I’ve been receiving emails from CrashPlan regularly, telling me that their cloud backup service is no longer being offered for home users. That meant that in a few more months, I would be without an online backup, unless I took action.
That’s a real pity, because I spent quite some time last year choosing a cloud backup service for my Linux server. I even went to the trouble of writing a simple macOS app to switch the CrashPlan GUI between the server backup and the Mac backup.
Something else which comes to mind is the 30 days it took to do the initial backup — 1 TB of data takes a while to upload, using my Virgin Media ISP. And switching to another service means doing that all over again…
When I looked at the alternatives which CrashPlan suggested in their emails, I noticed that Carbonite does not support Linux. So that option was out.
Their other suggestion was to switch to CrashPlan for small business. That was quite appealing, because everything would continue with minimal effort on my part. However, the business plan is normally more expensive — although they do offer a 75% discount for the next 12 months which would make it viable in the short term. But it would certainly be too expensive after that period, and I don’t want to deal with the same problem next year. So that option was out too.
After some more digging around on the web, I settled on iDrive. Unlike alternatives such as Backblaze, it supports Linux, and allows multiple devices to be backup up, which is a very useful addition. The downside is that it’s limited to 2 TB or 5 TB, depending on which plan you choose — whereas CrashPlan’s service provided unlimited storage. But 2 TB should be enough for now, and the prices seem to represent good value. (I paid $104.25 for two years.)
In addition to the backup space, they also give you a matching amount of sync space. I presently use Google Drive for that, and ‘only’ sync about 6 GB / 22,000 files, so I’m not sure how much I’ll use the sync space — but it’s still nice to have as an alternative.
With iDrive, you can let them choose an encryption key, or supply your own private one. Even though it means I can’t share files with other people, I decided to go with the private key for extra peace of mind — but it’s up to me to keep the key safe, and not lose it either!
I’ve only just got started with iDrive today, but everything seems to be going well so far. I’m going to back up my Mac, Windows and Linux systems with it. Previously with CrashPlan, I only backup up the Linux server directly to the cloud, and had the other machines do local backups to the server. So it may well turn out to be better in the end, thanks to iDrive supporting multiple devices directly.