If youve read any articles about Mac-based local and cloud backup software and services by me or any other long-time tech writers, youll know that, first, we largely recommended Code42s CrashPlan for Home and, second, we have long also had concerns about it. That turned out to be reasonable, given that Code42 has announced the end of its Home product. Now it’s time to pursue a CrashPlan alternative, and this article will help get you started.
First off, why did we like CrashPlan for Home so much? It was comprehensive, letting you back up nearly anything to anything: from a computer to external drives; from one computer to another you controlled for networked or remote backup; from one computer to a peer, a computer run by a friend or colleague, with full encryption so that person didnt need to worry about protecting your files; and to CrashPlans central cloud servers. It also had two strong options for user-controlled encryption.
CrashPlans funky old client will be no more soon.
But that was balanced with how ugly, awkward, and slow the Java-based client software was. Yes, Java! Code42 had promised a native Mac client starting years ago, which it deliveredonly to business users. Over the last few years, it got rid of multi-year, highly discounted subscriptions, and a method of seeding a backup by sending a hard drive and the complementary method of restoring by having them send a backup on a drive to you.
On August 22, Code42 announced it will discontinue its home offering, focusing instead on business and enterprise customers. While I long expected it, Code42s reassurances over the years feel a bit like ashes to those that stuck with the software.
Theyre not shutting down their Home servers tomorrow, or even soon, but if youre a user, you could wind up with a decision point to make in as soon as 60 days. I have suggestions for how you can shift your backup strategy and enhance it.
Code42 will stop operating its CrashPlan for Home cloud services on October 22, 2018. As of August 22, it no longer offers renewals or new subscriptions. All customers received a two-month extension on their expiration date to make sure nobody was canceled immediately. (There are no refunds, which seems unfair to recent subscribers. Without offering legal advice, you can check with your states consumer-protection agency about whether this violates regulations in your state.)
But heres the problem. If youre using CrashPlan in any reasonable way, youre not just cloning your current set of files, youre archiving older versions. The value of continuous cloud-based backup is having access to often many previous versions of the same file, including deleted files. You can configure CrashPlan and many other cloud services to control the depth of archives, when theyre culled, and how long and whether to retain deleted files.
Because Code42 will be shutting down its Home servers, unless youve maintained a separate local, networked, or peer-to-peer backup over the same period of time with the same settings, youll lose your archivesunless you migrate to another one of its services.
Code42 is offering a highly discounted migration option to its Small Business service that retains all your files (up to 5TB per computer) and gives you access to the native CrashPlan client that was once promised for Home users. Code42 will charge you nothing for the remainder of your Home subscription, 75 percent off the rack rate for 12 months, and then the full price. (If your Home subscription expires after the October 22, 2018, cutoff date, Code42 will migrate your files automatically to keep the paid-for service in operation.)
This flavor is $10 per month per computer, twice that of the Home services individual rate (if paid annually). But if you were using CrashPlans family offering, you paid as little as $12.50 a month on an annual basis for up to 10 computers. The Small Business software doesnt support peer-to-peer backups, but I suspect that feature was most important years ago before cloud storage was abundant and inexpensive. CrashPlan is also offering a discount on one-time rival Carbonites backup offerings, which I dont recommend for Mac users, for reasons described in the next section.
Given theres no penalty as long as your subscription is active, the path of least resistance would be migration to the Small Business offering if you have more than a few months left. This lets you evaluate other options and get the benefit of the better software without having to make a quick decision.
Id also suggest migration within Code42s systems if its critical to you to not lose any of these past archives. CrashPlan offers no tools to download or extract entire archives.
A separate strategy to retain archives and abandon Code42 would be to use CrashPlans restore feature to find a snapshot or snapshots of particular folders and retrieve those and keep those stored locally with carefully chosen names so you can walk backward in time to find those files.
While your account remains active, you can also use CrashPlans Web app to retrieve files. Youre limited to 500MB in a given restore set at a time.
If your archives arent important to you in the long run, or youre using Dropbox or other sync services to handle archives of files you create and modify, then youre not tied down. Lets look at how to cut the cord.
Because CrashPlan comprises local computer, networked, peer-to-peer, and cloud-based backup software and services, its possible you will need multiple methods to replace it. I recommend for most people that you have a clone of your system, an offsite clone or archive, and a cloud-based archive. (The clone allows a quick recovery from a failed or corrupted drive; the offsite clone can offer a similar benefit for a stolen computer or one destroyed in a disaster. If you encrypt your backup drive, you dont have to worry as much about it being stolen from an offsite location, too.)
