Overall Rating 78%Good
Plans and Pricing
90%Excellent
Features
70%Decent
Speed and Performance
70%Decent
Online Backup
85%Very Good
Security
75%Good
File Restoration
80%Good
Mobile Access
65%Decent
Web Access
95%Excellent
Support
75%Good

Backblaze Overview

 

 

Our Backblaze Review 2017

Backblaze Review 2016 REVAMPED | THE BEST CLOUD BACKUP?!

 

Visit www.backblaze.com

 

Over the years, only a handful of online backup services have enjoyed the limelight as much as Backblaze does. Which begs the question, what’s so good about Backblaze?

According to me, two of Backblaze’s biggest high points are its simplicity and the fact that it offers real unlimited online backup.

The bulk of companies claiming to offer unlimited storage come with reduced speeds, fewer functionalities, and other caveats. With a single plan that costs $5 per month for individual users, Backblaze is giving the competition a run for their money.

It distributes backup services through three primary plans, catering to:

  1. Individuals
  2. Businesses
  3. Large enterprises

To understand what exactly Backblaze is about, I took the time to test out their service carefully, and subsequently, have prepared a full report.

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Alternatives for Backblaze

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Carbonite Review
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  • Backs up most important files
  • Supports File versioning
  • Tends to be slow
  • No automatic video backup
  • Windows only mirrored backup
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CrashPlan Review
  • Free local backups
  • Seeded backup
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  • Windows, Mac & Linux
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  • Slow backups when outside of the US
www.crashplan.com
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Sync.com Review
  • Good syncing speeds
  • Good attitude towards privacy
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • 1h Email support response time
  • Encryption slows down uploads and previews
  • Mobile client doesn't allow file sharing
www.sync.com

Who is Backblaze For

Backblaze’s interface is very simple and straightforward. The only place professionals will need to step in, is to leverage the service’s B2 Cloud storage plan.

Backblaze may not have the fancy features we’ve seen on IDrive and CrashPlan, but that’s because it’s perfectly optimized strictly for online backup.

Unfortunately, since it doesn’t come with a web app, and also lacks file syncing and sharing, the service is not ideal for collaboration — or anything that doesn’t involve strictly backing up data.

However, the good news is that you can combine Backblaze with other applications for a full cloud environment.

Strengths and Weaknesses

 

What is Backblaze

Owned and managed by Backblaze Inc, the service is an online backup company based in San Mateo California.

According to information on their website, the company was founded in 2007, when someone’s computer crashed and subsequently sought help from Brian, the current Backblaze Chief Technology Officer.

The company’s primary goal was to create and distribute an elegant and complete backup software, that was very easy-to-use and cheaply priced.

At that time, fewer than 10% of users had backed up their data online, and Brian’s friend, unfortunately, was among them. Consequently, despite Brian’s efforts to recover his friend’s data, all files were lost.

But since every cloud has a silver lining, the experience made Brian and his team of five friends realize just how valuable online backup solutions are.

So, they quit their jobs and started a service, which has seen 917% revenue growth in the last five years. Currently, it’s ranked 128th on the list of the fastest growing technology companies in the US.

To cater to all market segments, Backblaze offers three primary services:

  • Personal Backup

At the cost of $5 per month, this plan provides unlimited backup, supported by equally unlimited bandwidth. It’s intended to cater towards individuals.

 

  • Business Backup

At the cost of $50 per year per computer, this plan provides unlimited backup to businesses and enterprises. Its features are optimized for business data needs.

 

  • B2 Cloud Storage

This plan is ideal for large enterprises with IT staff and developers who can leverage Backblaze’s storage pods to build in-house backup servers, host content, and develop applications.

The standard cost is $0.005 per GB per month.

Backblaze Storage Pod

Backblaze sent ripples through the entire cloud industry back in the year 2009, when they started tutoring users on how storage pods work.

These are self-contained data storage servers lined up in rows.

The main goal of creating and providing storage pods has always been facilitating cheap and secure data storage, especially to corporations with extensive IT needs.

Currently, a single storage pod consists of hard drives arranged in a 4U sized server — a model that is gradually being improved to better serve growing system, storage, and security needs.

