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CrashPlan Limitations and Considerations

Appropriate use

CrashPlan is intended to protect laptops and desktops over any internet connection, for users with active SUNet accounts.

This software can no longer be newly installed on machines running Windows Server operating systems. Use on Linux servers is discouraged. CrashPlan backup service is not a substitute for a long-term storage or data archive strategy. It is intended to provide a measure of security when files are accidentally deleted, a hardware component fails or a computer is lost.


Most computers on campus will take advantage of Internet2 networking for enhanced performance. Home users with slow internet upload speeds will find reduced performance.

For best results, especially during the initial backup, use Stanford’s wired (Ethernet) network and temporarily prevent your computer from falling asleep. 

As a general rule, CrashPlan might not perform as expected on computers with more than 2 TB data or  several million files. Actual performance depends on the amount of physical RAM, network throughput, disk speeds, CPU efficiency, and other factors. Review this support article if CrashPlan is running out of memory and crashing due to large file systems. Adjust app settings for memory usage with large backups with this support article.

Additional considerations

Users who depend on cellular data networks (“tethering”) for network connectivity should configure CrashPlan to avoid using their mobile hotspot to avoid costly plan overages. See CrashPlan network configuration documentation to learn how to adjust client network settings.

Because archives are encrypted using an algorithm based on a person's SUNet credentials, they cannot be transferred to another user.  

Microsoft Outlook users must take extra precautions to make sure their data is properly protected. CrashPlan has separate support articles for backup and restore.

Special considerations should be taken when backing up certain types of open files, like databases. See CrashPlan support documentation for more information.

Do not back up virtual machine files created on your computer using applications like VMware Fusion or Parallels. Instead, install CrashPlan inside the virtual machine itself.

Last modified March 21, 2024