We're pleased to welcome Code42 Software, makers of the backup software CrashPlan, to the coterie of long-term TidBITS sponsors. Backup software is one of those topics near and dear to our hearts, since a solid backup strategy has prevented us from losing essential data (not to mention untold hours of work) on numerous occasions over the last 20 years.
What sets CrashPlan apart, and why we're so happy to have Code42 Software as a sponsor, is that it not only makes offsite Internet backup possible, it makes it possible for free. The neatest part of the CrashPlan approach is that you can trade hard disks with a friend who also has a high-speed Internet connection and then back up to each other. Despite the massive amount of data most of us have on our hard disks, this works because you can make your initial backup locally (with the hard disk directly connected to your Mac) and then swap with your friend. For all subsequent backups, CrashPlan watches for changed files and transmits only the data that has changed between the current version and the backed-up version, also known as the "diff" or the "delta." Not only that, but the basic CrashPlan software is free for personal use.
If you want to use CrashPlan in a commercial setting, or if you want continuous real-time backup (the free version backs up only once per day) and priority customer support, a CrashPlan+ upgrade costs $59.99 per computer. And if you don't have a willing friend with a high-speed connection, you can always pay for the CrashPlan Central Internet backup service - it runs between $3.47 and $4.50 per month for an individual unlimited plan or between $5.33 and $8 per month for an unlimited family plan. Optionally, an additional $124.99 will pay for a 1 TB drive to be shipped to you for your initial seed backup (or restore!).
CrashPlan saved our bacon in one extremely unpleasant crash when Time Machine failed, and even better, I've never even noticed CrashPlan working behind the scenes, unlike Time Machine, which is often quite noticeable when it starts scanning. That helps explain why CrashPlan is recommended as part of a good backup strategy in Joe Kissell's "Take Control of Mac OS X Backups" and the just-published "Take Control of Easy Mac Backups." It's also particularly useful for backing up the computers of relatives for whom you provide tech support.
With this long-term sponsorship, Code42 Software joins a number of other top companies in the Apple industry, including Bare Bones Software (BBEdit and Yojimbo), Fetch Softworks (Fetch), Mark/Space (The Missing Sync, SyncTogether), MacSpeech (MacSpeech Dictate), Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit (Microsoft Office), and VMware (VMware Fusion). Running a serious Internet publication requires non-trivial expenses for hardware, software, staff salaries, outside development costs, travel, and more, and without the support of our sponsors and direct contributions from readers, we wouldn't be able to continue publishing TidBITS. Thank you, all!