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#368247 - 22/01/2017 00:45 CrashPlan vs. alternatives
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3686
I set up CrashPlan a long time ago and it's been doing its thing. Didn't think much of it, never needed to use it. I'm using the free version of CrashPlan to back up stuff from my home machine to my work machine, and of course I'm using Time Machine on both boxes, and anything that really matters is on Github or otherwise "out there". As such, CrashPlan is really only for the "whoops, my home machine got stolen / caught fire" case.

Anyway, over the last few days, CrashPlanServer has been humming along at 350% CPU usage (on a six-core CPU) for no apparent purpose, and crashing / auto-restarting every few minutes. It seems that CrashPlan has been auto-updating itself, but maybe not perfectly. I uninstalled and reinstalled and it's seeming happier now, but I'm still suspicious.

When poking around for online advice about this, I'm seeing things suggesting killing off the server during the day, or suggesting you give its Java VM more memory. What I'm not seeing are consistent bug reports about this problem. What did catch my attention, however, is that the "use your friend's machine for free" mode of operation is only supported by CrashPlan 4, and they're already on to CrashPlan 5 for enterprise-ish things, wherein there's no free version. CrashPlan 5 was released over a year ago, leading me to wonder whether I'm living in a world of unsupported flake-ware and it's time to move on.

So... do I need to move on to something else? I'm sure I could always set up rsync or whatnot, but I do prefer the idea of running "professional" software, and I'd even be willing to spend money on it if it was any good. I just don't need to do this "in the cloud". (Or do I?)

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#368248 - 23/01/2017 04:53 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: DWallach]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3686
Update: My problem appears to have been the 1GB memory limit for the CrashPlan service on my machine. This means (surprise!) that nothing had actually been backed up for an awfully long time and I hadn't noticed at all.

It's now cranking away at a steady 5Mbps upload, with an estimated completion time of 1.4 days from now.

I guess I could push it to go faster, but this is roughly 1/3 of my total upstream budget, and seems to have no impact on interactive performance. I'm really, really enjoying my upgrade from 15Mbps/1.5Mbps AT&T Uverse to 200Mbps/15Mbps Comcast.

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#368249 - 23/01/2017 11:43 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: DWallach]
Shonky
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 1938
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
Do you not have the emails reporting status set up? I get emails about machines that haven't backed up for a few days and also emails showing change in size or number of files of the dataset. Usually keep a bit of an eye on it.

I think it can do twitter too.

Note I'm using the paid version and it's v4.8. I wasn't aware there was a new stream. I wish they'd make some native clients though. Java is not my favourite.
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Christian
#40104192 120Gb (no longer in my E36 M3, won't fit the E46 M3)

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#368250 - 23/01/2017 11:47 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: DWallach]
Shonky
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 1938
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
Hang on. wait.... v5 looks like it completely removes computer to computer backup regardless of license type! That's almost a deal breaker for me (not that anyone else really supports it). I back up a number of machines to my NAS locally. But also my NAS to the cloud as well as a local machine (mainly for quick recovery).

That's pretty crappy and I've received no emails or notifications (like the change to cloud data retention recently).

EDIT: I'm even more confused now. Their main signup page explicitly mentions free machine to machine backup. Are we confusing the "green" personal backup with the "blue" and "black" business / enterprise versions?


Edited by Shonky (23/01/2017 11:51)
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Christian
#40104192 120Gb (no longer in my E36 M3, won't fit the E46 M3)

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#368251 - 23/01/2017 11:54 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: DWallach]
Shonky
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 1938
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
To answer myself, yeah 4.8.0 is the latest personal version and still supports machine to machine.

v5 is the business/enterprise server version.
_________________________
Christian
#40104192 120Gb (no longer in my E36 M3, won't fit the E46 M3)

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#368252 - 23/01/2017 14:47 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: DWallach]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11934
Loc: Sterling, VA
Often, a reinstall of Crashplan can fix issues like that too. I agree their use of Java is kind of crappy and leads to problems with the software, and I also agree that email notifications should be turned on to alert of any problems. It's possible to change the number of days before an alert or a warning.

But I mostly wanted to offer a little "FYI." The latest version of Crashplan finally has the ability to back up a network drive. Previously, I'd gone to a great deal of effort to install Crashplan directly onto my Synology as a headless installation, but the process was awful and the application kept stopping. It also kept me from updating the DSM for fear of breaking the Java/Crashplan apps.

