In some ways, CrashPlan and Backblaze are very similar backup services. They both offer unlimited backup with one device per license, and they provide easy-to-use and streamlined clients to perform your backups.
However, there are also quite a few differences, the biggest of which is that CrashPlan caters exclusively to small businesses. Keep reading this CrashPlan vs Backblaze comparison to find out which is the best choice for you.
To decide which service is better, we’ve structured this CrashPlan vs Backblaze comparison into eight rounds, each focused on a specific criterion from our cloud backup reviews. Each round awards one point, which means one of our competitors needs to win five of our rounds to secure the overall victory.
We’ve compared Backblaze to various other backup services, as well, including Carbonite (which acquired another cloud company — Mozy — back in 2017) and IDrive. If you’re interested to see how well it stacks up against these, be sure to check out our Carbonite vs Backblaze and IDrive vs Backblaze comparisons.
If neither service appeals to you, you may want to look at our list of the best cloud backup and our online storage comparison chart to find some alternatives. If these sound like the same thing to you, our breakdown of cloud storage vs online backup will help you understand the difference.
Although both services offer subscription plans for business users, Backblaze is primarily focused on providing a simple backup solution for individuals, whereas CrashPlan’s entire focus is on business. This results in CrashPlan having a much richer feature set than Backblaze, even if the latter still does quite well in this category.
Both services offer unlimited cloud storage, but each individual license covers only a single device. For CrashPlan, these devices can be either desktop machines or servers, whereas Backblaze supports only regular computers. Neither offers backups for NAS or mobile devices, so there’s not much difference in that regard.
You can also backup any external hard drive connected to your device using either online backup service. This is good, as many other backup solutions — such as Degoo (read our Degoo review) — won’t recognize external hard drives at all.
If you don’t like the idea of relying entirely on the offsite backup servers, CrashPlan includes support for hybrid backups, meaning you can store your files simultaneously on a local device and in the cloud.
If you want to create a complete clone of your hard drive through disk imaging, then neither service will have what you’re looking for. If disk imaging and hard drive cloning is important to you, check out other services like IDrive instead.
Versioning is another big difference between the two backup solutions. CrashPlan lets you customize this in great detail, allowing for unlimited retention of deleted files and old versions of files that have been changed. However, Backblaze limits versioning to 30 days.
If you routinely perform large restore operations that take up a huge amount of time and bandwidth, Backblaze offers a courier recovery service to get around this problem.
Instead of downloading a massive zipped file, you can instead have the service ship you a physical external hard drive (or USB device) containing your data. This is one area where Backblaze has an edge over CrashPlan, as the latter doesn’t offer this kind of service at all.
Another advantage of Backblaze is its use of multithreading. CrashPlan doesn’t include this feature, which in theory should make Backblaze quite a bit faster at uploading and downloading your files from the server.
However, CrashPlan is far superior when it comes to user and group management. This isn’t terribly surprising, since the software is designed entirely for small business use (and tops our list of the best online backup for business), instead of the dual approach of Backblaze.
Although Backblaze does include some rudimentary user and group controls, CrashPlan goes much further by giving you more in-depth control and the ability to import users in bulk.
In terms of backup scheduling, the two services are pretty similar. Both support continuous, incremental and scheduled backups. Throttling and block-level file copying are also included in both, which will save you a lot of bandwidth by uploading only parts of files that have changed, rather than the whole thing.
Backblaze also comes with some miscellaneous features, including file sharing and the ability to inherit backup states across devices. Another unusual feature is the “find my computer” function, which lets you locate your device in case it’s lost or stolen.
Despite these extra features, we have to give this one to CrashPlan for Small Business, largely due to its superior versioning, more extensive user management and support for hybrid backup.
Many backup services feature complicated pricing schemes involving multiple plans and tiers, all with different features available. Luckily, both Backblaze and CrashPlan for Small Business make pricing incredibly simple.
Both services offer only one plan, which covers a single device and provides unlimited storage space for that device. For Backblaze, the subscription will run you $6 per month, $60 per year or $110 for two years. CrashPlan is slightly more expensive and offers only a monthly subscription with a price tag of $10 per month per computer or server.
This makes Backblaze the considerably cheaper option — especially if you’re willing to commit to a full year or two years up front — because CrashPlan doesn’t offer annual billing of any kind.
