CrashPlan Review (updated March 2016)

CrashPlan is an online backup service developed by Code42, an American software company. It can backup Windows, Mac, and Linux computers to the cloud. CrashPlan is known for its “Triple Destination Protection,” the software’s ability to backup data to multiple locations. I will take a look at this and other features in this updated review.

CrashPlan logo

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User Rating:
Rating: 3.0/5 (393 votes cast)


  • Local, offsite, and online backups
  • Unlimited backup space for $6/month
  • Easy to use
  • Keeps deleted files forever (with a few limitations)
  • Email notifications for inactive computers


  • High memory usage
  • Inconsistent backup/restore speeds
  • Windows Phone app is being discontinued

The Bottom Line

Although the software is a memory hog, CrashPlan packs great features into an unlimited online backup service, along with an affordable price.

CrashPlan Plans and Pricing

CrashPlan’s plans are fairly straightforward. There are individual, family, and business plans.

With the individual and family plans, you can save money by paying yearly instead of monthly.

Free Plan

  • Ad supported
  • Backup to folders and other computers
  • No cloud backup

Individual Plan

  • Unlimited cloud backup space for 1 computer
  • $5.99/month
  • or $59.99 per year ($5/month) Save 17%
  • or $114.99 per 2 years ($4.79/month) Save 20%
  • or $189.99 per 4 years ($3.96/month) Save 34%

Family Plan

  • Unlimited cloud backup space for 2-10 computers
  • $13.99/month
  • or $149.99 per year ($12.50/month) Save 11%
  • or $289.99 per 2 years ($12.08/month) Save 14%
  • or $429.99 per 4 years ($8.98/month) Save 36%

Sign up for CrashPlan unlimited and start backing up to the cloud today!

Business Plans

CrashPlan’s business plans offer individual user management and a real-time dashboard. The price is $10/month per computer for unlimited storage.

CrashPlan Interface and Features

The CrashPlan software has a fairly standard interface for an online backup service.

CrashPlan main screen

The CrashPlan desktop software

There are links to backup, restore, and change settings. Although the interface is not as simple as other services, it’s not complex by any means. You can add backup destinations, change folders to be backed up, and invite others to backup to your computer. It all feels very intuitive, and things are clearly labeled to avoid any confusion.

Most users can click “Start Backup,” minimize the software to the system tray, and never look at it again. CrashPlan is easy like that.

However, anyone wishing to take complete control over their backups can do so. You can customize everything from network speed limits to custom backup sets (each with their own schedule and file version settings).

Here are some of CrashPlan’s under-the-hood settings:

  • CPU priority
  • Laptop battery saving mode
  • Backup only when idle
  • Email alerts
  • Password protect desktop app
  • Custom archive encryption (more on this later)
  • File exclusions
  • Backup pruning and deletion

CrashPlan backs up new versions of files every 15 minutes, by default. This can be changed to as infrequent as every day to as often as every minute. Yes, CrashPlan can even do minute-by-minute backups.

Email notifications are a strong point for CrashPlan. It sends out weekly backup status reports, as well as warnings when data hasn’t been backed up for a few days. The frequency of these email updates can be adjusted, to not clutter your inbox. The emails show how many files are backed up, sources and targets, and when it was last completed.

Backup to Other Computers

Have family members to share hard drive space with? You can let others backup to your computer, even if they’re connected via the internet. This feature is completely free, since CrashPlan only charges for their cloud backup service. It’s a great way to do offsite backups.

CrashPlan gives you a backup code: a random, six character code to link your computer to another account. Enter your friend or family member’s code on the computer you wish to backup, and your data will be transferred to their hard drive. Data is encrypted using your account password, so only you can view your files.

There is no shortage of settings to customize here. The port CrashPlan listens to can be changed. Incoming backups can be only allowed to run during certain times, or on certain days.

I was a bit confused by the maintenance settings. CrashPlan is set to perform “shallow maintenance” weekly, and “deep maintenance” monthly. I searched through CrashPlan’s support site, and found these are related to checking the overall health of the backup archive (pruning, checksumming, and the like). So CrashPlan should detect errors on its own. Although these settings only apply to offsite backups, I confirmed with tech support that local and cloud backups also undergo maintenance, every 28 days. Basically, all backups have safeguards against data corruption.

Backup Sets

One of the coolest things about CrashPlan is the Backup Sets feature. Backup sets let you choose which folders get backed up, and where they get backed up to. For instance, if hard drive space is limited on a friend’s computer, you can control which folders get backed up there. Or if you don’t want a folder backed up to the cloud, you could limit it to local backups.

