Coffs Computing Services

Coffs Computing Services

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If your computer got stolen, how much data would you lose?  Wedding photos, baby photos, important documents, photos of your recently deceased grandparents?

It’s vitally important that you have a backup solution ready for when disaster strikes, and one backup isn’t enough.

3-2-1 Backup

The basic principle of 3-2-1 Backup, is you have 3 copies of your data, stored on 2 different types of media and 1 of them is off site.

A good example of this is having one backup on an external hard drive at your house and an online backup.

This is part 2 of a 2 part series of backing up for your Mac or PC.

Part one for Mac is how to backup using Time Machine and can be viewed by clicking here.

Part one for Windows is how to backup using Windows Backup and can be viewed by clicking here.

Cloud Backup

There are a number of services you can use for backing up online.  My personal favourite is CrashPlan, some others include BackBlaze, Mozy@Home and Dolly Drive.  This post will explain how to set up CrashPlan.

Compared to a Local Backup, there are some pros and cons to using cloud backup


  • Stored offsite. If your house burns down, your data is fine
  • Version Control and limited direct access.  This is a pro, because in the case of a virus on your computer that deletes files, it doesn’t have access to the Cloud Backup, thus your backups will still be safe, even if a virus wipes out your computer *and* your backup drive.
  • Once set up, it is completely automated. No need to plug a drive in.
  • Data is backed up with encryption, so only you can decrypt the data (using your account password)


  • High Internet usage. If you’ve got a limited amount of internet bandwidth, you may need to reconsider this option as it uploads all your data via the internet.  You can get around this a little bit by only backing up your most important data.
  • Yearly cost
  • Retrieving your data requires you to download it back again, so for a huge amount of data it can take a while

Cost: At the time of writing (January 2017), it is $5.25AUD a month for one machine, or $12.50AUD a month for up to 10 computers,  including unlimited storage.

They also include a free 30 day trial. The following is how to set it up with the trial (and how to upgrade your account)

How to setup CrashPlan

Note: This guide includes pictures taken on a Mac, however the process is the same whether you're running Windows or macOS.

Step 1. Go to the Website for CrashPlan:
Step 2. Click the Try it Free button up the top of the page


Step 3. Click the Download button under the Free section

Step 4. Click Download Crashplan
Step 5. Once it has downloaded, run the installer. It should be in your downloads folder.
Step 6. Once the installer has completed, CrashPlan will open
Step 7. Follow the instructions to create a new account

Step 8. Once you get to the main CrashPlan screen, you can click “Start Backup” next to CrashPlan Australia to backup to the cloud.


Here’s a few things to note

  • Click on the “Change” button under Files to pick what files are backed up.  If your internet isn’t very fast or you have a download limit, you should limit how much you back up.  Eg. Backup your Photos, but don’t worry about backing up your downloads folder or your collection of pirated movies.   If you’re not sure, I’d suggest ticking: Documents and Pictures to start with. If you store a lot of important files on your desktop, then select that folder too.

  • You can go into Settings to change how often it backs up. In the following example, I’ve got it set to backup between 2am and 7am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Note that it won’t turn your computer on automatically, so you need to leave your computer on if you’re going to backup at weird times like I’ve got set. The plus side is, I never notice it backing up as it’s always done when I’m asleep.

Want us to set this up for you?  Call us today to arrange an appointment for us to set it up for you.