Originally published at: https://tidbits.com/2018/10/22/crashplan-for-home-ends-today/
If you’ve had your head in the sand about the impending discontinuation of CrashPlan for Home, today is the day your backups will stop working and all your CrashPlan Central data will be deleted.
Originally published at: https://tidbits.com/2018/10/22/crashplan-for-home-ends-today/
And then there are a few of us who had a multi-year subscription to CrashPlan, which got extended with a year’s discount on CrashPlan for Small Business. That option was less expensive than the alternatives.
I just wish BackBlaze had a longer history than 30 days for restoration. Earlier this year, I discovered a dozen corrupted files on a shared Dropbox folder. Tracking down what happened, I found that the corruption occurred 1 year prior due to a friend’s PC getting a virus. Fortunately, CrashPlan kept a copy of the versions before corruption. Is it worth paying 2x as much per month to stay with CP for SB when my discount expires? Maybe.
Crashplan gave us a discount on their small business plan at $5 per computer per month. That discount will run out some months from now, but in the meantime, I really like the plan: I get reports by email and it has been plug and play and flexible with regards to bandwidth usage on one of the computers which is used for audio recording.
My biggest problem with Backblaze is that it doesn’t back up applications. Especially with so many applications being available as downloads only, I don’t have the “original” CD for them–and probably wouldn’t be able to remember which applications I needed. Sure, I could burn my applications to a CD, but in a worst-case scenario (my house burns, say), I wouldn’t be able to access the CD anyhow.
Do any of the online backup services really back up everything, including applications? (I can deal with them not backing up system files.)
Strangely no mention here of Arq, which Glenn pitched here:
In fact, I posted a question there some time back looking for commentary on why Glenn likes Arq even though Joe recommends Backblaze, and there was no reply.
Since then, I have moved all my Crashplan backups to Arq+Wasabi (though I haven’t pulled the plug on CP yet, though I will shortly because my discount ends tomorrow). But Backblaze does seem to win the popularity contest around here, and the Command-Control-Power guys seem to like it, too.
So I think someone should chime in and compare the two, or at least explain why the recommendations diverge.
Using Arq is more complex than Backblaze, I think that’s enough of an explanation for why Backblaze is a more general, common recommendation. The complexity starts with the business and support model, Arq doesn’t provide the cloud storage themselves so when there’s a problem, a user has to figure out who’s at fault and who to get help from.
Backblaze offers unlimited storage for a fixed price (with many caveats) while Arq plus pay-for-what-you-use storage has unknown, variable costs; many people may want file retention longer than 30 days but don’t want to be faced with making an economic decision about retention duration. Most people probably don’t think through the scenarios this far but in a big disaster situation, where you have to restore everything, the download costs of the cloud storage Arq uses can feel like getting kicked when you’re down.
Installed Backblaze, saw that it wasn’t possible to back up the applications folder. Deinstalled Backblaze.
I’m now using Arq. What a special special app: the interface is not very sophisticated. I want to see when a file changed. Instead you can only navigate by the date of the backup. The backup itself stopped for no reason. I was very unhappy as I noticed this after I had a computer problem. At least the support is fast and not totally incompetent like the Crashplan support.
Well, if you go into “preferences / advanced”, you can set “include file list in backup logs and email reports” and then go to menu “Backups / View backup session logs” to see a list of which files were backed up with each pass - though it may be more detail than you want to see. If a file is large, it may show each chunk of the file being uploaded on separate lines. And you have the logs emailed to you after each backup is complete, or specifically after an error occurs (Preferences / Email), so that may clue you in if the app isn’t backing up for some reason.
I agree with Curtis that Arq is really meant for more sophisticated users than something like Crashplan or Backblaze. However, I find that its has great backup performance, great flexibility for backup destinations, and restores when I have to do them have been as easy as something like Time Machine, at least for me. That said - for a non-technical user, I’m not sure that I would recommend Arq over something like Backblaze.
Curtis, thanks for those helpful insights. I had gathered those general pros and cons from reading the posts, but really wanted to hear it from someone who had more experience with both the products. So thanks.
Let me add that Wasabi storage pricing is very cheap, possibly the cheapest out there. And for a small amount more, I got the unlimited egress option, so there’s no incremental cost in downloading data. So no fear of getting kicked when you’re down.
Let me also point out that any of these products that offer the periodic (say monthly) full audit of your backup to ensure consistency and completeness have to download data to perform that operation. So don’t assume that you will only pay for egress bandwidth when you have an emergency and have to restore files.
