CrashPlan is created by Code42. The company was formed in 2001 but CrashPlan was not released until 2007. They have their headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
Zoolz Home is created by Genie9, formerly called Genie-soft. The company was formed in 2001 and have offices in Burlington, MA, USA. They also create home and office backup software and the popular G Cloud Backup Android application for backing up Android phones.
CrashPlan is very competitive in their pricing and are one of the few services that offers a family plan to backup up to ten computers on one account. That is great, if you actually have ten computers to backup to one account it would then be a great deal. The reality is though most people don’t have 10 computers and the CrashPlan family plan is not as economical as multiple accounts sometimes.
Zoolz Home offers three pricing plans. 1 year, 2 year and 5 year. It seems like a large jump to go from a 2 year plan to a 5 year plan, but price wise it is only double the cost so I can see why they choose to skip the 3 and 4 year plans. Even the one year plan is considerably cheaper than a one year unlimited plan from CrashPlan.
In August 2014 Genie 9, the owners of Zoolz announced new plans and pricing for Zoolz Home. Zoolz Home now has the following plans: 100GB for $14.99/year, 500GB for $49.99/year and 1TB for $79.99. The unlimited plan is now $199.99/year and support up to five users. Previously Zoolz Home had a significiant price advantage over CrashPlan but the new plans have changed all that. For the comparison table below I will only compare the Zoolz Home Unlimited plan since it is the only plan that really compares to CrashPlan now.
|CrashPlan Unlimited||CrashPlan Family Unlimited||Zoolz Home Unlimited|
|Four Years||$189.99||$429.99||NA|Depending on how many computers you actually have to backup will depend on who actually wins this feature. If you have 4 or less computers Zoolz Home is more economical, once you get past 4 computers CrashPlan would take the lead. Considering the average number of computers per household is 1.5 Zoolz Home looks to be the better choice.
With the new pricing from Zoolz Home, CrashPlan is now the clear winner in this category. Not only is CrashPlan a better value for family plans but individual plans are a better value since you do not have to worry about running out of storage space and possibly having to purchase more space.
Zoolz Home CrashPlan
Operating System Support
CrashPlan supports Windows, Mac, Linux and Solaris / OpenSolaris according to the website. This sounds good until you realize how CrashPlan supports all of those operating systems. CrashPlan uses Java to run cross platform. On Windows CrashPlan installs its own version of Java but on Mac, Linux and Solaris you need to download and install your own version of Java for your operating system. While the majority of the problems with Java lately have to do with the browser plugin the easiest way to secure your system from a Java vulnerability is to remove Java. If you have CrashPlan on Mac, Linux or Solaris you cannot do that with out breaking CrashPlan. Java is also the most likely reason CrashPlan has HIGH memory use which we look at next. I had CrashPlan installed on Ubuntu Linux and often had problems with the system having out of memory errors and being unresponsive. No surprise when I removed CrashPlan and Java (since I never used it for anything else) the system became more stable.
Zoolz Home currently only supports Windows. It is unfortunate that they do not support Mac, Linux and Unix based operating systems. Hopefully Mac users will be supported soon.
Winner: CrashPlan – I give this one to CrashPlan because it is possible to run it on Mac and Linux, but the dependence on Java makes this more complicated than it should be.
A backup service should sit in the background quietly backing up files and not getting in the way. To much memory use and your operating system slows down and becomes unusable for your everyday computer tasks.
CrashPlan, with just the background service alone running while not actively backing up any files and no graphical user interface on often uses 450MB of memory. A backup service should not use that much memory when not actually doing anything. I have seen this high memory use on several systems and it just gets in the way.
Zoolz Home on Windows 8, when backing up peaked at just under 40MB of memory being used. It usually used roughly 20MB of memory. This was including the background service and the graphical user interface running.
Winner: Zoolz Home
Multiple Computer Support
This category is a little bit of a dilemma. CrashPlan offers a family plan and allows lets you install CrashPlan on up to 10 computers. That is a great deal if you have 10 computers to install CrashPlan on. If you only have two or three to worry about backing up the CrashPlan Family Plan might not be the best option when compared to Zoolz Home and the cost of multiple accounts. I am going to give this one to CrashPlan but it will depend on your sitution.
