Backups, Schmackups

Today we learned that Code42 are going to be shuttering their CrashPlan for Home product. If you use it – and I do – you have around 14 months to find something else and switch your online backups to another provider.

Backups… I’m sure, or rather, I would hope, that you do regular backups. For us here at home, it’s complicated: daily file backup to our Synology NAS, weekly full disk backup to an external drive I only connect when doing the backups (that way, I can grab it and go if there’s an emergency); also for me, daily to an external SSD connected to my dock. And … online backups via CrashPlan for documents and photos and other “simple” personal files.

Why CrashPlan? Well, waaaaay back when, I used JungleDisk onto Amazon S3. For six full years, until that fateful week when I discovered that somehow my backup configuration had got corrupted and JungleDisk had gone into an expensive spiral of copying my backups into new container files and deleting the old. A couple of recommendations from that final blog post led me to CrashPlan, and ever since April 2014 that’s what I’ve been using.

And now it seems it’s time to find some other online backup service. Code42 are going to concentrate on the business part of their offerings (instead of, oh I don’t know, increasing the prices on their Home product?). I could just switch to CrashPlan for Small Business ($10 per device per month), so roughly twice as expensive as the Home product. Again, why didn’t they just increase the price for the latter? It’s been $60 a year for the past four invoices I’ve had from them. There must be something else I’m not seeing (such as Home product attracts more support costs than the Business product, maybe).

Do I go for another JungleDisk-like product? In other words, purchase the app and use Amazon S3 or Azure or some other cloud offering to store the backups? I still feel attracted to that option, but I will admit to still feeling burned by my JungleDisk experience. (Example: Arq Backup.)

Code42 are recommending Carbonite as a replacement. The problem with that is that I discarded that option three-plus years ago in favor of CrashPlan (I can’t remember why now, I never wrote it up) but my feeling is to try out Backblaze instead, as recommended by The WireCutter. I’ll start using it in the fall after my next batch of travel and report back.


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2 Responses

#1 Kendall Miller said...
22-Aug-17 4:02 PM

If you don't need something specialized like bare metal recovery, why not just configure your Synology to back itself up to Amazon Glacier? The Synology can grab your local files too (Cloud Sync) and push them along as well, so you have a local copy and a copy in S3 Glacier. Admittedly you could miss-configure and have a problem like happened before, but Glacier is so cheap that the odds you could spend real money before finding out about it seem pretty low..

(This is how we do our home network for all our important stuff, it's worked well outside of the scenario of needing to be patient to run restores from Glacier)

julian m bucknall avatar
#2 julian m bucknall said...
22-Aug-17 8:44 PM

Kendall: Now that is an idea. To be honest: the CrashPlan stuff is there for extreme emergencies where the house goes up in flames (or insert your dire emergency here) and I can't get to the external drives. Glacier in those situations is fine. I'll investigate.

Cheers, Julian

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