It’s important to backup your data, but it’s hard to choose the service that’s best for you. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best online backup solutions to help you choose. If you’re trying to decide between Backblaze and Carbonite, we’re going to make it easier for you in this Backblaze vs Carbonite comparison.
Carbonite is on our list of the best online backup solutions. It offers unlimited storage for a decent price and, depending on the plan you choose, lets you backup multiple computers or servers.
Backblaze is popular because of its cheap prices and unlimited storage. It’s second on our list of the best online backup services, while Carbonite is further down. We’re going to see if that order repeats.
It’s prudent to use cloud backup because you can’t be sure how long your hard drive will last and you could lose your data due to malfunctions or crashes.
You can use data recovery software to try to restore your files, but that’s not a reliable method. Solid-state drives aren’t reliable, either, because they experience more data errors, even though their failure rate is less than 1 percent.
Over four rounds, we’re going to see how the Backblaze and Carbonite compare to help you choose one. At the end of each round, we’ll name a winner. Then, at the conclusion, we’ll do a recap and declare the overall winner. Let’s get started.
It’s best if the service has many plans because that gives you a better chance of finding one that fits your needs. Plans increase in value when providers offer more for less. If you’re looking for free plans, read our best free cloud backup piece.
For those who need unlimited backup and would like to see more options than Backblaze and Carbonite, refer to our best unlimited online backup list.
1-year plan $ 4.17 / month
$50.00 billed every year
Save 17 %
2-year plan $ 3.96 / month
$95.00 billed every 2 years
Save 21 %
Backblaze has a simple pricing scheme with only one plan. For $5 a month, you get unlimited backup space for one computer. Because it’s a monthly plan, you can cancel at any time, which is a convenient option most services don’t offer.
If you pay for a year in advance, the price comes down to $50. If you pay for two, the price will be $95. You can test the service with a 15-day free trial.
1-year plan $ 6.00 / month
$71.99 billed every year
1-year plan $ 9.33 / month
$111.99 billed every year
1-year plan $ 12.50 / month
$149.99 billed every year
Carbonite offers three unlimited plans: Basic, Plus and Prime. Basic costs $71.99 a year and provides bare-bones unlimited backup. Plus is the most popular plan and it adds external drive backup and automatic video backup for $111.99 a year. For $149.99 a year, Prime gives you a courier recovery service on top of the rest.
Before subscribing, you should use the 15-day trial to test the service. If you decide it is a good fit, you can get a 5 percent discount for paying for two years or 10 percent for three. If you don’t need unlimited backup and would like to backup unlimited computers instead, IDrive is currently offering a discount. You can learn more about it, in our IDrive review.
It lets you backup multiple computers, too. Carbonite Safe Backup Pro starts at $287.99 per year and allows you to backup as many as 25 computers and provides 250GB of backup space.
Though Carbonite lets you backup more computers, Backblaze is cheaper and the difference gets bigger if you pay in advance. Backblaze wins this round.
Strong security will keep your backup safe. Its strength depends on the encryption used in transit and at rest, which protocol protects your files during transfer and other factors.
It’s best if the service is zero-knowledge, which means only you can read your files. Two-factor authentication is important, too, because it helps prevent access to your account if someone steals your password.
Backblaze has many security features, including private encryption. If you disable it, Backblaze will retain your encryption key. Otherwise, it stays with you.
Regardless, recovering encrypted files requires that you send your passphrase to Backblaze for decryption. The reason for that is Backblaze restores files over the web, rather than using the desktop client. That said, the company claims it deletes your passphrase afterward. For a service that’s built around private encryption from the ground up, read our SpiderOak review.
On top of private encryption, Backblaze encrypts your files at rest using AES 128-bit. That’s not as strong as AES 256-bit, but it does the job. The TLS protocol protects files in transit.
You won’t have issues if someone steals your password because Backblaze provides two-factor authentication, which requires a security code every time you log in, making it hard for anyone but you to access your account.
Carbonite encrypts user files with Blowfish 128-bit encryption before transferring them to the cloud using the TLS protocol.
