CrashPlan status report: still awesome

Early last year I wrote a positive review of the online backup tool Mozy. Like a fool, I neglected to test its restore functionality, and a few months later when I suffered a hard drive crash and tried to restore 20+ gigs of data from my Mozy backup, I learned that Mozy can’t restore for shit.

After extensive testing of both backup and restore functionality, I decided to switch to CrashPlan for my online backups. Back in September, after having used it for several months, I gave CrashPlan a glowing review.

So, seven months later, would I still recommend CrashPlan? Yes. Hell yes.

CrashPlan has backed up my data quietly, reliably, and without fail. It hasn’t ever crashed or frozen and it doesn’t hog my system resources. Most of the time I don’t even remember it’s there. But most importantly, CrashPlan has saved my ass several times, and each time it’s worked so well that it almost makes me want to do stupid shit more often just so I can experience the pleasure of having my ass saved again. It works that well.

When I migrated from a PC to a Mac last year, I copied all my important data off the PC’s hard drive, then wiped it clean. At least, I thought I had copied all my important data. Naturally, as soon as I finished nuking the drive, I realized I had only copied one of my two partitions. A few clicks later, CrashPlan was happily restoring the lost files to my new Mac from the PC’s most recent backup. I didn’t lose a thing.

That’s been the story every time I’ve needed to restore something. Whether it’s a single file of just a few kilobytes or a whole directory containing several gigabytes, CrashPlan begins restoring the files instantly and only seems to be limited by the download speed of my Internet connection. Mozy’s painful, slow, unreliable restore process is nothing but a distant nightmare now.

CrashPlan and Mozy both make lots of big promises about how safe and secure your data will be and how easy it’ll be to restore in the event of a disaster; the difference is that CrashPlan actually keeps its word.