Build for crashplan replacement

Not open for further replies.


Jan 17, 2018
I'm very new to FreeNAS but experienced with computer hardware and software (I manage a linux HPC lab at work). I'm starting to look at FreeNAS as an alternative to CrashPlan since they are pulling out of the consumer business. So the purpose of this thread is twofold - 1) is my use case good? and 2) if so, seeking advice on a good but reasonably priced build.

I liked CrashPlan because:
  • Good OS support - Windows, OS X and Linux
  • Free! (I'm cheap)
  • Could back up all the computers in the house to a single drive attached to a desktop that is always on (this box also is a DVR and media server)
  • Strong encryption (storing financial data)
  • Off site backup - I was (am) using two destinations on all the computers I use - a local hard drive and a friend's computer for offsite. I REALLY liked this because the local drive is fast and will easily get all the nightly updates. If I dump a large set of data, it may take a while for that to sync to my friend's house but it eventually gets there and keeps my data safe in case my house burns down or whatever else.
To be honest, I've only glanced through the FreeNAS docs so far but it looks like it can do everything I like about CrashPlan. I'm not sure if I'd use the FreeNAS box as my primary storage for all the computers in the house or just have each machine somehow backup to the FreeNAS box every night. I'd like to use the replication features of FreeNAS to duplicate my data to a 2nd FreeNAS box my friend builds (and he'd replicate to me - we currently do this with CrashPlan). My storage needs are really pretty small - only 2 or 3 computers totaling ~1 TB of data. The stuff I really care about are family pictures and video (just from our phones) and important documents (financial data, etc.). I do also backup a small number of movies (I rip our movies to mp4's so I can play them on a Raspberry Pi attached to our TV and play them on our devices for the kids). The normal amount of data I produce daily is very small - just small documents and updates to the financial records. That should be very easy (but important) to stay on top of for the offsite backups. The larger data dumps (pictures and videos) are quite infrequent - only once a month or so and I don't care if those take longer to make it offsite. I don't like the fact I have to run a dedicated box for FreeNAS (i.e. CrashPlan was just another program I installed) but willing to take the cost hit for this. In the long run, its still better than paying a monthly subscription for something like Carbonite, BackBlaze, etc.. I can't find one of those services that does everything I want anyway, at least not for a sane price.

So, is my use case reasonable? Anybody doing something like this?

If so, what can I expect to spend for a minimal cost FreeNAS build and what does that look like? I'm willing to build my own system and I'm willing to sacrifice performance to keep costs down. I saw the minimum memory requirement is 8 GB. I think just a couple of drives should be fine since I don't have a ton of data. Is something like an Intel NUC a reasonable starting point? I'm guessing not but something low power would be nice too. I'd really like to stay under $500 if possible but I'm guessing that's also probably wishful thinking.

Thoughts and comments appreciated!

Chris Moore

Hall of Famer
May 2, 2015
You probably want to start by reading what some other people have done. Here is a good starting point:

There are as many ideas as there are people on the forum. Just do some searching and reading.

Also, take a look at the hardware guide:
FreeNAS® Quick Hardware Guide®-quick-hardware-guide.7/

Hardware Recommendations Guide Rev 1e) 2017-05-06
Not open for further replies.