Some people use very few applications, and rely on cloud-based photo, email, contacts, and calendars, in which case the most critical part is being able to have two backups beyond those synced documents and other files. Syncing services arent perfect, though its been a long time since I last heard of any major service having any data loss for customers.
Backblaze offers streamlined, speedy cloud backups.
Switch your cloud backup. The cloud part of CrashPlan is easiest. I recommend Backblaze hands down. Its affordable relative to CrashPlan for Small Business at $5 a month, $50 a year, or $95 for two years. It has a native and exceedingly fast backup client, recently upgraded to be even faster. Its been reliable in my usage of nearly two years, and its highly recommended by a number of long-time Mac pundits, writers, and tech heads who I know and trust. With a gigabit Internet connection, my backups can pass hundreds of megabits a second upstream.
Backblaze wont archive system files; thats the right behavior for a clone, and not for archiving software, anyway. What makes it stand out over Carbonite, which I dont recommend, is its encryption implementation. Lets be fair: CrashPlan does it best, if you use either of two strong options they offer. Using CrashPlans crummy Home or newer native clients, all encryption and decryption can happen using a key only you possess and know and entirely in the client.
Backblaze has the right set up for encryption, allowing you to choose a private key only you know and can access. Data is encrypted in its client and sent to its servers. Carbonite lacks this option on its Mac clients. Backblaze falls down only in restoring files: it only restores via a Web app, which requires its servers to temporarily possess your key. That opens a place of risk if its server software were compromised or it faced secret government orders, which are unfortunately a real thing in the U.S. and other countries. Id like them to evolve past this, and offer native on-computer decryption, which removes the risk nearly entirely of third-party access.
(You can read more details about CrashPlan, Backblaze, Carbonite, and other cloud-based backup services encryption implementations in a feature I wrote last year.)
Time Machine lets you pick any drive as a backup destination.
Switch your local and networked backup. If you were using CrashPlan for local or networked backup, the easiest swap is to Time Machine. Time Machine has a primary problem of being a black box, and when something goes wrong with an archive, you cant repair it. This is especially true with Time Capsule, which has an internal drive on which you cant run Disk Utilitys First Aid. Since I recommend rotating your clones offsite, Time Capsule also requires owning two Time Capsules to accomplish that, or using an attached external drive, which is very slow. I do recommend Time Machine for local and networked backup via a drive attached to one of your Macs as a combination of clone and archive. Just own two similar capacity drives, keep one offsite securely, and rotate them occasionally.
Time Machine has deep archives accessed via an outdated graphical interface.
You should also enable encryption on any drive you use with Time Machine. Then if someone were to obtain your Time Machine drive when your computer was powered down or grab one of your offsite drives, your data remains effectively impregnable. (See these instructions for turning encryption on with an external drive.)
Ive also experimented with using the Arq archiving software as a Time Machine and cloud service alternative. Arq archives files in human-readable format, not a proprietary one. It can archive them remotely to a variety of consumer-level and enterprise-class cloud account and usage-based storage systems. I reviewed Arq a few months ago. Its not terribly complicated and lets you set your own encryption for each archived destination. Depending on your needs, Econ Technologies ChronoSync might be the better option, even though its deeply complicated and better suited for sync or for very fiddly archiving plans; it has archive features and works with local and networked drives, and various cloud services, too.
Switch your cloning. If you were using CrashPlan to clone your systemCode42 didnt recommend that! But you could do it, anyway. Switch instead to Time Machine, which creates an effective clone as part of its basic operations; or pick SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner, software dedicated to creating scheduled clones on local drives or to disk images.
Switch your peer-to-peer backup. If youve been using CrashPlan to swap files with someone you know elsewhere also running the software, theres no direct replacement, and it may be time to start rotating backups offsite to a safe-deposit box or other secure location. More advanced users could look into using SFTP (Secure FTP), which uses a secure connection to access files, and will work over the Internet if your computer has a publicly routable IP address. It can be enabled as easily as checking the Remote Access box in the Sharing system preference pane, and it allows logins via macOS accounts. Pair this with Arq or ChronoSync.
If you want to continue to be able to restore files from your CrashPlan archives for as long as your subscription is active using the Mac client, you have to leave the software installed. You also cannot delete a backup set or change the contents of the set. If you do so, CrashPlan deletes the files that you removed or the entire backup set from your archives.
Instead, use Settings > Backup to change the frequency from Always to run in the least frequent amount of time, like 6:00 am to 6:01 am on Mondays.
