CrashPlan FAQ

  1. How much is the service?
    • The service is a yearly charge of $120 per user license.
  2. How many computers can I back up?
    • An individual CrashPlan user license allows you to back up to 5 computers. These are computers used for Caltech purposes.
  3. How do I sign up?
    • Just send an email to with your information and a PTA number for the charges. We can only charge PTAs at this time.
  4. What software does my computer need?
    • The CrashPlan client is installed on your computer and is used to back up your files.
  5. How many licenses can I purchase?
    • You can purchase as many licenses as you like.
  6. Will CrashPlan slow down my computer?
    • No. The application is configured to effectively manage resources, most people never notice that it's running.
  7. Does my computer back up if I’m away from campus or at JPL?
    • Yes. Your computer is backed up from anywhere where there’s active Internet connection. This is done over WiFi or Ethernet and ensures that your computer is backing up from almost anywhere.
  8. What’s the status of my back up?
    • To view the status of your back up, click the icon in your system tray (Windows) or menu bar (Mac), and select the “at-a-glance” feature.
  9. What is backed up?
    • CrashPlan is designed to back up your documents, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, photos, videos, PSTs, bookmarks, downloads etc. Crashplan does not backup temporary or system files.
    • On Windows computers the “Windows” folder is not being backed up
    • On Mac computers the “System” folder is not being backed up  
    • NOTE: CrashPlan IS NOT an exact 1:1 copy of your computer (not a “system image”)
  10. Where does my back up get stored?
    • Your files are securely backed up to Crashplan’s Cloud Storage using encryption.
  11. What happens if I lose a file(s)?
  12. What happens if my hard drive crashes and needs to be replaced?
    • Once you have the hard drive or computer replaced the Help Desk will re-install the CrashPlan client, which will allow us to restore all your personal and work files.
    • NOTE: CrashPlan IS NOT an exact 1:1 copy of your computer (not a “system image”). CrashPlan does not restore Windows system and application settings and is designed to just restore your personal and work files.
  13. How long does CrashPlan keep my files?
    • CrashPlan will keep all your files backed up for as long as you’re an active subscriber. If you leave Caltech or decide to cancel your plan, then your files get moved to “cold storage” which will then be deleted permanently after 90 days.
  14. Can this service be used to back up servers? 
    • No. At this time IMSS’ Crashplan service does not support any type of server backups.
  15. Can I use this service to back up a computer that is attached to my lab equipment? 
    • Yes. Crashplan will backup most important files but if a specific folder needs to be backed up for the lab equipment we will need to know what those folders are.
  16. How long does it take to initially backup my computer and how long will it take to restore my data if I have a hard drive failure?
    • The initial backup depends on how much data is being backed up and the quality of the connection to the internet. The average workstation is backed up in about 1 to 3 days.
  17. Does anyone monitor the success/failure of my backups?
    • Yes. Our current environment is configured to verify the backup every 24 hours and IMSS receives a daily report of any computers that had issues completing their backups and IMSS will work with the person to make sure the issue is fixed.
  18. Is there a limit in the amount of data I can store on CrashPlan?
    • No. Currently there is no limit.
  19. Can I backup home computers (not used for Caltech purposes) with this service?
    • No, at this time we only support computers that you would use for Caltech purposes
  20. How many versions of my files does CrashPlan keep?
    • CrashPlan keeps unlimited versions of your files, allowing you to revert to a previous version. The retention policy for each snapshot is as follows (based on last modified date):
      1. Last week: Every 15 minutes
      2. Last 90 days: Every day
      3. Last year: Every week
      4. Previous years: Every month
    • Deleted files are never removed from the snapshot.
  21. Is there a minimum subscription period? If I cancel, do I get a refund for any unused subscription period?
    • Yes. The minimum subscription period is one year. Yes, we can offer prorated refunds.
  22. Does Code42 have access to my data?
    • No. Code42 cannot access any data that is backed up.
  23. Does this service protect my data from ransomware?
    • It doesn’t directly protect from ransomware but it gives you a way to recover any data that was encrypted with ransomware.
  24. What OS versions are compatible with this service? 
  25. Is this plan necessary if I am already performing local backups using an attached USB drive or another drive?
    • The simple answer is that USBs/hard drives fail, and local backups do not protect you from disasters (fire, flood, earthquakes etc). These days it’s ideal to have our most important data safely backed up in an off-site location.
  26. Who can sign-up for this service?
    • The service is available to active staff, students, faculty and postdocs. The service is not open to visitors, guest or others.