CrashPlan, after years of going after the small indie and consumer market, has given up on that segment with an email to its Home users informing them they are leaving the consumer market to focus on the business and enterprise segments.
The email goes on to outline some options they have before the plug is pulled on their data. The kicker to this whole debacle is who they chose to "partner" with to help their Home customers.
Yes, you got that right ... Carbonite. The company that CrashPlan simply cannot compete against.
I used CrashPlan instead of Carbonite on one computer. After dealing with CrashPlan, my next computer went on Carbonite so it doesn't strike those of us that have been using and writing about the online backup experience as anything out of the ordinary.
From a usage and service standpoint, CrashPlan never lived up to the hype and was never a true competitor to Carbonite. It was not a terrible experience but CrashPlan's way of doing things just seemed intuitively wrong after spending time with it. I'm not sure they even understood the home market and certainly didn't understand the indie market as it leaves it dangling between moving data to another service or moving up to a business plan.
It's just another round of marketing gone bad.
Promises that couldn't be kept from a company that didn't have proper footing in the home/indie market. When I first wrote about CrashPlan, it seemed all was well at the time but, the longer I used the service, the more disenchanted I became with it. I'm sure there are plenty of good experiences with CrashPlan and, in the end, my data was protected so it's not like their product didn't work.
Personal data to a digital artist is like money to a banker or water to a fish.
In some cases, it's a lifetime of work and at the very least it's an important portfolio that reflects who the artist is. Keeping it safe and backed up is not something we want to worry about once we choose an online service.
CrashPlan kept the data safe in that regard with methods of retrieval and restoration but having to make a choice between paying more or moving your backup can be a hassle if that backup is terabytes or major gigs in size. In this case, those that chose CrashPlan will need an overlapping time to make sure that their data is backed up on the new service before CrashPlan pulls the plug.
CrashPlan is affording a generous amount of time to get the data backed up or moved up to a business tier if that is what you need and can afford. The email gave two specific options:
Option A: Converting to CrashPlan for Small Business
Back up for free until the end of your current CrashPlan for Home subscription, then enjoy a 75% discount for your next 12 months. After that, CrashPlan for Small Business costs $10 per device each month.
Continue your backups without starting over. You can migrate your cloud backups (5 TB or smaller) and all local backups.
This process will close your CrashPlan for Home account. Once you convert to CrashPlan for Small Business, you can't convert back to CrashPlan for Home.
Option B: Go to its partner (its words) Carbonite to get the process started at an exclusive 50% discount.
In the end, CrashPlan fell short in the consumer and indie market and not for a lack of trying. Even though their service seemed clunky compared to Carbonite, it did function.
Extending current plans by 60 days was a positive step in a bad situation and was welcome news. Carbonite, on the other hand, will benefit by picking up customers that probably should have been on their service anyway. While no one likes to see a company have to change direction, at least CrashPlan is still on solid footing. It's just no longer serving the home and indie market as they once did.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. M.D. is currently working on VR projects and characters. You can learn more about MD at his website.