The service then secures data on its servers with AES 128-bit and stores your key in a protected data center, so its employees can’t read your data. You can also enable private encryption if you’re a Windows user and manage the key yourself. In that case, the service will switch to AES 256-bit, but it won’t be able to reset your password if you lose it.
You can rely on two-factor authentication to help you protect your account, too. You probably won’t have to, though, because Carbonite has strong password requirements.
Carbonite stores your files in secure data centers. They can endure virtual attacks, as well as disasters, such as earthquakes and fires. Its security measures include redundant power distribution unit diversity, battery backup, on-site generators, climate control systems, 24/7 guard patrols, biometric scanners, electronic key cards and closed-circuit TV surveillance.
Carbonite takes better care of your privacy because it doesn’t require you to enter your passphrase like Backblaze does. Plus, it uses AES 256-bit instead of the 128-bit version Backblaze uses. That makes it the winner in this category.
Initial backup can take a long time. How long it takes will depend on your internet service provider and how close you are to a server. Your connection will be better the closer you are.
Services get more points if they allow you to tweak transfer settings, throttle speeds and use a block-level transfer algorithm to help after the initial backup.
Our tests showed that Backblaze uploads 1.85GB per hour, which is about 50 percent of the theoretical capacity. To be fair, though, we ran our tests from Chiang Mai, Thailand, with an upload speed of 8 megabits per second.
Backblaze doesn’t limit your upload or download speeds so the main factor that impacts your speed should be your distance from the data center in California. If that doesn’t work in your favor, you can increase the number of backup threads you have running to make uploading faster.
Carbonite didn’t perform as well in our tests, which were conducted outside Boston with an upload speed of 10 Mbps. It took more than three hours to upload a 1GB folder. Though the initial upload may be slow, subsequent uploads will be faster thanks to block-level copying. The download speeds were fast, too.
If you need a service that uploads your files like there’s no tomorrow, even on initial upload, see consult the speed test table in our Acronis True Image review.
Considering the gap in upload speed, it’s easy to see which service is the better option here. Backblaze wins this round.
Ease of Use
Setting up your backup, as well as subsequent ones, and recovering your data should be straightforward. That way, you can focus on your work instead of worrying about your data. To ensure that, the desktop client should work on most operating systems and its interface, along with those of the web and mobile apps, should be pleasant and intuitive to use.
Backing up with Backblaze’s desktop client is simple. In fact, it’s the easiest of all the services we’ve tested. That’s because it doesn’t require you to manage how much or what you’re backing up. Instead, it backs up everything, except for system and temporary files.
Note that the convenience makes backing up slower, though, so you should exclude what you don’t want to backup in the “settings” menu. It works on Windows and macOS.
The web interface works well, too. It’s intuitive and navigation is user-friendly. The “overview” tab will show your account status, while the “view/restore” tab will let you access files.
The mobile app lets you browse your files and download them to your device. It’s available for Android and iOS.
Carbonite’s desktop app is simple and doesn’t overwhelm you with options. Most of the process is automated, so you only need to perform one step to initiate backup. It’s available for Windows and macOS.
The service color codes your files, so you can check their status easily. It excludes some files and extensions and doesn’t backup files larger than 4GB by default, so you’ll need to select them manually to include them.
If you click the “view my backup” link, you’ll be taken to the web interface. Though drab, it’s functional and lets you check your backup status, access files and manage your account.
You can do the same with Carbonite’s mobile app for Android and iOS. Its interface is clear and minimal so it won’t confuse you.
Backblaze and Carbonite offer quality user experiences, so we’ve had to split hairs in this category. Carbonite’s desktop client is more attractive and doesn’t feel constrained like Backblaze’s, so we’re giving it this round.
It’s a tie in the number of wins, but Carbonite barely wins in ease of use, so we’re declaring Backblaze the overall winner. It’s simple to use, has good speeds and strong security. Its crowning achievement is the excellent value of its single unlimited plan, which you can subscribe to for just $5 a month.
Carbonite isn’t far behind, though. Its Basic unlimited plan only costs a dollar more. It has strong security that proves to be better than Backblaze’s because it uses AES 256-bit. With much slower upload times, though, it can’t match Backblaze’s speeds.
What do you think about this close match? Is Backblaze more suitable for you, or do you prefer Carbonite? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.