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Crashplan is a good looking and easy to use online backup service aimed squarely at home users. The web site is well designed and provides all the information you need to decide if this is the service for you. The sales pitch does make quite a point of showing how Crashplan is apparently so much better than another online storage service called Mozy though – seems like someone has a bit of a chip on their shoulder! We have a review of Mozy in this category too though so check it out and make up your own mind who's best!
It's very easy to sign up for a Crashplan account and if you do you get your first 30 days free as a trial. Once signed up you download their small client application which handles all the backup functionality on offer. This is also very easy to use and we can't see many people having problems setting it up for the first time. Crashplan's applications are some of the only software we have seen in this category that runs on Windows, Mac, Linux and even Solaris. So if you have a few different computers running a few different operating systems Crashplan's Family Unlimited plan could be an excellent value investment.
Technically Crashplan can hold its head high along with its strongest competitors. The unlimited account is truly unlimited and doesn't restrict your file size or throttle the bandwidth you can use. The smart client application only uploads the changes to your files so that after your initial backup very little is actually transferred up to the cloud. It also allows you to specify a continuous backup mode where your changes can be backed up as often as every minute. Finally, security-wise Crashplan's plans all offer an excellent standard of security on transfers and encrypted file storage and with the 'plus' plans this is even stronger.
The plans Crashplan offers are great value for any home users looking to backup data to the cloud or even to another hard drive in a remote location. The cheapest offers 10 GB of storage space which may be enough for your most important files, but if you opt for one of the unlimited plans you have all the space you want to backup your entire hard drive. There is also a family plan on offer which lets you backup up to 10 computers to the same account – perfect if your whole household has their own computers.
Crashplan is a great value service with lots of useful features. It's perhaps lacking some of the sharing features that other providers offer, but instead concentrates on a solid and reliable backup service. As it continues to grow Crashplan could well be worthy of a place in our top ten so we highly recommend sampling the free trial at least!
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