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Code42 Says Crashplan Backup Service Will Discontinue All Personal Backup Plans (crashplan.com) 137

Reader amxcoder writes: Code42, the company behind the popular Crashplan online backup service has announced that will be discontinuing all of its personal and family backup plan offerings to focus on business backup service plans only. In the letter sent to existing personal plan customers, it says that next year will be the cutoff date for personal plans and all existing personal plan holders will have to upgrade their subscriptions to more expensive business plans or leave for another provider after current subscription runs out. Crashplan personal and family services were one of the best (and most affordable) options available for online backup, providing features that other rivals do not, including backup options for cloud, external local drives, and to other friends/family member's drives (trusted offsite). Looking at Carbonite services (who Code42 is recommending existing personal subscribers switch to), does not offer many of the options and features in their backup software, including multiple backup sets, unlimited deleted file retention, the trusted offsite options and any type of 'family subscription' offerings. Here is a statement from the Code42 CEO Joe Payne.
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Code42 Says Crashplan Backup Service Will Discontinue All Personal Backup Plans

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  • ...because everyone has a backup of the backup, right? It's supposed to be backups, all the way down...

  • by friedmud ( 512466 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @01:29PM (#55064285)

    I use them for personal backup... this is the first I've heard of this! I just went and searched my email and didn't find anything.

    This is definitely a shame! One of the things I liked most about their service is that it was easy to setup with black/white lists on what to back up. I really only wanted a backup for my photography hobby... everything else is backed up fine via Time Machine (and I rotate a drive offsite). Crashplan dealt well with this.

    Anyway - nothing to do about it now. I'll start shopping around...

    • by juancn ( 596002 )
      Try Backblaze, I've been using them for several years.
      • I did look into Backblaze a few years ago. At the time it seemed like they made it difficult to select just _one_ directory to backup... it _really_ wanted to backup your whole computer.

        Has that changed?

        • by hondo77 ( 324058 )
          Curious: why would you not want to backup your whole computer?
          • by praxis ( 19962 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @03:41PM (#55065363)

            Backing up data costs time and money. Why back up data that's easily recreated? The operating system and installed software can easily be recreated. User data and settings are not. Those are higher-value targets for backing up. Different people draw the line in a different place.

          • by unrtst ( 777550 )

            Curious: why would you not want to backup your whole computer?

            Size of backup set, bandwidth, temp files, confidential files, external drives, etc.
            I have decent service, did the math, and I can not back up all my data over my connection in a reasonable amount of time, or even in an unreasonable amount of time.

            Your question isn't even a complete question. You either mean whole computer to include partition tables, MBR, etc, in which case there are loads of good reasons not to want that (or to want a file based backup and recover more), or you are already excluding items

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Their client software is still crap.

          I recommend SpiderOak. The client has a reasonable GUI that lets you select exactly what to back up, and can also run from the command line.

          As an alternative there are a few apps that support general cloud storage services like Google Nearline and Amazon S3.

      • Yes, Backblaze regularly advertises on Slashdot ... Oh, wait! Those are STORIES!

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Backblaze is not equivalent. They don't have a Linux agent, among other deficiencies.

      • by Kokuyo ( 549451 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @02:28PM (#55064799) Journal

        Backblaze doesn't support Linux...

        • by jwdb ( 526327 )

          Backblaze doesn't support Linux...

          Their backup client doesn't. However, was doing some research this morning and they now offer a bulk storage service with a public API, in a similar vein to Amazon S3 or Glacier. Was on Crashplan myself, and am now looking at pulling something together that relies either on this Backblaze B2 service, or on Glacier.

          They get you with download fees as well, of course, but if I'm recovering from a data loss that'll be the least of my concerns.

