You know you should be keeping backups right? If there are any digital files you don’t want to lose you really ought to be backing them up locally and offsite. Local backups are pretty easy, you can clone your drive onto an external drive and both OS X and Windows have backup built into the OS.
Offsite backups can be trickier, especially if you have a lot of data. Most services have limits to the data and monthly fees can add up. After looking around and comparing a few different options I settled on Crashplan. There are a few things that I really like about their service. First of all the software is robust and free. You can use it locally, or even across a network with a friends machine for free without any service subscription. If you do opt to use the crash plan servers the cost structure is very competitive and they offer a discount for prepaying up to four years in advance which I really like. If I’m going to use a backup system I’m going to use it for more than a year. They also offer web access to your backed up files and you can create backup sets to prioritize your files and schedule the backups.
I’ve been using crash plan for about a year now. I’m writing about it today because they just added a new feature that changes it from a great backup service to an indispensable daily tool – Crashplan has just released a mobile app for iOS and android. I’ve just tested the iPhone and iPad version and am blown away by the quick access to all of my files. It may be because the tool has just been release and not many people are using it, but navigating my backup file structure is zippy- it’s like browsing a local directory. To view a file you click it once and it downloads the file, then click it again to view it.
I can see this app being a huge lifesaver. Huge kudos to the Crashplan team for their service and this fantastic new app!