Restoring Files

CrashPlan makes restoring files easy. From the Restore tab in the desktop app, you can choose files to restore and instantly download them to your computer.

Restoring Files

Restoring files in CrashPlan.

There are 3 settings you can change here:

  • Restore the most recent version of a file, or select a date and time to restore from
  • Restore to the desktop, the original location, or a custom folder
  • Rename or overwrite existing files

You can also restore from the CrashPlan website. Web restores are limited to 500 MB however, so you’ll have to use the desktop app for anything over that amount.

A third option is to have your files shipped to you on a USB hard drive. Shipping is done via FedEx, and it’s limited to the size of the hard drive which is 3.5TB (1TB for Australian customers).

CrashPlan’s Backup Retention Policy

CrashPlan keeps deleted files on their servers forever, as long as the following conditions are met:

  1. Files remain selected in the backup set. In other words, you can’t uncheck folders in the software (or else CrashPlan will assume you don’t want to back up these folders any longer, and don’t need to recover files from them).
  2. Remove deleted files” is set to never.
  3. Your computer must connect to CrashPlan Central at least once every 6 months. Otherwise, CrashPlan deems the computer “inactive” and will delete all your backed up data. There are no email warnings that files are about to be deleted, only for inactive computers. Be warned.

I asked Code42 if this is the real deal – if they really store deleted files forever. Here is the response:

…there is no fine print, no “catch;” we will save as much as you like, and unlimited means unlimited.
Daniel, Code42 Support

I don’t agree with “no fine print,” because CrashPlan buries the above stipulations in their support documents. CrashPlan seems to keep deleted files forever as long as the conditions are met, however.

Additionally, CrashPlan will keep up to 1,000 versions of your backed up files over a 4-year period. Although the terms of service state “Code 42 reserves the right to reduce both the number of versions and period of time in its sole discretion,” 4 years is still much longer than other online backup services, which typically store files for 30 days.

File versions

CrashPlan file version settings.

CrashPlan’s Memory Usage

CrashPlan’s support docs state:

Code42 typically recommends allocating 1 GB (1024 MB) of memory per 1 TB of storage (or per 1 million files). Although CrashPlan only requires approximately 600 MB of memory per 1 TB of storage (or per 1 million files), our recommendation is intended to account for growth in your file selection.

On one of my PCs, CrashPlan uses 500 MB of memory for 90 GB of storage (64,000 files). Yikes. For comparison, that’s 10 times as much as Backblaze, which uses only 50 MB of memory on the same computer.

CrashPlan is clearly not meant for people with lots of data to backup and low memory.

Mobile Apps

CrashPlan has mobile apps for iOS and Android.

The apps let you access your backed up files and download them to your mobile device.

Tapping on a file downloads it to the mobile device. Tapping it again opens the file (on Android, it brings up the “Open With” dialog). It’s not as seamless as a cloud storage service like Dropbox, which can scroll through photos, but it works fine when you just need a file or two. Downloaded files are put into a separate folder, for easy access.


CrashPlan is average when it comes to speed, according to my most recent tests.

When backing up my files, CrashPlan averaged 5 Mbps (megabits per second) on a connection with a 10 Mbps maximum upload speed. This is less than previous speed tests, which at times completely maxed out my upload speed. Other CrashPlan users have reported speed problems with the service. CrashPlan may also throttle you more as a paid customer, compared to trial users.

In 2013, I criticized CrashPlan for having slow restore speeds. It was unbearable, around 0.4 Mbps, and slow enough that I wouldn’t even attempt a large restore from the cloud. 2014 was different, with it averaging 28 Mbps during my tests.

2016 seems to have slowed down again. CrashPlan’s restore speed averaged a mediocre 13 Mbps, on a connection rated for 50 Mbps.


CrashPlan uses strong encryption to store and transfer files.

It encrypts your data using a 448-bit Blowfish key, which is secured using the password to your account. Alternatively, you can encrypt your data using a custom password or a custom key, both of which add more security at the cost of convenience.

Files are transferred over a 128-bit AES encrypted channel.


CrashPlan provides tech support via email, live chat, and phone.

Live chat is available Mon – Fri, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. CST. Phone support is available Mon – Fri, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sat – Sun 9.a.m. – 5 p.m. Support tickets are responded to by severity, although you can escalate a ticket by asking.

CrashPlan encourages customers to call for any critical issues, such as problems restoring files.

