CrashPlan Free Trial: Day 1

Yesterday I was listening to Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte on Security Now talking about cloud storage solutions. Ever since a friend of mine lost all the pictures from the first year of his daughter’s life due to hard disk failure, I have wanted to set up my own backup server in my home. Carbonite always seemed like the best option because they advertise all over the place, but they are kind of expensive. Also, I don’t use computers like most people, so a plan that only allows backups of a single computer just won’t work for me.

On the show, they talked a little bit about CrashPlan and it sounded too good to be true. They offer a cloud storage solution that allows backups from up to 10 computers for just a little over double what they charge for 1 computer, and it’s unlimited storage and bandwidth. It turns out that Carbonite, Mozy, and many others throttle downloads from their servers if you transfer too much data in a given period of time. To top it all off, CrashPlan costs less than everyone else for unlimited storage and they offer a 30-day trial that doesn’t require a credit card (read that as: no automatic billing if you let it expire).

I am uploading a total of about 400 GB and so far today I’ve uploaded 26 GB. It should only take about 10 days at this rate, assuming my ISP doesn’t start throttling my upload bandwidth sometime along the way.

CrashPlan offers some other interesting features for free like backing up to another hard disk locally or having a friend allocate space on their computer for you to backup files to. I probably won’t use the friend backup feature, but it could be a good solution if you have friends or family members that want to participate. They also never delete anything, including multiple versions of each file. No more worrying about accidentally deleting a file or hitting Ctrl-A, Delete, Ctrl-S on your 100-page research paper.

Steve Gibson was concerned about some of the security implications, since that is the primary subject of the show, but I am comfortable with the security that they offer. Next will be to find out how fast they let me download and recover my data once it’s all uploaded. My hope is that this will let me sleep a little better at night.