Plans and Pricing

90% – Excellent

Backblaze’s recent exponential growth is mainly attributed to its pocket-friendly pricing, especially when compared to the competition.

While it will cost you $50 per year to backup an entire computer on Backblaze, both CrashPlan and Carbonite offer the same package at $59.99.

If you prefer going with a monthly plan, a single computer will cost only $5 to backup. As a result, the monthly plan is $10 more expensive compared to the yearly plan.

Users who’d like to save more can go for the 2-year program, which at the cost of $95, translates to $25 in savings. If you’re still not sure about it all, a free trial of 15-days should be enough to try out Backblaze’s features before making a decision.

PlanPrice PlanStorageDetails
Unlimited Personal
$ 5 Monthly
$ 60.00 1 Year
$ 50.00 (-17%)
$ 120.00 2 Years
$ 90.00 (-25%)
Unlimited GB

Plan is for one computer.

For business users, Backblaze for Business costs only $50 per computer per year, which is still cheaper than either CrashPlan or Carbonite. It provides unlimited data backups on Windows and Mac OS, with both, continuous and automatic backup frequencies.

For users with servers to backup, Backblaze’s B2 Cloud Storage is an ideal option.  It works very similarly to Microsoft Azure or Amazon S3, and at about a quarter of the cost.

After exhausting 10GB of storage space, which comes completely free of charge, users are expected to pay $0.005 per GB per month. With the service, users can store corporate data, develop applications, and build cloud environments, in line with their specific needs.

Features

70% – Decent

Compared to other cloud backup services I’ve sampled, Backblaze comes with one of the simplest interfaces you’ll find. It’s a plain and simple cloud backup service; there are no additional fancy functionalities that might confuse users or present a learning curve.

The development team wants to focus only on providing backup solutions.

While cloud storage applications offer collaboration, media, and file sharing features, online backup solutions pretty much strictly concentrate on providing data backup, as a disaster management strategy.

Unfortunately, in some cases, as we’ve established before, unlimited backup comes with slower speeds and reduced functionality, as data uploads increase.

Backblaze however, offers truly unlimited data backup with:

  1. Unlimited speeds
  2. Unlimited external drive backups
  3. Unlimited file types backups
  4. No file size restrictions

To simplify the process of backing up a lot of data, Backblaze provides automatic backups, so that users don’t have to click “backup” to initiate the process.

A process that begins immediately after the app gets installed, and continuously proceeds in the background, as long as you’re on the default schedule setting.  Of course, that translates to massive bandwidth usage when downloading and uploading files.

But, interestingly, users don’t necessarily have to download their files, you can have a hard-drive shipped to your door, backup on it quickly, and send it back to Backblaze for safe keeping.

You can then access its contents online or have it returned.

The program is known as “Restore Return Refund,” and it’s particularly useful for users with large amounts of data to backup and relatively slow Internet speeds.

Although Backblaze prides itself in optimizing Internet connections to offer the best bandwidths available, I found it to be rather slow overall.

On the bright side, however, going by the fact that it’s written in native code, as opposed to the resource-hungry Java, Backblaze handled very well on my computer.

There were no system lags, even when running other applications.

For users who are always on the go, Backblaze would be an ideal backup solution because it not only facilitates access via PCs, but also via the web and mobile phone (Android and iOS only) apps.

You can view, download and share files from any of these platforms. And if you lost a computer, Backblaze automatically detects its IP address and maps the location to help recover it.

Additionally, the application offers real-time updates on files being remotely edited and saved, consequently allowing users to track activities by computer thieves.

Speed and Performance

70% – Decent

To critically examine Backblaze’s performance, I had to first lock-down my Internet speeds.

Not bad at all.  My Internet speeds have been better, but this was still stable enough for a good speed and performance test .

The backup process began as soon as the PC application got launched.

And strangely, it did not prompt me to specify which files to backup, their priority, or sequence. It just went ahead and started backing up all 69GB worth of data, without giving me the option to choose my 10GB test folder.

The process began at exactly 12:51 pm, and completed at 6.09 am the following day- approximately 17 hours and 42 minutes. That translates to an average upload speed of 8.08 Mbit/s.

Online Backup

85% – Very Good

Getting started on Backblaze is as easy as registering an account with your email and password. The system then generates a custom installer within your account, for the subsequent installation of the PC application.