        • To my knowledge, Backblaze B2 is platform-independent. You just need to find a client to upload/download from it. If you are a fan of linux, check out https://rclone.org/ [rclone.org] (I'm not affiliated with this project)

      • I've used (use) Crashplan and previously used BackBlaze. BackBlaze has the worst restore process I have ever been unfortunate enough to need. You have to manually select files and folders to zip up, then wait considerable lengths of time for the zip file to be created (and there are size limit that are ridiculous). They limit uploads and downloads. If you zip file download fails (which happened multiple times to me), you can't restart the download. You have to start over. Also when you start over the
    • by suutar ( 1860506 )

      I got an email this morning. It seems like the main thing that they're dropping is the "unlimited computers for a flat rate" (raising the rate for a single computer is also there, but not as big a change imho).

      So, looks like it's time to teach everything how to back up to the file server in a format that I can then make crashplan SMB (or something else) back up as data files. *sigh*

    • by Kokuyo ( 549451 )

      Same here.

      What I would have liked is a more granular schedule. Weekly backups would have sufficed for my setup.

      • You realize the client had options to make the backups as granular as you wanted right. You could even create multiple backup sets that operated on different schedules, and even to different destinations.
    • It's my backup solution too. But the offer they made looks good to me: if you migrate to the Small Business plan, you will not be billed until the end of your current subscription (plus 2 months - they extended everyone's subscription), then you will have 75% off for a year in the Small Business plan (normal price US$ 10,00 a month, therefore you'll pay US$ 2,50 a month for a year, half the price of the Home Plan) and only then you will pay the full price (US$ 10,00 a month). Yes, the new price is double th

      • by kriston ( 7886 )

        That fee is per computer. If you have more than a few computers that you want to back up it costs far more than the Family plan.

        • Yes, you're right, sorry. In my case it's not a problem (I back up only one computer), but for people that pays for the family plan and backs up more than one it's way more expensive.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If I need my old files, I will file a FOIA request with he NSA.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @01:45PM (#55064457)

    You might want to do some due diligence and see whether it makes sense to move your cloud backups elsewhere - or at least set up an account with a second backup provider. Businesses don't retrench for no reason - these guys may be in trouble.

    • You'd think any business subscriber would also have the sense to subscribe to, and use, at least two such services....
      • You'd think any business subscriber would also have the sense to subscribe to, and use, at least two such services....

        Unfortunately, I've seen too many stories with a central theme of catastrophic business data loss to believe that.

    • I don't think so. My guess based on a non-technical friend who does have a business account for his one-man-show is that the cost of supporting recovery just doesn't make the base tier work financially. He must have spent 12 hours on the phone with them trying to get things back (partially due to poor UI design). BUT, he swears by them with enough confidence that I was contemplating going to them for off-site backup.

      I don't think they can really provide the same level of service at the personal account t

  • by krouic ( 460022 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @01:51PM (#55064493)

    It took me several months to backup my data to CrashPlan - now it's back to square one...
    Call me an old fart, but the more I read, the less I'm trusting this cloud thing.

    • by praxis ( 19962 )

      If your upstream network is slow enough to require months to back up your data, you might look into a service that allows you to mail them physical media.

      • They throttle the heck out if it. 100/100 and I got ~750k up on average. Took almost a year to finish 7tb
        • by praxis ( 19962 )

          That's interesting. My slightly less than terabyte backed up overnight. I didn't check the upload speed but it certainly didn't feel throttled.

  • by Immerial ( 1093103 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @02:01PM (#55064579) Homepage
    The message I got said that I had until 09/28/2018... which is plenty of time to figure something out. But 5x the price... ouch! The Carbonite side is a little bit better... ~2x more than what I was paying but with less functionality. :`( Well at least I've got time to think about it.
    • Really? You must have been paying a very low price for Crashplan Home if their Business plan is 5x for you.

      I was paying $5 a month, and under the new plan, would be paying $10. That's still a lot better than with Mozy and its high per-gig pricing, and pretty close to Carbonite (which has inferior features, esp. with its lack of Linux support). For my backup needs, Amazon S3 storage would also cost about $10 a month (with bring-your-own backup software), and Backblaze B2 would be about $2.50 a month. For eit

      • It can easily be that. If you only had one PC, then the new price is about 2X the old cost. Not great, but not too bad. However, they offered a "Family Plan" that was "up to 10 PC's" for a fixed $150/yr. So depending on how many PC's you had in that range, the cost can easily be 5X the old price to keep those PC's backed up now.