Conclusion – Should you use CrashPlan?

There are a couple downsides. Although CrashPlan works on almost any operating system (Windows, Mac, and Linux), there is no smartphone backup.  Users wishing to backup their Android or iOS device will need to look elsewhere. The software also uses a lot of memory when backing up large amounts of data.

However, CrashPlan’s ability to back up anywhere is nothing short of amazing. There is no need to juggle multiple backup tools for local, offsite, and online backups – CrashPlan does it all. It is loaded with features, yet remains easy to use. Anyone looking for a fast, affordable, and unlimited online backup service should look no further than CrashPlan.

More Screenshots

Feb 2016: CrashPlan is phasing out support for their Windows Phone app. I removed this from the specs.
March 2016: Updated speed tests. 5 Mbps up, 13 Mbps down (on a 10 up, 50 down connection).
March 2016 #2: Added info about CrashPlan’s data retention policy.


Product Name CrashPlan
Version 3.5.3
Operating Systems WindowMacLinux
Storage Unlimited
Monthly Price $5.99
Average Upload Speed 5 Mbps (10 Mbps connection)
Average Download Speed 13 Mbps (50 Mbps connection)

General Features

Free Trial yes
Free Online Storage no
Mobile Apps Android, iOS
Bandwidth Controls yes
NAS Support no

Backup Features

File Versioning yes
Keep Deleted Files Forever
Back Up to Local Drive yes

Sync and Share Features

File Sync no
Selective Sync no
Public File Sharing no
Collaborative Invites no


Encrypted Storage yes
Encrypted Transfer yes
Personal Encryption yes
Zero-knowledge Encryption yes
Two-factor Authentication yes


Phone Support yes
Email Support yes
24/7 Support no
Live Chat yes


Data Center Location(s) Seattle, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Singapore, Ireland, Sydney, and Amsterdam

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund is the founder and editor-in-chief of He is a cloud fanatic and regularly reviews online backup services. He believes backups should be easy, affordable, and automatic.

Geoff Akerlund


Reviews and ratings of the most popular backup solutions

@FabacusSuite Just noticed your tweet! I’m not aware of any cloud storage needs specific to manufacturing. I’m open to insight/suggestions. – 3 weeks ago

  • Ueih Gnad

    very low speed outside US 🙁
    2.5 star

    • Dario

      what do you exactly mean by “low speed”? how many kb/s or mb/s in download? and where are you from?

      • ThirdLife

        For me it means 2 MBits max. in Switzerland with a 100/100 FTTH line. Sucks really. Everyone is talking about cloud here and cloud there but so far i can’t see a provider who really delivers, even the costly ones are not what i would call “fast”.

        • Interesting. I wonder if any overseas customers are able to get fast speeds.

          • ThirdLife

            I highly doubt it. When i asked their support the well known answer was “be happy, its more than most customers get”.

            For me any cloud provider which can’t at least use 30% of my capacity is useless shit.

            What use is “unlimited Storage” if i can’t upload even a quarter of my Data within a year. Useless, just useless.

          • Thomas Westby

            I’m in NZ. I have a 10Mbps upload connection and as long as I restarted the service regularly it would often maintain a ~6Mbps upload. The server I was backing up to is in Australia.

          • ThirdLife

            Yeah, i guess since there are apparently no EU Servers we are fuxxed here in Europe. I tested it again and no change for the better. I have even a different ISP by now and a 1000/1000 FTTH Connection.

            I guess the peering to US/AUS just sucks from a european location.

    • Eugene Varnavsky

      Takes about 10 days to restore my 150 GB. Speed is really slow.

  • thesub_jet

    Very nice overview. Answered several questions that were not covered by Crashplan FAQ pages. Thanks!

  • andrea

    “Even though CrashPlan has a setting “Remove deleted files: never” this only applies to backing up to other computers. ” Can you explain this?

    • Sure. CrashPlan removes deleted files from their servers after 30 days. However, files that are backed up to local hard drives (and other computers) can remain there indefinitely.

      • DHR

        For what it is worth, this is 100% absolutely not true. I think that is Carbonite you are thinking of. By default, CrashPlan keeps them forever.

        • Hard to believe, but I think you’re correct. I can’t understand how they deal with storage costs. I will look into this.

          • Puterdood

            Geoff, have you been able to verify if the deleted files really are deleted? One reason I chose Crashplan was for the purpose of backing up files to Crashplan then deleting them from my very limited hard drive space. I have saved my important files to external hard drives, but not the rest. Thanks!

