CrashPlan is dead

It looks like Code42 isn’t interested in home users anymore, and they’ve announced that they are shifting focus to enterprise users. Even if you were backing up to your own computers, your account is still going away, and with it your ability to back up your stuff.

Now is the time to start looking for alternatives. I don’t have a recommendation yet, but I’m looking into it. I’m interested in hearing what everyone else is using, and how it’s been working out. I’d like to be able to recommend a drop-in replacement for the CrashPlan workflow, but nothing has quite fit the bill just yet.

For the short-term, Windows 10 users like myself can use Windows’ built-in backup system with a network share living on a Raspberry Pi. You can also use Resilio Sync or SyncThing to mirror your important files to the Pi.

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17 Responses to CrashPlan is dead

  1. Ruht Roh?! SERIOUS?! I can’t backup peer to peer any more, even on my own network?

    I am using / trying duplicati https://www.duplicati.com/

    • Mel Grubb says:

      From what I’ve read, your account will cease to be, and that’s what ties all of your devices together, so you will not be able to do peer to peer anymore.

  2. Ralph says:

    I have been using Resilio Sync for sometime now and it seems to work pretty well. Sometimes goes down on my pi, but I run Ansible on a another pi to check if it is up. If not up, brings it back.

  3. Gary Dobbins says:

    I’ve converted to using BackInTime, which is a nice front-end to good ol’ rsync.
    It can be run pseudo-headless servers (X has to be installed) using X redirection over ssh.
    As soon as Duplicati 2 comes out of beta I may switch to that, because it deduplicates, and is very handy for headless servers since the UI is entirely web. Took me a while to get over that it (Duplicati) runs under mono – a .NET clone. (distaste for MS)

  4. Mel Grubb says:

    I’ve had my eye on Duplicati, but I haven’t taken v2 for a test drive yet. I’m not sure there’s anything I can totally recommend as a replacement for CrashPlan at this point because nothing does quite the same job in the same way. Resilio and SyncThing have the ability to sync content to a remote server for off-site storage, but they don’t keep a usable history. Using the Pi as a simple network file share and then using built-in OS options like Windows File History has its own problems. It’s mostly fire and forget, but it will also fail silently on very long path names, or files with certain extended characters in them. For that reason, it chokes on my Music collection. That’s the largest thing I have to back up, so that’s obviously not going to work. I’m hoping to get back to some experimenting here soon, and maybe I’ll give Duplicati v2 another look.

  5. Edward Boscher says:

    I am also looking for a crashplan replacement, i don’t think Duplicati is the one. Sure it is a fine tool, but lacks the auto-background options which makes Crashplan ideal for Laptops, PC’s and Servers. (Duplicati has to be scheduled, which is not ideal for a laptop )

  6. Mel, I set up two ubuntu VMs after creating a CP account for each, I blocked their Internet connections & set their date to 2026. They have been working and backing up for two weeks now, without an issue. So far it looks like to me that your existing peer to peer CP BU on the same networks will continue to work. The next level would be to set up VPNs between different homes.

    • Mel Grubb says:

      From what I’ve heard, the problem is that your account itself will be going away, and the account is the glue that holds your peer to peer network together. Without the account, none of this will work.

      • Mel Grubb says:

        …so, if you can get the whole thing set up before the deadline, and then cut those machines off from the outside world completely, maybe they’ll stay up, but you’ll probably not be able to set up any new nodes, or start from scratch. You might grandfather yourself into the system lasting a little longer, but it’s still not something I can continue to recommend as a viable solution.

  7. Mel, agreed. It is not a viable future plan. Duplicati is looking good. Just looking to buy some time. I really like the CrashPlan, wish they could open source it for home users… My future plan is not to use a BU solution that is closed source.

  8. Pingback: Raspberry Pi Home Server: Part 10, CrashPlan | MelGrubb.ToBlog()

  9. Mike says:

    I’m looking into duplicacy–it’s written in golang and has most of the features of crashplan, is cross platform (just have to install golang), and supports sftp as well as a littany of other cloud storage services. Free for personal use! https://github.com/gilbertchen/duplicacy

  10. Dilip Prasad says:

    Hi Mel,

    Thanks for the useful articles, could you pls help me with a article on setting up the pi with duplicati ?Thanks

    • Mel Grubb says:

      It’s something I’ve looked at before, but haven’t made a formal study of yet. It’s on the list of possible future topics though. I’ll bump it up higher on the list.

  11. dilipprasad says:

    Hi Me,

    Thanks for the good articles, could you please help with another one on setting up the pi with duplicati ? Thanks.

    • Mel Grubb says:

      I looked into Duplicati a little more and it’s incredibly simple to get this working, actually. There’s no server-side component with Duplicati like there was with CrashPlan, so there’s nothing to set up for a local network backup. All you need is a file share. But it gets better. Duplicati can back up over SFTP, which means that as long as you have enabled SSH on the pi, then Duplicati can back up to the Pi WITHOUT having to create a file share. Now here’s where it gets interesting. If you can map port 22 on the Pi to an external port on your router, then you can even back up to it from outside your home network.

      It should go without saying that you’ll want to set up a nice strong password before you go opening an SSH tunnel into your house. I’ll be looking into this in more depth in the coming weeks, and hopefully I can create a write-up on setting up a secure, off-site backup to a private Pi that lives at a buddy’s house. There are other avenues that I haven’t looked into yet, such as setting up a Minio server, which implements the same API as Amazon’s S3. This may be more secure than the SSH/SFTP route, but I think I’m going to stick with SSH/SFTP myself. It’s simple. It’s already available with the flick of a switch in raspi-config. And it’s easy enough to lock down that, with some care, you shouldn’t have to worry about getting hacked. If opening a hole in your router makes you nervous, you could always just connect to OpenVPN first before running backups that live on other networks. This makes the whole process less automatic though, and backups should be automatic.

      Finally, there’s always the choice of not backing up to the Pi at all. All you need is some paid storage like a Google Drive, OneDrive, or some Amazon S3 storage. I know, that costs money, but if you are paying for some already, then it’s a no-brainer. I subscribe to Office 365, which gets my whole family not only the Office suite, but 1TB of only storage EACH. For the regular computers around the house, that’s just fine. If you’re looking for a way to back up the contents of the server itself, then this might not be enough space though.

  12. goloap says:

    I’ve switched to Duplicati backed up to BackBlaze storage and I haven’t hit a major problem up until now (going on for 2 weeks now). The installation of Duplicati is slightly fiddly because of the dependency to Mono, but not as fiddly as the Crashplan install. Depending on your storage requirements BackBlaze can also turn out cheaper then the CrashPlan subscription.

    I agree that Duplicati is not a one-to-one mapping with CrashPlan, but for NAS type usage scenarios it’s pretty equivalent in my opinion.

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