

Ryan

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chadlnc

Crashplan will also send you a hard drive up to 3.5TB to do a restore:

https://www.crashplan.com/consumer/restore-kit.vtl

This was one of the reasons I signed up with them, that and the ability to do the same thing with seeding a backup if you would like to send them a drive instead of having to upload every file from scratch.

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haboh

I have carbonite, and it's "fake" unlimited. After uploading ~100 GB the upload speed slowed to a crawl! Something like 100 KB/s. Taken forever for my 100s of gigs of RAW photos. Plus there is no linux support, which crashplan has. THinking I might switch.

Is there an upload speed limit for crashplan? What about Spideroak?

There is also the issue of client-key encryption, which I know a point spideroak makes, how are the others in this regard?

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RyanatCode42

I work at Code 42, makers of CrashPlan. I got your answers right here:

1. No limits on upload speed. We want you to get your data backed up as soon as possible, and limits go against that goal. You may not be able to max out your connection, especially if you're on high-speed cable or fiber, as CrashPlan is a shared service, but our values are to treat our customers fairly, no matter how much data you're backing up.

2. Client-key encryption: CrashPlan always encrypts your data on the client before sending it out. CrashPlan has three options for securing your encryption key. The default uses your account password, which can be reset. For greater security, you can choose to lock your encryption key with a separate, non-resettable private password, so that only someone with that password can reset your data.

The third, most powerful option is to use your own private key to encrypt. This key is never sent outside of your computer. You must provide it to restore and on each new computer you add to your account, and it's important that you export this key and store it in multiple locations, because if you lose it, there is nothing we can do to help.

One other thing the article did not mention is that CrashPlan does offer a seed restore service. We'll load your archive (up to 3.5 TB) onto an external drive and send it to you, encrypted, to restore on premise. More information on this can be found here:

https://www.crashplan.com/consumer/restore-kit.vtl

Ryan at Code 42

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jgottberg

Ryan - Kudos for following these boards and responding. That's awesome PR and something I never see any other vendor of a product review do on this site.

Consider me persuaded.

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RyanatCode42

We saw this article get posted on Twitter, and especially after seeing the seed drive thing, had to comment.

And since unlike much of the internet, these comments are quite lucid, it only seemed right to respond.

Also, we have some big MaximumPC fans here. It seems like every time some new NAS or HD review goes up I get sent a link by someone.

So anyway, thank you very much!

Ryan

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ddimick

Ryan, great service deserves recognition, and you guys have a great service.

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joshnorem

For Crashplan I don't know if they have a limit, but you can tweak settings here: http://support.crashplan.com/doku.php/recipe/speeding_up_your_backup

For encryption go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_online_backup_services

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