Using CrashPlan at Home

Posted on April 6th, 2020 by

 

Gustavus uses software called CrashPlan on employee computers to back up your data to ensure when the worst happens, your data is safe.

CrashPlan is a very network intensive program. It works and works, all day, making sure your data stays safe. GTS wants to help you strike a balance between being productive at home, and allowing CrashPlan to do its job and back up your files. To assist you in this, we have made a few changes to CrashPlan such as enabling scheduling backups. Here is some background information to help.

What is my download speed?
You may see advertisements for 15 Mbps or 60 Mbps speeds from local providers such as Consolidated Communications and Mediacom. These are the download speeds. In most situations, these connections are plenty fast and capable for browsing the internet, paying bills online, sending email, and watching Netflix.

What is my upload speed at home?
With these plans, there is a second number that is not as widely advertised. This number is the upload speed. Most home connections have a relatively slow upload speed. Most home connections have between 1Mbps – 5Mbps upload speeds, some even have 20Mbps speeds. In most situations, the upload speed has very little effect on watching YouTube, Netflix marathons, checking email, and browsing the internet. However, you will notice very quickly if you are uploading videos to Google Drive (videos around 500MB and up) – it seems like it takes forever to upload those videos.

Does CrashPlan use my download speed or upload speed to back up my files?
CrashPlan is a program that is dependent on fast upload speeds. When you make changes to files on your computer, CrashPlan is busy taking inventory of the changes you are making and comparing those against what is on the CrashPlan server, and busily uploading the changes.

What is the difference between the Gustavus network and my home network?
At Gustavus, our upload speeds are similar to our download speeds. If you are able to download 100 Mbps at Gustavus, you are most likely able to upload data at 100Mbps. CrashPlan and other cloud-based backup programs work best with these fast upload speeds. It ensures that CrashPlan is able to make frequent backups.

With slower upload speeds at home, the software isn’t able to work as fast, which may explain why your CrashPlan backups are not at 100% as frequently as when your computer was connected to the Gustavus network.

Setting Up a Schedule:
To help with CrashPlan being used at home, we have enabled scheduling of backups. Prior to last week, we had the backup schedule feature locked to back up your computer at all times, due to the importance of having a good and recent backup. To access the schedule feature, please open CrashPlan and open the preferences menu. (Click on the C in the menu bar on Mac or the C in the system tray for Windows) In the Settings/Preferences menu, click on Backup Sets. In this menu, you can now click Change… You can adjust the settings to best fit your schedule. Please be aware that CrashPlan will not run if your computer is sleeping or turned off.

Counting Against your Data Quota/Cap
With CrashPlan being network intensive, when you backup your data to CrashPlan, it uses data that counts against your internet provider’s data cap for your account. You may find that CrashPlan is eating through all of your month’s allotted data, especially if you are using a mobile hotspot! We have instructions on how to exclude certain networks from being used by Crashplan.

https://gustavus.edu/gts/CrashPlan#Control_data_usage_for_a_metered_internet_connection

Please be sure to have a way to back up your data if you are using your computer on an excluded network. Some ideas to help with this are to start rough drafts on Google Drive or OneDrive, and when the text is complete, transfer this information to Word or Excel to format the document. You can also turn on AutoSave in Microsoft Office products such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. This enables you to have a version history of your document. This utilizes the Gustavus version of OneDrive.

Increasing your Upload Speed
What can I do to increase my upload speed? In most cases, this would require that you upgrade your internet plan to a higher speed. Upgrading your home internet connection also typically gives you a higher data cap/quota. Please contact your Internet provider for more specific information.

Checking the Status of my Backup
Each morning, CrashPlan (Code42) will send you a daily update of your backup. Here is a sample of what your report will look like:

If you have questions about using CrashPlan at home, please contact the Technology Helpline.

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