Network Drive Support
CrashPlan does not officially support Windows mapped drives. There are work arounds but if you run into problems, well you are on your own.
Zoolz Home does allow you to backup network drives with no special work arounds or tweaks. If you have any kind of network attached storage and use it as a mapped drive in Windows Zoolz Home has you covered.
Winner: Zoolz Home
Local Backup Support
It is always best to have a local backup as well as one off-site. Having one piece of software to take care of that for you automatically is great.
CrashPlan allows you to set a local backup destination and it will keep a local backup as well as uploading your data to CrashPlan Central. This makes it much faster to restore your files if you can restore from a local archive instead of downloading from the Internet.
Zoolz Home also offers the ability to maintain a local backup destination. It is very similar to how Mozy does theirs. You select a local drive or folder and copies of your files are stored in that location in the event you need to restore.
Backup to Friend
This is a feature unique to CrashPlan so there is no equivalent with Zoolz Home to compare it to. This feature does make it possible to backup your files to another CrashPlan user with a special code. Using this you could in theory create your own cloud backup between friends computers. Of course you could also use something like BitTorrent Sync to share files in a similar fashion. While this is a feature of CrashPlan I do have my doubts about how useful it actually is and how often it is used.
Locked File Backup
Backing up locked files using the Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) is available for both CrashPlan and Zoolz Home. This will allow the services to backup open files suck as an Outlook PST file or other open files such as a accounting database.
Your backup is only as good as your ability to restore your files. CrashPlan offers three ways to restore files, through the client, through the web portal and through the restore to your door option. Depending on where you live the restore to the door option may or may not be available for you. It is only available to customers in US, Australia, and New Zealand. If you are in one of those countries you can get a drive shipped to you with your files. The web portal option also has limits on how large of a restore you can perform. If you need to restore less than 500MB of files then the web portal will work for you. They will not let you perform a larger restore though the web. While that makes sense it does limit how useful it could be. Restoring though the client is the preferred option and you can do a complete restore through the client if you want. This is only a problem if you only have a temporary computer to do a restore from. If you have created a local restore you need to client to restore from there as well.
With Zoolz Home you can restore through the client or the web portal or your local backup version if you have the local backup option turned on. Restoring through the client or the web portal can take some time because your files are stored with Amazon Glacier and it can take 4-5 hours to retrieve them. You have the same problem with a client restore as you do with CrashPlan. If your entire computer is dead and you are trying to restore files using a borrowed machine you would need to install the Zoolz Home client that could cause some issues. The web portal does have a file size limit like CrashPlan. The local restore option is better but you might still need the client installed if you used a private encryption key.
Winner: CrashPlan if you live in the US, Australia, and New Zealand.
Winner: Zoolz Home if you live outside of the US, Australia, and New Zealand
And the Winner Is? A Tie
If you live in one of the three countries where CrashPlan will send you a restore to the door drive then CrashPlan has the advantage here. If you live outside of those countries or if you don’t want to have Java or the high memory use of CrashPlan getting in the way of your day to day computing tasks then Zoolz Home is a service to look at. The price of Zoolz Home makes it an attractive service based on that alone. The added benefit of being able to have a local backup managed by them, being able to backup mapped drives with no hacks or work arounds and the ability to backup external drives easily all adds up in Zoolz Home favor.
Here is a breakdown of features side by side for you to look through. If anything is not accurate please leave a comment so I can take a look and correct any errors.
|Trial||Yes||Yes – 14 Days|
|Unix||Yes – OpenSolaris||No|
|Restore Options||Client, Web, DVD, USB HD||Client, Web|
|Encryption||Yes – 448 Bit||Yes – 256 AES|
|Multiple Computers||Yes – Family Plan Only.||No|
|Support Options||Email, Phone, Live Chat||Web, Email|
|File Size Limit||No||No|
|File Versioning||Yes – User Defined Setting||10 versions of each file|
|Windows Mobile App||Yes||No|
|Price Two Year||$114.99||NA|
|Price Three Year||$164.99||NA|
|Price Four Year||$189.99||NA|
|Review||Read CrashPlan Review||Read Zoolz Home Review|