Besides the subscription cost itself, Backblaze also offers a courier recovery service for an additional fee. This service will cost you $99 for restores smaller than 128GB, which will be loaded onto a USB device, and $189 for restores up to 4TB in size, which will instead come in the form of an external drive. As mentioned earlier, CrashPlan doesn’t have a courier service at all.
With all of this in mind, the pricing round is a clear win for Backblaze. Its low monthly cost and unlimited storage makes it one of the cheapest cloud storage options out there. This evens the score to 1-1. If you’d like more details on its subscription model, check out our Backblaze pricing guide.
Because you want to make sure that your data is protected as quickly as possible after you make a change or create a new file, it’s critical that backup services are as fast as possible. This is even more true for your initial backup, as these often include a huge amount of data that can take a very long time to upload. Luckily, both CrashPlan and Backblaze do very well in this area.
To test the speed of each service, we uploaded and downloaded a 3.51GB folder filled with various types of files, including video, pictures and text. The connection we used has an upload speed of 15 Mbps and a download speed of 120 Mbps, which means that in theory the backup should finish in just over 30 minutes and the restore in roughly five minutes.
However, there are two things to note. These tests rarely get close to the theoretical limit of the connection speed itself, and the test was performed from Norway, quite far from the U.S. data centers. Therefore, a more realistic time expectation would be around 10 to 15 minutes for the download and roughly 45 minutes for the upload.
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As you can see from these results, both services are more than adequate in terms of speed. Backblaze was perhaps a bit on the slow end with its uploads, but not catastrophically so. As we mentioned earlier, this service can also save you time and bandwidth on the download side of things by shipping you an external drive containing your data.
Still, CrashPlan manages to be quite a bit faster in both categories (which is surprising because it doesn’t support multithreading). That means it wins this round and reclaims the lead as the score changes to 2-1 in its favor.
4. Ease of Use
Ease of use is quite often inversely related to the amount of features. Although both online backup services are easy to understand, it was clearly the main focus of Backblaze’s developers; everything about the software is designed with ease of use in mind.
To this end, the entire Backblaze client is contained in just two panels. A main window shows your backup and its status, and a basic settings panel lets you adjust things like throttling, backup schedules and file exclusions.
CrashPlan, on the other hand, is quite a bit more complicated. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s difficult to use, but there’s definitely more effort involved in learning where everything is and how to most effectively utilize the backup solution. Instead of a single settings menu, there are global device preferences and individual menus for each backup set.
This is great for flexibility, something that Backblaze is sorely lacking in, but it does also increase the complexity of the software.
Both services have a web dashboard in addition to the desktop client. For Backblaze, this is pretty basic. It exists mostly to facilitate restore operations and to let you change your account settings, but not much else.
Meanwhile, CrashPlan’s web dashboard is incredibly in depth, and thus quite complex, containing all the same features as the desktop client.
Although neither service lets you perform mobile backups, they do have mobile apps for both iOS and Android that give you remote access to your files. These are both pretty bare bones, consisting of a list of your devices and their stored data, which you can download and manage from the app.
With all this in mind, this round is a clear win for Backblaze, which isn’t too surprising, seeing as the whole software is designed to be as simple as possible. This brings our tally back to an even 2-2 with four rounds to go.
5. Backup Process
If all you’re looking for is a way to backup all the data on your device at once, then Backblaze does this very well. However, if you want to be a bit more selective about what files you upload to the offsite backup server, then managing this with Backblaze is a big hassle.
Instead of choosing the files you want to backup, you’ll need to do it in reverse and list everything you don’t want to backup in the file exclusions list. Because of this, those who like to have as much control as possible over the process may find Backblaze quite frustrating to use.
Meanwhile, CrashPlan gives you way more control over the whole process. You can create multiple backup sets that contain different files, and you can then adjust the settings for each of these sets individually. For example, you can set them up with different priority levels, destinations, schedules and throttling limits.
CrashPlan also gives you a lot more information about your backup while it’s running, including what data is currently being uploaded, how much time is left and a proper progress bar. Backblaze is a lot more vague about this; it doesn’t tell you how much time it expects to take, nor does it show a progress bar.
Because of all this, CrashPlan easily wins this round, regaining its lead once again as the score comes to 3-2 in its favor before we proceed to the sixth round focused on security.