The only possible exception to the above is if one of the services with integrated front and back end software is smart enough to do the audit on the server side. I’d be very impressed if that were so, and if I had a ton of free time I could inspect the traffic to figure out the answer to that myself. But if any of you has insight into this, I’d love to hear it!
Wasabi definitely has the cheapest per-GB storage rate, I didn’t know they had an unlimited egress price that’s still slightly cheaper per-GB than Backblaze’s B2. When a cloud backup is not the only backup, it’s a copy of data one never expects to use, it might make sense to pay the cheaper legacy price and pay the $0.04/GB for downloads.
Wasabi uses the same API as S3 and clearly is not only for backups but for many of the same range of uses as S3; not only having much lower storage prices but the choice to not pay for data egress is a smart way to entice people away from Amazon.
Sounds like you’re a potential customer
A little tricky getting all the keys and passwords straight but good record keeping solves the problem.
A little training helps to also understand the concept of wasabi buckets. I use them to keep one family member from being able to access the backups of the others within Arq, mainly to reduce exposure in the event their mac is stolen or hijacked.
Both Arq and Wasabi have generally offered helpful and responsive tech support.
The Arq+Wasabi discussion made me wonder if anybody has experience with using the current Retrospect with Wasabi or another cloud storage.
I use Retrospect with Dropbox (2TB) and local NAS as targets. I also use Timemachine.
I store images on an 8TB thunderbolt 3 drive and whenever my MBP connects that Carbon Copy Cloner backup my photos to the NAS
I had the same concern re Backblaze not backing up applications. I also have a fair number of apps that are obtained as downloads. They are often delivered as .DMG images. I found that by default, BB did not backup DMG files, but it was easy to delete that exception in the BB preferences. I try to keep my download apps (as DMG files) in a dedicated folder, and BB then happily backs them up. Some apps arrive as ZIP archives, which BB does backup. For others, you can zip them up yourself. I’ve found it to be a reasonable approach, and has forced me to be a little more diligent about organizing my collection of apps and other downloaded assets in one place.
I do not have experience using the current Retrospect with Wasabi, but I am also interested. This page discusses the option:
That changed today.
(I’ll continue to use B2 and OneDrive myself.)
Brings back ancient memories. Was a nice solution for a while, with the Client-Server topology to backup multiple Macs on a LAN (or WAN?). I was sad to see it go.
I am a little surprised to see all the desire to backup applications here, since applications are readily available from whatever source you got them from before.
And more to the point, Backblaze or any Internet backup service should be just a part of your overall Internet backup strategy, such that you’d always have a Time Machine backup and bootable duplicate that would have the apps.
The only situation where you’d care if your apps were backed up would be if there was a catastrophic fire or flood or whatnot that destroyed your local backups too. At that point, the effort of having to download apps from the Mac App Store or their respective sites doesn’t seem significantly different from downloading them from Backblaze. The only extra effort is remembering (or realistically, waiting until it’s obvious) what you need and going to additional Web sites. And it all pales in comparison to dealing with the event that destroyed the local backups.
When I upgraded to High Sierra last year, I intentionally did a clean install and didn’t bring over any apps. Then I installed just those I needed manually as I needed them, which resulted in a much cleaner system. Admittedly, I install a ton of stuff for testing, but still, a clean sweep of the Applications folder wasn’t a big deal.
Agreed. One can always take screenshots of the applications folder and keep a file with a record of all the license keys. Those will get backed up and will become a reference for the restoration. I suppose there are some apps out there that are highly configurable, and the loss of the configuration files would require a lot of manual work to recover. The IntelliJ IDE is an example with lots of extensions and plugins. You’d want to be sure the configuration files are being backed up remotely.
I don’t see why some people can’t understand why some users want their applications backed up along with their data. I for one have no idea what all the applications, extensions, downloads, and other support material are on my machine. It would be extremely difficult to recreate my working environment from scratch, attempting to remember all that was installed and/or where it came from (if it still exists online at all).
Backblaze IS a part of my backup strategy (the offsite part), and I want to easily reconstruct my operating environment in one of the worst case scenarios, the destruction of everything in my house. (Including Time Machine and bootable images). When Backblaze won’t save everything, even if I’m willing to pay for the space, it is just another inconvenience that I have to live with.
(BTW, CrashPlan would back up everything, and for me this complete offsite collection was the greatest loss when it was discontinued.)