CrashPlan full review

Psst. Want to hear about yet another backup tool with online storage? No – don’t run away yet. This one’s good. With so many different kinds of free and cheap online backup and storage tools making the rounds, a service needs some genuinely unique selling points to make it stand out. CrashPlan fits that category.

We discovered CrashPlan when we were looking at CrashPlan Pro – an industrial-strength, networked backup tool with both client and server components. It’s comprehensive and powerful – but too specialist and expensive to win the Mac gem tag.

CrashPlan is more than just a cut-down sibling of CrashPlan Pro. It’s easily installed and quickly scans your machine for documents to back up. Though cross-platform (there are Windows and Linux versions too) it’ll intelligently select the folders it thinks you need to save – but you can change that, of course.

Here’s the cool part. CrashPlan has one of the easiest-to-use destination selection dialogs we’ve seen in a backup tool. You can save to a local folder, a networked computer or, our favourite option, a ‘friend’. That means you can back up to the computer of someone else with a CrashPlan account. This free feature is one we haven’t seen in any other backup tool – and it’s ideal for team working.

CrashPlan+ is an upgrade that adds continuous, real-time backup, removes ads and provides priority customer support. If these are things that are important to you, this costs $60 (£38). You can also save to CrashPlan’s own servers at CrashPlan Central for $54 (£34) – $4.50 (£3) a month, which isn’t much for unlimited, secure backup. Most similar services impose hard limits on storage.


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