Can I back up my email?

The answer depends on how your emails are stored. Generally the answer is “Yes”, but if you are using Microsoft Outlook you should only back up your PST files if you have an uncapped connection, as this file changes every time an email is received so the backup client performs a complete scan and attempts to back up the changed blocks.

When Outlook is not running the file will be successfully backed up to the point of completion.

Why is my backup smaller than the data on my device?

The backup software that we use implements deduplication and compression, and skips irrelevant, temporary and certain system files.

This means that if you have files that are duplicated in your backup set, only a single instance of the file is stored, and files such as swap or temporary files which are only used for the duration of your logon, are not backed up.

The result is that your backup set may be much smaller than the drive, folder, or files that you have specified to be backed up.  For example, you choose your C:\ drive which reports it has a total of 30Gb used, but your backup set is only 20Gb.

In addition, compression is used wherever possible to save as much bandwidth and space as possible. This also saves you money on your storage fees.

How much data can I back up?

There are theoretically no limits to the amount of data that you can back up as we dynamically add new cloud storage on demand as required, but please bear in mind that you will be limited by your internet connectivity for the initial upload.

We also offer substantial discounts on backups larger than 500Gb so we recommend you contact us to discuss your requirements.

Refer to the other frequently asked questions for information on how we can perform an initial manual load of your encrypted backup data directly to our servers.

How long will my backup take?

This all depends on the amount of data you are backing up, and how fast your internet connection is.

For customers using our dedicated South African Cloud Backup service, our servers have dedicated 1Gbps connections to the main core network of our ISP and so we are very capable of catering for our customers backing up solidly at once without a performance impact.

Typically, we estimate you can expect to back up between 2 and 10Gb per day over an internet connection, but we have seen more than this possible.

Remember that if you have a large initial backup size exceeding 20Gb, we can load this manually for you and your device backup will continue from where this stops. We charge a one-off fee of R1000. You provide us with a memory stick or hard drive with your initial encrypted backup on and a prepaid return method, we load it onto our servers and then send your device back to you.

How long are my files kept?

All your backed up files are retained indefinitely, unless you have set a retention policy that changes the default setting.

Files deleted from your device are never removed from your backup set unless you deselect them from the backup, in which case you will be prompted that you understand they will also be removed from our cloud.

New versions of files already backed up are updated by default every 15 minutes after they are changed.

Are open files backed up?

Yes.  Inbuilt into the Cloud Backup CrashPlan agent are methods enabling open files to be backed up.

The advantage of this is that active files do not need to be closed prior to backup, and anything you are actively working on is also protected.

The one exception to this is Microsoft Outlook files. We do not recommend that you back these up unless you have an uncapped ADSL connection, due to the constant changing nature of the single large email database file.

When will my files be backed up?

Once you have the Cloud Backup CrashPlan agent installed and running, any new files will be backed up as soon as possible after they are created.

Therefore, assuming you have a working internet connection and/or an active external device that you are backing up to, the new files will be backed up pretty much immediately and available for restore within a few minutes.

How do I know my backups are working?

If you don’t hear anything, they are working silently in the background.

If your device has not backed up for 3 days and you have configured notifications, you will receive a warning email.

Occasionally you may receive an email with a summary of a successful backup.

When you receive your monthly invoice email, this will outline each computer in your account, and highlight a warning if no contact has been made in a certain amount of time.

You can also access the web-based dashboard at and log in with your account credentials to view the overall status of all devices in your account

Can I back up to local devices?

Yes, in addition to the Cloud Backup, for resilience you are also able to back up to one or more local devices.

Bear in mind though that most failures are caused by electrical, hardware or power failure, and we recommend that you always maintain your Cloud Backup too.  All your backups will be encrypted and stored securely.

I have a lot of data to initially back up

For backups of more than 20Gb, we have the facility to allow you to perform your first backup to an external hard drive and send this to us for an initial data load, otherwise, you must allow your data to upload over the internet and ensure you have enough data, should your service be capped.

If you have more than 20Gb to back up and wish to make use of this service, please let us know by sending an email to and we will take care of the rest for you.

Note that if you do choose this option, you will need to have your initial data load performed prior to any internet based backups.  Once your initial data load has been imported, your backups will continue from that point onwards.

Any backups performed to an external device are fully encrypted by the backup software so your data will be safe in transit.

There is a one-off fee of R1000 for this.