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RestoreHow do I restore my files?
You can restore files from the Code42 app or from the Code42 console. We recommend using the Code42 app to restore files whenever you have access to one of your devices. The Code42 console is convenient for restoring files when you are not near one of your devices, but these restores are limited to 250 MB.
Ease of Use95 % – Excellent
CrashPlan is one of the easiest backup services to use. Getting started is as simple as downloading the desktop client and logging in to your user account. Once you’re in the app, you can pause or manage your backup and restore your files.
Almost everything else is in the settings menu in the top-right corner. This button will open a new window with six tabs: general, usage, destinations, network, security and backup sets.
First is the general tab, which is fairly light. Here you can find your device ID and language as well as the option to remove the Code42 icon from your notifications area. There’s also a useful link to the browser app at the bottom of the tab.
Next is the usage tab. Here you can set alerts, which is great for small businesses, especially those with a few dozen machines, as any devices that haven’t been backed up recently will show a warning in the browser app. There are also usage limits, so even a continuous backup won’t slow your computer down while you’re using it or drain your battery until it’s flat.
The destinations tab lets you check and delete your local backups and those on cloud storage. Then there’s the network tab, which lets you throttle your bandwidth. Most online backup services have some kind of network throttle, but the option to automatically increase your backup speed when you’re away is a nice touch.
Fifth is the security tab, which is less useful now that the encryption key settings are gone. The only option left is whether to require the password every time you open the app. Normally, this would be great for security, but it’s so eager that it gets quite annoying if your password is actually secure.
Finally, there’s the backup sets tab. Here you can set your schedule, backup priorities, file exclusions and versioning settings. It’s worth looking through these settings when you first start using the app. There’s nothing special, but they’re all useful.
Browser and Mobile Apps
If you want to access your backup without the CrashPlan client, you can use your browser. From there, you can do almost anything you can do on your desktop. It has six tabs: account, users, devices, device backup, reporting and downloads.
The users and devices tabs are particularly useful, as they allow your tech support to monitor all the backups and user roles from one device. You can also select specific devices to monitor and edit, as well as add files to the backup.
The only thing that appears to be missing is the option to download files through the browser. The ability to use browser recovery is the main problem with Backblaze’s security (read our Backblaze review), so it’s understandable that CrashPlan doesn’t want it. However, the lack of zero-knowledge encryption means this security issue isn’t a problem, so it would be a nice feature to see.
On the other hand, the mobile app does let you view and download files. This is pretty much all it can do, which is a shame, as a proper mobile backup would be a nice extra. However, it gives you an easy way to download files on the go and check that everything is still on CrashPlan’s servers.
Speed70 % – Decent
Using a slow backup service puts you at risk of losing critical data files, as your system might break mid-backup. File recovery will take a long time, and downtime can result in lost profits. It’s important to choose a service that can back up and restore data quickly.
To test CrashPlan’s speeds, we uploaded a 5GB folder to its servers and restored it. We used a high-speed connection throttled to 100 Mbps for both transfers, so we should expect them to use the full bandwidth and take around 6 minutes and 40 seconds each.
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With CrashPlan, you shouldn’t have a problem with the download speeds. It took just 7 minutes, 46 seconds to do our transfer, which is standard for a decent online backup service. It took around a minute to get to its maximum speed, so you might get a better average transfer speed if you’re restoring data for an entire device.
On the other hand, upload speeds might be an issue. With an average upload time of just over an hour, CrashPlan is one of the slowest providers we’ve tested. This increases the chance you’ll lose data that it hasn’t backed up yet, and the initial backup for a new computer might take a while if its internal storage is almost full.
CrashPlan Doesn’t Backup All Files
Try to backup the file using the following procedure.
- Close the file that you are not able to back up and also the apps that are using that file.
- Launch the Code42 app on your device. Choose the Details option from the Home screen.
- Click on the Run Backup Now option to backup the file successfully.
- Check if the file has been encrypted. Remove the encryption and then try to back up the file.
- Find the file that you want to back up and right-click on it. Choose the Properties option.
- Go to the General tab and choose the Advanced option.
- Uncheck the checkbox available near the Encrypt Contents to Secure Data option for CrashPlan Restore.
- Clear the Volume Shadow Service Snapshots from your system to resolve this error.
- From the Start menu of your Windows system, type cmd and right-click on it. Select the Run As Administrator option.
- Key in vssadmin delete shadows /all in the command prompt and tap the Enter button.
Replicating CrashPlan for Home with other software and services
Because CrashPlan comprises local computer, networked, peer-to-peer, and cloud-based backup software and services, it’s 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 don’t 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 aren’t perfect, though it’s been a long time since I last heard of any major service having any data loss for customers.
Switch your cloud backup. The cloud part of CrashPlan is easiest. I recommend Backblaze hands down. It’s 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. It’s been reliable in my usage of nearly two years, and it’s 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 won’t archive system files; that’s the right behavior for a clone, and not for archiving software, anyway. What makes it stand out over Carbonite, which I don’t recommend, is its encryption implementation. Let’s be fair: CrashPlan does it best, if you use either of two strong options they offer. Using CrashPlan’s 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. I’d like them to evolve past this, and offer native on-computer decryption, which removes the risk nearly entirely of third-party access.
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 can’t repair it. This is especially true with Time Capsule, which has an internal drive on which you can’t run Disk Utility’s 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.
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.)
I’ve 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. It’s 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 it’s 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 system—Code42 didn’t 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 you’ve been using CrashPlan to swap files with someone you know elsewhere also running the software, there’s 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.
How do I uninstall CrashPlan?
You can uninstall the software via Programs and Features in the Control Panel, as you would any other program. Navigate to Control Panel, select Programs and Features.
You will also need to delete the following file: C:\ProgramData\CrashPlan\.identity