Yesterday, one of the best cloud backup services, CrashPlan, announced it was ending support for consumers. CrashPlan for Home will be put to rest on 23 October 2018. While the option to sign up for or renew your CrashPlan for Home subscription is gone, current CrashPlan for Home users will receive an extra 60 days of backup service gratis.
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One of the best uses for cloud storage is offsite backups. I don't mean file syncing but real backups you can use to restore entire systems or applications. CrashPlan has, until now, offered some solid options for home and SMB users, But CrashPlan's owner, Code42, has announced that CrashPlan for Home will shut down on 23 October 2018.
With one of the best cloud backup services ending its consumer support, you might feel a bit worried about where you'll store your computer's important files in case disaster strikes. Lucky for you, there are quite a few replacement options that offer similar features at competitive prices (or you can build your own on the cheap).
Pick a Different Service
While CrashPlan suggests you move your data to Carbonite, another cloud backup service, there are a few more options to consider before you jump ship. Backup services offer different pricing tiers, employ differing backup methods (some sync continuously while others sync once per day), and may or may not back up your external drives.
Carbonite is a decent replacement, and recently added two-factor authentication to further secure your personal data. Unfortunately, it makes you manually select your files and folders you'd like to back up. In addition, backing up music files requires a paid subscription. Video files requires a paid Personal Plus or Personal Prime subscription. Files larger than 4GB require you to manually add them to your list of files to back up.
Carbonite may be too restrictive for some users looking for a more seamless experience, whether for them or a loved one. There's always Backblaze, another top-tier cloud backup service. While CrashPlan was our backup service of choice, Backblaze was a close second, and was easier to use thanks to its simple installation process and default option to backup everything on your computer. It also backs up external drives, and doesn't care about file sizes.
Choose Your Own Backup Service
Users who want to exercise a bit more control over their backup service can build their own with a combination of the right cloud backup software and cloud storage service. Cloud backup software such as Arq operates in the same manner as CrashPlan and Backblaze, storing your files securely in an offsite location.
Arq can backup your entire computer or just select folders. It backs up network drives, external drives, and files of any size, and stores your data in whichever cloud storage service you choose, whether it be from Google, Amazon, Microsoft or whomever. You can even store the data on your own server or NAS, though keeping a backup of your data in another location (such as an offsite server) is recommended. You'll have to pay for the cloud storage on whichever platform you choose, but Arq's $US50 ($63) one-time purchase price and the ability to only pay for as much data you need could save you money in the long-term.
In Case of Emergency
You should absolutely have a backup plan in place in case your PC or Mac goes on the fritz. Employing an actual cloud backup service would have saved me an entire weekend of agony after my PC refused to boot. On the other hand, you might not have the time or money to purchase one.
You can keep your data offsite on the cheap with cloud storage services such as Google Backup & Sync or Dropbox. With Google's offering, you can choose which folders on your computer you'd like to sync to your Google Drive. It shouldn't be your only offsite backup, but if you're in a bind and need to put your data somewhere, it will function well enough until you decide to purchase an actual cloud backup service.
Don't want to leave CrashPlan? Well you don't have to, according to The Next Web. You can sign up for CrashPlan for Small Business, which will run you $US10 ($13) per month. Current CrashPlan users can sign up and receive a 75 per cent discount for the first year, and you won't be charged until your existing Home subscription ends.