CrashPlan Data Backup


CrashPlanPROe is a cloud-based backup solution that keeps a secure copy of your data. You can then access this copy to restore your data if your hard disk crashes or if your computer is lost or stolen.

CrashPlan is licensed for College-owned computers only. You can't install it on personally-owned computers.

CrashPlan backs up the user directory--the place where all your files and personal settings are stored--on Windows and Macintosh computers. It does not back up system files or application programs. In the event you suffer a catostrophic failure (crash, loss, or theft) of your College-owned computer, Amherst IT would first replace the computer; you could then restore your data from the CrashPlan backup.

Features and Benefits

Features and Benefits: 

Continuous: CrashPlan checks every fifteen minutes and immediately backs up all files that have changed since its last check.

Automatic: CrashPlan is always running, so you don't have to remember to initiate a backup.

Non-intrusive: CrashPlan waits until your computer is idle before performing any backup operations.

Secure: CrashPlan encrypts your files before transmitting them to cloud storage. Moreover, the decryption key is not stored in the cloud but on a server located on the Amherst network and controlled by Amherst IT. Thus even the CrashPlan company will be unable to access your data.

Exceptions Folder for Policy Compliance: Data protected by statutes such as HIPPA and FERPA should not leave the Amherst network. CrashPlan lets you create an exceptions folder in your Documents folder that will not be backed up.

Retention and Versioning: Unlike file synchronization services such as Dropbox and Google Drive, CrashPlan lets you "go back in time" and restore your data as it existed on a previous date. For example, if you contracted a ransomware virus that encrypted all your data and demanded you pay for the decryption key, you could instead simply restore your data to the state it was in the day before you got the virus.

Multiplatform: Runs on both Macs and Windows computers.


  • You must be an employee of the College
  • You can only install CrashPlan on College-owned computers.
  • CrashPlanPROe system requirements
  • You must adhere to the College's Acceptable Use Policy. In particular, you should not use CrashPlan to backup data that should not leave the Amherst network. Examples are personally-identifiable information such as social security numbers and data covered by privacy statutes such as HIPPA and FERPA. 

Getting Started

Getting Started: 

You first need to fill out the CrashPlan Request form.

CrashPlan installation instructions