Salve Veritate

Perhaps the reader may ask, of what consequence is it whether the author’s exact language is preserved or not, provided we have his thought? The answer is, that inaccurate quotation is a sin against truth. It may appear in any particular instance to be a trifle, but perfection consists in small things, and perfection is no trifle. — Robert W. Shaunon

Talking about backup systems is a bit like talking about wills – its the last thing you want to think about ’cause my data is safe, secure, and sitting on my laptop’s disk. Well the truth of the matter is that one of these days your computer is going to get hit by the electronic equivalent of the 3:30 cross-town bus and you’ll be sending lilies to your data’s next of kin.

I’ve been using Retrospect as my “preservation plan”, but found its user interface to be less than intuitive at best and downright arcane at worst. So I’ve been looking for an alternative and discovered CrashPlan.

CrashPlan is a SaaS backup system with a twist – it all0ws you to use their cloud (for a yearly fee),  build your own cloud, backup to an external hard drive, or any combination of these options. The user interface is simple (basically click on what you want to backup and where you want it backed up to and hit go), the software operates quietly in the background, and, best of all, its FREE for personal use (or just under $60 for business use).

With CrashPlan, I can easily store my data off-site by backing up the desktop in my office to the desktop at home, yet still keep all my data under my custody and control. I can have multiple backup paths (desktop to external disk, desktop to home, desktop to laptop), and were I more trusting of other people’s clouds, I could even backup to CrashPlan’s servers.

Now, CrashPlan is not a feature for feature replacement for Retrospect and the free version is ad-supported, so there are a few warts to deal with. But if you are looking for an easy to use, flexible backup system take a long hard look at CrashPlan.

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