Let’s Talk About Backup
A common theme with technology is striving for the peace of mind that your data is always readily available when you need it to be. Along with this, having a robust data backup solution in place will give you peace of mind that all of your data is retrievable should you experience catastrophic data loss. There is a long list of options out there, but which one is going to be the best fit?
Let’s dive into some of the mainstream vendors out there. As always, we’ll dissect the pros and con’s in hopes that you’ll then be able to make an educated decision on what option to go with. Data is invaluable and you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches down the road.
Let’s start with CrashPlan. CrashPlan is a product of Code42, a company founded in 2001 by Matthew Dornquast, Brian Bispala, Mitch Cooper; all of who are no longer with the company. CrashPlan was Code42’s first major product. CrashPlan was originally made available to both business and consumer users, however, Code42 now only focuses on the business market. CrashPlan is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. This is a handy nugget of information as a lot of cloud backup solutions do not support mobile devices.
Backups via CrashPlan are 100% encrypted and password protected. All data is uploaded via the cloud to one of Code42’s remote data centers. For an additional layer of security, organizations can opt-in for the PROe plan that allows select users such as executives to backup data to a private server instead of one of Code42’s data centers.
Since CrashPlan is compatible across multiple device types, a user can utilize a single CrashPlan account to backup all of their devices. We like this a lot. No one wants to get stuck paying a per-device cost when you can streamline all of your devices under one account and one license. Those of you who have to manage budgets will be really happy about this.
Who likes reporting? We do. With Code42’s friendly dashboard, managers can easily look at all the machines in their environment and tell if someone hasn’t backed up for a considerable amount of time. The manager can then take the appropriate action based on whether this is a technical or end-user issue. Along with this, you can set up CrashPlan to backup at a specific time of the day or whenever a change to a file is made. The latter minimizes the likelihood of data loss.
Let’s talk about the drawbacks. For one, you can only retrieve your data via a web browser or the CrashPlan app. You may be saying to yourself ‘well yeah, that makes sense and yes it does but when you compare data retrieval options offered by other vendors, CrashPlan can do a lot better. For example, Backblaze (which we will get into next) will mail you an external hard drive to recover your lost files. They offer this at no additional cost.
Pricing for CrashPlan is a sticking point for a lot of people. CrashPlan is $10/per user/per month. The pricing isn’t bad for small to medium-sized teams but as an organization continues to grow, expenses for CrashPlan can become very costly. Other vendors offer their services for a lot less for the same features. As we continue to navigate uncharted territory with COVID-19, budgets are as constrained as ever. Just something to keep in mind.
Backblaze is another great solution for backup. Backblaze not only backs up individual user data but you can also use Backblaze to back up an on-site server. Pricing for Backblaze starts at $6/Per Computer/Per Month for a month-to-month plan for computers. Pricing for the server backup option varies as it depends on how much data is being backed up.
Backblaze is one of the most economically friendly solutions out there. It’s great for teams of any size and users can backup an unlimited amount of data. This is a huge plus since you don’t have to worry about hitting a storage cap. The best part? back-ups are encrypted with the standard AES 128-bit encryption. This sort of encryption is generally uncrackable. To provide some perspective, it would take a supercomputer several billion years to crack this kind of encryption.
Earlier we mentioned that Backblaze makes data recovery super simple. Let’s say your computer crashes. More likely than not, retrieving the data off of the computer will be a process that’s both time and resource-intensive. If this ever happens, you can request an external drive from Backblaze that they’ll mail you free of charge. The external drive option also isn’t an add-on. You get this as part of your paid subscription. Backblaze will only charge you for the drive if it’s not returned within 30 days of receiving it.
Something you’ll hear a lot of people say is how simple Backblaze is to set up and use. While this is true, it also means there’s not much room for customizing your backups like CrashPlan. With Backblaze, it’s all or nothing. While this isn’t necessarily a big drawback, giving users the ability to control what gets backed up will speed up their first backup and it also empowers them to learn more about the platform.
Unlike CrashPlan, Backblaze’s pricing is on a per-computer price plan rather than a per-user plan. This is a big advantage for CrashPlan. We live in an age where you’re most likely carrying a bag full of various devices you use every day for work. Wouldn’t it be nice to back them all up under a single user account? We think so.
Backblaze is a great option for any individual or organization who wants to utilize cloud backups. While not completely customizable, it’s very budget-friendly and easy to use. You won’t even realize it’s running.
Carbonite has a slew of features that go beyond computer backups. Carbonite offers computer backup, server backup, endpoint protection, and also complete SaaS backup of Office 365. This is similar to Datto’s Backupify services that specialize in SaaS backups. At the moment, G Suite is not supported by their SaaS services.
Carbonite caters to both the consumer and business market. Individual pricing starts at $6/Per computer/Per month, though teams will want to invest in their ‘Multiple Computer’s’ plan that covers all of the computers in your environment for $24 a month (billed annually) You really can’t go wrong here. The pricing is competitive and you get more bang for your buck.
Carbonite has a really great user-intuitive mobile app as well. You can use this to quickly check the status of your backup with a detailed breakdown of your data. Being that the majority of us do a lot of our work from our phones, this is a very convenient resource. Unfortunately, Carbonite does not backup mobile device files at the moment. All backups are encrypted with AES 128-bit encryption as well.
You can set up custom backup policies with Carbonite. This feature should really be standard across all backup providers. Maybe you don’t need to back up every individual file and folder. The convenience of custom backup policies is felt both by IT and end-users. Customizing backups also keep your usage down and will make data recovery a lot quicker.
Some users report lagging issues when Carbonite is running in the background. This could be due to the hardware on the computer. Like most software, Carbonite updates are meant to keep up with updates to your operating system. If you’re on an older machine then you’re most likely going to notice performance issues. To be fair, this is a complication of any cloud backup solution.
Pricing, while competitive can also be a sticking point. Longtime Carbonite customers report that their yearly price has been steadily increasing over time but the increase in price over time has come with very few updates and features that could justify the consistent increase in pricing. The $6 consumer pricing has generally stayed the same but there have been numerous increases to their business plans.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution that goes beyond computer backup, Carbonite may be the solution for you.
Enough cannot be said about how crucial it is to have a backup solution in place. There are companies that specialize in data recovery at the drive level and this can get really expensive. We recommend implementing a backup solution sooner rather than later. Being prepared before something bad happens can mean the world of difference between time spent restoring a backup compared to money and time spent recovering a hard drive.
If you’re exploring backup solutions and are in need of support, we’re ready to help! Get in touch today to schedule a free consultation!