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CrashPlan Discontinues Consumer Backups

It has been a few years since a decision by a major tech company last turned me into a green rage monster, but it just happened again. Code42 Software has announced that it’s discontinuing its consumer backup product, CrashPlan for Home.

I’ve been using CrashPlan since 2007, shortly after its initial release, and I was so impressed by it from day one that I’ve been evangelizing it ever since. I wrote “Take Control of CrashPlan Backups” about it; I recommended it in numerous other books, including “Backing Up Your Mac: A Joe On Tech Guide”; and it was (until now) my top pick in a Wirecutter round-up of online backup services. In short, I have a significant personal and professional investment in CrashPlan, based on countless hours of research and testing — I’ve evaluated more than 100 backup apps! — and now, with a mixture of anger and disappointment, I have to tell you that it’s time to find something else.

Just the Facts, Mac -- Let me set emotion aside for a moment and lay out the facts of Code42’s announcement.

According to Code42, the company has seen tremendous growth in revenue from its small business, education, and enterprise customers, but the needs of those customers have diverged sharply from the needs of consumers. So Code42 decided to put all its resources into serving its most profitable customers.

As a result, CrashPlan for Home will be discontinued entirely on 22 October 2018.

You may notice that date is 14 months from now. Here’s what will happen between now and then:

  • If you have an existing CrashPlan for Home subscription, it will continue to work, and the company will continue providing technical support, until the end date. In fact, Code42 told me that it’s doubling its tech support staff to help deal with transition issues.

  • All current subscriptions will be extended by 60 days (regardless of their current end date) for free. So if you subscribed this week, you can use the service for a full 14 months, and even if you subscribed a year ago, you have at least 2 months to move to a different service. However, Code42 is offering no refunds, even for people who subscribed (or renewed) the day before the announcement.

  • On 22 October 2018, the consumer version of the CrashPlan app will stop working entirely — that includes local and peer-to-peer backups. So, if you are backing up to CrashPlan Central (Code42’s cloud storage space for consumers), all your backed-up data will be deleted on the end date; but even if you aren’t, you won’t be able to keep using the CrashPlan app. Either way, any data you haven’t restored by that date will be gone forever. (On the other hand, users of the free CrashPlan app who were doing local or peer-to-peer backups will be able to take advantage of either of the same special discount offers available to CrashPlan Central subscribers, which I explain next.)

  • For home customers who want to transition to CrashPlan’s small business plan (available for any group with 1–199 computers to back up), Code42 offers free, instant migration of your data; the transfer of any time remaining on your consumer plan to the small business plan; and a 75 percent discount on the small business plan for your first year. (Its normal price is $10 per device per month — that’s twice the price of the single-user CrashPlan for Home, and up to eight times as much as the now-discontinued family plan.)

  • If you’re not a candidate for CrashPlan for Small Business, Code42 offers a discount on a Carbonite subscription, along with assistance in migrating to Carbonite. Carbonite normally charges $59.99 to $149.99 per year for home users ($269.99 to $1299.99 for business users), but CrashPlan for Home users will get a 50 percent discount for their first year, plus 20 percent off Storage Packs for Carbonite business accounts. (It appears, however, that only CrashPlan for Home users with individual accounts are offered discounts on the consumer version of Carbonite; if you have a family CrashPlan subscription, you’re offered a discount on a Carbonite business plan, which does not include unlimited storage.) Unfortunately, while Carbonite is not bad on Windows, I would not recommend it to Mac users, because the Mac version offers neither versioning nor the option to use a personal encryption key. Plus, my tests suggest that Carbonite artificially restricts upstream bandwidth, making it significantly slower than many competitors.

Code42 has a Consumer Information Page with complete details on the transition.

So Now What? If you’re a Mac user and, like me, find CrashPlan for Small Business to be too expensive and Carbonite to be inadequate, what’s your best bet for a CrashPlan replacement? Here are my thoughts:

  • For easy online backups, switch to Backblaze. I like Backblaze, and everyone I know who has used it likes it too. It was the runner-up in my Wirecutter article, but now it will move into first place. Backblaze is fast, reliable, and secure, and it costs $5 per month per computer. It wasn’t my first choice because, unlike CrashPlan, it doesn’t offer peer-to-peer backups (that is, you back up to my computer while I back up to yours), local backups (where you keep an extra copy of your data on a nearby hard drive or RAID), or a multi-user discount for families; and because the process of restoring files requires more steps than with CrashPlan and most other competitors. In addition, Backblaze stores deleted files and older versions of files for only 30 days, whereas CrashPlan lets you keep them indefinitely. However, Backblaze has the killer feature of still being available, in light of which those shortcomings seem comparatively minor. (The company also posted a helpful article with detailed advice on migrating backups from CrashPlan.) I will be moving my family’s online backups to Backblaze.

  • You can also, of course, go with any of numerous other services if you like a different one better for any reason — again, refer to my round-up article for suggestions. Expect to see competitors offer special deals for people switching from CrashPlan — for example, iDrive announced a whopping 90 percent discount for the first year ($6.95 versus $69.50) for 2 TB of storage.

  • If saving money is your top priority (especially for multi-computer households) and you don’t mind a bit of fiddling, you might consider using an app like Arq, ChronoSync, or CloudBerry Backup, which you combine with inexpensive online storage space you buy separately — for example, Amazon Drive, Amazon S3, Backblaze B2, or Google Drive. That said, Glenn Fleishman found that roll-your-own solutions were extremely complex and not necessarily any cheaper, depending on the details (see “Investigating ChronoSync 4.7 for Cloud Backup,” 22 December 2016).

  • Regardless of whether or how you back up your data to the cloud, you should also have local backups stored on a hard drive — and not just versioned backups, such as those produced by Time Machine, but also a bootable duplicate (using, for example, Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper). With local backups, you’ll have complete control over security, retention of old backups, and other details — and as long as you don’t use an app like CrashPlan that requires you to log in to a cloud account (even for local backups), you won’t have to worry about cloud service outages or capricious corporate decisions.

  • Bear in mind that you need not make a decision immediately. You have at least 60 days, and possibly as much as 14 months, to decide on a new backup plan and move your data. So if you’re feeling some strong emotions, you can wait until they subside. Take your time, do whatever research you need to do, and make a sober, responsible decision.

Rage Redux -- Now that I’ve delivered the facts, let me get back to being upset for just a bit. As angry as I am about this news, I’m livid about being misled.

Over the past few years, Code42 has made several moves that, in retrospect, were the proverbial writing on the wall. First, the company discontinued its popular multi-year discounts on subscriptions, which had made its already inexpensive service even more attractive. Then, in late 2015, it stopped offering seeding, where you jump-start the backup process by sending in a hard drive containing your first full backup. In early 2016, it canceled its Restore-to-Door service, which let you receive your backed-up files on a hard drive via overnight delivery for an extra fee. And, although the company — after years of promises — finally released a native (non-Java) backup app, that app worked only with its enterprise services, not with CrashPlan for Home (or CrashPlan for Small Business, for that matter).

Each time one of these things happened, I wrote to my contacts at Code42, who downplayed the significance of these changes and assured me, repeatedly, of their ongoing commitment to the consumer market. In fact, as recently as May 2017, a Code42 rep told me the company “remains committed to delivering peace of mind for our home consumer customers through a quality product that is easy to use and affordable.” But, as it turns out, all these moves were steps toward dropping consumer support, and it now looks like Code42 has been working toward this for at least a few years.

And that’s what really bugs me. Never mind the fact that consumers were largely responsible for Code42’s initial success, and that so many people have put their faith in this product and its creators. I understand that businesses need to make money, and sometimes the right decision for the business is something that will make a portion of your customers unhappy. I don’t fault a business for maximizing its profits, or for making difficult changes.

I do, however, fault Code42 for misleading me and others in the press into continuing to promote and recommend a product with no future, (apparently) years after that decision had been made. That’s not cool, guys. You’ve made me look foolish, and in so doing, you’ve lost my respect. (And yes, I have spoken directly to a senior executive at Code42 and expressed my feelings in no uncertain terms.)

If a business had asked me yesterday what I recommended for a corporate backup service, I might have recommended CrashPlan. Today? Not so much. What I perceive as a lack of honor in dealing with the press and its customers has, I’m afraid, turned me off to a company of which I was previously a huge fan.

 

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Comments about CrashPlan Discontinues Consumer Backups
(Comments are closed.)

Here's another perspective. I don't work for Code42, but I've always worked for companies that have had to make adjustments in strategy for reasons rarely understood by outsiders. Many of these decisions are made known to the very people you feel misled by just days in advance. Business decisions need to be kept quiet until everyone involved feels the business is ready to commit. I seriously doubt anyone intended to mislead us. Personally, I don't see it as a trust/honor issue or a problem. I will shift to using Backblaze and I have plenty of time to do so. Done, right?
I was thinking the same thing here!
It's not a conspiracy, people are trying to survive. And nothing they did makes me feel mislead.

Maybe it's authors way of coping with change? I know I have some 'interesting' mechanisms as well :P

I'm thinking of sticking with business, but I will look at going back to blazeback (if they have versioning).
I already chatted with Carbonite, unfortunately no versioning for Mac (yes for Win).
odysseus  2017-08-22 14:12
It stinks whatever the rationale. After being a personal customer, I used the CrashPlan PROe client for a long time, but I was never impressed with the Enterprise support or the client (my university kept dragging its feet about upgrading their server to use the non-Java client). My guess is that the company is not long for this world.
I think that Joe's relationship with CrashPlan is different from the average customer. He was dealing with CrashPlan as a journalist and I think that he has every right to be upset by how he was treated by the company. From where I sit it appears that he was deliberately mislead and it's Joe's reputation as a reliable source of information takes a serious hit. . .

I think that using offsite options like a drive in a safe deposit box is a bad idea unless you rotate drives every time new data is saved on a PC. Otherwise, whatever data is not backed up during the interim period when disasters strikes will be Long Gone. When using a Cloud service I can be certain that the data will be backed up offsite ASAP. In my case using CP that is within one hour of being saved. . .

I hope that Backblaze will respond to customer needs and increase its data retention options. I suggest that current and potential Backblaze customers let the company know how important that feature is to many of us.
GV, good points about Joe being a journalist, I am very grateful for offering well thought out options.

I contacted backblaze and they offer 30 retention of files (versioning).

I decided to upgrade to Crash plan business, since the discount is very good (cheaper than the home version). After 14 months I will revaluate my options.
I really appreciate the versioning aspect of Crashplan, and to me it's worth extra few bucks.
Hopefully backblaze team runs into this thread, and acts on it sometime in the future...
Are we expecting a company to tell (or hint) of a significant business model change well in advance?

Journalist would report their suspicions, customer would be up-in-arms and the Code42 would be ill prepared to address the controversy. They handled a difficult situation well - PLENTY of notice, having multiple options made available, and financial discounts on those options.