          • Puterdood,

            Here is what I’ve gleaned from the license agreement:

            “DELETED FILES. By default, all deleted files are maintained by Code 42, at Code 42’s discretion space permitting for at least thirty (30) days. In your account settings you can customize the period of time Code 42 would maintain a deleted file.”

            Also, CrashPlan’s FAQs state:

            “If you delete files from your system, they remain backed up and in your backup archive forever, as long as:

            1. The files remain selected in your backup file selection.
            If you remove files from your backup selection, you’re telling CrashPlan “I don’t want these files backed up anymore” meaning that these files are no longer needed for restoring. As a result, any and all versions are flagged for removal from the backup archive.

            2. Your “Remove deleted files” setting is set to never.”

            I hope that helps.

          • Puterdood

            Yes, it does help. I have both “1” and “2” set already as listed. I also did a test a deletion of a file about a month and so far Crashplan still has it. I am going to wait a little longer to see if it is still there before breathing a sigh of relief.

            One reason I chose Crashplan was that it was my understanding that they don’t delete anything unless told to do so. So far I have been very happy with it. Who would have thought years ago that the simple storing of bits and bytes would be such that companies could make money off of it.

            Thanks for you help and thanks for this website!

          • DHR

            I can promise you, they keep deleted files forever. Files are removed from the server in three ways: the subscription lapses and the grace period expires; files are removed from the file selection (even then, they are not technically removed until periodic server maintenance); a file is marked as deleted, and you have changed your settings from the default so that deleted files are removed after a certain length of time.

          • Yup, in my updated review I confirmed with CrashPlan tech support that deleted files are indeed kept forever. Pretty neat!

  • Reginald Owens

    I have been using Crashplan for about 3-4 years now and I’m considering changing after recent events. At present, I back up several personal computers and have run into an issue in which one of my computers hasn’t backup in over 10 days (since August 16th). The reason? Because Crashplan has crashed! Or, to be more technical (and specific),, one of their backup targets located in Atlanta, has failed. According to what I have been told, there was some scheduled maintenance that went awry. However, several conversations later have given me the impression that during this maintenance, they lost their RAID arrays and are having to rebuild/recover data, which for those of you who work in the enterprise storage field would know, is never a good thing (RAID rebuilds/recovers can be causes of data loss). Even worse, everyone who’s data is stored on is effected (if you have noticed that your backups are about 10+ days old, check to see if you are backing up to by clicking on the “Crashplan” link inside of the application. It states what server you are backing up to) and absolutely no communication has been sent out about it (the only reason I know is because after my backups went about 4 days, I opened a support ticket trying to figure out why I could connect to, like the KB’s say to try, but my backups were so old). I have a lot of data backed up and while Crashplan isn’t my only backup solution (just part of a series of solutions), it has got me thinking about something that I have yet, up to this point thought of.

    Because I work in the IT field, I have a multi-approach to backup because I know how these systems actually work. However, one thing that I never considered (and I should have) is what happens when your cloud solution crashes or otherwise has issues like these. In my particular case, not only is my machine not backing up to the cloud, I literally have no way of actually being able to recover my data from the cloud should I need to get a file or should I lose my local backups. Even further, because of how their system is setup, if I reseed my machine (which would force Crashplan to assign my computers’ unique ID to another target server), while my computer would start backing up again pretty much immediately, all of my previous data would be lost (since my backup would be starting fresh) and I could potentially have new issues when they finally do get back online (since that system would have no idea that my backups are moved). So, at present, I’m stuck in a very weird limbo along with their other customers who reside on that server with no ETA on when things would be brought back online. Further, they do not appear to have a mechanism on their end to be able to move a data set to new servers in case of a crash on their end, which to me is unsettling since they are supposed to be a backup company (and backup solution)

    For me, after these last two weeks, I’m seriously considering a change and will be asking a bunch of questions to the new provider should I make a change. While I have enjoyed Crashplan up to this point, their current processes and lack of communication throughout this issue has me wondering about whether or not I can trust my data to CrashPlan.

    • Yikes. 10 days without a backup? I agree they should at least inform affected customers. Let us know if you have any updates.

      • Reginald Owens

        Well, after almost 13 days, they did do something. Essentially, what I was told is that they moved my archive to another server and I should be good to go. However, I cannot access my archive and it definitely appears as though I’m reuploading everything from my machine to CrashPlan. I’ll know for certain in about 5 hours once the compacting process is done. So, at this point, it looks like my fear of my entire backup archive being lost and I have to start over may be a reality. Sucks because it’s going to take 4 months to reupload should I have to do that.

