CrashPlan PRO is an online backup service for businesses. It’s developed by Code42, which is the same company behind CrashPlan for home users. CrashPlan PRO adds support for multiple users, so you can manage backups for everyone in your organization.
This is a review of the CrashPlan PRO administration console and software.
When you log in to the administration console, you’ll be presented with the Dashboard. This gives a quick overview of network activity, storage utilization, and restore activity.
From the Users tab, you manage users in your account. New users can be added individually, by uploading a text file, or by email invitation. Each user can have multiple devices backed up (e.g. a workstation and a laptop). All these users and devices can be managed from one or more admin accounts, which you designate.
CrashPlan PRO lets you view recent activity for users, including device location.
In the Devices tab, you can view backup reports and manage settings for individual devices. You can also perform common tasks such as pausing backups, and verifying file selections.
The Settings tab lets you specify default device settings, as well as change settings for existing devices. Settings for clients can be changed via the console, then “pushed” to all devices. For instance, I was able to add a filename exclusion to my backups, then push this setting to my computers.
To prevent accidental changes, the CrashPlan PRO console will ask you to confirm the push, along with the number of devices the setting will be pushed to.
CrashPlan PRO vs Consumer
I noticed the CrashPlan PRO client is identical to CrashPlan’s consumer backup software, with one exception. CrashPlan PRO doesn’t have the ability to back up to other computers (including friends’ computers). This feature is available in the enterprise (PROe) version, as long as the computers are on the same account.
Backup and Restore Performance
With CrashPlan PRO, it was easy to back up my files. The software automatically selected all files in my home directory. There are no limitations on the amount of data that can be backed up.
Files can be restored with the CrashPlan PRO software, or from the web-based administration console. Restoring from the web interface takes quite a bit more time, as files must be prepared and compressed. I preferred restoring data from the software for this reason.
The Restore tab in the software has a variety of options for restoring your data. You can choose to restore the most recent file, or pick a date and time (down to the minute) to restore from. Files can be restored to the original location, the desktop, or a custom folder. You can choose to overwrite or rename files, when filename conflicts occur.
CrashPlan PRO has mobile apps for Android and iOS. The apps are nearly identical to the CrashPlan for home apps, with the only difference being the color of the interface. They don’t let you manage backups, but they do let individual users access their files. I would have liked to see some management capabilities, or the ability to backup mobile devices.
CrashPlan PRO is one of the few online backup services to offer unlimited storage space for business users, while still remaining affordable at $10 per computer. It comes with the same, easy-to-use interface as Code42’s home software, while adding powerful multi-user management capabilities.
On the downside, I was underwhelmed by the mobile apps, which don’t offer anything other than basic file access.
Learn more about CrashPlan PRO at www.code42.com/business/