What more should they have done? Prematurely announce a change in strategy and harm their company?

The company would have been negligent if they "Osborned" themselves by announcing this change two years ago, even one year ago, seeing their revenues fall off before they were ready.

I am disappointed as a user since 2013. Now I'm working to control my emotions and determine the best solution.

I do not doubt Code42's viability especially given their 50+% growth in the markets they are pursuing. I question similar companies - whatever caused Core42 to depart likely weighs on them.
Yev from Backblaze -> Hear you on the data retention. We have to take a look at the financial impact of no longer reclaiming that space. No promises, but we'll look at it.
Sam Ellis  2017-08-22 10:44
This is sad news for me. One reason I love CrashPlan is that the client allows me to exclude backing up over certain networks, ensuring that backups don't occur when I'm tethering over wireless data.

I just read a support article stating that BackBlaze doesn't support selecting particular networks over which backups are allowed (or excluded), so I'm still trying to figure out my best option.
Sam, for that particular feature, you may want to check out the "TripMode" utility. It can be applied on a per-app basis.

https://www.tripmode.ch

http://lifehacker.com/tripmode-restricts-data-usage-on-os-x-when-youre-on-a-m-1702618566
Stefan Reitshamer  2017-08-22 15:05
Arq (our backup app) supports selecting individual WiFi networks and/or individual network interfaces.
Willem wijnberg  An apple icon for a TidBITS Benefactor 2017-08-22 10:49
This once again confirms my belief that relying on others is a hazardous option. My storage needs are modest, so I will just continue to purchase a new drive each year and use that for back-up. No issues with flaky networks and flaky service companies.
Brian Matthews  2017-08-22 11:22
Are any of those backups offsite? If not, what happens if your house burns down, taking your computer *and* backups with it?
Josh Centers  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-08-22 11:24
Brian has an excellent point. Cloud backup shouldn't be your *only* backup solution, but you need at least one method that's offsite. That doesn't have to be cloud, per se, but you at least need to store an (encrypted!) backup drive in a safety deposit box or somewhere away from your home and rotate it out regularly. It's just that cloud services make that a lot easier.
Geoff Duncan  An apple icon for a Friend of TidBITS 2017-08-22 11:29
Offsite backup to a safe deposit box or other reasonable location can be surprisingly easy. After our neighborhood had a massive gas exploision last year, I moved my offsite backups to a safe deposit box about seven miles away at a bank location I happen to drive by every couple weeks. Just $5/year, and now that they all know me I'm in and out in about two minutes.
Charlie Hartley  2017-08-22 13:05
All this makes me wonder if my backup plan is a bit of overkill. I've been using CP to backup my mac online and to a separate HD. Then I've used SuperDuper to do backups to two separate hard drives, rotating them on a biweekly basis with one stored in my bank lock box. Do I really need CP or any online backup? What do you guys think?
gastropod  2017-08-22 23:22
What happens when there's a regional disaster, such an earthquake, flood or major industrial toxic release and both your house and your bank are totaled? You can't count on being let back into your house to rescue stuff. There are very few places in the world that don't have natural or human caused regional disasters on the time scale of a lifetime or less. Having an out-of-region backup is good cheap insurance. You can do this by periodically swapping pairs of drives with a trusted friend, but when humans have to handle things, they tend not to get done today. And when two humans have to coordinate... Much better to use a cloud solution. Probably cheaper than monthly shipping, too.
Steve C  2017-08-22 13:41
I use Macrium to make a clone on my computer along with four others in my home every week. A copy of this is put into a fireproof safe at my home. On the first of the month I put a copy of that drive in a safety deposit box at the bank. Worst case I lost only 30 days. I use 4x 4TB drives for all this swapping along with a duplicates in each computer. Call me anal.

I've been using crashplan for 6 years. I think I will rely on my system now supplemented with dropbox and drop the online backup.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-08-22 15:04
It's slight overkill. You need three types of backups:

* Time Machine locally for recovering a quick file
* Bootable duplicate locally to get back to work quickly if a drive dies.
* Offsite backup (cloud or physical) in case of fire or robbery.
Dennis B. Swaney  2017-08-24 12:00
Safe Deposit Boxes are one of the biggest money makers for banks. For years I had a small one that served me well and as part of my bank accounts had a reasonable annual fee. Well a few years ago, my bank decided to maximize profits and told me I would have to pay at least triple for the same small box. After investigating other banks, I determined this was happening at all of them so it didn't make sense to get a box at a different bank. I researched small fire-proof safes, found one that would work for me, and canceled the safe deposit box.
macmanic  2017-10-18 22:18
This is slightly off-topic, but as a new 2017 MacBook Air user, I am curious about how the local bootable duplicate drive would be helpful. If the Air's drive fails, it's basically gone. Or, does one store the bootable duplicate volume on an external drive?
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-08-24 12:09
As David Blatner noted elsewhere in the comments, make sure it's rated to protect storage devices and not just paper.
Joe Kissell  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-10-18 22:37
The main point of a bootable duplicate is to have a separate drive that you can boot your Mac from if your internal drive is out of commission. You can run your Mac indefinitely from the external drive if need be.
Dennis B. Swaney  2017-08-28 20:40
Good point.
Bill Kempthorne  2017-08-22 11:08
I stayed with Crashplan for the family plan despite painful problems with their desktop client - it really has been crap for me for about a year. I have several >1TB backups and they seem to have bizzare problems. So I was probably on the way out anyway. Wish I had jumped sooner. That said I will miss the peer to peer backups for in house backup.
Josh Centers  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-08-22 11:25
CrashPlan's lousy Java client was the main reason I switched to Backblaze.
Bruce Sherman  2017-08-27 00:41
yeah, I dumped the home backup after having to re-do the address all the time, and several times having to re-do the whole backup. Not a great product, fur sure. The on-line has worked as well as any for the most part. Count me among the really pissed that they are dumping me as a customer. They've given lots of warning at least.
Geoff Duncan  An apple icon for a Friend of TidBITS 2017-08-22 11:25
I've never been a CrashPlan user (Java requirement was a non-starter) but having watched the company a bit of the last few years, this news is unsurprising. I realize how tempting network backup services are, but the old adage about eggs-and-baskets still applies.
John C. Welch  2017-08-22 11:31
The dealkiller for Backblaze and most others is retention. Backblaze only offers versions going back 4 weeks. Nope. Another is their pricing makes them significantly more expensive than Crashplan, for fewer features that I actually need. Nope.

The java app was sometimes annoying, but rarely something that was needed. Crashplan "just worked" in a way no other option does.
Yev from Backblaze -> Hear you on the data retention, we'll have to review it and run financial models on an extended retention plan/policy. No promises, but we'll take a look!
Tim Nyberg  2017-08-22 11:32
it is all about money, they only care about one thing and that is how much they make.

It doesn't surprise me at all. Not that we don't get tired of the lack of commitment to products and services out there in general but it isn't really much different then all the companies that think returning an email days or weeks after the fact is a form of customer support. Companies more and more automate, outsorce and disregard client support.

We've had several clients with issues getting data back from Code42, that is when we stopped supporting them.

And now that we know the level of trust we can have in Code42 and the lack of commitment they have to us, is anyone going to keep recommending their tools on any level? Not us.
"We've had several clients with issues getting data back from Code42"

Care to elaborate? What were the issues? What happened?
David Blatner  2017-08-22 11:34
I agree with Joe: I would never recommend Crashplan for business after this move, which pulls the rug out from under us. The Crashplan management obviously doesn't understand that business is about personal relationships and trust. They built a relationship with us, their users, over many years and now they're dumping us for a more attractive customer base.
Andrew Broome  2017-08-22 11:35
This is almost humorous. I have been a CP user for < 1 week after JungleDisk pulled something similar. My 1st backup is (well, was) still in progress. At least the CP CEO had the decency to say this purely a biz decision and offer something of a migration plan. Jungle Disk's CEO did not.

I would be hesitant to recommend CloudBerry though. I evaluated it first before CP and they seem to be going the biz-only route too. There is no Mac compatible plan that allows backing up multiple network shares and they were pushing be very hard to free eval the small biz plan that doesn't even list prices, only "contact for quote". Plus their Mac client is missing may of the Windows client features like Carbonite.

I may try Arq since I'm used to using a front end for Amazon S3 due to Jungle Disk. I have until the end of the month to move away from JD before they start charging exorbitant rates. Very unhappy I wasted a week of uploading to CP
Brian Matthews  2017-08-22 12:15
I've been evaluating Arq for a couple of weeks now. On the plus side, they support a lot of cloud services, the data's encrypted on the client before being sent to the cloud, they document the backup format and I think provide some open source command line tools, so even if Arq is discontinued you could (theoretically at least) recover data from your backups, and they support local backups (that's how I've been testing it).

The big downside, and the reason I haven't fully signed up yet, is that the user interface, particularly choosing what to back up and to where, is *terrible*. I've carefully selected what I want backed up locally, but there's no way (as confirmed with their support) to just say "back up this same stuff, but to over their instead". I have to painstakingly duplicate my selections. And there's no connection between the two, so if I add or remove something from being backed up one place, I have to remember to do the same other places.
Stefan Reitshamer  2017-08-22 15:06
Sorry about that. It's on the to-do list!
Andrew Broome  2017-08-24 10:28
My 1st Arq backup just completed. I decided to try BackBlaze's B2 for storage rather than S3 due to the lower cost. Wasabi is a bit new and since I have <1TB, it wouldn't be be cheaper than B2.

Arq was able to upload my 790G to B2 in about 1.5 days via a 75/75 FIOS connection. With Arq's built in compression, is has stored ~550G to B2.

After 5 days, Crashplan had only uploaded 300G of the 790G.

The Arq user interface isn't the most advanced, but it gets the job done and its limitations aren't a problem for how I do backup/restore.

Happy I can now cancel my Jungle Disk account and delete my S3 bucket for JD
Jacob Herrera  2017-08-22 11:38
I'm very disappointed by this news. I have been a Crashplan customer for almost a decade. The software is not a great experience, but for the most part I don't spend enough time with it to make a difference.

What is going to be hard now is finding another provider that does not removed deleted files after a specific window. It's not a feature you use everyday, but having it when you need it counts. I had a Windows Home Server that bit the dust a few years ago and when I replaced it, somehow some files were lost in the migration. When I noticed, it wasn't for over a year later and some of the missing files included wedding photos and family documents. Crashplan had all my data backed up and it saved me huge headaches and heartaches and I have been loyal ever since. There doesn't seem to be any providers around to offer a similar service at a reasonable price.
Marcus  2017-08-22 12:58
This ^^, that's what I'm looking for.
I saw the writing on the wall when CrashPlan refused to add 2FA security for home accounts. Considering how much data is stored behind our username/password in their cloud, I figured that was a no brainer to add (yes, their business accounts have it.)
Their Java-based software has sucked since the beginning, and some of my client computers constantly struggled to complete backups. And so I've had a love-hate relationship with CrashPlan for a long time now. The price was great but the support was pretty crappy. Alas. I've got 8.6 months left on the subscription. We'll see if better options emerge before then. If not, I may move to BackBlaze...
Lewis Butler  An apple icon for a TidBITS Benefactor 2017-08-22 11:56
Disabling the peer-to-peer and local backup options is really terrible. I will not be renewing my small-business license for CrashPlan when it expires.

