CrashPlan is data protection software for endpoint devices. CrashPlan runs continually in the background of a device, providing constant backup of new files. Any time a new file is created or an existing file is changed, the product adds the file to a "to do" list. These files are then backed up during the next scheduled backup period. Backup frequency can be custom set by the user. 

Constant backups result in a large amount of files, but CrashPlan automatically deletes older file versions over time. At first, all versions of a changed document will be stored. If the document remains at rest, extra versions of the file will be deleted. The number of versions CrashPlan keeps can also be customized.

CrashPlan backup process

During the backup process, CrashPlan prioritizes newer files. Files are stored in order based on how recently they have been created or changed. A user can give priority to back up specific files first regardless of when they were last changed. If backup is set for multiple locations, CrashPlan will store all data to one location before it stores data on another device. Local, secondary storage devices are given priority over cloud storage, as storing to local devices is generally faster.

CrashPlan frequency setup screen
CrashPlan allows users to customize their backup frequency and the number of file versions stored.

When multiple computers or devices use CrashPlan to back up files to the same location, each computer receives its own folder in the backup location.

Additional CrashPlan features

Mobile restore: If a company uses CrashPlan public cloud storage, users can access backups using applications on iOS, Android, Windows and Kindle devices. Users can log into the public cloud through their phone and access any compatible files that have been stored in their account.

Automatic deduplication: When a file is changed, the entire file is not stored again. To save space, only the new information is stored, and the original file is used as a reference to fill in the rest of the data.

Encryption: Before data is transferred it its backup location, it is locally encrypted with AES 256-bit encryption.

If you do not want to leave
everything up to CrashPlan, this
video explains how to manually
migrate to new storage points or
purge old archives.

Code42 Software Inc., which sells CrashPlan, has free and paid versions of the software. The free version is supported with ads for individual consumers. Paid offerings include a home version for up to 10 computers, a business version for up to 200 users, and an enterprise version that supports up to 100,000 users. As of April 2016, Code42 claims a customer base of more than 37,000 businesses worldwide.

The CrashPlan software works with Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. It offers direct backup on local storage, and paid users can store data on Code42's public cloud. If a company has its own cloud storage, CrashPlan's enterprise product has the ability to back up data directly to that private cloud.

This was last updated in April 2016

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