However, if youre ready to remove the application entirely and never retrieve archives or use the Web site for restoring (limited to 500MB of restoration at a time), follow Code42s instructions on using its uninstall app. This allows directs you to find additional folders to delete that may have temporary or cached data.
Code42s decision reminds us how much other peoples business plans can affect our need for the persistence of data. Because Code42 uses a proprietary format and youre just effectively renting space on its servers, you cant retrieve your raw archives and move them. Its not like shifting from one email program to another.
As part of any change you make, if you need deep archives that you own for a long time or forever, Id urge that you look into software that lets you retain those and in a format you can read without requiring third-party software.
- Linux Cloud Servers- instantly flexible - May 18th, 2019
- Pricing - Cloud Services | Microsoft Azure - May 13th, 2019
- Hybrid Cloud Security: Simplify Complex ... - Trend Micro - April 28th, 2019
- Best cloud computing services of 2019 | TechRadar - April 8th, 2019
- Hackers Backdoor Cloud Servers to Attack Future Customers - March 29th, 2019
- Cloud vs. In-House Servers: What is the Best Choice ... - January 4th, 2019
- Cloud Services | Design In The Cloud | Autodesk - December 15th, 2018
- Brinkster Cloud Servers - VMware, SolidFire SSD-Based ... - June 2nd, 2018
- Virtual Network Virtual Private Cloud | Microsoft Azure - March 29th, 2018
- Keeping Your Files Safe in Google's Cloud - New York Times - September 7th, 2017
- 5 Reasons SD-WAN, 4G LTE Are Cloud Essentials - No Jitter - September 7th, 2017
- Canon USA Advances PRISMAsync Color Print Server in Version 5.2, Offering Cloud-Based PRISMAlytics Dashboard ... - PR Newswire (press release) - September 7th, 2017
- HPE Reports Q3 Gains Along With Cloud Deal - EnterpriseTech - September 6th, 2017
- Huawei Releases the New-Generation Intelligent Cloud Hardware Platform Atlas - Markets Insider - September 6th, 2017
- Unlocking the promise of a connected world through edge cloud ... - ITProPortal - September 5th, 2017
- Want to do IoT right? You'll need more storage, networking, servers, and cloud - TechRepublic - September 5th, 2017
- So you're already in the cloud but need to come back down to Earth - The Register - September 5th, 2017
- Nasa: Our demands for repeat presidential election - Daily Nation - September 5th, 2017
- Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi open to moving servers to India - Economic Times - September 5th, 2017
- VMware officially lands on AWS cloud with new management and security features - SiliconANGLE News (blog) - September 2nd, 2017
- VMware-on-AWS is live, and Virtzilla is now a proper SaaS player - The Register - September 2nd, 2017
- Socionext Partners with Advantech to Offer High-Density, Low-Cost ... - Design and Reuse (press release) - September 2nd, 2017
- Municipal adoption of the cloud - American City & County (blog) - August 31st, 2017
- Veeam follows Virtzilla's cloud up the Amazon - The Register - August 31st, 2017
- Where does a business's data live? - Information Age - August 31st, 2017
- IBM cooks up a hardware architecture for tastier cloud-based services - TechTarget - August 31st, 2017
- Tachyum bets on flash storage to re-architect the cloud data center - ZDNet - August 29th, 2017
- Juniper adding microsegmentation to Contrail cloud - TechTarget - August 29th, 2017
- The future of serverless cloud looks a lot like physical servers - TechRepublic - August 29th, 2017
- Demand for server specialists increases, but talent pool is small - Network World - August 29th, 2017
- The pros and cons of cloud vs in house servers - Edmonton - August 28th, 2017
- You Can Now Spin Up VMware Servers in Amazon Data Centers - Data Center Knowledge - August 28th, 2017
- Windows Server 2016 changes prompt a new look at management - TechTarget - August 28th, 2017
- Cloud security market to reach $12B by 2024, driven by rise of cyber attacks - TechRepublic - August 28th, 2017
- Jeff Pulver, Internet Pioneer of VoIP and Entrepreneur Joins ... - Markets Insider - August 28th, 2017
- Google Aims to Boost Cloud Security with Titan Chipset - BizTech Magazine - August 28th, 2017
- Oppo and Vivo plan to move cloud storage to India, following India's new directives on data security - Firstpost - August 28th, 2017