That just seems like a move only a jerk would try,
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-08-22 15:07
I'm really bummed to lose the peer-to-peer capabilities too — they were a major part of how I provided data security to far-flung family members who I have to support anyway.
Losing peer-to-peer backups is a big deal for me, and I would probably convert to Crashplan for Small Business if they continued to support this.

In addition to using Crashplan for local and cloud backups, I run my own off-site server that provides the benefits of being off-site while giving me access to all my data in a hurry if needed. More importantly, it also backs up the computers of quite a few family members all over the country. And I know whose phone is going to ring when one of their computers kicks the bucket. :)
Edward Reid  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2017-08-26 17:24
Major point for me too.
Matt Thompson  2017-08-22 12:00
Indeed. Code42 auto-renewed my plan last week. Last week! Oh, sure, I can stay with them until next year. And I'm sure they'll keep updating their already buggy software in that time in case of problems. Sure. It would have been nice if they'd suspended all auto-renewals because it's not like they didn't know this was coming.

I guess I'll look at Backblaze and pray I don't need files from more than a month ago. Should I just move now and eat the auto-renewal fee?
Bill Kempthorne  2017-08-22 12:32
I noticed the subscription page states "your CrashPlan for Home subscription cannot be purchased, renewed, or **canceled**" I was very tempted to cancel today.. at the very least what's the point shipping more data there if I have to start over somewhere else.
Andrew Broome  2017-08-22 12:37
I'm glad I decided to pay month-to-month to start. I'm still asking them for a refund since I never even completed my first backup but I'm not expecting it.
Matt Thompson  2017-08-22 12:58
I wouldn't be as mad if I was, say, 6 months in to my subscription. I'd accept that, but auto-renewing 1 week before? They should have shut that down. Ah well. I chose a commercial solution, and, well, it happens. Still not happy, though.
Scott Rose  2017-08-22 12:11
For peer-to-peer backups, there is always ChronoSync and ChronoAgent.

Regarding Crashplan: the folks at Crashplan have always treated their customers poorly, and that includes their business customers as well. Not to mention that their application's user interface is like something out of the 1980's... it is a terrible user interface. We love Backblaze and will be sticking to Backblaze. We have over 200 computers backing up with Backblaze, and it is essentially flawless.

HOWEVER: One gigantic problem with Backblaze is that you can only retrieve backups going back 30 days or less! Crashplan keeps your backups for as long as you want... Backblaze only lets you roll back to up to 30 days ago. This is probably the only reason to consider Crashplan, in our opinion.
Alasdair  2017-08-22 12:45
I wouldn't say that's the only reason to consider Crashplan. I got the family plan for $150. There are four home computers in my parent's house, two in my house and one elsewhere. The main computer which is being backed up runs linux. This is not supported by Backblaze. Another computer runs windows server. This is not supported by the home plan for Backblaze. Backblaze also wants to charge $100 for every 100GB over 250. My backups are 3.7TB in size over these computers... There's no way that I'm paying at *least* $2700 per year for what I previously got for $150. (and not being able to back up two of the main computers)

I'm definitely going to stick with crashplan for the time being and take them up on their 75% offer if possible. That way I only need to pay 210 for the next year, and get some more features in the process. After that, i'm not paying the full price... But so little companies have linux clients...
Steve Nicholson  2017-08-22 13:08
Backblaze also wants to charge $100 for every 100GB over 250. My backups are 3.7TB in size over these computers... There's no way that I'm paying at *least* $2700 per year for what I previously got for $150.

I think that's incorrect or at least outdated. According to the Backblaze website (https://www.backblaze.com/edrive.html):

Can I really backup an unlimited amount of data?

Yes. Whether you have 10 GB, 100 GB, 1000 GB, or 10,000 GB...it still costs just $5 per month per computer.
Josh Centers  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-08-22 13:41
Yeah, I backup something like 2.5 TB with Backblaze and have never been charged extra.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-08-22 15:08
We wrote about ChronoSync in TidBITS about 9 months ago — check the link in the article above.
Scott Rose  2017-08-23 08:48
Backblaze has always been $5 per month for unlimited storage... no caps, no throttling.
> Backblaze also wants to charge $100 for every 100GB over 250.

Yev from Backblaze here. You might confusing us with another provider. Our Computer Backup server is $5/month for unlimited back for Mac and PC users. We do have Backblaze B2 Cloud storage which is $0.005/GB and has a lot of integrators, but we don't have any tiered plans or pricing.
I use CP primarily for backup of my personal photos and videos for several years. The software was never really a problem for me, it just worked. For now it doesn't look like there is any equivalent solution to replace CP's feature set. Maybe something will come up in the next year. So for now I'll stay put but keeping my ear to the ground.
David Sieber  2017-08-22 12:32
I used CrashPlan for a while a few years ago, here on my home system. But the Java client was seriously problematic and quickly became a showstopper.

Then tried BackBlaze, but it had the limitations Joe and others have mentioned.

Now I use ChronoSync for local backup and Arq with Amazon's S3 for the cloud. Neither is as user-friendly as one might want and they might require some fiddling, but they do the job I need. For now :)
Another great product falls by the wayside. It always did seem too good to be true and today we find out our instincts were correct.
Chris Albertson  2017-08-22 12:38
I'm happy to see them go. First of the Java base client was a resource hog. Use a lot of CFPU power what what?

But worse. I have a 100MB upload speed on a fiber optic internet conation and I tried several times but never was able to complete an initial backup during the 1 month trial period. I have about 4TB of data. Then tried Backblaze and it took only a week. They are an order of magnitude faster and use a native client, no java.
Just wondered when Joe would comment ... he already did ;-). I think I will stay with the CrashPlan PROe backup as long as I can though (but no more running on Mac as a server support these days either).
Ted Ellis  2017-08-22 13:14
Like many other CrashPlan customers this morning I too am upset. Not only have I been a loyal customer since day, well let's say day 10 or 20, but as Corp IT person I sold my last employer on CrashPlan for Small Business. 10 dollars a computer for a company of over 140 people was a lot of money going to CrashPlan. So during that time CrashPlan was receiving cash on the CrashPlan for Home side and CrashPlan for Small Business (so they had me coming and going).
As much as I am upset with CrashPlan, I wouldn't make any rash decisions. First, I definitely won't be going with Carbonite; 1 computer per account, the extremely limited storage, and then the high cost to purchase storage over 250 gigs. 250Gbs, I had to look at it twice and that limit wouldn't put a dent in what I am currently storing on CrashPlan. It would be cheaper for me and my family to continue with CrashPlay for Small Business. Again no rash decisions.
John C. Welch  2017-08-22 13:02
That's the issue I have right now. There were specific features within crashplan that I relied on that no other vendor offers. I'm actually thinking about just going back to tape at home, because it's the easiest option for long-term offsite.
Terry M  2017-09-17 07:24
After nearly an hour reading all of the posts I was wondering when someone would mention tapes! I have an LTO5 with over 80 tapes that I take to work and let the offsite courier take to the caves. Friends though was nuts but now look who still has a reliable backup place as well as archives.

I used CP only to make certain I had backups through the week.

I will also be cancelling the company's CP and move to something else and wish everyone who manages their corporate backup accounts would cancel as well.
I have been using crashplan for several years and also have recommended to friends for a lox cost business solution. I understand about cost for support with end users but for me there was no cost for support. I used the peer to peer backup feature only so no disk space costs supporting me. I am not seeing a ready replacement for that but I am sure some exist. I wish they would have left they ability of peer to peer users to keep working!
Steve Nicholson  2017-08-22 12:56
Backblaze's web site is completely slammed right now. I keep getting "server is not responding" errors.

They're going to have to build a whole lot of Storage Pods really quick to keep up with this surge they're going to get. I hope they're up to the task. I think today is going to be a much different day than they expected when they went to bed last night.

Does Backblaze offer seeding? My upload speeds are 640kbps so it'll take many months, if not over a year, for my first backup to complete.
Steve Nicholson  2017-08-22 13:02
I was lucky in one regard to the shutdown. My plan was up for auto-renewal next week so I don't have to pay for the time after I've already switched to another service.
Yes, I wondered if they hosted their website on Glacier ...
Yev from Backblaze here -> Couple days late but we're feeling much better now. We were able to get website fully operational about an hour or so after we started getting flooded. Unexpected traffic is unexpected.

We don't offer seeding unfortunately, but we do have threaded uploads, which should help even at lower speeds!
martin melnick  2017-08-22 12:58
Backblaze is a non-starter due to the short period of deleted files. This feature of Crashplan has saved me quite a few times. Which service would you recommend that has the retention feature?
What about your Time Machine backup disk - wouldn't that be an alternative source for your over-30day recovery of deleted files? I am confused about why that wouldn't solve the problem with Backblaze.
Dave Kitabjian  2017-08-23 14:55
That might suffice. But it's less convenient since it's not a cloud solution and so you'd need to configure time machine on every mac where you want to retrieve old files from.
Robert Tallitsch  2017-08-22 12:58
I have been a CrashPlan user since its inception. I backup on site but, due to the nature of my business (college professor and textbook author) I needed the added assurance of an off-site service. Yes the new cost is more but I am going to stick with CrashPlan and migrate my files to CrashPlan Business simply because I think the positives out weigh the negatives, especially when comparing CrashPlan Business to the other options for a single user. I too was disappointed but times, and things, change. Hopefully I have made the correct choice for my personal needs.
Chronosync will back up to Amazon S3 and Google Cloud storage services. It will also do backups over your local network to other Macs on your network, even creating bootable clones over the network with the use of ChronoAgent: econtechnologies.com
I've just found out about this and am gutted. I'm a photographer and have around 1tb backed up to Crashplan Central and also backed up to 2 local network drives.
Many of the solutions out there don't allow you to back up to or from NAS drives.
So now I'm not sure what to do, allow time machine to backup the mac and also the full photo archive (which is on an external drive) to the 2 network drives and then I need a cloud solution for the external drive.