Both backup solutions offer excellent encryption and data center security, as well as two-factor authentication. However, there is a significant flaw in Backblaze’s security that isn’t a problem for CrashPlan.
In terms of encryption, both services use AES 256-bit for files on their servers and SSL/TLS while files are in transit, protecting users from man-in-the-middle attacks. Two-factor authentication is simple to activate on either service, which provides additional security so cybercriminals won’t be able to access your files simply by cracking your password.
As for data center security, both services harden their servers against all kinds of potential failures, including natural disasters, fires and physical break-ins.
The big flaw with Backblaze’s security stems from its lack of private encryption. Although it claims to provide private encryption, the fact that you have to upload your encryption key to restore your files makes its implementation incredibly flawed.
Meanwhile, CrashPlan users can rest easy knowing that no one else, not even CrashPlan itself, can decrypt their files without their permission.
Backblaze, on the other hand, is perfectly capable of decrypting users’ information, which can result in a situation where the service is compelled by an outside entity to decrypt your files and hand them over.
This means that CrashPlan easily takes home the win in this round, based entirely on Backblaze’s poor implementation of private encryption. This brings the score to 4-2 as we head into the last two rounds of our comparison, which means Backblaze’s best case scenario is a tie.
Privacy rests on many of the same criteria as security does. Because of this, it’s not surprising that Backblaze’s lack of private encryption, which we covered in the previous section, hurts it once again when we’re talking about privacy.
As mentioned, Backblaze does claim to offer private encryption, but the implementation is deeply flawed, which means it can’t really call itself a zero-knowledge service. This would be less of a problem if the service hosted its servers in a privacy-friendly country (which is the case for Jottacloud, for example).
However, Backblaze’s servers are, for the most part, located in the U.S., which has terrible online privacy laws, so it’s not a service you should use if you’re concerned about the authorities gaining access to your files.
Examples of the U.S. government’s willingness to violate digital privacy have come in many forms over the years, including PRISM, the Patriot Act and the Five Eyes network.
That said, CrashPlan also uses servers hosted in the U.S., but because it comes with truly private encryption, this is far less of a problem than it is for Backblaze. The latter does offer a data center in the Netherlands for European customers, but as we explained in our guide to the best VPN for the Netherlands, this isn’t much of an improvement.
As mentioned, this is all pretty standard, and both cloud backup services claim that they never sell this information to advertisers, and they will only share it with trusted third-party partners or with the authorities if they are compelled to do so by law.
Both services comply with GDPR, but only CrashPlan includes HIPAA compliance, provided you enable private encryption for your backup.
Once again, it all comes down to private encryption, which makes this another easy victory for CrashPlan. Thus, the score is 5-2 as we continue to the final round, which means CrashPlan has already secured the overall victory.
Although CrashPlan has already won this battle, we’ll finish off by taking a look at each service’s customer support. Both of our competitors are excellent in this regard, offering support by email and chat, as well as extensive knowledgebases.
We tested the responsiveness of each service’s customer support by sending them an inquiry by email, and we got good results for both. Backblaze responded back within a day, and CrashPlan went way beyond what we expected and got back to us within just two hours.
Opening times for the chat support is quite similar for either service, with CrashPlan open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST, and Backblaze available from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. as well as 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. PST.
In addition to the email and chat service, CrashPlan also offers support via phone, which is open during the same hours as its chat option.
Because of its excellent response time by email and the additional phone support option, CrashPlan wins this round as well, which leaves us with a final score of 6-2. Although this seems like a slam dunk for CrashPlan, a lot of its wins were narrow ones, so the difference isn’t as big as it seems, if you’re just looking at the final score.
9. The Verdict
That concludes our Backblaze vs CrashPlan comparison. Although both services are excellent choices for backing up a desktop device or external hard drive — especially if you need unlimited backup storage — we think CrashPlan for Small Business is the clear winner. This is mostly because of its private encryption, richer feature set and faster speeds.
If you’re looking for a backup solution with unlimited cloud storage but you don’t like either of the options presented here, you can check out our Carbonite Backup review, which is another great backup service with no storage caps.
What did you think of our CrashPlan vs Backblaze comparison? Do you agree that CrashPlan clinches the win by being a more secure and private service with better speed? Or do you think we underestimated Backblaze or missed something that you think makes it the better service? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.