    • Puterdood

      Do you know if bxb-atl was involved or was it only ccc-atl? Just wondering. Thanks!

      • Reginald Owens

        I’m not sure. They never officially sent out any communication and, because of this issue, I’m in the process of switching vendors. I’d rather pay more money for a backup that I can trust than pay for Crashplan and hope for the best.

        • Offline_Mode

          Reginald. I know that this is a old comment. But did you change to another cloud backup provider? Do you recommend CrashPlan? Or do you recommend another one?

  • Kay O. Sweaver

    The cloud should never be your primary backup plan, you should have at least one local backup at all times. Redundancy is the name of the game.

    • Good advice Kay.

    • Aaron

      Hybrid Cloud solutions are definitely the way to go, I rely on CTERA NAS appliance which hooks nicely up to AWS, you get best of both worlds with fast backup/restore to/from the local NAS and AWS for offsite backup. Duracell Cloud is a nice all-in-one solution if you want a turnkey version of the CTERA+AWS with dedicated support for the entire solution.

  • juan

    Bait and switch. I signed up for CP after running the trial. During the trial my backup speed was 4-5Mbits (less than half my ISP upload speed). Bought a two year subscription, and now guess what? Down to 800kbits… So mad!

    • Thanks for the comment Juan! That is very concerning.

    • Puterdood

      I wonder if it might have something to do with the server you might be connected to. I am not sure why it might change, but I actually experienced a little faster upload rate after subscribing.

      It seems that the ISP might also have something to do with the speed as well. I was on Uverse and had 1.5 Mbps upload but barely reached 1. I recently switched to Suddenlink with 3.0 Mbps upload and it normally upload in the neighborhood of 3. Now my problem is that Crashplan is using most of my cap and I have had to choke it down a bit.

      So far, I have been happy with it. The app does take a bit of tweaking to get things like you want it. I think that might be the real issue with a lot of complaints with all backup services, not just Crashplan. The instructions are not that great either, and it’s not real a set it and forget it system. I don’t fault people for being upset with these services. They could do a better job at explaining things.

      Then again, this is an industry still in its infancy stage. It is kicking and screaming and needs a diaper change. As it evolves, it will get better. Just be patient.

    • Chris

      I second the bait and switch, I was testing the trial, liked it, I was getting 25mbits up, decided to sub and right after I was getting about 10-15mbits. I thought it was because I picked smaller files. So I removed the archive and picked big files same thing. Within 5 mins I setup my laptop with a trial on a different email address and I was back to getting 25mbits a second. Maybe they give you a different server for trial. either way bait and switch….. not happy going to ask for my money back.

  • robinski42

    unreliable and the support is remote at best (i’ve been a user for 3 years, and it gets worse)

  • anita

    really slow,,, switched to dupplica for the speed

  • Thomas Westby

    I had my 7.7TB backup complete on Crashplan 6 days ago. It had been steadily (although requiring a service restart through the console regularly to maintain speed) upload for the past 3-4 months.

    Then it suddenly dropped to 0% complete overnight on the desktop app. Clearly something happened to the file database and it’s going right through it. Since that fateful evening it’s been “Analysing…” and re-uploading mostly unchanged files as if they’ve changed (MD5 shows that the new ones are no different to the old ones).

    Support has been pretty hopeless and are claiming this is part of the normal process (despite the fact it hasn’t happened before) and that my file verification needs to be set to 3-5days not 2-6 hours. WTF is the point of a “silent and continuous backup” that only checks for new files every 5 days? And when it does check why does it take so long? I use SyncbackPro over a VPN and it takes much less time to compare with better results. It’s never marked as changed a file that hasn’t.

    Then there’s the joke that you need a second account for support – when you’re logged into and click “Support” you’re not logged in and your Crashplan credentials don’t work. You need to register separately.

    I needed to restore a small 10MB file today too and when I went to do so I noticed there were only 3 versions of it available and all of them were from the past 3 days. This is a file that is in a backup set that is supposed to keeps a copy every 6 hours, for the past 90 days. It didn’t.

    Given all this, I would not recommend Crashplan to anyone. I tried Backblaze but the upload speeds were too slow. Crashplan with a semi-local server was much better in that respect but not when it doesn’t work.

    Being my cynical self, I was still maintaining my local backups. My cynicism has once again been validated.

