CrashPlan: Free Backups for Faculty and Staff

Monday, August 17, 2015

by Jacquelynn Hongosh

CIT is now providing an enterprise-level, centralized, and automated digital data backup service called CrashPlan for Enterprise to all current faculty and staff members free of charge. CrashPlan:

  • supports Windows and Macintosh;
  • allows for data restoration from any computer with a network connection and internet browser;
  • and will back up your computer every 15 minutes, even when you're away from campus anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection.

We believe it's important you to install CrashPlan so that even if the worst happens to your hardware, your data will remain protected.

Some staff and faculty members may already have CrashPlan installed. Mac users should check their Applications folder and Windows users should look in Programs to determine whether their computer is already running the software.

If your computer does not already have it, please download and install CrashPlan from the CIT Software Downloads page. The setup takes just a few minutes, so make it a priority before the semester begins. Complete installation instructions and use guides can be found on the CIT Wiki at http://citwiki.oberlin.edu/index.php/CrashPlan.

If you need assistance installing or using CrashPlan, please contact the CIT Help Desk at cit@oberlin.edu or x58197.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I'm an emeritus faculty member, can I install CrashPlan?
No. At this time, we are only able to back up computers College/Conservatory-owned faculty and staff computers. We do not have the resources to backup additional computers.

Can I install CrashPlan on my home, personal, or spouse's computer?
No. CIT is only able to back up computers that have been provided to you by the College and are used for College work.

Do I need to use both TimeMachine and CrashPlan if I have a Mac with a provided external drive?
CrashPlan is different from Time Machine. CrashPlan has an advantage because it is a network backup that is physically stored elsewhere. If there was theft or a fire, you may not be able to get things from a charred or absent drive. You can continue to use both as you like, but CIT will no longer replace Time Machine hard drives going forward.

What is the difference between CrashPlan and Dropbox?

CrashPlan is a straight data-backup service while Dropbox is primarily a file sharing and collaboration tool. CrashPlan backs up your entire computer every 15 minutes and can be used to restore your hard drive exactly as it was in the event of a crash whereas Dropbox only allows you to copy those documents that you uploaded to it.

CIT recommends that you backup your College computer with CrashPlan but continue to use Dropbox too if you find the functionality helpful for sharing documents with yourself or others across devices.

Can I use CrashPlan to restore an older version of a file similar to the functionality provided by Time Machine?

Yes. You can restore an individual file from CrashPlan and choose whether you want the most recent or an older copy of that file.