Soon after my daughter was born, we booked a newborn shoot which yielded some amazing photos that I will cherish forever. I also took massive amounts of photos of my new little one with my own camera. I wanted to make sure that these photos would be safe and protected from various threats and disasters. Hard drive failure is one of the most common things to happen to a computer. I also worried that someone may break into my home and steal my computer.
To mitigate these threats, I started looking into a cloud based backup service. I wanted to find a solution which was:
- Provided automated backups
- Provided an easy way to retrieve data
The solution I found that met all of my criteria was CrashPlan! I love the service so much I’ve recommended it lots of times to friends and family
CrashPlan offers a free and paid version of their service. The free service will backup to other computers, and to the CrashPlan servers, but files will only remain there for 30 days. The paid service will back up your data from 1-10 computers (1 computer is an Individual account, 2-10 requires a Family account) to CrashPlan in the cloud. Backups stay on their servers as long as you have an active subscription, and they will also keep multiple versions if the file has changed.
To get started, you download the CrashPlan desktop client and start configuring it. After that, it starts the process of uploading your data to their servers. The application will monitor your hard drive for new files and changed files and upload to the CrashPlan servers (labeled below as CrashPlan Central). It is also nice to see how much data will be uploaded and how long it will take. I also receive an email on a weekly basis telling me how many files/how much data has changed.
CrashPlan encrypts your data before uploading, so even if their servers are attacked, your data won’t be exposed. You can restore your data via any browser or the CrashPlan desktop client.
An Individual account is very affordable, at only $59.99 per year. This really gives me peace of mind that my photos and data are safe.
Multiple friends recommended Dropbox. While I do love Dropbox, it didn’t meet all of my criteria. Dropbox Pro only provides up to 1TB of storage and is $9.99/month (or $99/year). I have a massive collection of photos and video that I wanted backed up, so Dropbox was out.