Anyone that's read this blog even occasionally knows I'm a big fan of online backup for the SOHO to SMB market. After seeing literally hundreds of backup failures as small businesses tried to use tape drives and applications you and I would consider easy to use, like Retrospect and Backup Exec, I've come to the conclusion that tape drives, like backhoes and heart/lung machines, should be left to professionals. If you aren't a certifiable geek and don't have a full-time IT staff, you shouldn't have a tape drive -- you won't use it right anyway.Even though I have tried to explain the advantages of online backup to people till I'm blue in the face, they continue to have two major objections. It costs too much (even though the first year or two may be less than the tape drive, tapes, and backup software) and I have to trust my extremely valuable data (encrypted or not) to a third party and Symantec, IBM, or Iron Mountain might want to steal it.
Code42's CrashPlan addresses both problems and a whole lot more by letting you backup your computer across the net to your office, friend. or mother-in-law's computer. Since CrashPlan sends data to a computer you control, or at least someone you trust, there's no worries about how someone at the online backup service will steal Serving by Irving's valuable customer list. Even if your brother in law was interested in your data it's encrypted before it leaves your computer.
Even better you just have to buy the software for a measly $20 for each machine you want to protect with no pesky monthly charges.
Code 42 runs CrashPlan Central to provide or the occasional user that has no friends or family members to mooch backup space from a place to put their stuff online. While CrashPlan Central costs just 10 cents a GB a month (with a $5.00/mo minimum) their FAQ still includes "Why you shouldn't backup to CrashPlan Central"
The best part comes at restore time. Restoring a couple hundred GB of data from a typical online backup service would take so long most folks end up paying extra to have their data copied to a USB drive or DVDs and sent via FedEx. If you need to rebuild your laptop with CrashPlan just connect it to the LAN at your backup destination and restore at gigabit speeds.
Code 42 also has a Pro version that smaller organizations can use to backup their user's laptops to a server at the home office. I'll have more details on that once I fire it up here at Networks Are Our Lives and put it through it's paces.