Bye bye Crashplan… er, so what’s next?

the majority of you know I like to back up my data. I’ve had too many run-ins with people handing me crashed hard drives and charred memory cards, expecting me to work magic on them, knowing full-well that their life’s work is included on it. A couple of weeks ago, I even got laughed at for having backups of backups, and storing a lot of stuff “in the cloud”. Well, that’s a story for another rant. I thought Id might as well type something, seeing as I’m saying goodbye to one of my oldest and dearest backup chums, Crashplan.

There are many backup solutions out there, but a few years ago, I punted for Crashplan. Mainly because they had a Black Friday sale on in 2011, and I got a years’ subscription for practically pennies. This year, I won’t be renewing my subscription. And I thought it’d be fair to throw my opinion and experience out there.

I live in the good old United Kingdom of England, where broadband is expensive, yet plentiful At the moment, my broadband speed is something like 120Mbps. It’s lovely and fast. One day, I was a complete pillock, and deleted an entire folder of images, which totalled about 500Mb. Grrr. But, never mind, I knew I had a backup. I went to restore it…. Aaaaaand it took forever. Considering the speed of my bandwidth, I’d expect it to take about a couple of minutes for that amount of data.

I checked with Crashplan to see if they’re throttling speeds…

Due to CrashPlan being a shared service, backup and restore speeds are greatly affected by ISP-provided bandwidth, server traffic, and geographical location in relation to the backup server. Users overseas generally see slightly slower speeds than our stateside users due to the geographical distance between the US and their country (not to mention the generally slower Internet speeds the US has relative to the rest of the world). CrashPlan for Home servers are located in the continental US.

It may also be that your ISP is throttling the traffic - I recommend calling them to confirm.

If your restore speeds drop (and remain) below 1 Mbps, please let us know and we will get logs to troubleshoot.

Well, naturally, I was straight onto Virgin. I know they do throttle some data, but not to the point of what I was experiencing, and as expected, their response was to the negative. This screenshot, showing an almost entirely straight line shows there’s no variation.


So, someone was telling me porkies. I did some calculations. I had about 600Gb of data stored on there. I worked out, at the speeds it was going, it’d take *11 weeks* of my machine constantly downloading, to restore all of my data, should a major issue occur. OK, 600Gb isn’t a small amount of data to be pushed through a little underground cable, but GTA 5 is roughly 60Gb from steam, and it took about an hour, so 600Gb would take at the bare minimum, 10 hours. At the acceptable maximum, a couple of days. I’d whinge at a week.

Crashplan then asked me to send in logfiles. These logfiles consisted of 26Mbs worth of information ZIPPED, and upon closer inspection included the name of every file I’d uploaded there, in plain text. This is where the trail goes cold, and my experience with Crashplan tech support ended. Maybe I’m wrong, but when a tech support department asks for many megabytes of logfile data to answer a simple question, then you’re in trouble. I was going to send an email saying “look, I see what I’m sending. You probably need about 5 lines of it. Tell me what I can cut and paste”, but I clearly never sent it. I just bit the bullet, paid my full-price subscription for another year.

Over the course of the year, my love affair with Crashplan ended. I just didn’t care any more. I began to explore other avenues Currently, I have the majority of my stuff “archived” to Google Drive. It’s roughy £8 per month for 1Tb of space. I back up stuff, I just created an “unsynched” folder on Google Drive (this means you can’t see it from your PC), copy stuff to Google Drive the normal way and then move it into this folder on the web interface. If I need to download it, I just go back into the web interface, right-click and download it again.


I’ve seen grown men physically vomit at the thought of using Google Drive in any form, but it’s a solution.

All of this is my own experience. It could have been something on my end preventing the download running faster, seeing as I never actually finished the tech support thing. But, if you’re in the UK, I’d suggest taking the trial, uploading a few large files and then trying to restore them. Now that I have a different patooter, I might give them another go. Might.

15 years… OK, so 4 of them have been on a life support machine….

I doubt anyone will ever see this. I’m not going to promote it, but November 4th signals the exact date I discovered blogging. I can’t believe it’s been a thing for so long. Obviously, in recent years, I’ve not given it the attention it so desitres, but while there’s an installation of WordPress on here, there’ll be a blog, even if I don’t actually put anything on it.

So here’s to you, previous “Scribbler’s Laid a Big Juicy Log”. Here’s to 15 years of existing! Let’s hope your acne isn’t as bad as mine was

Thinning the herd… a CD giveaway

I’m giving away some of my CDs! If you live near me and want some of them leave a comment, facebook me, shot me a text, email, all that good stuff. Here’s the list.

The list

I intend to give them to a charity shop on Monday, so you’ve got the whole weekend to peruse the list.

And if you’re interested on why, well, it’s not that exciting. I just don’t listen to them. They’re taking up space in the front room that could quite easily be given to other CDs that have been hanging around the living room for the best part of 15 years since I discovered ebay, the internet and all stuff like that.

Most of them I bought in bulk, with the intention of keeping the good ones for myself, and then selling the rest on, on somewhere like ebay. I did list some of these multiple times, and they never sold, so they’ve just been languishing on a shelf ever since. They’ve also came from charity shops and various other second hand shops.

Their ebay days are over. If you took the entire bag from me, I doubt you;d make anything from them. Some of the cases are damaged, and there are light marks on some of the disks (they ripped fine, so they’re still useable, but their resale value would be nothing). I have neither the time nor inclination to grade them. I do have a stock of replacement CD single cases, so if you’re only after a couple, I’ll be happy to swap damaged ones for new ones

I’d rather give them to someone who’d give them a good home, and not attempt to sell them on… which makes me giving them to a charity shop rather hypocritical, but that would be for a good cause.

That Hiatus thing…

Hello! I’d like to say I’m back, but there’s still going to be a hiatus for a little while yet. Let me just clarify what’s going on. As many of you, hopefully all that actually know me in the flesh, know that I’ve left the cold, unforgiving job agency that I was once a part of, and have started a new job at a completely different establishment.

Both of my readers know I say some stuff in here, that although, entirely meant in jest, might put me out as being… y’know… a bit of a twat. Therefore, until this all settles down, I’m keeping a low profile.

That, and the fact I’m playing GTA 5. Good lord, what a game.

Yours sincerely,

Oh, wait. Hang on.