Now, if you install Crashplan as a local user instead of the default system user, you can instruct it to back up any mapped network drive. I already have a laptop running at all times to control my home automation system, so I set that up as my backup computer. It was taxed for the first week as it backed everything up for the first time (Crashplan's adoption feature didn't work correctly), but after that it hasn't hurt my HA system.
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Matt

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#368253 - 23/01/2017 22:14 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: Shonky]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3686
Originally Posted By: Shonky
Do you not have the emails reporting status set up?

Indeed I do, and I've indeed had sporadic reports from their email system, such as when the remote machine was powered off, but there was no indication that I hadn't had a decent backup in a while. I'm not sure what to make of all this, but suffice to say that my opinion of CrashPlan's reliability has been knocked down several pegs by this whole thing.

It's not like they couldn't have sent an email saying "gosh wow, CrashPlan Server was killed over 1000 times yesterday for using too much memory, we recommend you follow the instructions at URL to increase it."

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#368254 - 23/01/2017 22:29 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: Dignan]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30789
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: Dignan
Often, a reinstall of Crashplan can fix issues like that too. I agree their use of Java is kind of crappy and leads to problems with the software


My most common interaction with Java lately has been: Java runs out of memory and then you have to change the configuration of the JVM to allow more memory. This is on machines with oodles of free RAM.

WTF, Sun/Oracle? Why doesn't Java just use the memory available to it?
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Tony Fabris

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#369122 - 22/08/2017 16:48 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: DWallach]
StigOE
addict

Registered: 27/10/2002
Posts: 567
Resurrecting an old-ish thread, but with no real answer to the topic title, which is needed now... smile

I got an email today saying that Crashplan plan to terminate Crashplan for Home user and I have the option to move to Crashplan for Small Business (at $10 per month per device after 12 months) or Carbonite (at $30 or $50 per year (50% off) for 1 computer).

Anyone have any (recent) experience with Carbonite or can suggest other alternatives? I only have my main PC and a "NAS" (an Ubuntu-box running headless as a NAS) to back up.

Stig

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#369123 - 22/08/2017 20:37 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: StigOE]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3133
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: StigOE
Anyone have any (recent) experience with Carbonite or can suggest other alternatives? I only have my main PC and a "NAS" (an Ubuntu-box running headless as a NAS) to back up.

You might consider duplicity to Backblaze B2. Outside of CrashPlan, I never really saw a really good proprietary cloud backup system that was both cost effective, and supported Linux.

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#369124 - 23/08/2017 01:11 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: DWallach]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11934
Loc: Sterling, VA
Ugh. I'm pretty disappointed by this. I mean, I was always curious how their business model worked (10 computers with unlimited storage AND version history for $150/year), and I guess the answer is "it doesn't."

Now I'm looking into all the alternatives so I can know what to recommend to my clients, to whom I've recommended Crashplan for years now. Clearly, it's good that they're letting subscriptions run their course and giving another two months, but it's still annoying.

I'm still not a fan of Carbonite. There's just something about it. I think the software is the main thing. I really can't stand it. It gives you almost zero control over what gets backed up. Crashplan had so many ways to tweak everything. It was great.

I'm currently looking at iDrive, which appears to support Linux but I'll leave that to those of you who know Linux.

Comparing these services is really apples and oranges. Many of them have completely different pricing from each other and handle users/computers/storage allocation very differently. Even just within iDrive. It gives 2TB for as many computers as you want, but just one user, for about $60/year. Then for $75/year you only get 250GB, but shared with unlimited users.

One of my favorite things about Crashplan was that it was a good fit for almost all of my clients. Whether they had 1 or 5 computers, or even if they didn't want cloud storage.
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Matt

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#369125 - 23/08/2017 02:37 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: DWallach]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11934
Loc: Sterling, VA
Quick update:

I'm pretty sure I'm going to recommend iDrive to most of my clients. Apparently it does the free local backup thing, and can even make local drive image backups.

Also, unlike Crashplan, it doesn't require Java to run, and backs up mapped drives out of the box.