    • Guest

      Not sure where my screenshot disappeared to but here it is again…

    • Offline_Mode

      Hi! Im new to cloud backup. So what do you recommend? BackBlaze?

  • Misha Somerville

    I agree, certainly in the UK Crashplan is next to useless. If I leave my computer on 24/7 then my files will be backed-up up one year from now! I can’t imagine having to restore from this system. Like many I signed up because of the excellent reviews, now I realise many of these editors reviews are misleading and I’m looking for a refund.


    I have many issues with Crash Plan including their limited customer
    service: 7 am – 7 pm M-F, 9 am – 5 pm S-S US Central Time.
    I had 21% of my data backed up and now they switched it to
    0.71%. Storing and recovering data is the very business they are in and
    they totally failed at that. POS!

  • Jeff Perlman

    Very poor customer service. Have waited four days after submitting a ticket and still no response. When I call, I get put on hold for 30 min to an hour. And then I’m told that no techs are available for a live conservation. Today I called again. Response: Maybe I’ll hear something on Monday. (It’s Friday). So that’s seven days after the original phone call. I know how busy they are. But the standard these days is a 48-hour turnaround. My wife and I are considering a move to another backup company.

  • Nate

    Three reasons why you should NOT use CrashPlan

    1. The software to keep track of back ups are finicky and often slow when backing up or downloading
    2. You could have 2 tera worth of data backed up and if you do not extend your subscription within about a week they will delete ALL of your data with no way of getting it back
    3. Because of the download speed, the fastest way to get your data is have them send you a hard drive to “borrow” at the same price it would cost to buy yourself an external hard drive with MORE space and back you own files.

    There are many other reasons not to use CrashPlan, including customer service and their basic attitude of not caring about your data, and finally they “LOST” somehow a backup of mine and it was unrecoverable.

    Also, notice all the online reviews, the only positive ones are from editors while the user reviews are always very low. This is an obvious indicator that this company is not worth the investment!


    Do NOT get crash plan, it is a rip off.

    • Offline_Mode

      Hi Nate! Im new to cloud backup. So what do you recommend? BackBlaze?

  • Jim

    Because of the overwhelming number of positive online reviews of CrashPlan, I began recommending them to several of my customers. HUGE MISTAKE! More than a few times backups were completely lost with no explanation whatsoever. But far worse, CrashPlan support was HORRID! Contrary to what their website suggests, there is no realtime support and calls are never returned. The call screener I spoke with (Katie) was rude and had such a bad attitude that I politely recommended she switch to a non-customer facing job. (Needless to say, Katie was not happy…)

    I do not recommend CrashPlan and will be switching my customers elsewhere.

  • pjcamp

    Skip Crashplan. They will NOT protect your data. Unlimited apparently does not mean unlimited at all. They just totally
    destroyed, without prior warning, three years worth of data from a five
    year long research project. Lost. All of it. Sent me a notice AFTER it
    happened. Their data retention policy believes that a backup is not an
    archive. Your data is NOT safe here. They deliberately deleted my data
    and THEN sent me an email. They seemed to be quite proud of this.

    • Hi pjcamp. Were you using CrashPlan to upload data, then delete the original files from your computer? I’ve heard of people doing this and it is a very dangerous practice. Storing files only in the cloud is not a backup. There must be a copy on a local drive as well. It’s also best to store backups in multiple locations (for instance, backing up to the cloud and a USB drive).

      • pjcamp


        I was using Crashplan to back up a computer with a lot of data on it (about 1.5 terabytes). When I lost that job, that computer went away, and I needed to find another large storage device to move the data to. Before I could do that, Crashplan deleted it. I could even have lived with that if they had just freaking warned me ahead of time, so I could put a storage device on the credit card, but they made no comment at all until after the data was gone. It is that lack of communication that is unacceptable. Crashplan is fond of saying “Unlimited means unlimited.”

        Well, no. It doesn’t.

        • That doesn’t sound good. When you say you lost the job, what exactly do you mean? Also, how much time passed between when you lost the job and when CrashPlan deleted your files?

