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CrashPlan or BackBlaze?

CrashPlan is more customizable (and has whole-house coverage) and BackBlaze is a better Mac OS X client.

John Siracusa recommends them both equally.

I have three computers (currently) that I'd like to back up off-site:

  • My Mac Pro with a lot of stuff (four internal hard drives attached, though only two are non-backup drives)
  • My MacBook Air with some different things on it.
  • My wife's MacBook with all of her stuff on it.

This site has a comparison chart: http://www.onlinebackupdeals.com/backblaze/backblaze-vs-crashplan/ .

Two year plans and features are:
BackBlaze: $285, 3 computers, unlimited storage.
CrashPlan: $199, 2-10 computers, unlimited storage.

BackBlaze tries to cater to the Mac crowd (and has the better client), but then again their "Mac Love" section on their blog hasn't been updated since October 5… of last year. And their best rate (the two-year rate) is $3.96 per computer, but I have three computers.

There's both a lot to be said for simplicity and native clients (BackBlaze) AND customization (CrashPlan).

Does anyone have any coupon codes or special offers? I missed the dealio I just heard about on HyperCritical #95 where you could get a year for $2.40 or something.

I'm going to choose one of these and get this set up by Christmas.

11 Responses to "CrashPlan or BackBlaze?"

    1. Simon Wolf said on December 12, 2012:

      Neither. Use Arq (http://www.haystacksoftware.com/arq/).

      That's a good one Simon! :)

      Let's see… 3 TB of data (that's just my Mac Pro) on the Reduced Redundancy plan is 7.6¢ for the first 1024 GB and 6.4¢ for the next 2048 TB… why, that's only a little over $200.

      Per month. :P

    2. Erik J. Barzeski said on December 12, 2012:

      Simon Wolf said on December 12, 2012:

      Neither. Use Arq (http://www.haystacksoftware.com/arq/).

      That's a good one Simon! :)

      Let's see… 3 TB of data (that's just my Mac Pro) on the Reduced Redundancy plan is 7.6¢ for the first 1024 GB and 6.4¢ for the next 2048 TB… why, that's only a little over $200.

      Per month. :P

      3TB? Man, that would take my broadband connection years to upload!

  1. BackBlaze does not back up anything at the root level of your hard disk. Though I can install all of my applications, I may not REMEMBER all of the applications I have installed, so I like that CrashPlan will back those up as well.

    1. Backing up applications? Unless you are using DOS or Portable Apps, backing up applications are an useless exercise and a waste of bandwidth.

      Remember that on this day and age there are DLL files, registry keys, etc, related to each application, so the reason each app needs to be installed and restoring from a backup will NOT work.

      To backup applications you are better off using a clone software, my preferable one is an open source name "clonezilla", which you can download from here: http://clonezilla.org/

      This app will copy sector by sector of you hard drive and it can be restored to another HD. Just remember that the destination drive needs to be the same size or larger than the source drive when doing a restore of the c drive.

    2. Jay said on January 13, 2013:

      Remember that on this day and age there are DLL files, registry keys, etc, related to each application, so the reason each app needs to be installed and restoring from a backup will NOT work.

      I'm quite well aware of how easy Mac applications are to install. No DLLs here, and quite often, "installation" is simply drag-and-drop to /Applications.

      Jay said on January 13, 2013:

      This app will copy sector by sector of you hard drive and it can be restored to another HD. Just remember that the destination drive needs to be the same size or larger than the source drive when doing a restore of the c drive.

      That app fails to do what I need - an off-site backup of multiple drives (connected to or inside of multiple computers).

  2. I use carshplan fro work stuff , over a vpn and it crosses the world. It works (wel backing up does - didn't test restore yet).

    Did you consider using http://aws.amazon.com/glacier/ for storage ?

    1. Ludovic said on December 13, 2012:

      Did you consider using http://aws.amazon.com/glacier/ for storage ?

      It's still at least $30 per month ("prices as low as 1¢ per GB") and it has the name "glacier" in it so it doesn't sound fast. :)

  3. I have used both and while they have their good features, I'm not totally satisfied with either one. The biggest limitation of BackBlaze has been their tech support. They do not offer any support over the phone and their online support is best-efforts only. A drive crash can be traumatic. I have been very tentative to put critical data on BackBlaze because I'm worried about the situation where I am having trouble doing a time critical restore and it takes them a few days to get back to me.

    CrashPlan seems to be java based and is slow to upload. My 30 day trial expired before I could complete a full backup of about 150GB (this was on a lightly-loaded 50Mb/s symmetrical link). For your 3TB of data, the backup might take longer than the useful life of the computer.

    I don't think either vendor supports seeding, which would really help with the inital backup. The other issue for home users would be the total data cap that ISPs are implementing. I think Comcast allows something like 250GB/month which would require you to spread your 3TB upload over a full calendar year.

    1. Proto said on December 14, 2012:

      For your 3TB of data, the backup might take longer than the useful life of the computer.

      I'll have this particular computer for several years, so no... that shouldn't be true.

      Proto said on December 14, 2012:

      I don't think either vendor supports seeding, which would really help with the inital backup.

      CrashPlan does support seeding.

      Proto said on December 14, 2012:

      The other issue for home users would be the total data cap that ISPs are implementing.

      I do not have a cap right now.

  4. CrashPlan has residential/consumer customer storing over 30TB with us. (Record single device backup is running at 20TB). Clearly there is enough performance/bandwidth to get you there at 3TB :-)

    For those that blame Java for so upload (I don't agreed that's the case), you'll be happy to know native OSX client is coming in 2013.

    Most important thing to do when measuring CrashPlan's speed is setting CPU usage to 100% for present and idle. We only use "idle disk IO" on OS 10.x, so other processes using your disk get to use it before we do thus slowing down backup. We work very hard to "stay out of the way" and not slow your computer down.

    ~Matthew


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