Code42’s CrashPlan Review 2022 [Features, Pricing & More]

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Speed

70 % – Decent

Using a slow backup service puts you at risk of losing critical data files, as your system might break mid-backup. File recovery will take a long time, and downtime can result in lost profits. It’s important to choose a service that can back up and restore data quickly.

To test CrashPlan’s speeds, we uploaded a 5GB folder to its servers and restored it. We used a high-speed connection throttled to 100 Mbps for both transfers, so we should expect them to use the full bandwidth and take around 6 minutes and 40 seconds each.

First attempt:Second attempt:Average:
Upload1:02:001:06:451:04:22
Download0:08:100:07:230:07:46

With CrashPlan, you shouldn’t have a problem with the download speeds. It took just 7 minutes, 46 seconds to do our transfer, which is standard for a decent online backup service. It took around a minute to get to its maximum speed, so you might get a better average transfer speed if you’re restoring data for an entire device.

On the other hand, upload speeds might be an issue. With an average upload time of just over an hour, CrashPlan is one of the slowest providers we’ve tested. This increases the chance you’ll lose data that it hasn’t backed up yet, and the initial backup for a new computer might take a while if its internal storage is almost full.

What happens if I get a new computer or need to re-image my current one?

When you install CrashPlan on a second computer, you will have the option to “Adopt” your former computer. This will allow you to use the previous machine’s archive, backup file selection and backup settings. It will also deactivate the previous computer so that no further backups are created from that computer.

For more information:

Won’t the backup process slow down my computer?

You can expect the first backup of all your files to take some time. Once the initial backup is completed, however, CrashPlan runs in the background with no loss of speed to your computer’s operation.

Customer Support

70 % – Decent

Using CrashPlan is fine while it works, but if you come across a problem, you’ll need to rely on the customer support. Having plenty of ways to access the support team and being able to talk to them at any time are the two key factors for good support.

CrashPlan for Small Business claims to have a dedicated live chat, as long as you use it during opening hours (Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST). However, we kept getting redirected to email support, even during those hours. You won’t be able to use the phone number, either, as it’s for enterprise users.

 Getting support took time, but it was good when t

Getting support took time, but it was good when they finally replied.

The email support team is useful, but our message took three business days to get a response. They claim to prioritize more time-sensitive requests, so an email about a failed backup should be answered faster than our low-priority questions, but compared to providers like BigMind Home (read our BigMind Home review), CrashPlan’s email support was disappointing.

Your best source of support outside business hours is the knowledgebase. It’s big and has an effective search function, which is a great combination. As long as you make sure you’re in the section for CrashPlan for Small Business, you can find good information. 

Add a computer

Before you begin

Use unique email addresses and passwords Each person using CrashPlan for Small Business needs their own user account with a unique email address and password. Sharing a user account among multiple people is a large security and data privacy risk because any person using the shared account can download backed-up files from every device under that user account. 

Step 2: Install CrashPlan for Small Business and sign in

We recommend that each user install and sign in to the Code42 app using their own username and password.

  1. Run the Code42 app installer on the device where you want to install CrashPlan for Small Business.

    Windows: Double-click the MSI file. Mac: Mount the DMG and double-click the PKG file. Linux: Unpack the .tgz archive and run the included install.sh Bash script: sudo ./install.sh

  2. After the installation is complete, sign in to the Code42 app using your CrashPlan for Small Business username and password. If you don’t have a username and password, your CrashPlan for Small Business administrator can create them.

Step 3: Start backing up files

  1. (Users with other devices on the same user account only) The message Looks like this device is signing in for the first time appears. Click Add New Device and then click Yes on the confirmation dialog. The new device appears on the Home screen.
  2. Click Add destinations.
    • To back up to the Code42 cloud, select CrashPlan PRO Online.
    • To back up to a local destination: 
      1. Select Add Local Destination.
      2. Select the device or folder to which you want to back up, and click Open.  
  3. Click Save.
  4. Click Done. Backup starts automatically.

Running Crashplan on a headless server

Running CrashPlan on a headless server is not officially supported. However, it is possible to do so.

The CrashPlan daemon’s configuration files (in /opt/crashplan/conf) are in an obscure XML format, and they are meant to be edited programmatically by the CrashPlan client.

CrashPlan 5 introduced a new client which unfortunately dropped support for configuring a remote server with a local client, so you will need to use X11 forwarding.

X11 forwarding over SSH

Ensure that X11Forwarding is set to yes in the headless server’s /etc/ssh/sshd_config and from another machine running X11, SSH to the headless machine with -Y, and from the remote shell run CrashPlanDesktop. The headless machine’s windows will appear on the local X11 server. If you have problems, check /opt/crashplan/log/ui_error.log.

Local client

On CrashPlan v4.x and below, the client and daemon communicate on port 4243 by default. Thus, an easy way of configuring the CrashPlan daemon on a headless server is to create an SSH tunnel:

  1. Start the CrashPlan daemon on the server.
  2. Create an SSH tunnel. On the client: ssh -N -L 4243:localhost:4243 headless.example.com.
  3. Start the CrashPlan client. (Again, the executable is named CrashPlanDesktop.)

Note that the authentication token (located in /var/lib/crashplan/.ui_info) on the local and remote servers must match. More ideas can be found on these websites:

  • The CrashPlan support site details a slightly more complicated method of tunneling traffic from the client (CrashPlan Desktop) to the daemon (CrashPlan Engine) through an SSH tunnel.
  • A post by Bryan Ross details how to make CrashPlan Desktop connect directly to CrashPlan Engine. Note that this method can be less secure than tunneling traffic through an SSH tunnel.

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