          • pjcamp

            What I mean is that I was denied tenure and had to leave. Consequently, I no longer had access to the specific machine from which my data was backed up. After 6 months of no contact with the machine, Crashplan deletes files. The academic hiring cycle is a year. Even so, it takes time to dig out of unemployment debt to the point where I can buy my own data storage device. Crashplan says backups are not archives. They only store files from active, specific machines. That’s a new policy, buried in the fine print of a legal document sent three years ago, and a good 5 or 6 years after I purchased the service. They send regular updates on what has connected, what has not connected. You’re supposed to notice that a machine is in violation of a policy change you were notified of in 8 point legalese in a 20 page document posted on a web site three years ago. You are not, let’s say, sent an email ahead of time saying “the following machines are in danger of deletion unless you take action.” But seriously, how hard would such an email be? Exactly as hard as the automated email I received informing me that my data was already lost.

            I, frankly, don’t see the distinction between backups and archives, especially when your selling point is “unlimited means unlimited.” I’m seriously considering legal action. They caused major damage to my work.

          • Gotcha. I thought you meant the backup job (as in, the backup task running in the software). I’m sorry to hear you literally lost your job. It sounds like what CrashPlan did added insult to injury.

            I know CrashPlan requires files to remain selected in the backup archive, in order for them to remain backed up. With some searching I also found this document, which looks like the one you mentioned. This says that computers must not be disconnected longer than 6 months in order to be deemed “active.” I didn’t know about this until you told me.

            I assume that’s why they deleted your files. Correct me if I’m wrong.

            I agree they should have sent out an email warning that your files are about to be deleted. That’s not cool. I’m going to add a note about their policy regarding active machines and lack of email reminders. People have a right to know about this.

          • pjcamp

            That’s is the correct document, and you are right. They deleted files without advance warning.

  • YY

    Just happened, they deleted my data from my old computer, which is gone due to a hard driver failure. And that’s my sole copy, nearly 1TB. No warnings! I just too lazy to download it after I got a new computer. -5 star!

  • Puterdood

    Hello Everyone, I feel that I must caution you if you are considering using Crashplan. I have used it for over two years now and it has worked as needed up until about two months ago. Something has changed within CP’s systems and business operations. I am not sure what is going on, but support has gone completely down the tubes. If you get any support at all, don’t expect any for at least two weeks after you put in a request. I feel they are focused more on money now instead of providing a valuable service. They are becoming the wal-mart of the cloud backup services.

    Before my troubles began, such as lost files (although I have it set to never delete) and tremendous download bandwidth being used (although nothing is being downloaded, it’s all being uploaded), I recommended CP to my employer. I believe they were about to implement CP but I stopped them in time and they went with another service. I felt they should know what’s going on before making an investment in a system with many problems.

    Anyway, I don’t believe CP to be a viable choice in long term data storage. I believe they are now more concerned with money and keeping stockholders happy at the expense of their customers. Given this, I don’t believe CP will be in business in years to come.

    I am looking for another service to consider, but since I have so much data backed up to CP, I will have to start over from zero. It has taken me two years to backup what I have and I am not finished yet. To sum it all up, CP has let me down in a tremendous way. CP has been a complete waste of time and money for me. It would have been cheaper and far less trouble for me to purchase several external hard drives, rotate them out, and store them at an offsite location.

    I don’t believe cloud based backup is ready to be used for anything other than testing purposes right now. Maybe in ten years it will be ready, but for now, onsite backup is really the way to go.

    • Thanks for your review Puterdood. I think the viability of cloud backup is going to be based on the quality of the service, and the speed of the user’s internet connection (which is quite slow in the United States, compared to other countries), absent of ISP-imposed data caps. There are a lot of alternatives to CrashPlan (Amazon Cloud Drive, Backblaze, and IDrive come to mind), but they all come with their own limitations whether it’s features, speed, or price. CrashPlan definitely seems to be going for the mass-market appeal like Walmart. They will need to step up their quality of service if they hope to stay in business.

      • Puterdood

        Well, what I meant by the wal-mart comment is that wal-mart has brain-washed people for many years into believing they have the lowest prices, yet now their prices are a good bit higher overall and they offer the worst service of any retailer. At the same time their greed for more money has done nothing but betray the customers and drive them away, myself included.

        This also appears to be Crashplan’s business plan, unfortunately. They have offered reasonably good service for several years but now the service itself and the support have taken a severe nose-dive. I predict they will raise prices soon now that they have many customers who are locked in to an unfortunate marriage with them. Likewise their greed for more money, along with low quality support, will be their undoing. It is sad, because CP appears to have what everybody wants at a decent price. They are betraying their customers. I feel betrayed. I know there are many more who feel the same way. Just take a look at their user forum entries.

        I know that no company or service is perfect. But like I said before, cloud storage is in its infancy. Due to recent events I don’t believe it will be ready for prime-time for several more years. At this time, it should be completely free while they work out the kinks, but that aint gonna happen.

