Backup Software - Why we are leaving Retrospect for CrashPlan PRO

Ben Greiner -

We have been using and supporting Retrospect backup software since Forget Computers began in 1998.

Although we have explored and tested competing technology over the years, nothing ever came close to Retrospect. Furthermore, we were encouraged by the promise of a major upgrade to Retrospect 6 (originally released in early 2004) so we thought it would be best to stick with a working solution, and wait for the upgrade (despite the quirks).


The Retrospect version 8 upgrade (there never was a version 7) was released earlier this year and in our testing it is a big disappointment. It offers very little improvement and some of the reporting functionality is missing. Yes, it looks better and runs natively on Intel Macs, but it lack features that we have found very exciting in CrashPlan PRO...


  • Continuous Backup. If you’ve ever accidently deleted a file the same day you created it, then you’ll like continuous backup. The default setting is to backup a new or changed file within 15 minutes of modification. This also allows you to sleep or shut down your Mac anytime you want rather than keep it on and awake during off hours simply waiting for the backup to run. This functionality ties in nicely with our Get Green campaign.
  • Remote Office Backups. CrashPlan PRO will continue to backup your notebook even when you’re away from the office. You can do this over the Internet (back to your office) or to a local hard drive — or both!
  • Better Administration Tools. Even if you never think about your backup (because we monitor it for you), this is a big “behind the scenes” improvement. Better administration tools means fewer minutes babysitting the backup and more control and alerts, to ensure your data is safe.
  • The full feature list can be found here.


Before finding CrashPlan PRO we explored Retrospect 8 and Mozy (both owned by EMC) as companion pieces. We also investigated DropBox, SuperDuper and Carbon Copy Cloner and of course Time Machine. However, only CrashPlan PRO delivers nearly everything these solutions provide.


Many of our clients will be coming from Retrospect 6. licensing for CrashPlan PRO is different than Retrospect. To help keep costs down we have signed up as resellers and are passing-on our discounted pricing to current clients. The current license fee for existing clients is $69 per computer for the first year and $12 per computer for each subsequent year. This equates to only $93 per computer over three years (or about $2.50/month). Although we encourage everyone to backup ALL their computers, it is possible to backup only a select few, such as the server and notebooks.

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