- Digital Deluge on the Cloud - Valley News - August 27th, 2017
- How Can You Improve Document Management By Integrating Cloud-Based File Sharing And What You Need To Know ... - Business 2 Community - August 27th, 2017
- Hitachi rack servers get VMware Cloud treatment The Register - The Register - August 26th, 2017
- CenturyLink enhances VMware-based DCC platform, touts software-defined data center approach - FierceTelecom - August 26th, 2017
- Biz sends apps to public cloud, waves 'bye to on-premises server ... - The Register - August 23rd, 2017
- Druva Raises Another $80 Million - Channel Partners - August 23rd, 2017
- VMware shares to surge more than 20% because the Amazon cloud threat is overblown: Analyst - Yahoo Finance - August 23rd, 2017
- AMD Lines Up New China Datacenter Partners - EnterpriseTech - August 23rd, 2017
- How do you bring artificial intelligence from the cloud to the edge? - TNW - August 21st, 2017
- The rice of cloud, avocado of virtualization and salmon of doubt: Let's eat storage sushi - The Register - August 21st, 2017
- 70% of firms face skill shortages for server-based roles - Cloud Pro - August 21st, 2017
- Qualcomm moved its Snapdragon designers to its ARM server chip. We peek at the results - The Register - August 21st, 2017
- Info on 1.8 million Chicago voters exposed on Amazon server - USA TODAY - August 21st, 2017
- Microsoft and Google Give Startups Options to Amazon's Cloud - Fortune - August 18th, 2017
- Cloud is the ignored dimension of security: Cisco - ZDNet - August 18th, 2017
- How AIG moved commercial claims to the cloud - Information Management - August 18th, 2017
- Oracle expands database offering to its cloud services - Network World - August 16th, 2017
- Voices Cloud security from all angles - Accounting Today - August 16th, 2017
- HostHatch launches new Cloud Servers - 5x faster than the giants, including AWS & DigitalOcean - PR Web (press release) - August 15th, 2017
- Oracle Exadata Cloud lands on bare-metal servers - Computer Business Review - August 15th, 2017
- School phones go on 'the cloud' - The Ridgefield Press - August 15th, 2017
- Datrium Announces Split Provisioning For Simple Private Cloud Consolidation At Rackscale - Markets Insider - August 15th, 2017
- New McAfee virtual network security platform offered as part of free test drive on Amazon Web Services - CTR - August 14th, 2017
- How to move into a cloud career from traditional IT - InfoWorld - August 14th, 2017
- Oracle Makes the Most Powerful Database Platform Available on the Industry's Most Advanced Cloud Infrastructure - PR Newswire (press release) - August 14th, 2017
- Frank Dinucci's Cloud Accounting Workshop Draws Many ... - Markets Insider - August 13th, 2017
- Frank Dinucci's Cloud Accounting Workshop Draws Many Entrepreneurs - PR Newswire (press release) - August 12th, 2017
- Cryptocurrencies have pulled one of Nvidia's most sluggish businesses out of the gutter - Quartz - August 11th, 2017
- GoDaddy tops Q2 targets, revenue up 22 percent - ZDNet - August 9th, 2017
- Hardware Can Still Make or Break the Cloud - IT Business Edge (blog) - August 9th, 2017
- Serverless Architectures from an MSP's Point of View - MSPmentor - August 4th, 2017
- Unisecure Data Centers Offers 15% Discount On Cloud Server Hosting Services - HostReview.com (press release) - August 2nd, 2017
- How The Cloud Will Disrupt The Ad Tech Stack - AdExchanger - August 2nd, 2017
- Packet launches edge compute service in 15 global locations - RCR Wireless News - August 2nd, 2017
- IBM adds Optane to its cloud, only as storage and without GPUs - The Register - August 2nd, 2017
- Joining Apple, Amazon's China Cloud Service Bows to Censors - New York Times - August 1st, 2017
- Cisco Launches New UCS Servers, Hybrid Cloud Management ... - SDxCentral - July 12th, 2017
- Verizon data of 6 million users leaked online - CNNMoney - July 12th, 2017
- Server vendors board the Xeon SP party bus - The Register - July 12th, 2017
- New Azure servers to pack Intel FPGAs as Microsoft ARM-lessly embraces Xeon - The Register - July 12th, 2017
- Hybrid cloud and blockchain solutions will be the future for data backup - Information Age - July 10th, 2017
- New 'Microsoft 365' package bundles Windows and Office for businesses - GeekWire - July 10th, 2017
- Tech Data Tightens Cloud Integration With Microsoft To Unlock Simpler Experience For SMBs - CRN - July 10th, 2017