Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

CrashPlan Discontinues Their Consumer Remote Backup Service

Joe Kissell, TidBits:

I’ve been using CrashPlan since 2007, shortly after its initial release, and I was so impressed by it from day one that I’ve been evangelizing it ever since. I wrote a book about it; I recommended it in numerous other books, including “Backing Up Your Mac: A Joe On Tech Guide”; and it was (until today) my top pick in a Wirecutter round-up of online backup services. In short, I have had a significant personal and professional investment in CrashPlan, based on countless hours of research and testing — I’ve evaluated more than 100 backup apps! — and now, with a mixture of anger and disappointment, I have to tell you that it’s time to find something else.

This is a complete nightmare for customers; Kissell is one, of course, and Michael Tsai is another:

They’re keeping the small business plan, which at $10/month is twice the cost of the individual version (which itself had gone up quite a lot in recent years). This is the only transition option that will preserve your years of backup history. If you switch to another provider and later find out that you need to restore a version of a file from 2016, you’re out of luck. Plus, depending on your data set and connection speed — my mother has less than 100 GB of data but only a DSL connection — it may take months just to upload the current versions of your files to another provider.

Code42, the developers of CrashPlan, are working with ex-competitor Carbonite to offer a transition deal for CrashPlan Home users, but Kissell is wary of their service:

Unfortunately, while Carbonite is not bad on Windows, I would not recommend it to Mac users, because the Mac version offers neither versioning nor the option to use a personal encryption key. Plus, Carbonite artificially restricts upstream bandwidth, making it significantly slower than many competitors.

Meanwhile, oft-recommended Backblaze doesn’t create a byte-for-byte perfect backup, omitting app files and metadata the company deems unnecessary.

I’ve written recently about the risks of having the tech industry too consolidated behind a handful of largely-American companies. But, in the case of backups, I think I’d like an offering from a company that feels more robust. I’d love to see Apple come out with an iCloud-compatible Time Machine, for instance. While Apple, iCloud, and Time Machine aren’t perfect, I think I’d feel a lot more comfortable if they held onto my backups, rather than a smaller company that could get distracted at any time by a different industry — as Code42 did today.