Crashplan Offset Backups For Your Home…Forget Time Machine

crashplan online backup

Yesterday I realized just how important a simple backup can be….especially when the restore actually works.  Now it’s not like I had to restore something mission critical to my laptop, but that does not matter.  The point that I needed to restore something and it worked was the key.  For over a year now I’ve been running Crashplan Home on all the Apple Computers in the house.  Some people may ask, “Why not Time Machine?”.  Well the answer is simple.  I’m a cloud application fanboy, which means what is the point of having my backups stored locally?  I want to be able to restore from the cloud to the original location, or in the case of yesterday to multiple computers.  Time Machine does not allow for that it’s all local backup.  Maybe if Apple got smart and connected Time Machine to iCloud….they’d have something, but until they do…Crashplan just works.

Crashplan Home or Business?

The nice thing about the home plan is yeah it’s $149 per year, but you can backup 10 devices to their cloud with no storage limit.  Currently I have 6 devices (one that is no longer in use), and I will be adding a couple more to help protect a few family member’s devices.  It may sound like a lot for $150 a year but if you max out the computers like I will come close to, it makes sense.

Although there is some nice features on the business account most people in a house with 10 devices can do just fine.  I don’t think you will need the real-time dashboard, but it would be nice if they have an SMB plan for 10 devices at a cost between the Family and $10/month business plan

Crashplan Does Full Backups and Restore to Door

One thing that’s cool is that Crashplan allows you to backup EVERYTHING including system and hidden files.  Some other consumer based cloud backups like BackBlaze do not do this.  You can also get a full restore to door service should your machine completely crap out on you.  You can also restore from the client app or the website as well.  Just ignore that machine that has not backed up in 1.2 years.  It’s a retired laptop but since the storage is unlimited, I am just a pack rat!


Linux Backups on AWS EC2 Instance

The last thing I just did recently was follow their KB Article on how to setup a headless version of the service on my Unifi Cloud Controller that I manage not only my Unifi networking gear with but a few other people’s as well that is running in an AWS Micro instance.  I wanted to make sure I have some backups of the custom config files and capture portal files for safe keeping.  It was a little wonky to setup the SSH tunnel and redirect a local client app to the cloud controller, but it worked.  I do wish they would have a more elegant way to manage headless systems like a web based client that can connect securely to the headless systems.  Instead you have to change a lot of custom files and it seems like a logical thing to make this work more smoothly.

Seriously Give Crashplan a shot

If you are still using Time Machine or windows backups…click below and give it a try or at least provide some feedback of your own experience.  I for one love it after yesterday!

crashplan online backup

About Chris Colotti

Chris is active on the VMUG and event speaking circuit and is available for many events if you want to reach out and ask. Previously to this he spent close to a decade working for VMware as a Principal Architect. Previous to his nine plus years at VMware, Chris was a System Administrator that evolved his career into a data center architect. Chris spends a lot of time mentoring co-workers and friends on the benefits of personal growth and professional development. Chris is also amongst the first VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX#37), and author of multiple white papers. In his spare time he helps his wife Julie run her promotional products as the accountant, book keeper, and IT Support. Chris also believes in both a healthy body and healthy mind, and has become heavily involved with fitness as a Diamond Team Beachbody Coach using P90X and other Beachbody Programs. Although Technology is his day job, Chris is passionate about fitness after losing 60 pounds himself in the last few years.

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