        I myself had this plan (and many others did too), and even if you only had 5 PC's in your house (figure family of 4 each with PC and a home server), then the new price would c
  • It's nice that they point to another backup solution but as far as I can see, they don't support Linux... just like Backblaze. So... where does that leave me?

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by t0rkm3 ( 666910 )

      I use SpliderOak One. I'm a big fan. It is coin operated, but it works and has saved me a lot of pain and frustration.

  • I didn't hear about this till it showed up in slashdot, then found it in my email. I converted my yearly pre-paid account to monthly after the new year because of the lack of deals. My account renewed on the 15th of this month and in the notification email, it states, I will have an extra 60 days to move my data, but my new subscription expiration date is 9/15/2017.

    I will no longer advocate for my employers to use this as a backup solution.

  • by Danathar ( 267989 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @02:35PM (#55064859) Journal
    Looks like Crashplan is going to screw Linux users as Carbonite does not support Linux as far as I can tell. I have 2TB of stuff backed up to Crashplan. That took me MONTHS to complete.
  • by hitchhikerjim ( 152744 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @02:37PM (#55064881)

    Hmm... to me, the best thing about CrashPlan was the client. It would let me backup machine-to-mahcine, to a local drive, to a network drive, or to Crashplan Cloud -- all seamlessly from the same interface. I understand that the only thing they're eliminating is the cloud for home users product... but it seem from their site that they're also eliminating access to the client unless you have a Small Business account with a login to download the new ones.

    Really, I bought their cloud product mostly because their client was good and their price was reasonable. Anyone know of a good and well-supported cross-platform client that lets you do machine-to-machine, NAS and cloud backups that maybe uses something like S3 or Glacier?

    • by Paco103 ( 758133 )

      Completely agree. I use it for peer to peer backup. I have plenty of access to computers in remote locations. I'd even buy a license for the software for a reasonable cost to continue this model. Anyone have any recommendations for good easy to use peer to peer backup with client side encryption? First person to recommend an rsync script gets smacked in the face with a large trout.

    • I recently switched to Arq backup (https://www.arqbackup.com/) and have been very happy with how it works. It is cloud service agnostic, and allows you to backup to your own server as well.

    • by Que_Ball ( 44131 )
      The peer to peer is the feature I have no really good drop in replacement for right now.

      I liked that it did not require VPN as it would arbitrate the connection between the peers in two different sites. It worked well for small businesses (really small like less than 10 employees) where you often had the owner or someone who would setup a computer at home to use as a backup target. They usually also subscribed to the cloud service but it was nice to have that copy of data nearby where someone co
  • The email is unclear, but will we also lose the ability to back up peer to peer? It seems so. Might be time to investigate a bittorrent solution to push my backup to several friends' computers and vice versa.

    • by suutar ( 1860506 )

      Yes. Their business version does not support peer-to-peer. They do, however, support backing up to a local folder, and they have instructions on how to get the backup archives with your data moved from the other computer to a local filesystem (e.g. an external disk): https://support.crashplan.com/... [crashplan.com]

      But the only offsite target they're going to support appears to be themselves.

    • I agree this is not specifically addressed...peer-to-peer or even local backup.

      My guess is that it all goes away, because the basic Crashplan Home software will simply cease to function.

    • All peer to peer ceases as of Oct 22, 2018. FAQ is here - lots of info https://crashplanforhome.zende... [zendesk.com]

  • by mpechner ( 637217 ) * on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @03:01PM (#55065077) Homepage

    Received a couple of notices. Not happy. I need to evaluate something for my dad and something for myself.
    One of the features I liked was knowing if something catastrophic occurs they would get a drive to me. Granted I use dual time machine drives, but still.

    So now to find another service that does that. Or pay them their $120 and sync data to one system. Which is probably what I will do. But not for my dad, put him on carbonite or something that uses S3 as a backend.

    I hope their business customers using the home service hands them a little hell.