I've heard good things about carbonite and backblaze but neither offers the same value or unlimited versioning that Crashplan does.
Aren't you really a business user, in any case? Seems like this move is really where you should have been in the first place.
You might take a look at "Livedrive" and see if that service is more what you are looking for.
Hi - I'd like to offer a correction of your description of Carbonite's artificial throttling. Carbonite is designed to work in the background and not disrupt the use of their computer. Carbonite will process and upload files continuously and does not apply any throttling. In some cases, the speed of a computer, home network, or Internet Service Provider may throttle a customer but Carbonite will not. For customers who want to throttle their bandwidth consumption, Carbonite does offer a configuration for customers to enable throttling within the Windows client.
Joe Kissell  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-08-22 14:04
I didn't use the word "throttling," but in my tests, Carbonite was the slowest online backup service by far. The company claims to offer speeds "up to 10 Mbps," which is not very fast if your upstream bandwidth is much higher (as mine is); that can only mean a restriction on the server end. But even then, my actual tests showed much slower speeds—less than 4 Mbps—whereas CrashPlan was just over 20 and Backblaze was just under 20.
Sarah, if you will carefully read the article and not just the comments, you will see that this is a problem the author was trying to solve for Macintosh users, so mentions of "the Windows client" give you away as rushing a bit to reply.
Deborah  2017-08-22 13:20
My real problem with all this is that I have over 10 TB of data backed up with Crashplan and they will only migrate over 5TB. Not really sure how to do this. Maybe I should just start a Backblaze back up since it may take until October 2018 to complete.
Andrew   2017-08-22 13:34
Is there a compare features link somewhere between CP Home vs Small Business? Also have they rebranded CP PRO to small business? And is the CP PRO/Small business client Java based?
Dave Kitabjian  2017-08-22 20:38
This page says there is such a comparison and provides a link:

https://crashplanforhome.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115001040651-Compare-CrashPlan-for-Home-and-CrashPlan-for-Small-Business

but when you follow that link, the comparisons do NOT include Crashplan Home.
Okebaja  2017-08-22 13:45
I will stay until the last possible moment under my current plan, which is January 5. Then I move to the business version for 12 months. After that, I will decide where to go. Not to Carbonite, I tried that once and it was no success on Mac. Not to BackBlaze, the 30 days limit is unacceptable for me (my needs are to backup photos & videos long-term, to prevent against incidental file loss or damage). May be I will stick with the business version, although I find it too expensive. Hopefully another solution will open its doors by that time... or an existing once comes with a new offering to fill the gap for consumers.
Nicholas Barnard  2017-09-16 05:18
There isn't really a good reason to wait. Your current plan subscription will be honored under Crashplan Small Business. The migration is pretty painless.
Dustin  2017-08-22 13:51
Recommendation for a replacement peer to peer backup service?

Google returns: BuddyBackup, and... that's it
With so many cloud backup providers coming online and dying later, it's pretty clear people just don't want to pay what it takes to provide these services. Prices are too low, and business plans are subsidizing the loss-leaders - home users. Combine that with some cloud providers not considering what people will do (E.g., when Microsoft had users with 70+ TB in the unlimited consumer OneDrive, they ended up removing the unlimited plan) and we have the state of backup as it is today.

The key for me is diversification. I use OneDrive myself and have that sync fully to a drive that gets snapshotted weekly, with those snapshots pushed to geo-redundant Azure blob storage. It ain't perfect but it works.
Joe Kissell  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-08-22 14:14
Folks, I just wanted to jump in to say that I've read all the comments, and while I don't have time right now to respond to all of them, I will comment and/or update the article as necessary over the coming days as time permits.
David Redfearn  An apple icon for a TidBITS Supporter 2017-08-22 14:27
Primarily based on Joe's recommendations I tried CP on my main iMac a while ago. I could never make it work satisfactorily - I looked to me like it would take a year to complete my 2TB backup (and I have a very fast cable internet connection). They then discontinued their "seeding" option (which I was considering), so I cancelled and asked for my money back (which they did refund). I also tried CP on my Win10 PC doing only local backups to an attached USB drive, which seemed to work, but also used a lot of CPU cycles and eventually generated errors saying I couldn't recover data until backup was complete - but backup did nothing.

Reading about the alternatives leaves me with one conclusion: the home backup market is a disaster and every app has major problems.

My solution has been to create and update backups to (multiple) external drives which stay at home, but I also create SuperDuper! images of my boot drives, and also run Time Machine which has worked fine for me.

I understand the argument for off-site storage, but I store one copy of my backup drives in a secure fire safe - so I am not worried about local disasters - if something happened to destroy the local copies, it would be so bad I suspect I would have other more important problems to deal with.

Again, nothing is perfect here. I suspect that the economics of these home-focused applications is very demanding, and these companies are not nonprofit.

David
David Blatner  2017-08-22 15:53
On the topic of keeping backup drives in a fireproof safe: Many people don't realize that a typical fireproof safe will not keep a hard drive (or other electronic media) safe in a fire. They're designed to protect documents, not media. I believe you need a "class 125" safe.
Sure, in the immediate days and weeks after that disaster you'll have more important things to worry about. But, eventually, you'll want to get back to your life and you'll wonder why you valued 2TB of data enough to build a somewhat complex home backup system but not complete the loop with an offsite backup.

I'm not trying to be snarky but I don't think that you've thought disaster recovery out completely.
David Redfearn  An apple icon for a TidBITS Supporter 2017-08-23 15:30
I have thought about this a lot. Everyone seems to be making the assumption that the backup data is essential and absolutely critical. If you are running a business, then I can see the need to have off-site backups - you really, really need to keep that data. My own backups consist of a lot of old email, business documents from 31 years of work (I'm now retired) and the photos I have taken over the years. Only the photos mean a lot to me - so that guides how compulsive I am. I used to have my Photos on Amazon (Prime) but they screwed up the client software (and don't support it), so that is not a great solution. I have to try the client again to see if if works better. Uploads to Amazon are relatively fast and reliable - with no incremental cost given that I am already paying for Prime. Time Machine gives me the (almost) real-time backups with file versioning - and TM has saved my butt a couple of times with this functionality.

I just think that the agony expressed here by Joe and my the comments relates to data that simply cannot be lost. Not everyone has that requirement.

David
Tony Moller  2017-08-22 15:18
CrashPlan Enterprise has also seen some significant changes in v6 that was just released. First, they dropped Mac Server support (i.e. server software won't run on Macs). Second, they dropped the ability to back up Windows Servers! Their model now is to be a complete workforce client/workstation backup solution. Server backups will require an alternative application. So we're dropping our contract with them next year when it runs out. 9 months to find a new "enterprise" cross-platform backup solution.
Curtis Wilcox  An apple icon for a Friend of TidBITS 2017-08-22 23:13
To me, server backups are a very different use-case compared to client computers which warrant a different backup strategy. Also, if that server is a very large file server for a business, well, the economics don't work out for the backup company.
Jason Kratz  2017-08-22 15:38
Just to pick a nit here....Backblaze has never claimed to be a data archive service. For the folks who were backing up then deleting files on CrashPlan you were lucky they had the option to never remove deleted files because they never claimed to be an archive service either. If you truly want to make sure you have cherished items like photos, etc. you're better off putting multiple copies in multiple places. Backblaze B2 (or amazon...or google.....just note B2 because its the cheapest) is perfect for archiving data.
Sorry - but I 100% disagree with your "nit-pick." A backup company should be able to retrieve your data if it's lost. If a virus deletes a random file on your computer, or if I walk up to your computer and delete a bunch of files, you should be able to restore them from your backup solution past 30 days from now. If you can't - your backup provider isn't a backup company. They are an extended recycle bin that wipes clean every 30-days.

After a lot of thought I think I'm sticking with crashplan. it's double the cost now, but there is no company out there doing what they do for the cost. Even if it went from $60 to $120.
Jason Kratz  2017-08-22 16:46
Backblaze has been able to retrieve every file I've ever needed them to. I dont have viruses (and if I did I'd know right away that something was wrong). I dont have people walking up to my computer deleting files. If I did i'd have a bigger issue than the 30 day policy at Backblaze. I also have a local time machine backup that I always go to first. Backblaze is my offline solution that I hope I never need. Anything super important I never delete anyhow therefore 30 days isnt an issue. Photos? Music? they're all on external drives that are always plugged in (they're also stored elsewhere...OneDrive in my case in an archive folder). I used to think that the 30 day thing was a big deal....until I actually looked at how I was using CrashPlan.
Dave Kitabjian  2017-08-22 20:41
CP Business a lot more than double CP Home if you have the unlimited Family Plan and backup several Macs.
backblaze is not a backup company. they are a 30-day recycle bin.
Joe Kissell  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-08-22 16:05
Just to clarify, Backblaze does *not* delete all your backups when they're 30 days old, so it's not like a 30-day recycle bin. It deletes only older versions of files, and deleted files, after that time period—but keeps the latest versions of files that are still on your computer indefinitely.

Having said that, I do wish they retained files longer, and I have personally needed to retrieve older files from backups, which is yet another reason to have more than one type of backup. If Backblaze (or whoever) won't give you all the features you want, you may need to do some mixing and matching.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-08-22 16:20
Time Machine does basically the same thing in terms of trimming old versions off the back on a schedule. It's not ideal from the data security standpoint, but it's reasonable for most people in most situations given finite backup space.

What I'd suggest is that if this is a problem for you, you consider an archiving solution in addition to your backup strategy.

For me, backups are about getting recent versions back via Time Machine, getting back to work quickly via a bootable duplicate created by SuperDuper, and having an offsite backup of some sort. Without CrashPlan's peer-to-peer backup, I'll need to do something different for that last one.
Jason Kratz  2017-08-22 16:47
Which validates my point that Backblaze is still a backup solution....just not a data archiving solution ;)
Jim Ancona  2017-08-22 16:52
Keep in mind that Backblaze also deletes external drive backups if they haven't been updated in 30 days: https://help.backblaze.com/hc/en-us/articles/217664898-What-happens-to-my-backups-when-I-m-away-or-on-vacation-
I wouldn't use them for that reason. I can't risk losing them just because I haven't plugged in the external drive in a month.
Michael Tsai  2017-08-22 17:08
The difference is that if Time Machine has a snapshot from a year ago (which is likely even if it doesn't keep every day from that long ago) it will have all the files from that date. Whereas with Backblaze if you delete a file (even if accidentally), after 30 days it will be deleted from *all* the old snapshots.

Personally, I do not consider it an "archival" case to want to restore a full backup from 31 days ago.
Ed Gould  2017-08-22 16:03
I do not have any personal experiance with any of the products talked about. What I do know that DISK is cheap and disk to disk is fast. I find it cheaper to buy more disk space than to pay vendors. I have a friend who wanted a commercial solution. What he ran into was that he used and the ISP that throttled the data going up. His backup time went to several days for one computer. BTW he is an expert in backups and DR, he is not a typical user but in a way he is. He doesn't have any major demands other than to back up his data in a reasonable amount of time.
Count me as a fellow "green rage monster." They didn't personally mislead me as they did you, but as a loyal customer who also sent a lot of business their way, I am pretty ragey right now. Looking forward to your updated Wirecutter article.
Angus M  2017-08-22 16:49
Sorry to see CrashPlan for Home go; despite the clunky Java client, it was a solid product and their support was always first-rate.

