|Founders||Matthew Dornquast, former CEO,
Brian Bispala, VP Engineering
Mitch Coopet, Chief Technology Officer
|Headquarters||Minneapolis, MN, USA|
|Joe Payne, President and Chief Executive Officer|
|Products||CrashPlan for Home
Code42 is an American software company that develops and markets the CrashPlan backup software and services suite. It was founded in 2001 as an IT consultancy. Code42 started a project to create a Facebook-like desktop application but ended up focusing on the online storage element, and released CrashPlan in 2007. The company raised $52.5 million in 2012.
CrashPlan is offered to consumers in a freemium model. Backing up to Code42's servers requires a monthly subscription; an enterprise edition is offered as well. CrashPlan gets positive reviews for its pricing, feature-set and user interface, but large initial backups were reported as slow.
Code42 was founded as an IT consulting company in 2001, by Matthew Dornquast, Brian Bispala, and Mitch Coopet. The company's name honors Douglas Adams, who authored Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and had died that year. In the book, the number 42 is the "answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything".
Some of Code42's first projects included a redesign of Sun Country Airlines’ website in 2002, a project for the retailer Target Corporation, and the ticket booking engine for Midwest Airlines. Income from the IT services business was used to fund product ideas for six years. In 2006, the company planned to create a Facebook-like desktop application, but the project became too large and impractical. Code42 focused on the online storage element of the application, creating CrashPlan in 2007.
In June 2011, Code42 acquired a Minneapolis-based mobile development company, Recursive Awesome LLC, to support its software on mobile devices. Recursive’s employees were moved to its Minneapolis headquarters and later a 10,000 square-foot expansion to its offices was built. In 2012, Code42 raised $52.5 million in funding. The funding was the first distribution from a $100 million pool established in 2011 by Accel Partners to fund Big Data companies.
As of April 2011, 80% of Code42 Software’s revenue comes from business customers. Most of the remainder comes from consumers and a small portion from service provider partners. Code42 has been profitable each year since it was founded. It grew from $1.4 million in revenue in 2008 to $11.46 million in 2010 and $18.5 million in 2011. As of 2012, the company had backed up 100 petabytes of data and processed 100 billion files a day.
File backup and sharing services
Code42 is best known for developing and marketing the CrashPlan data backup service. CrashPlan backs up data to remote servers, other computers, or hard drives. It is available on Mac, Windows and Linux. The consumer version is sold on a freemium model, where daily local backups are free, but using Code42's cloud service requires a paid subscription called CrashPlan for Home. There is a paid option for seed loading, in which a hard drive is sent to the user, so a faster local backup can be performed to the drive and it can be shipped back to Code42 for initial backup. There are also CrashPlan and CrashPlan PRO and PROe mobile apps for accessing backed-up data from iOS, Android and Windows devices.
Initial backups may take several hours via LAN or days over the internet, depending on the amount of data and bandwidth available, but afterwards, continuous and incremental backups are conducted without user intervention. Data is encrypted, password-protected and stored in a proprietary format. There is also an option for a more secure private key. Corporate users that have CrashPlan PROe back up to private servers instead of Code42's data centers in four out of five cases. The software has an option to create a private on-site backup server.
Code42 used to develop and market a file sharing service called SharePlan, which was released in October 2013. According to the Star Tribune, it competed with DropBox, but SharePlan used a PIN to access files and track users. In October 2014, a revision of the software added features for regulatory compliance like Sarbanes-Oxley and options for a private, public or hybrid cloud deployment. It had a single login with Crashplan using a feature called the "Code42 EDGE Platform", which was improved in December 2014 with two-factor authentication features. Shareplan was discontinued in August 2015.
In a comparative review in The Wall Street Journal, the reviewer said CrashPlan was their favorite out of the four services evaluated. He said it lacked "fine print", whereas some of the other services charged additional fees for basic features or weren't really unlimited. PC Magazine gave CrashPlan 4.5 out of 5 stars and awarded it Editor's Choice. The review praised it for its user interface, local backup options and security features, but said its mobile and explorer-based features were "limited."
A product review on MacWorld gave CrashPlan a rating of 4.5 out of 5, and Gartner gave the enterprise version, CrashPlan PROe, an "excellent" rating. In benchmark tests by Computerworld, CrashPlan was the best performer in an incremental backup of 25 MB, but the worst performer in archiving an entire system drive, which took almost five days. A Wall Street Journal columnist also noted lengthy initial backups, followed by better-performing incremental ones. Techworld praised CrashPlan for its operating system support and configuration options. Ars Technica said CrashPlan had better features and pricing options than competitors.
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