  • Why to Carbonite? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by schklerg ( 1130369 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @03:29PM (#55065269)
    Why are they pushing Carbonite? Their page selling the small business product (https://www.crashplan.com/en-us/business/compare/) still points out some of the major failings of Carbonite - which is why I switched a few years ago in the first place. Linux support, my own passphrase for the backup, automatic support for other file types... Small business fits me pretty well still, and the price isn't bad, but I'm still going to look around for something else. The fact that they are pushing a competitor one one side & pointing out their flaws on another smells of larger business problems to me. Bye Code42!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      That is the easiest question to answer in this whole thing. Behind the scenes, they were probably sending out feelers to the different companies that provide similar services (probably some mutual friend or OTR CEO talk) and Carbonite gave them the best kickback for conversions and cross-advertizing.

    • by mfearby ( 1653 )

      I only renewed my subscription a couple of months ago so I'll have to look into something else now... and re-upload everything to someone else. My brother recommends Backblaze. Not sure I'll go with Carbonite given the flaws that have been mentioned here (and on CrashPlan's own web site!)

  • When they terminate my contract, they will delete all my data. I am sure it is in the terms and conditions, but I don't think that they have a way for me to download or transfer my years of backups. Does anyone know how I can download all my data or move them to another provider?
  • Shitty support (Score:3, Informative)

    by Brockmire ( 4931623 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @05:03PM (#55065995)
    I wouldn't recommend Crash plan for business unless there's an IT person on site. Too many interruptions that a regular office person isn't going to notice. I get emailed updates when the computers don't backup after so many days and need to investigate. Most times, the service needs to be manually restarted and works again for a while. Other times, you need the secret menu to run advanced commands that restart things differently. When I needed to call someone, the hold time was 52 minutes and then was offered a call back. No callback. Another time, I got a callback, but only for someone to take the issue down and someone else was supposed to call me. They never did. On more than one occasion, the server picked for backup shits the bed. I have to contact Crash plan to tell them their server is fucked. After some time, they report it's confirmed and under going maintenance. Wait another day and still not fixed. Contact them again, and says maintenance didn't go well and then did something to use another server. By the end of it, it hadn't backed up in 9 days and took 4 days to resolve after reporting issue. I don't think their stuff is robust and unless you constantly verify, you could be in a situation where you find your backed up data very old.
  • Nearly 15 years ago I built a P2P torrent-style anonymized backup program, based on Reed-Solomon EC. At the time, disk sizes and internet speeds were against it.

    Now, I'm wondering if I should resurrect it. Any interest in a open-source, cross-platform P2P backup program?

    • by Paco103 ( 758133 )

      Yes! I'd prefer to be able to choose my peers though, so anonymous isn't really an issue. Part of what I loved about crashplan was that I could backup my parents computer, my laptop, and my office computer to my server. If something happened, I don't need to wait hours, days, weeks, etc for the backup to download. I could simply go to the server which i had physical access to, extract the backup files to an external hard drive and re-attach them to the destination machine.

  • Am I missing something?
    From what I can see, Crashplan's Pro offering costs 10$/device/month, which is not THAT much more expensive than the personal plan was.
    • by kriston ( 7886 )

      It is much, much more expensive because that cost is per computer. I backup seven computers. That will be $70 per month. That is not good.

      • by 4pins ( 858270 )

        It is much, much more expensive because that cost is per computer. I backup seven computers. That will be $70 per month. That is not good.

        So it seems to me Crashplan counted on the vast majority of their personal customers having one, maybe two, computers. Which I would have thought reasonable. However their pricing model attracted the computer enthusiasts and they wound up with an average somewhere around 3.5. I am a big believer in having two computers at home and I currently have three and am in the market for a fourth. So about 3.5 seems like a reasonable average to me for enthusiasts, especially given the parent's seven computers. B

  • They should release the peer-to-peer feature free and possibly open-source that part. It's the thing CrashPlan does best, which is make several easy and automatic duplicates of backups across several machines.

  • I renewed my service days before this announcement and Code42 refused to refund my purchase. Changing the TOS with no notice and no chance to opt out should make Code42 vulnerable to a class action suit.

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