I started using Arq a little while back, backing up to Amazon Cloud Drive. Despite Amazon recently raising the prices, it's still perhaps the most cost-effective option for home users with a *lot* of data (I think the jury's still out on Wasabi; storage is very cheap, but download costs are high). I've been impressed with Arq overall, not least because it uploads blazingly fast, even to Cloud Drive (supposedly one of the slower options). Using Arq made me realize how slow CrashPlan was. I'm _still_ trying to get a full backup uploaded to CrashPlan, whereas Arq/Cloud Drive finished backing up everything I have months ago.
It's only a matter of time before they decide that Small-to-Medium-sized Businesses (SMB) aren't as lucrative as the Fortune 500, and screw the SMB customers too.
Gib Henry  2017-08-22 17:39
There are some other alternatives, of which I know very little: SpiderOak, Duplicati, Acronis True Image,* iDrive,* Mozy,* Arq, and Degoo.* My sources were several “alternatives to…” websites. Does anyone know of these?
————
* indicates those which may support iOS and Android.
Nello Lucchesi  2017-08-22 19:33
Here's a comparison of features:

https://www.cloudwards.net/comparison/
Paul HT  2017-08-22 17:56
As a previous user of Carbonite I moved to crashplan many years ago when my backup exceeded 200GB and carbonite’s throttling made the service unusably slow. I understand the dislike of the software but haven’t had any problems with my cloud only backups.
When the backup hit 300GB I downloaded the lot to another location and used kdiff to compare the two sets, after reading some real horror stories about corrupted backups with other providers. Didn’t have a single error.
I run crashplan on my server and use chronosync to copy files to be backed up to it. That kept the cost at $5.99 monthly, which I thought was a bargain for currently 860GB of reliable cloud backup.
If I’m reading the offer correctly I can transfer to the small business plan and pay $2.50 a month for a year, and see if there are any more surprises. If nothing else that gives me 15 months to look for alternatives.
Dave Kitabjian  2017-08-23 14:49
I like your idea of pulling all your data into one device and then only paying to backup one device to the cloud.
barefootguru  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2017-08-22 19:20
The Backblaze blog is very busy today! And the rep is saying they're investigating increasing the 30-day retention + offering a snapshot feature… make your needs known.

https://www.backblaze.com/blog/crashplan-alternative-backup-solution/
Yev from Backblaze here -> we have to run financial analysis on it again. No promises but we'll look in to it.
Rob Russell  2017-08-22 19:34
I will console myself with one less Java app.

Now to find something else.
Steve Dorner  2017-08-22 20:49
I have experience in lying to customers and employees about the direction of a business. It sucks, I hated it, and I always fought it as hard as I could. I am nearly ready to believe in souls just so I can call the people who impose this sort of thing "soulless" and have it be meaningful.
Michael Schmitt  2017-08-22 21:13
Code 42 says that CrashPlan for Small Business supports local backups (i.e. a backup to a local folder or drive), just as CrashPlan for home.

But I suspect it doesn't support it for FREE.

Reason is that the CrashPlan for Small Business subscription is $10/month PER DEVICE, and CrashPlan has always counted every computer it is installed on as a separate device.

So if you are currently using CrashPlan to backup a computer but not to the cloud, in the new scheme that would be another $120/year.
Dave Kitabjian  2017-08-22 21:30
A folder or and external drive is not, I don't believe, considered another "device". They're referring to computers.

But what IS noteworthy is that CP for Business does NOT support backups to other computers, which is a key part of my current CP Home backup strategy. Why they would disallow that, I don't know. But that could be the key reason I don't take them up on the 12-month 75% discount.
Rocco Cassano  2017-09-05 15:12
I have been using CP for Small Business for a few years to backup 7 "devices" to their cloud and simultaneously to an external USB hard drive. They don't charge extra for the local backups.

The good experience I had with them at work prompted me to use them at home to backup a Windows 10 PC and a 2010 MacBook Pro. Signed up on August 13 and was not a happy camper nine days later.
Gavin Eadie  2017-08-22 21:43
Not quite the same kind of service but does anyone have thoughts about "UpThere" ?
Dave Kitabjian  2017-08-22 21:57
hey, please try to keep the conversation clean. This is a family oriented site ;-)
Nik Friedman TeBockhorst  2017-08-22 22:24
I'm bummed to see that they're disabling the desktop client app as well. In addition to the CP cloud backups, I've been backing up to a humble USB drive which has years of versions and revisions on it. It would be great if I could keep the client app around just to comb those archives if I need to find an old file. Even a read-only version would be great.
Yorick  2017-08-23 13:25
With the Small business version, you can still backup / restore from a locally attached volume (disk, USB stick, whatever). What they removed is the ability for one computer to back up to another.
Claudia  2017-08-22 22:42
I am wondering if I need to replace CrashPlan? I use Acronis True Image at least 3 times a week for a wall-to-wall backup on a hard drive which is removed from my computer. To me this seems like the best protection from ransomware, which as far as I can tell can also affect your cloud storage. I also have all my critical files on DropBox Plus, for which I'm paying $99 a year (you can add 120 day retention of deleted files for another $40 per year). So it seems like if the issue is my house burns down or is robbed, Dropbox is protecting me there. Do I really need to also have a cloud backup? Thinking about just not replacing CrashPlan when it expires.
dave steele  2017-08-22 22:33
What other options are there for peer-to-peer backups on windows? Ideally, the software will also backup mounted network and external drives.

I'm aware of Chronosync for Mac... I guess I'm looking for the windows equivalent
dave steele  2017-08-22 23:25
Anyone familiar with:
"Genie Backup Manager Home" https://www.genie9.com/home/Genie_Backup_Manager_Home/Overview.aspx
"Genie Timeline" https://www.genie9.com/home/Genie_Timeline_Home/overview.aspx
or "Buddy Backup" http://www.buddybackup.com/

Genie Backup Mgr looks like a traditional backup engine (scheduled full, differential, incremental). Genie Timeline looks like it will do "realtime/continuous" block level transfers, deduplication and can customize retention. Buddy Backup doesn't look like it's been maintained
Yorick  2017-08-23 13:32
Wow Cloud9 looks expensive. Well the free 75GB is a good deal, but after that too expensive for me. I have a couple of TB of data. I am now using the B2 service from BackBlaze with Arq and that runs at $0.005 per GB.
Brian Matthews  2017-08-23 15:14
Is Arq/B2 working well for you? That's the configuration I'm leaning towards.
Jeff Fischer  2017-08-22 23:01
First, as soon as I got the email from CP I went immediately to TidBits and was not disappointed with both the informative summary, and the rational discussion attached. Second, in reading the comments, I think I'm missing something: A non-Java Client? Do tell! If there is such a thing available (and I would have sworn I've been to the CP site more than once looking for just that), and if that native client is the client I will be using if I switch to the CP small business plan, I'd love to download it and give it a test-flight.
Yorick  2017-08-23 13:23
There is no non-Java app. Well it exists but only for their enterprise customers who run an in-house server. The personal and small business customers have to stick with the old Java version.
gastropod  2017-08-22 23:30
That CP email was not a nice thing to see so soon after waking up. I have until May to decide. But since I have about 3 TB on the CP servers, and slow DSL which has taken me years to get that 3 TB up there, I'm probably going to be forced to switch to CP business.

I also have the rage from having recommended CP to a lot of people, even twisting a few arms by citing local earthquake probabilities.
# Crashplan
I agree with the green monster ;)
It is kinda pricy esp. if your backing up a lot of computers

I think also they could have gave us home users a nice letter of gratitude and compassion for taking our CP home away from us.
Instead I just get the feeling it's a business decision and they care more about profit than it's consumer customers.
Such a insensitive feeling letter.

I do think backblaze looks good but I do not want to lose some features like Crashplan will never delete any of my backups unless I manually uncheck it from the backup selection.

Wish CP didn't remove option to get all my data sent to me on a HD if needed.
The CP menu on the top of the screen recently the text is very light and difficult to read. Still that way :p
I have 5TB on crashplan and to move to a new backup service would require re-uploading
It all which I don't wanna do.
I will consider alternatives after a year if backblaze will match features of CP Small biz.
I find it hilariously naive that you've taken issue with Code42 assuring you of the consumer commitment in just May - what did you expect? They're not going to say to anyone that asks, "actually, it's going away, but keep it under your hat and pretty please don't tell anyone, m'kay?"

And for the comments about having no notice, people have literally got (up to) 14 months notice...
Yorick  2017-08-23 13:21
If you are on the monthly plan you have 3 months notice, two of which are free which isn't too bad depending on how much data you have to move. Plus in a lot of cases because of the discount you will actually pay less and really have as you say 14 months to move.

Problem is, even the existing service is starting to perform poorly and the small business version isn't any better in that regard. It really is time to start looking for alternatives IMHO.
Yorick  2017-08-23 04:44
Having just migrated to their Small Business solution tonight, the CrashPlanPro app is still Java, it is not native - which I hoped. I'll stay with them until my sub runs out mid Jan then that's it and I'll be migrating the rest of the family to BB.

Two weeks ago I had finally had enough of the CP garage and started researching options and settled on BackBlaze (BB) for immediate backup of most stuff (they don't backup a lot of stuff so watch out for that) and an Arq / B2 setup for absolutely everything I need backed up in all versions from all external drives. The Arq interface leaves a lot to be desired but I can work with it - I'm a software engineer - don't like it, but it'll do.

I also run a Time Machine (TM) setup and a SuperDuper clone of my boot drive as TM is unreliable, but local, and should my hard drive crash, I'll lose days restoring everything to get it up and running. My SuperDuper clone will get me back up and running in minutes instead of days.
George Guimarães  2017-08-23 10:15
Crashplan is offering 75% off Crashplan Pro.

Since I have only one device with Crashplan, it means I'm now paying $2.50/month until November 2018 ($10/month after).

I hope someone catches up until there.
Really the best thing in Cp home was up to 10 users at no additional charge Per user. I was paying monthly at like
13.99 a month. If you only have one computer it's not that big of a deal. This is really affecting the people the most that have 4 5 6 7 even eight family members on their plan
Joe is right, that is a huge difference in price if you have a lot of family members on your family plan backing up
What are we going to have to do tell aunt Janet that she has to get her own back up plan now :p

I have 3 family members backing up so my cost will go from 13.99 to 30 bucks which is more than double.
I appreciate the discount in the first year but if backblaze
will keep our deleted files forever like crashplan I will jump ship. Crashplan is a very solid service and I have trusted the service for years with so far hasn't let me down except for
the change in price. I do tech support and have signed up
Many clients to this. 21st I helped renew a yearly subscription the day b4
Martin Shkreli comes to mind with this dumb business move.
If this is a publicly traded company, the board needs to do some firing of upper management.
If it is private and just has startup investors, they need to do some firing of upper management.
Adam/Joe, Do you think this might also signal that Apple is on the verge of providing a low cost cloud back up system for home users? It would be a smart move (which, means Apple probably won't do it).
I could see Time Machine still doing what it does to an external AND backup files to iCloud off site. $5 a month or $45 for the year up to 8TB. $20 a month unlimited. Maybe some middle tiers and an .edu option. Something like that. Would include the Apple Apps, other goodies.

