Offsite backups with Windows Home Server and Crash Plan

I have been slowly moving files onto my new WHS.  HP is due to release a new software version that allows for users to easily backup their shares to Amazon S3.

I have done a lot with Amazon’s S3 service, but I don’t feel good about using it for backups for a few reasons.  Primarly, if you want to backup large amounts of data, it IS very cheap, but it is sill kinda expensive.

In other words, it is very cheap compared with other managed storage options, but if you want to backup 500 GB you are still going to be paying a lot of money over the course of a year.

The solution I came across, which appears to be working fine on the WHS machines is Crash Plan (crashplan.com).  I installed it on my WHS and on the WHS I bought for my parents and have configured the 2 to backup to each other.

I won’t get into all the details, but Crash Plan:

  • costs nothing for the basic version
  • encrypts your files before they leave your machine
  • sends you emails if a backup has not happened successfully in X days

I have found no problems with running it on WHS.  I even replicate the files crashplan backs up across multiple drives so if my house burns down AND a hard drive at my parents fails, my data will still be safe.

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