        I believe my best option is to simply buy several external hard drives for backup purposes and forget cloud backup altogether. I am sure many other people feel the same way after having experienced lost files, horrible service, and corporate greed.

        I wish CP would put their two cents in to this conversation, for what it’s worth (far less than two cents).

        • For sure. Rotating external hard drives with an offsite location is a good option. Other alternatives include solutions like FreeNAS and OwnCloud, which would let you control the storage and can be run on computers with minimal hardware requirements.

          • Puterdood

            Well, I guess I am now considered a victim of Crashplan instead of a customer. I am not sure what happened, but it was definitely on their side, not mine. I had over 7TB of data, over 350k files. The client app kept crashing even though they updated it a few times. Each time they updated, I uninstalled the app and reinstalled it. The last time, around about May 15th after they updated, when I finally got it going again, the backup said it only had about 350GB and about 35K files and said it was going to take 8+ months to finished. What happened to the files they already had? Their answer was more or less “I dunno???”

          • Thanks for the follow-up Puterdood.

  • Heffe

    BEWARE! These guys will DELETE your entire archive if the client is unable to connect for three months. In the case of a headless server, you may not know when/if that happens. They deleted my entire backup archive without notifying me and without my permission.

    • Thanks for the review Heffe. That’s a great point about headless servers running CrashPlan (and presumably NAS devices as well).

    • Tao

      I was actually warned by email 5 days before they would delete the archive (several months ago). Restoring some files will cancel the delete.

  • Hooch

    I can’t give a good review to any company that slips in default auto renew as a subscription service. They won’t even notify you that you will be billed attempting to make it so you don’t notice you paid for it again on your credit card. This is bad business!

  • saher

    I purchased the subscription of code 42 data back up plan in 2013 . and since then I am continuously paying them for their services I am still showing as having an active subscription on their website with auto renewal date in January 2017. By their record and also mine I have already paid them till January 2017 for their services. During last almost 3 years . I have backed up multiple time and also restored multiple times . My window crashed early this year and I had to reinstalled my OS . which I did and it was not the first time it happened . I did that before and like before I reinstalled their software as well and also log in to the software with my email ID which was associated with my account . What I didn’t double check that it was not backing up my data. Today I contacted them through chat .. and asking them why my data was not backing up and why I was not able to retrieved my existing data . I was told that my machine was deactivated and my data was removed . I was also told that it happened multiple time that I deactivated. The problem is . .that in past .. I not only reinstalled the OS and the software but also upgraded my computer as well after my first computer broke. Throughout that time .. all those previous file were accessible .. though those were shown under deleted files .. When It happened for the first time I was told that .. they don’t remove those files which were appearing under deleted files .. but they are on that folder because of the link to previous ID was gone .. and that’s it . so I was not so worried about . my data getting loss . as I paid the service uptill Jan 2017. Today however I was told that because the machine was deactivated there was a grace period and after that grace period they deleted my data. But I never received any Personal alert that my grace period ( about which I was not aware ) had been started and I never received any Personal alert that my data would be lost . by certain date if I didn’t do any particular step . I feel like being cheated .. because I paid for data storage and my subscription is still active . and yet my data has been removed without any proper alerts . the customer service representative sent me a link to some guideline on their website . .. that is not the solution .. you can update whatever information you like on the website .. but if you are taking money you need to deliver personal messages or alerts .. The data I had was of my kids pictures .. their very first pictures in the hospital ..those are price less. I am not an IT person and I have a very busy life . I paid for the services and didn’t received the service I paid for .

  • jude

    Terribly impossibly slow. In Europe and my fairly big but not terrabytes worth of data will, it tells me, still take another 30 DAYS. Been running day and night, and support keeping quiet. Maybe ok in the US. Here – can I give ZERO stars?

    • Zero stars is not possible, but maybe in the future 🙂

  • Full John

    CP got some serious issue. (1) Outside US the speed is extremely slow, i restored 60GB of data and got 2-3 Mbps. (2) CP client is built on JAVA. There are repercussion in terms of speed, design but the most SERIOUS issue is that they failed to do auto upgrades. On my my girlfriend and her sister PCs’, CP tried to upgrade itself and failed and cliend just DISAPPEARED and not backups were made. CP support admitted in their response that there is an issue with their upgrade. In some magical way, CP got stellar reviews on many backup website review website. My opinion, is don’t count on CP as your only backup.