I can dream…
Dave Kitabjian  2017-08-23 16:08
I have also been scratching my head about why Amazon and Google and Apple and Dropbox, who already have cloud infrastructure in place, are not the key players in the desktop backup market.

They all offer cloud drives that sync, but as we all know, a good backup solution needs to offer archiving: past versions and deleted files.

Seems like a no brainer to me.
Every year I keep expecting Apple to introduce something along the lines of 'iCloud Time Machine' that would back up a Mac to Apple's cloud.

Given that it would be embedded into the OS they could prod users to sign up when starting a new computer or installing a new Mac OS. If the price were reasonable a lot of people would likely do it. In particular, they would probably capture business from people who don't have any backup solution, including a local Time Machine archive.

This also seems like a really obvious opportunity for Apple to increase revenue for its services business.
onemoremile  2017-08-23 15:59
The Carbonite option is incredibly uncompetitive. Clicking the link in the CrashPlan email took me to the Carbonite Core offering. The regular annual fee for this service is $269.99 for the first 250 GB and $99.99 for each 100 additional GB. The discount is 50% on the first 250 GB and 20% on additional storage. Moving the 3.9TB that I am currently backing up would cost me $3014.63 during year one and $3869.63 in subsequent years.

Thanks for looking out for me, Code42!
Suman Chakrabarti  2017-08-23 16:34
John C Welch (and other) comments have made me reconsider going to Backblaze. I do wish to be able to restore something more than 30 days old. I understand their B2 product is more for archiving.

I'd also like something additional: cataloging and deduplication (if I got the terms right). I have backups going back to DDS4 tapes lying around that I haven't migrated. :-) Need to restore via Retrospect and migrate. But I also have archived hard drives all over that I've ceased using. I'd like to be able to know and search what I have, and then be able to know to throw away older hard drives and buy newer archival drives to migrate data, especially if I have 7 duplicates of the same data and don't realize it.

Haven't seen anything out there, and I've done a number of searches over the years. Maybe this is enterprise level, which I haven't really looked at.
If I now have a prepaid subscription for two computers expiring in April with two free months added, and I switch now for free to CrashPlan's small business plan, do I still get the two added months free? Does anybody know? And if I then get a year for $5 mo. ($20 mo for 2 computers minus 75% off) for 12 months and thereafter pay $20 mo. or whatever the market will then bear competition-wise, this is starting not to look so bad with my simple situation with no switching and no complete re-uploading and deleted file version protection for over 30days. Or am I being foolish and overlooking something important?

(This of course would be in addition to my continuous Time Machine running and weekly Super Duper backups.)

While I'm mad/disappointed with CP, it is what it is and I can't see trading the familiar for the unfamiliar over my pique. Unlike some others here, I've always had good CP support when needed. What am I missing here with this thinking?
For those complaining about Backblaze's retention policy. Backblaze themselves will openly state that they should be your off-site last-ditch backup, nothing more, nothing less. They actively encourage using their service only as a a supplement to a local backup, which is faster, more up to date, and will happily archive as many versions as you have space for. Both Windows and Mac have built in backup utilities that take about a half-dozen button clicks to set up, and disks are so cheap these days that cost really isn't too much of a factor. (Especially when the alternative is paying $$$ every month so the initial backup doesn't take a couple years.)
Often Befuddled  2017-08-24 10:54
I looked at BackBlaze to replace CP but found it lacking in multiple areas. One of them was the inflexibility. You often want to restrict uploading during work hours to avoid hogging the available bandwidth. But BB had no way to block 9-5 on weekdays, but allow 24hour on weekends!!

The real sadness is the CP allowed/encouraged local+remote backups. I have found no alternative to it that allows local disk, "backup buddies" a state away, and server-farm destinations.
barefootguru  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2017-08-24 18:26
You shouldn't need to manually adjust this, I've not had a problem with BB's automatic throttle. Plus I rather like having my work backed up hourly.
Oliver  2017-09-29 13:40
Did you try creating s schedulled task stopping BB service via batch file or cmd when you want it to be idle and start again when it should continue?

NET Stop bzserv

NET Start bzserv
CPlan removed their app for home users from the App Store. I couldn't find it. Isn't that a little early. I was looking for the app on my phone and couldn't find it so I went to download it and it's only Pro. They say they are ending support next year so why get rid of that app now? :p
They really want us to switch now.
I am currently looking for a replacement, but I don't see anything which fits... The options proposed by CP are overpriced for my needs (CP for small business) or a joke for Mac users (Carbonite).
I was going for Backblaze, until I discovered their horrifying restore process... Come on, no in-place restore? No direct files download from the web interface or a client software? You must be kidding!
I looked at iDrive also, which on paper seems to be adequate for me needs, but I have read terrible comments on their customer relationships... And a company which offers 50%, 75%, or even 90% discount depending on which link you use to subscribe seems a little suspicious to me.
Any thoughts ?
IDrive also seems like a good option for me (5 family computers). Does anyone know what the downsides of calling them "1 account" would be? I would not worry about privacy issues between my kids' computers, and I am not sure of any other downsides.
Mark L Hoffman  2017-08-25 11:07
I have been a happy month-to-month user of CP for about six months, and went with the one-year deal two days before the announcement.

Ouch!!!!!
Dave Kitabjian  2017-08-25 12:25
You're actually lucky because now you have 14 months to figure out what to do. Although it might take weeks to get your initial backup completed 🙄
I subscribed to crashplan about 8 months ago. Unfortunately, due to the incredibly slow upload speeds I've experienced (my connection is 50 MB/s, but i'm not located in the US), to date i have not even managed to upload half of my data. Now they have discontinued the service I feel like not only have I wasted my money, but also 8 months of uploading time and will now have to start elsewhere. Disappointing.
Oliver  2017-08-26 02:09
Does anyone know if there is any backup service where I can remote copy my CP backups to the new service? As I would restore them to my PC I would like to "restore" them to the new service.

It took over a year with my crappy connection (about 70 KB/s upload) for my initial backup to CP (now about 3 TB) and I don't want to spend that much time again.
tidbits512  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2017-08-26 14:20
I evaluated Backblaze a few years ago before going with CrashPlan. At that time, Backblaze did not back up empty folders, alias files, or custom folder icons. It also skipped some Windows .DLL and .EXE files from Windows that I was archiving on my Mac (i.e. not in my macOS Applications folder or any .app package folder). Does anyone know if Backblaze still skips these types of files?
When I go to the exclusion section in the backblaze app I do see an area for those types of files that won't be backed up but it appears that you can erase some of them that are listed and then click OK. I assume then it wouldn't exclude those file types if you did that
tidbits512  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2017-08-28 13:47
I vaguely recall Backblaze having preferences for file types as you describe, but I don't think that covers the empty folder and alias issues. Here's the response I got from Backblaze when I asked them about it a few years back:

Our system doesn't back up folders, just files. It then re-creates the folders when you do a restore from the pathname. Alias files are also not backed up, as they are seen as duplicates of the original file.

Empty folders are important to me, since I use their names as quick notes for what's in the containing folder, e.g. "000-copied-to-server-remove-later".
I just started using Backblaze. I still am using crashplan but it's paused. I may use both as I like that backblaze can put everything on a hard drive for me if necessary And I like that Crashplan will never delete my data unless I uncheck it in the back up selection I'm testing out backblaze right now

The one that is $50 a year for personal use. I changed the throttling slider all the way to the right so it will not be throttled at all My Internet speed at home testing on speed test.net is 12 up According to the back blaze up I'm uploading on average between 3 and 5. Update I just changed the back up threads from 1 to 5 and now it's showing that it's uploading at 16 Mbps instead of 3. Cool :). It says it will upload 183GB per day at that rate.
Anyone still using Crashplan and switching to backblaze, I don't recommend leaving CP until you're backblaze is finished

I turned on 2 factor and have a private key.
Chris Marshall  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2017-08-27 02:32
I live in Australia, and CP has/had? a server in Sydney, although my initial backup was slow, I assumed it went to Sydney.
My CP home subscription ends about Oct '18, so I guess my best option is BackBlaze, pity no versioning beyond 30 days though, as it was one of the reasons I chose CP.
I assume my BackBlaze backup would go to the US, so I will be interested to see what speed I get, let alone how long it will take!
Any ideas anyone?

My current backup strategy is: Time Machine to a Time Capsule and one usb 3 ext HDD, Carbon Copy Cloner to a raid 1 OWC enclosure via thunderbolt 1, and Crashed Plan, to both their cloud and a local HDD.

So what is my best local backup solution?
I was thinking of Prosoft's Data Backup for Mac.
Is it any good?

Plus - BackBlaze for my offsite backups.
Versioning beyond 30 days, please BackBlaze!

My OS is Sierra 10.12.6

All comments welcomed.
Regards, from down-under.
worksong  2017-08-27 19:00
I've been a "family" user &--like Joe--a CrashPlan evangelist for years, & was disturbed to see their announcement.

Just 1 question: since local & peer-to-peer backups are so unique--& so vitally important to many users--why the hell didn't they SELL the consumer division to a competitor, or to an outside firm looking to enter this market?

If a credible team launched a Kickstarter drive to acquire CP consumer & keep it going, I'd commit in a heartbeat.

Why kill an ongoing subscription business that a) has a big user base, & b) is rated best-in-class by Wirecutter [& others]??
Brian Matthews  2017-08-27 21:43
A couple of things:

- Local and peer-to-peer backup are hardly unique.

- Having a big user base and being rated best-in-class don't necessarily mean profitable, and in the end Code42 is a business.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-08-28 10:00
What other peer-to-peer backup solutions are you thinking of?

I can't give details, but my understanding from long-ago discussions with Code42 would indicate that CrashPlan Home isn't a discrete product and service that could easily be sold or replicated.
Brian Matthews  2017-08-29 11:43
Anything that can do FTP/SFTP/WebDav/etc. can be used for peer-to-peer backup, so things like Arq, Syncovery, or Immortal Files (and if you go to macupdate.com and search for "backup ftp", it finds a number of others). Maybe CrashPlan is easier to set up or works better than others, but there are definitely other peer-to-peer backup applications.

While I don't know anything about Code42's infrastructure, I have designed cloud services, and I thought it unlikely they could easily pull out the consumer part of the business and sell it or spin it off, so thanks for verifying my hunch. :-)
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-08-29 14:47
Perhaps we have somewhat different definitions of peer-to-peer backup. From the CrashPlan model, I think of it as running a particular backup app on both sides of the connection, and it managing both outgoing and incoming backups, along with the associated issues of network usage and disk quotas.

