CrashPlan Goes Mobile

CrashPlan Goes Mobile

CrashPlan MobileI have been using CrashPlan for a few months, both as my online backup solution as well as an offsite backup at my friend’s house.

I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with it, but I have to admit that I’ve missed one feature: the ability to get at my backed up files from my mobile devices.

Let me be clear and say that I don’t necessarily feel that not having mobile access is a problem with an online backup provider. After all, the biggest priorities are:

  1. Is my stuff backed up safely?
  2. Can I restore my stuff reliably?

After that, anything else is gravy1.

Having said that, when you need a file, you really need that file, and having mobile access is great when you need it.

With all that said, I was happy when in September, CrashPlan released their new mobile apps for iOS and Android. I finally have had a chance to play with the iOS ones. I assume the Android app is similar, but I don’t have personal experience with it.

CrashPlan For iPhone

When you fire it up and put in your CrashPlan username and password, you’re presented with a list of your computers that you have backed up to CrashPlan Central. One handy thing about this is that you can see on the go how long ago your backup(s) have completed.

CrashPlan Computers

You can also see the files that you have downloaded from your online backup to your device.

Once you select the computer’s files that you want to view, you navigate the file structure as if you were using Windows Explorer or Finder.

CrashPlan Files

If you want to download a file, you tap it and it will download to your device. You’ll know it has downloaded because it has a green checkmark beside it.

Downloaded file

For many common file types such as PDFs, images, movies, etc., you can view them right in the CrashPlan app.

View PDF in CrashPlan

If you wan tto actually do something with it or if it is a particularly large file, you can tap the “swoosh” and either email the file, or send it to another app.

Send PDF to another app

CrashPlan For iPad

CrashPlan for iPad works more or less the same as the iPhone version. If you’ve ever used the Dropbox iPad app it will be familiar, as they have a very similar interface.

To navigate your files, it uses a little side window thing. Here’s an example:

iPad Files

Like the iPhone app, you can view different file types inside the CrashPlan app, or send them off to another one.

CrashPlan iPad App

Using Private Encryption

If you use a private encryption key for extra security, unfortunately you can’t use the CrashPlan mobile apps at this time. If you read this forum thread, you can see that they are working on it, but time will tell when and how they end up doing it.

Do you use mobile apps with your online backup? I’m curious how you use it, and if it has ever saved your bacon2. Please let us know in the comments how you use it.

  1. I need to come up with a better term, since everyone in my family are either vegetarian or vegan now. 
  2. There I go with the meat reference again. 

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

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