CrashPlan Review

A Full Review of CrashPlan+, an Online Backup Service

A screenshot of the CrashPlan logo
© CrashPlan

CrashPlan is one of my favorite online backup services and has a top spot in my unlimited online backup plan list as well.

While just a few would be impressive, CrashPlan nails the four most important things when it comes to online backup: pricing, security, usability, and speed.

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Read on for a detailed look at their plans, prices, and features, plus my experience with the service.

Be sure to also check out my CrashPlan Tour for a detailed walkthrough of their software and service.

CrashPlan Plans & Costs

Valid March 2017

CrashPlan (formerly called CrashPlan+) offers two backup plans, either of which you can have for discounted prices if you prepay for one year:

CrashPlan Individual Unlimited

CrashPlan Individual Unlimited lets you backup an unlimited amount of data. No restrictions. The Individual Unlimited plan also only allows backup from a single computer.

Here's the pricing for this plan: Month to Month: $5.99 /month; 1 Year: $59.99 ($5.00 /month).

Sign Up for CrashPlan Individual Unlimited

CrashPlan Family Unlimited

CrashPlan Family Unlimited also allows an unlimited amount of data to be backed up to CrashPlan's servers. The difference in this plan and the Individual Unlimited plan is that Family Unlimited allows backup to your one account from as many as 10 computers.

Pricing for this plan: Month to Month: $13.99 /month; 1 Year: $149.99 ($12.50 /month).

Sign Up for CrashPlan Family Unlimited

You can compare the prices of CrashPlan's plans with other online backup service plans in the following price comparison tables: Unlimited Online Backup Plan Prices and Multi-Computer Online Backup Plan Prices.

CrashPlan also offers a business online backup plan called CrashPlan PRO as well as an enterprise plan called CrashPlan PROe. See my Business Online Backup list to see where CrashPlan's business-class plans rank.

CrashPlan offers a 30-day free trial of their online backup service but they do not offer a truly free online backup plan, as some services do. See my List of Free Online Backup Plans if you're interested in looking at one of those.

Note: The CrashPlan desktop software, which powers all of the CrashPlan online backup plans, is completely free and is actually one of the better free backup software programs in existence. If you're only interested in local backup or backup to a friend's computer, give CrashPlan (the free backup tool) a try. See my CrashPlan: A Complete Tour for more information.

CrashPlan Features

CrashPlan is an automatic backup service. Files and folders of your choosing are backed up, also only when you choose so when the CrashPlan software detects a change in that file.

This selective, incremental, and fully automatic backup system keeps the latest version of everything you want to be backed up to CrashPlan's servers without you having to do anything.

Beyond these basic features in CrashPlan, which are part of any real online backup service, you'll find the following features in their online backup plans:

File Size LimitsNo
File Type RestrictionsNo, but restoration over 250 MB via desktop only
Fair Use LimitsNo, details in CrashPlan EULA
Bandwidth ThrottlingNo
Operating System SupportWindows (all versions), Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris
Native 64-bit SoftwareYes
Mobile AppsiOS, Android, Windows Phone
File AccessDesktop software, mobile apps, and web app
Transfer Encryption128-bit AES
Storage Encryption448-bit Blowfish
Private Encryption KeyYes, optional
File VersioningUnlimited
Mirror Image BackupNo
Backup LevelsDrive, folder, and file; exclusion also available
Backup From Mapped DriveYes
Backup From External DriveYes
Backup FrequencyOnce per minute through once per day
Idle Backup OptionYes
Bandwidth ControlAdvanced
Offline Backup Option(s)No
Offline Restore Option(s)No
Local Backup Option(s)Yes
Locked/Open File SupportYes
Backup Set Option(s)Yes
Integrated Player/ViewerNo
File SharingNo
Multi-Device SyncingNo
Backup Status AlertsEmail and Twitter
Data Center LocationsUS (3), Japan, Ireland, Australia, Singapore
Inactive Account Retention180 Days
Support OptionsSelf-support, phone, email, chat, and forum

See my Online Backup Comparison Chart to see how CrashPlan compares to some other online backup services that I've looked at.

Note: While most of the plan information in the last section, and feature information in this one, probably answered most of your questions about what CrashPlan can do, please know that they have a very well written and extensive FAQ section here that you should reference if needed.

My Experience With CrashPlan

Overall, I love CrashPlan. It's simply one of the better online backup services out there, at least right now. If you'd like some more details about what I like, and don't, about CrashPlan's online backup plan, read on:

What I Like:

Obviously, the price is right. With a yearly prepayment for the CrashPlan Unlimited plan, you can pay just $5 per month for completely unlimited backup. That's a good deal no matter how you look at it.

As I mentioned in the introduction at the top of the page, I also really like the level of security that they encrypt data with on their servers. Some other online backup services use similar encryption levels so it's not a killer feature in and of itself, but I think it's important to mention that CrashPlan didn't cut corners here.

Their software is extremely easy to use. Most people familiar with any kind of system-level software would be comfortable digging around and setting up an initial backup without any instruction. In other words, it's intuitive, which is important because backing up is so important. Something unnecessary, like hard to use software, just makes backing up less likely to be done properly.

Maybe most importantly, I've found CrashPlan to be speedy in all three areas to look at in an online backup service: file preparation, upload, and download. Granted, much of this can b e attributed to your available bandwidth at any given time, but when compared to some other services, I think CrashPlan does well here.

A little on my upload times: my upload connection regularly tests around 5 Mbps and my initial upload was around 200 GB. That took about five days of upload time, day and night. However, it was all in the background and, aside from a few short moments, I didn't notice a slowdown during my Internet usage. See How Long Will the Initial Backup Take? for more on this.

Other than that, I enjoyed the advanced, and completely optional, control settings like network utilization, an almost continuous one-minute backup, and very easy initial setup and upload process.

Finally, while this might seem relatively unimportant, as someone who gives advice and teaches about computers, I very, very much appreciated CrashPlan's extensive, to say the least, Frequently Asked Questions page, which can be found here.

What I Don't Like:

There's little not to like about an online backup service like CrashPlan when it keeps your important data safe, day in and day out, at a more than fair price.

However, one issue I have with CrashPlan is the inability to backup from a mapped drive in Windows unless you install the program for each user on the computer. However, it shouldn't be a problem to do for most users. CrashPlan explains how to do this here.

My Final Thoughts on CrashPlan

CrashPlan is priced well and lets you back up everything you want with no versioning. I have no hesitation recommending either of their plans.

Sign Up for CrashPlan

If you're not convinced that CrashPlan is right for you, be sure to check out my reviews of Backblaze, Carbonite, and SOS Online Backup, some other cloud backup services I really like.