CrashPlan. Why I do not use it (anymore).

As many of us I was looking for a reliable, simple and "invisible" backup solution. Ideally working on both platforms I do use - windows and  linux. Ideally free (or with reasonable free options).
The only what I had found was CrashPlan.

It is simple and invisible: CrashPlan  works in background and permanently backs data up (like dropbox). It never says you something like "do not turn your PC off, I'm doing back-up".

It is powerful: CrashPlan can backup to local disks, network disks (with official hacks), to their cloud (you need a subscription), on computer(s) of your friend(s). So you can organize geographically distributed backup. I personally used network disk mode only.

It supports versions: restoring data from backup you can select version (date) you want to restore.

Sounds great, right?
I agree, sounds  like a magic.

Once I decided to clarify some details with their support and found many interesting details.
Below is an information I've discovered

Versions? Not really.
When I restore something and select date 01 Jan 18:37, I expect that the file is restored as it was at 18:37 on my machine. Instead, CrashPlan actually restores what it had in backup at 18:37. CrashPlan backups by relatively small blocks and does it "invisible". Therefore if there is a lot of data to back-up (let say, you just copied photos from your camera) it is completely unclear when block which contains change of your word document will really be backed up. May be same day, may be next day, may be later. Soon or later it will be backed up, but nobody knows when. Therefore restoring a file by time you do not know what version you really get. May be version stored 5 minutes before specified, may be one day, may be older.

Second issue is related to the previous one - consistency. It is lost. Files changed together in the same time can be placed in different backup blocks and backed-up in different time. Sounds too geeky? Ok, let's take an example:  you use some photo processing software like picasa, digikam, light room or something else. Do you know how many files are changed when you edit your photo? I do not. But in some cases more than one. And I know that these files must be consistent. If after restoring from backup half of files will be from Monday, and another half from last week - I have a problem. There are many "usual" programs which creates many files for one "project", even if you are not a developer.
Btw, if you are developer you definitely use some version control system (like git), but you may want to backup  VCS files as well. I believe you understand what can happen if you restore these file in inconsistent state.
Issue solving. Restoring my data form the backup CrashPlan reported that dozen of files from many are not restored since some errors happened. The only way to try restore second time I got from support was: remember file names (in log window you cannot filter and see errors only), afterward navigate to every single file in the files three and try to restore it (repeat about 100 times). For me - mission impossible.

Finally, I came to a conclusion that a bit ugly, not that magical but reliable backup is better for me than magical but unreliable. I do not use CrashPlan anymore. Instead I use some boring solutions which start back-up by a schedule and force me to keep my laptop during backup on.

I mostly forgot about CrashPlan, but CrashPlan did not forget about me. It still sends me following mails:

What means that even when you do a local backup some information is sent to the cloud and stored there (you have to create an account even for local usage).

PS: this is a reworked version of few articles I wrote some time ago.

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