Running an FTP-like server on one Mac and then backing up to that from another Mac might achieve roughly the same effect (especially if you do the same setup on multiple Macs) but it doesn't feel like a true peer-to-peer solution to me.
Brian Matthews  2017-08-29 22:07
Yes, we do seem to have different definitions, and I think yours is somewhat limiting. It means the backup app has to run on both machines (so if the backup app is just a Mac native app, Linux or any form of Windows is out), and if I don't own the other machine, I have to convince the owner to run some random 3rd party app they may have never heard of.

If all that's required is agreement on the protocol, then the other machine just has to have something that will speak the same protocol, which with ssl, basically means any machine manufactured in the last 20 years or so.

CrashPlan may hide some of the details (I never used CrashPlan's peer-to-peer backup, so don't know much about it), so it may be easier to use and maintain than something that uses FTP or whatever, which is certainly of value, but I don't think that's the only way to do it, and maybe not even the "best" (for some definition of "best") in some circumstances.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-08-30 09:02
When I think of peer-to-peer scenarios, I always think of the same app on both sides of the connection. Napster, BitTorrent, Gnutella, etc. That's what CrashPlan provided, complete with networking management, disk space quota management, user management, specific logging, and more.

In the scenario you're describing, it doesn't seem to me that there are any "peers" — just a standard client/server setup where the details could vary completely. If I have to run an FTP or SFTP or WebDAV server on my Mac, I'm running generic Internet services that are only related to backup by happenstance. And Arq or the like can back up to Amazon S3 just as happily as a Mac-based FTP server, so there's nothing on the client side that says peer-to-peer to me.

And while you're right that the other person has to run a third-party app, that's a far lower barrier to entry to most people than turning on and securing generic Internet servers. (Again, I'm using CrashPlan as an example, because that was the real world peer-to-peer backup solution of choice for many years.) It was easy to go to a friend and say "Let's both run CrashPlan and back up to each other." I'd never ask a friend to enable arbitrary Internet services for me because of the difficulty and security concerns.

Regardless, I was mostly curious if you knew of other peer-to-peer backup solutions that met my definition, as CrashPlan does, and it seems not. Not a worry — I didn't think there were any.
Dave Kitabjian  2017-08-30 10:56
Yes, Adam, your definitions of peer to peer vs client server are correct. It's not accurate to describe any architecture that doesn't utilize a "cloud" as peer to peer.

And the differences are real, in terms of setup, firewall traversal, and functionality benefits.

Having said that, I'd be happy to have a series of one way (client server) backups to replace CP. I just want them to be easy to set up and feature rich.

I'd like to know if Joe's book covers the options in enough detail so that people who place a higher value on, say deletetion retention, than Backblaze offers can have enough info to select the solution that's best for them?
Joe Kissell  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-08-30 15:06
My book is certainly in need of revisions now, and I'll be working on that in the next couple of months. I'll have more to say about bring-your-own-storage cloud options, among other things.

That said, I think one of the key takeaways from this situation is that you can't assume any single app or service will solve all your problems. There isn't something else out there that's just like CrashPlan, or something that's just like Backblaze except with longer retention. You'll need a mix to address all your backup needs, and that may mean that you don't use the cloud as the storage place for archives you want to keep indefinitely.
Paul Walters  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2017-08-27 20:23
As others have noted, it is not a good idea to shift to Backblaze (or anywhere) before thinking through the pros and cons of one's own situation. I have 5 years of backups in CrashPlan, for four machines -- two of which are not active and need no more backup. I signed up to convert to CrashPlan Pro for the two active machines, and was able to preserve the 5 years of backups on all four machines and access them through my (now) CrashPlan Pro account without having to go through the complex machinations that Backblaze requires to keep all the years of history. I had 11 months remaining on my account -- so I don't have to pay for that. I get the following 12 months for cheaper than what the old Home plan cost me. If I had quit, as Joe did, I would lose the 11 months, pay $100+ to Backblaze, and spent days downloading and uploading history. And I have 24 months to plan and execute on a longer term backup strategy.
D Walker  2017-08-28 14:51
It's harder to configure because you have to set up both ends, but many programs like SyncBack can back up to Dropbox, Box, Amazon S3, Backblaze, and MANY other cloud services. The Syncback program can create versioned files, so you don't have to rely on the cloud provider creating the versioned files. It's worth a look.

I back up a lot of stuff using Syncback, to Amazon S3. I pay Amazon about $1.50 a month or so depending on how much data is sent.

I don't work for Syncback, but I use their products. It can also do local backups and backups to network drives.
Doug Lerner  2017-08-28 19:09
It is hard to figure out. But I do have until August, 2018 to decide. I'm only backing up one machine.

Thanks for the warnings about the drawbacks of Carbonite. I wasn't going to go with them anyway because all I saw were expensive prices.

I guess I'll see what happens over the next year. There's no point in switching early - unless another company offers a "first year free" or something to get my business.
Edward Jenest  2017-08-28 19:27
I understand your anger over what has transpired. I took the easy road and migrated to their Small Business offering. At a relatively small cost it gives me a few years to consider alternative products. I have been quite happy with them for many years and not ready to jump ship real soon.
Dean Suhr  2017-08-28 21:03
Joe - can you clarify the downside of BackBlaze not backing up metadata?
Joe Kissell  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-08-28 20:19
Let me start by saying that it has been several years since I last tested Backblaze's support for metadata, so I'm not sure of the current situation. I will be looking into that in the near future. But, in general, metadata can hold all kinds of interesting and important information—everything from Finder tags and comments to song lyrics (for an MP3) or location data (for a photo). For some kinds of files, metadata is just "nice to have," while for others, it's mission-critical. So it depends on what apps you use, how you use them, and how much your personal workflow depends on information that is stored only as metadata.
Dean Suhr  2017-08-28 21:07
Thanks Joe. I tend to not tag files and am a pretty simple user in that regard, however, I understand that file permissions and creation dates are a part of the missing metadata. I guess I would like to now what apps heavily or catastrophically use metadata.

I also understand that BackBlaze can be a bit more difficult to restore from due to how they handle the file nesting. Right now I'm backing up several TB of data (some large videos for my charity and consulting business) to BackBlaze as a 3rd resort - but offsite - backup so I hope I never have to download this data.
John Gilbert  2017-09-06 21:05
Backblaze support for Apple metadata is almost non-existent. File create time and not much else. No Finder tags, no file metadata, no resource fork, no file creator, no extended attributes (so unix executables restore as plain text), no folder icons. Along with retention time, that is a deal breaker for me. If metadata is important to you, Backblaze recommend Arq+B2. CP for Small Business (CrashplanPro) starts to look like a good deal even if twice the price of Backblaze.
jim_boies  2017-08-28 20:14
I'm thinking iDrive may be the best solution for me. I need to back up a NAS and neither Carbonite or Backblaze consumer products appear to support that. Does anyone have anything good or bad to say about their iDrive experience?
Charlie Garrison  2017-08-28 21:37
Code42 has never been a reputable company that cares about its customers. I used CrashPlan about 8 years ago; I needed to restore a bunch of files urgently; CrashPlan did NOT make that a smooth process.

I don't live in USA, I use standard international date format on my macOS system. CrashPlan thought that ignoring the system date format and using US date format was OK to do. As a result; I restored data from about 5 months earlier than I needed (swapped month and day digits in list display).

I somehow found that acceptable since I submit lots of bug reports; all software has "issues". So I reported it to Code42, and they said it was a "user issue", because "We're a US-based company so we use US dates in our software". I immediately deleted CrashPlan and have been a happy BackBlaze user since then. Code42 attitude is completely unacceptable for a global company.

None of my clients have ever even considered CrashPlan for their business after hearing how Code42 treats its customers.
Doug Lerner  2017-08-28 22:45
Since I don't live in the U.S. I find this comment important. Have you ever had to restore anything from BackBlaze? What about the issue some others have raised about them not storing file metadata, including file permissions?
James R Grinter  2017-08-31 03:20
I think the poster commenting about dates is referring to how the interface accepts and displays dates, not to it doing the wrong thing (by its terms) if you give it a date in the format it expects.

I've done "restore as of date" in the past, with CrashPlan, and it's worked fine for that.
Jens stergaard Petersen  2017-08-29 01:37
Joe writes about "migrating to Carbonite", but as far as I can see one's CrashPlan data is not migrated (as it apparently is with BackBlaze). Carbonite calls it "transitioning to Carbonite" which sounds more correct. Anyway, only 30 days retention of deleted files and no versioning (for Mac users) rules out Carbonite for me.
David Tanner  2017-08-29 03:06
Am I the only one to think a lot of rage is being generated for the sake of an extra $4 a month??? Especially as the alternatives all have there own deficiencies. I'm on a pretty slow connection here in rural UK it would take me weeks possibly months to upload a new backup. $4 will barely buy me a coffee....
Doug Lerner  2017-08-29 04:41
But what about the comment regarding Code42 and dates. I also live overseas. I think I'm going to ask them about that.
Charles Maurer  2017-08-29 05:47
Last year: "We promise to keep and provide you access to every version of each of your files at an annual cost of $50 per computer."

This year: "We have raised our charge to $150. If you don't pay, we shall delete your files, including all of the older versions."

Crashplan provides no practical way to transfer all of my versioning information, so the only way to keep it is to pay the money Code 42 demand. In short, Code 42 are holding some of my data hostage.

I have long had a policy of helping nobody with a computer problem unless he/she either 1) had an automatic off-site backup or 2) agreed to let me set up Crashplan.
My policy will remain but the product must change.

Meanwhile I need to decide whether to pay Code 42's ransom for my own machines. I am dubious. Although Code 42 will deign to accept hundreds of additional dollars from our family this year, next year they may decide that only larger customers are worth their while and demand even more.

This presents an interesting paradox. If illegal ransomware forces me to pay a ransom, then I (probably) get my data back. However, with Crashplan I leave some my data subject to ransom forever.

I cannot see doing this. For the long term I think it prudent to spend a lot of time picking out old versions of a lot of files, then to back up them and all of my current data using (cheaper) products that are less likely to be wielded as ransomware. Arq and Wasabi look interesting.
FRANCISCO BONET  2017-08-29 07:14
Joe Kissell: How about writing "Take Control of Backblaze"?
I switched from Backblaze to CrashPlan 4 years ago. Now I'm switching back to Backblaze.
Joe Kissell  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-08-29 11:56
I actually brought up that idea with Backblaze months ago, but after some discussion it seemed like it wouldn't be a viable book. (I will say that Backblaze is far less confusing, and has far fewer options to understand, than CrashPlan, and that's a big part of it.)
Stephen Brown  2017-08-29 09:41
Reminds me of what happened with Logmein. I switched to TeamViewer, but I do not find it as good as Logmein was.

