Hot! Backup Basecamp Centripetal Software

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So you’re looking to backup basecamp huh?

Why is that? Maybe you’re just concerned for your data’s safety, wanting a more physical backup, not completely trusting Basecamp’s SAAS data in the cloud model. Or maybe you’re thinking about transitioning to another project management service and need a copy of your data that can be easily transfered.

Regardless of WHAT your reasons are for needing to backup your basecamp data, Centripetal Software offers a fantastic online solution to a conventional, offline problem.

What is Centripetal Software

About 2 months ago the developers at Centripetal Software stumbled upon this blog and shot me an email asking me to check out their basecamp backup software. I was a little skeptical at first, but wanted to check it out as I thought it might have some value to you, my audience. And after biting the bullet, signing up, and paying, I found the service very valuable.

Centripetal allows you to automatically back up your Basecamp information to an outside service (FTP or Dropbox – and I believe hard copy DVDs are coming soon) so that you can store ALL of your data safely. Once in FTP or Dropbox you can save to your desktop, server, backup to CD/DVD or do anything else with your data.

Centripetal is simple. After signing up, you input your basecamp accounts’ main address, and the software automatically grabs EVERYTHING in your account and places it where you’ve designated.

That’s it.

It will do so completely once per month, and depending on what account you selected also offers incremental backups (backing up everything you changed or added, when you’ve changed or added them).

Why Do You Need Centripetal?

I’ve been in business for over 5 years and learned the hard way why having backups or records is so important. Here are a few of the reasons Centripetal is so powerful and why you need Centripetal:

  • Client Disputes – I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a handful of client disputes. Having a physical, or semi-physical backup allows us to go back and check what was done, when, how, etc. Disputes can be immediately cleared up or mediated.
  • Legal Reasons – We encountered ONE legal issue doing business in the last 5 years. Thank god it was just one! I don’t know if that’s something to be proud of or something to shun. It was a huge learning experience. Having our data backed up allowed us to immediately recall every detail about the project and client that was in dispute and ultimately helped win our case (although is it REALLY winning when a client defaults on tens of thousands of dollars on development fees and you have to shell out thousands more in attorney fees?). I digress, backing up your data can save you volumes of time, money, and help you prevail should you be involved in any sort of litigation.
  • Keep Your Basecamp Fees Down – An alternative to archiving projects would be to use a backup service to download all the files and simply delete old/unused accounts, keeping your Basecamp fees down.
  • Copies for Future Employees/Owners – Again, having backups around for future employees or future owners of your company (should you sell) will help educate them on everything that has happened at your company, and perhaps provide invaluable marketing data and catalyze ways to grow the business. For example, “we did a huge project for client X, but they never hired us for the service that typically comes after… let’s get in touch”.
  • Transitioning to Other Services – Finally, if you’re considering a move from Basecamp, centripetal offers the quickest and easiest way to transition your data, regardless of platform.
  • Shit Hits the Fan – Basecamp and 37signals, may not be around forever. Backing up your data protects you, your customers, and your business.

Centripetal Pros

  • Quick setup – Setup took less than 5 minutes, straight forward.
  • Easy to use/configure – If you know some base things around FTP or have a drop box account configuration is VERY easy. BEWARE – Make sure you put https:// in the basecamp address box if you’ve enabled SSL on your account.
  • Automatic – NO worrying, NO additional steps once setup
  • Customer Service – I pretended to have a problem with the software in order to test out Centripetal’s customer service. I felt this was important as it is a service particularly geared towards businesses like yours. If you HAVE a problem, particularly with retrieving your data, you NEED IT FIXED IMMEDIATELY. Right? Well they blew me away. My question was quickly addressed through GetSatisfaction (the service they’re using to manage support).

Centripetal Cons

  • Expense – I felt for the complexity of the service, and the size of the backups, the price was a little high.
  • A little too simple – One thing I would have liked was more detailed information on the completed backup(s). Where it was successfully delivered would have helped, as in trying to find the backup after the first retrieval I forgot which FTP I pointed Centripetal too. This was very small, but something I thought needed addressing.
  • Why Isn’t This a Part of Basecamp – More than any other 3rd party service or App I’ve seen for Basecamp (and there are many), why isn’t this a part of basecamp? It’s simple, is a huge value add, and I’m sure 37signals can afford the bandwidth – or upsell certain packaged backup services for even more revenue. So this is more a question to Centripetal, what happens if these features are integrated?

Overall Centripetal’s pros greatly outweighed any of its small cons, the developers have created a fantastic retrieval tool for Basecamp. On top of everything it’s something EVERY business needs!

Stay tuned for more news on Centripetal and ways to maximize your Basecamp experience!


Zach Katkin

Zach is the owner of a number of small businesses including Atilus. He has used many of the small business tools and tips featured on this site in order to help his company. Zach – who general doesn’t like speaking about himself in 3rd person – wants to help you – that’s right, now I’m talking to you – make your small business the best it can be using the Interweb.


  1. what are the rates for this?


    • Hi Ray,

      Thanks for stopping by. I just checked their site and it ranges from $10 – $55/month for the service. And that’s for 5GB – 75GB worth of data (the biggest difference in the plans). We’re using the service and it’s great. Take care and let me know if you have any other questions.

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