The fact that there's a free 5GB plan is great for some of my lighter users too.
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Matt

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#369126 - 23/08/2017 06:41 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: Dignan]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5553
Loc: London, UK
Originally Posted By: Dignan
I'm currently looking at iDrive, which appears to support Linux but I'll leave that to those of you who know Linux.


fwiw, there's an iDrive app for Synology (on my DS416, anyway), which might sway some people.
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-- roger

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#369127 - 23/08/2017 18:01 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: Dignan]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5315
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: Dignan
Now I'm looking into all the alternatives...
As am I.

I have used CrashPlan as my backup system for some time now, on the recommendations of the people here. I never cared for it. No doubt I am a paranoid Luddite, but having that program ticking away in the background without my continuing direct control over what it was doing and when it was doing it just...wasn't the way I was used to doing things. And the setup and user interface was (to me with my limited computer geekiness) a nightmare. BTW, I used the Free version, backing up locally, not the Cloud version despite CrashPlan's frequent exhortations to do otherwise. With my tin-can-and-string internet service, it would take me nine and a half months 24-hours a day to back up my data to the Cloud.

The type of backup system I want is what I used to be able to do with Karen's Replicator, which sadly is not compatible with Windows 10. I could specify exactly which files in which directories on which drives I wanted to back up into which destinations. I could set the backups to be either on a schedule, or to do them when I decided I needed to. The backups were un-encrypted, in file trees and filenames that duplicated the original sources, so I didn't need special software (i.e., CrashPlan) for retrieval. Crude, inefficient, but simple enough that even I could understand and manage it.

Now I'm looking to set up something similar to what I had before CrashPlan. So far, my best candidate is the "File History" backup program built into Windows 10. Does anyone here have experience with this program?

tanstaafl.
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"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#369128 - 23/08/2017 18:52 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: Roger]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11934
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: Roger
Originally Posted By: Dignan
I'm currently looking at iDrive, which appears to support Linux but I'll leave that to those of you who know Linux.

fwiw, there's an iDrive app for Synology (on my DS416, anyway), which might sway some people.

I was already swayed but that's certainly a nice bonus that I had no idea about!

The only problem is I can't get it working. I've installed it, but when I try to launch it all I get is a 404 error. I noticed it installed another package along with it, but I have no information on how it might be related or how to configure it. The iDrive website says I just have to install the package and sign into it, but doesn't say anything about this "web station" package...
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Matt

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#369129 - 23/08/2017 21:35 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: Roger]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30789
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: Roger
fwiw, there's an iDrive app for Synology (on my DS416, anyway), which might sway some people.


It might indeed. Do you mean that it could use my NAS as the primary storage, like Time Machine can? Or do you mean that it backs up my NAS to their cloud? It's hard to tell which of those it is, based on their page.

The former is useful to me, the latter is not. If the former, I wonder if their free version would allow that (i.e., they only would charge a subscription for their cloud storage). Can't easily tell from looking at their web site.
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Tony Fabris

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#369130 - 24/08/2017 01:10 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: tfabris]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11934
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: tfabris
Originally Posted By: Roger
fwiw, there's an iDrive app for Synology (on my DS416, anyway), which might sway some people.

It might indeed. Do you mean that it could use my NAS as the primary storage, like Time Machine can? Or do you mean that it backs up my NAS to their cloud? It's hard to tell which of those it is, based on their page.

The former is useful to me, the latter is not. If the former, I wonder if their free version would allow that (i.e., they only would charge a subscription for their cloud storage). Can't easily tell from looking at their web site.

What he's talking about is an app on the NAS its self that backs up the data on the NAS to the cloud.

However, I just checked and I can confirm that, with the Windows app at least, it's possible to back up to any local or network drive for free. I'm liking this application.

So far, the only thing iDrive doesn't do that Crashplan does is the ability to back up to other computers running the software for free. I have a couple clients backing up this way. One client has three locations and doesn't want to use the cloud, so he has all the computers in his organization backing up to a machine in is home. I can't quite tell, but it looks like these free capabilities are going away too, so I'm going to need to figure something else out for him. He's kind of cheap, so I don't think he'll be up for buying a Synology.


Edited by Dignan (24/08/2017 01:10)
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Matt

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#369131 - 24/08/2017 01:51 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: DWallach]
larry818
old hand

Registered: 01/10/2002
Posts: 977
Loc: Fullerton, Calif.
Why not use a syncing service to sync the satellite systems to the home one, and then do normal backups from the home machine?

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#369132 - 24/08/2017 02:16 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: larry818]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11934
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: larry818
Why not use a syncing service to sync the satellite systems to the home one, and then do normal backups from the home machine?