For cheap, but certainly more complicated DIY backup, you might look at Syncovery.

computer - to cloud - works
I use it to backup to/from a unix server through FTP. I also have a web hosting service that is accessible through FTP. Unfortunately, it seems my web hosting service does not support SFTP.

computer to local drive
work very easily

peer-to-peer
not easy - unless peers are accessible through FTP - which is difficult if IP address keeps changing, I think.
Brian Matthews  2017-08-29 11:54
You can use a dynamic DNS service to make peers accessible from the internet. dyndns.org is one, although I think they discontinued their free service, Synology offers a service for their NAS users, it looks like noip.com still has their free service, etc. I used dyndns.org for a long time and it worked great to get access back to my home network when traveling.

Also, it's been my experience that with broadband, IP addresses don't change all that often. I've had the same external IP address for years on Comcast, through down time, modem upgrades, etc. So it may be sufficient to just use IP addresses and if backups start failing, switch to the new one, depending on how you and the peers access the internet.
David  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2017-08-29 09:53
"But, as it turns out, all these moves were steps toward dropping consumer support, and it now looks like Code42 has been working toward this for at least a few years."

Or possibly they were trying to make the economics of the consumer side work and losing money on it until they finally made a hard choice to drop it. I think you're reading an awful lot into this, and further if someone at Crashplan had said to you in 2015 "hey, the economics of the consumer side aren't going well; we're trying to figure out how to make it work but we may have to jump ship," they would have been committing business malpractice.

For other folks complaining, I get the sense of hurt, but they've given you TWO years warning practically speaking (one year of Crashplan Home and one year of heavily discounted Crashplan business). That's pretty remarkable.
Brian Matthews  2017-08-29 11:47
Is anyone using Immortal Files (http://www.immortalfiles.com/)? I tried it when it was first released and found it interesting and definitely a first release, but it looks like it's been improved steadily since I tried it, so might be worth a look, and I haven't seen it mentioned by anyone else yet.
Dick Mathews  2017-08-30 04:45
Yet again, this looks like a product pitched at the MAC world.
I'm sure I'm not alone in wanting to back up three Windows machines, and as I live in the UK the points made about US date formats and distance are also relevant. Suggestions appreciated.
Jonathan Uy  2017-08-30 19:53
The 30 day limit for Backblaze as well as its lack of a family plan may make it actually more viable long term financially. But even with that, is anyone still concerned that Backblaze may not be sustainable long term given that they're still unlimited?
Dave Kitabjian  2017-08-30 23:14
Offering "unlimited" doesn't make them less viable. How they manage their business in the event they find they are losing money, however, could.
E.g., every major mobile carrier has offered unlimited data at some point and then had to revise their terms to deal with abusers. But you'd have to be asleep at the wheel to let a policy like that put you out of business.
Keith Ledbetter  2017-08-31 12:53
If you're using a Mac, just do yourself a favor and get BackBlaze. Nothing else compares for simplicity. I've been using it for years.
John Gilbert  2017-09-06 21:09
Don't without making sure it does what you expect. In particular it keeps no file metadata - see a post I made above in reply to one of Joe's comments.
As a Mac user, I say do yourself a favour and transfer to Crashplan for Small Business (CrashplanPro).
Tad Crawford  2017-09-03 14:27
I agree. Code42's decision to abandon Consumer Backups is very frustrating.

Talk to us about Google's "Backup and Sync" function for Macs.
I was using CP for peer to peer backup but have just set up Duplicati to backup to my 1Tb OneDrive flle store that was included with my Office 365 subscription. Indeed the home subscription giving me 1Tb for each of 5 user backups at 6.66GBP per month covers all my family computers and beats other online storage rates and then includes free MS Office (or vice versa depending where you feel the value lies!)
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-09-08 11:00
I'll be curious to hear how you like Duplicati.
Carlos Leitao  2017-09-08 23:14
Joe, I totally agree with you! Thank you very much for your words (for me it was a rage redux). Some time ago I had a big deception with revert.io, too (now called ThisData). Exactly the same situation and feelings. Because of these two experiences, I lost my faith in this kind of service. Now, I am using only AOMEI Backupper. You can send your files to the cloud the same way at no extra cost (life time license). By the way, their support is outstanding! :) I suggest you take a look (just a very happy customer´s opinion).
mctavish  2017-09-09 16:00
As far as I can tell there is no practical way to do a catastrophic restore with CP. Suppose you have a multi gigabyte backup to your local hard drive and to CP on the Web. If you lose both your computer and the external hard drive in a disaster, there is no practical way to restore the whole backup since CP limits restore to 250 - 500 MB at a time. According the CP Support, if a computer is "adopted" before the files are restored, CP may delete all of the files. Am I missing something?
rogerwprice  2017-09-12 09:38
I share your Rage Redux 100%. Crashplan has persistently misled and disappointed us for years.....how could we have been so blind to it! Fooled no more - Backblaze is just OUTSTANDING. So Crazy Fast and a pleasure not to have that bloated Java App sinking my 32GB iMac27.
Doug Lerner  2017-09-12 10:00
I've never noticed a backup speed problem or memory problem with CrashPlan. But Backblaze sounds nice. I renewed CrashPlan in June though, so I'm ok until August, 2018. I guess there's no advantage to switching over early.
Dave Kitabjian  2017-09-27 07:34
So, looking for some guidance here, perhaps from Joe.

Given that:

1) Metadata is important to me (I've done lots of exiftool work to get MiniDV imports to work properly in Photos)

2) I have multiple Macs, a couple of which already having an external drive to handle media libraries. So hanging a second external drive off each Mac to handle separate (local) Time Machine backups is expensive and awkward.

3) I have a couple more Macs of remotely-located family members for whom I'd also like to continue to support off-site backups for.

4) I already user SuperDuper! for local disk images (although getting that to work over a network is problematic, so I usually have to walk an external drive around periodically). So what I mainly need is a) a local, real-time "archive" solution (including point-in-time recovery and deleted files), and b) an offsite Cloud solution.

So call me a Power User, perhaps.

What solution will work for me? Will "Take Control of Backups" answer my question?

Thanks in advance!

Dave
Joe Kissell  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-09-27 11:25
My "Backing Up Your Mac" book doesn't cover your exact situation (and hasn't yet been updated post-CrashPlan, anyway), but here are a few thoughts.

- For Time Machine, you can use any of numerous Time Machine-compatible NAS devices, or a Mac on your network running macOS Server, and thus eliminate the need to have an extra drive on each Mac.

- ChronoSync, Retrospect, and Carbon Copy Cloner all have the capability to make bootable duplicates over a network, which SuperDuper can't.

- There just isn't anything else like CrashPlan for peer-to-peer backups. You could potentially use Retrospect or ChronoSync, possibly in conjunction with a dynamic DNS service, to let one of your Macs function as a server for remote Macs, but you might run into data transfer caps or other ISP restrictions.

(Continued…)
Joe Kissell  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-09-27 11:28
I think what I might do in your situation is to back up the Macs on the local network to a NAS (for versioned backups) and, over the network (using CCC) to a separate drive (for bootable duplicates). And then use something like Arq, maybe backing up to Backblaze B2 or Wasabi, to handle the cloud end. (Arq handles Mac metadata quite nicely.)

That doesn't quite solve the problem for the remote users, but that's a more complicated scenario than I can get into in comments here :-).
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-09-27 18:01
Plus, High Sierra can now act as a Time Machine Server!

Set up a shared folder and then Control-click it and choose Advanced Options.
Dave Kitabjian  2017-09-27 19:43
Joe, thanks for these great tips. Clearly I have some studying to do, since I know little about most of those products!
Dave Kitabjian  2017-09-27 19:48
Dude, if you're right, you just saved me a ton of headache and/or money!

Earlier this year I invested in a pair of LaCie 2big Quadra RAID 1 appliances: one for my media library, and the other for backups. But they're not network enabled (NAS), so they'd be useless for centralizing my Time Machine backups like Joe was suggesting (unless I bought some type of bridge).

But if what you're saying is true, that might be my ticket to that part of the puzzle.

Thanks!
Dave Kitabjian  2017-09-27 21:21
For everyone else, here's a helpful little discussion of the Time Machine Server feature in High Sierra:

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/09/macos-10-13-high-sierra-the-ars-technica-review/5/#h6
Dave Kitabjian  2017-09-30 11:39
So, for inbound Time Machine (Server) backups, you can specify a quota limit, which makes sense and is hugely helpful.

Unfortunately, you still can't specify a limit to how much space a LOCAL TM backup can consume, killing the overall goal of sharing one external drive for all your TM backups on your LAN.

So I still might get forced to partition the hard drive to solve that problem.

p.s. I tried to fool TM by creating a local shared folder and use the new High Sierra feature of enabling it as a TM backup destination (with a quota). But the TM setup screen does not present it as an option. Too bad.
Dave Kitabjian  2017-10-15 19:33
So, I have an update.

My main Mac is now running High Sierra, and is acting as a Time Machine Server which is working fine for the couple of Macs on my local LAN. (Ran into some interesting gotchas, such as trying to change the quota after the fact, which required some CLI work on the sparsebundle, but I digress).

Unfortunately, I converted that main storage drive to APFS because of all the great new features, including those potentially for TM, missing (or forgetting?) that TM currently doesn't support direct backups to APFS(!) because APFS doesn't support hard links. So that means I can't use that drive as a TM destination for my main Mac, to which it is attached :-( . While I have a temporary workaround to yet another (non-mirrored) HFS+ external drive, hopefully Apple will fix that rather glaring shortcoming of APFS very soon.

So, back to the Cloud part of the puzzle.

Since Arq is $50 per user, were you thinking just getting one license, and using it to "backup all the local backups" from my main Mac? Backing up TM backups or Disk Image backups? Seems odd, but I'm open to ideas :-)

Thanks in advance!
Joe Kissell  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-10-15 22:06
I never recommend backing up backups—that gets super messy when it comes time to restore. Rather, I recommend multiple independent backups.
Well, I made my decision today and switched over my account with two computers to CrashPlanPro aka Business. It went very, very smoothly and now I have no additional charge until my old plan ends in June 2018, then a total of only $5 plus tax monthly until June 2019, then the $20 per month plus tax kicks in in June of 2019, giving me plenty of time to consider other options and/or stay with CrashPlan. I feel comfortable with my decision, and the new blue software that popped up seems identical in all other respects.

(I will of course also maintain my continuous TM backups and my weekly SuperDuper full disk backups as always, being a belt&suspenders guy.)
Hi,
Thanks a lot for you great article on WC and this one :)
Do you have a similar review or recommandation for windows local backups apps like "windows 10 file history", "windows 7 backup and restore", etc ? (with detailed comparaison, deduplication, etc.) ?
Thanks
Dave Kitabjian  2017-11-03 14:09
Discussing my 4 stage backup policy with peers? — 20 minutes of my time.

Leaving it up on the engineering white board for a week? — priceless.

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