Things We Like: CrashPlan
As photographers, reliable backups are a critical part of our business. Keeping your memories safe is top priority. That’s why our workflow involves making sure that images are replicated to four different hard drives before we even wipe the memory cards (sometimes a little paranoia can be healthy). That protects us pretty well against hard drive failure or two and computer crashes. But what about those really catastrophic events? Things like power surges, fire or theft that could take out all of our office equipment still pose a risk.
That’s where CrashPlan really shines. CrashPlan is a combination of software and a service that allows our data to be backed up online to remote servers. That means if catastrophe strikes, we still have our data.
There are several companies that provide online backup and I did some shopping around before deciding on CrashPlan. A few factors that led to my decision:
- Reasonably priced to support multiple computers: We have a couple of desktop computers and Lorita and I each have a laptop. CrashPlan has excellent pricing options for multiple machines. Currently it’s $100 for one year of backup service for an unlimited number of machines.
- Ability to backup to multiple destinations: Not only can you back up to their online servers, but the software allows you to backup to external drives, network locations or even friends computers. A nice option to have.
- The ability to seed the initial backup. This was what made it for me. For a fee the folks at CrashPlan will send you an external hard drive that you can make your initial backup to. You mail the drive back to them and they use that as the starting point for your online backup. Why would I want that you ask? Well when we first signed up for the service we had hundreds of gigabytes of data we needed to backup. Doing that all online would have taken over a month! With the backup seed we were able to put the initial backups for all of our computers on the hard drive and have it available within a couple of days. Also saving a ton of bandwidth.
- Cross platform: we run PCs and macs, CrashPlan works equally well on both
- They are based in Minneapolis, so I’m more than happy to support another local business.
I just wanted to add that we don’t get any kickbacks from CrashPlan for this. It’s just a product that we like and I hope that it can also help ease other people’s paranoia.