That might be a good alternative. Thanks.
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Matt

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#369137 - 25/08/2017 18:36 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: DWallach]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
I grew tired of dealing with CrashPlan's Java crap and sketchy NAS support, so thanks for mentioning iDrive. With their .edu pricing it's significantly cheaper than Crashplan for much more functionality.
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- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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#369138 - 25/08/2017 20:25 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: DWallach]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3686
CrashPlan doesn't appear to have said anything about their "backup to a friend's computer" service, which is the mode I've been using it. I wouldn't be surprised if they kill that off as well.

I may cobble something together from rsync, but that doesn't see like something I'd really trust. Hmm.

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#369147 - 29/08/2017 04:03 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: DWallach]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5315
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: DWallach
I wouldn't be surprised if they kill that off as well.
Hmmm... I use CrashPlan to back up to my own local hard drives, some of which are stored off-premises between backups.

The backup software is on my computer. The source and destination drives are my desk. How is CrashPlan going to stop me from continuing to do my backups?

tanstaafl.
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"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#369153 - 29/08/2017 07:17 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: tanstaafl.]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5553
Loc: London, UK
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.
How is CrashPlan going to stop me from continuing to do my backups?


By removing that feature from future versions of the software, and by dropping support for that version on later versions of Windows.

And that's best case. If you're paying a subscription license, they can make it no longer apply to that version of the software, which means you'll have to upgrade.

At some point, they'll get you.
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-- roger

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#369163 - 29/08/2017 15:24 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: Roger]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5315
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: Roger
By removing that feature from future versions of the software, and by dropping support for that version on later versions of Windows.
Yeah, but what do I care about future versions if the one I am using works with the hardware and operating system that I have? It is possible that some future upgrade to Windows 10 will make my old, obsolete CrashPlan quit working (like what happened to Karen's Replicator) but likely that will be years from now. If it happens, I'll deal with it then.

tanstaafl.
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"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#369164 - 29/08/2017 16:11 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: tanstaafl.]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5707
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
That will all work well until your motherboard dies and the new motherboard your local PC shop put in for you can't run the version of Windows you need to run the CrashPlan restore.
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#369165 - 29/08/2017 16:42 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: andy]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3133
Loc: Portland, OR
The CrashPlan client is a Java app. I'm fairly certain a new version of Windows won't cause an issue, provided Doug isn't trying to restore the OS itself.

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#369166 - 29/08/2017 16:56 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: canuckInOR]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5707
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
It is a Java application in name only. It ships with its own Java VM that it runs on. If Doug finds himself restoring on some future version of Windows that that copy of the Java VM doesn't run on, then the fact that it is a Java app may well not help him much.

Sure, you might get it to run on some other version of the Java VM. But you might not.

It isn't something that I'd want to rely on, which is why I'm ditching CrashPlan for all my back ups, even the local ones.
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Remind me to change my signature to something more interesting someday

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#369167 - 29/08/2017 16:58 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: DWallach]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5707
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
CrashPlan is exactly the sort of app that shows up incompatibilities between different versions of the Java VM. Which is why they ended up shipping their own copy of Java rather than relying on what the OS/user had installed.
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#369171 - 30/08/2017 12:55 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: DWallach]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11934
Loc: Sterling, VA
Also, if you have plans to continue using Crashplan for local backups, you'd better go and download the client installation file. It used to be pretty much on their front page. Now it's only available through your login, and eventually your account will be closed and it won't be available through there anymore.

So in the future if your system drive crashes, you'll be scrambling trying to find the install file.

I'm still looking for alternatives for all of my clients. iDrive fits most of them, but I have one client who doesn't want cloud backup, has multiple locations, and wants everything to back up to one location and only he has access to the backups. Crashplan worked perfectly for this, as I could password protect the software on each computer, and have them all back up to his home machine. I can't find any way to do this with any other tools out there.

For those of you who are untrusting of the cloud, you might look into getting a Synology. I've been playing with their Cloud Station this morning and it looks like that might be a good solution for myself and my family. I can back up all their data to my NAS for them.
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Matt

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#369173 - 30/08/2017 16:02 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: andy]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3133
Loc: Portland, OR
Originally Posted By: andy
It is a Java application in name only. It ships with its own Java VM that it runs on.

Huh. I did not know that. The Linux version doesn't do that.

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