CrashPlan Alternatives

By August 23, 2017General

By now you’ve probably heard about CrashPlan killing off their popular cloud-based backup service for home customers to focus on the (presumably) higher-revenue generating business customers:

Effective August 22, 2017, Code42 will no longer offer new – or renew – CrashPlan for Home subscriptions, and we will begin to sunset the product over several months.

CrashPlan for Home will no longer be available for use starting October 23, 2018.

If you are looking for an alternative to CrashPlan, I’ll tell you about my backup process and you can decide what’s right for you.

Time Machine

Apple Time MachineTime Machine bailed me out of some tough spots when I was messing around with macOS High Sierra (the early developer betas nerfed my productivity with flaky reliability). Being able to restore to a stable version of macOS Sierra is awesome – in addition to trying out macOS beta software, it gives me the confidence to be a command line warrior (which I am definitely not).

However, the one flaw in Time Machine is that it’s an on-site backup. Meaning, if my house burns down, or my laptop bag is stolen, I lose my files.


Arq Backups + Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage

I don’t need to worry about backing up files stored in someone else’s cloud (a/k/a iCloud Drive, iTunes Match, Photos; or, in some work-related cases, GitHub), but I do have a lot of essential things that I would definitely miss if I didn’t have them backed up off-site somewhere. Tax returns, finances, records, MP3 mixes… these need an offsite place to live. The solution is a redundant backup of these items powered by Arq Backups and Backblaze B2’s Cloud Storage Buckets.

Arq BackupsBackblaze has two platforms – the Personal (Cloud) Backup for $5/mo and the B2 Cloud Storage (variable pricing per GB and transfer). I was once a customer of the Personal Cloud Backup, which I liked (and still advise my family and friends to use for their backup needs), but have recently switched to the sweet combination of Arq + B2 for three key reasons:

  1. Fine-grain control over what is backed up.
  2. Data encryption before it’s uploaded to the network destination. (In addition to B2, you can also select from Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Nearline, Google Coldline, Amazon Glacier, and Amazon S3 – no shortage of choices!)
  3. Cost.

I’ll let the Arq features page talk about how you can select what you back up (#1) and how it’s securely backed up (#2) – they do a better job than I ever could. What I want to talk about is point #3: Cost.

Currently, Backblaze B2 is $0.005 per GB of storage, and $0.02 per GB downloaded. Arq has a feature that allows you to thin your backups from hourly to daily to weekly, ensuring that you don’t blow your wallet storing backups. In addition, Arq also has a data budgeting feature where you can set a maximum size usage that’s enforced every n days (defaulted to 30) while keeping a minimum of one perfectly intact backup.

Arq 5 Interface

The interface is easy and intuitive to use, and restoring files from your encrypted backup is simple.

My recommendation

For the more technically inclined, I don’t think you can go wrong with Arq + Backblaze B2. The combination of data security and cost is enough for me to wholeheartedly recommend the solution for your targeted backup needs.

For the everyday user, I don’t think you can go wrong with the $5/mo Backblaze Cloud Backup. It’s feature-rich and dead simple to use.

Backblaze Cloud Backup

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