I was surprised to find that Backblaze does not even require an email confirmation. While some may argue that this is one of its user-friendly features, I think Backblaze’s simplicity is a bit over the top in this respect.

If your computer doesn’t run on either Windows (from XP and later versions), or Mac OS (10.6 and later), I’m sorry to say; Backblaze is not compatible.

Immediately after installation, Backblaze scans through the system to identify user files that may need to be backed up.

Sadly, it doesn’t pick up application data, like IDrive and Carbonite do. It’s therefore not an ideal system recovery tool, particularly in the case of data loss.

On the bright side, however, Backblaze also backs up all attached USB drives at no extra cost, unlike Carbonite, which offers this feature at an additional price.

As the backup process was going on, I noticed that Backblaze had embedded itself in the Windows notification tray, to facilitate convenient and quick access to its interface and settings.

And speaking of the interface, Backblaze’s is simple, compact and well-organized. It almost feels too simple for a comprehensive online backup application.

I was able to quickly locate the settings tab, from where I could edit the following preferences:

  • Scheduling
  • Security
  • File exclusions
  • Report analysis
  • Performance issues

However, Backblaze lacks certain functions, like a folder tree, with which to view and edit files. At least it comes with critical functions like scheduling, which allows you to specify the frequency of backups.

By default, Backblaze comes with continuous backup, which translates into immediate changes in files stored on their cloud server, with every edit made to a respective file.

While users widely prefer continuous backup, I was worried that it could take up a significant chunk of my processor power and computing memory.

To my amazement, it was running silently on just 1.5 to 1.8 percent of CPU power; I barely even noticed it was operating in the background.

Security

75% – Good

While data encryption is pretty standard across all cloud storage and online backup providers, the level of applicability is different and dependent on a service’s security framework, and policies.

Backblaze’s architecture attempts to ensure maximum security both in-transit and at-rest, by encrypting data at rest, and subsequently protecting it with SSL as it leaves the client’s computer.

After a successful transfer of data to Backblaze’s servers, it’s protected by military grade 128-bit AES encryption.

Although it also provides private key encryption, Backblaze encourages users to stick to the default option. Otherwise, forgetting the key will result in the loss of all your data. There is simply no way to decrypt and recover data in such a case.

Interestingly, private keys are not exactly “private” on Backblaze, as they are on CrashPlan, for instance.

As we’ve seen with the latter, users keep and control their private keys. On Backblaze however, private keys are held by the company.

Additionally, since encryption only applies to data stored on their servers, computer data remains decrypted and vulnerable.

Which, of course, beats the whole purpose of having a private encryption key, because Backblaze still maintains access to your decrypted data. Apart from the risk of losing or forgetting, managing private keys on Backblaze is simple and straightforward.

Changing a key, for instance, is as easy as entering the original passphrase, you don’t actually need to re-encrypt all your data.

According to Cisco, Java is responsible for over 91% of security attacks. So, to reduce possible vulnerabilities, Backblaze eliminated Java from all its applications.

Additionally, users are protected by two-factor authentication, just in case, someone tries to gain access to your account.

And since software security is not enough to comprehensively protect data, Backblaze also employs physical data security measures within its centers in the US.

In addition to the consistent power supply and biometric security, servers are manned and surveyed by security personnel all day, and all night.

File Restoration

80% – Good

The bulk of Backblaze’s operations, including file restoration, can only be conducted via the web app.

Although the PC application comes with a “restore options” button, it’s impossible to restore files directly from the application. Clicking on the button just displays a range of choices.

The only free file restoration option is downloading a Zip folder from the web. Backblaze can also mail USB flash drives loaded with backed up data, at the cost of $99 per drive (up to 128GB).

For businesses with extensive amounts of data backed up, a USB hard drive delivery could be an ideal option, especially during disaster recovery.

Each shipment costs $189 per USB hard drive, which can hold up to 4TB of data. If you choose to proceed with the default and free web restoration option, click “view/restore files” tab, and select “download zip.”

You can select which files to restore from the file tree, or use the search box to locate specific ones.

Clicking “continue with restore” will initiate information gathering, and subsequently display folders under the “my restores” section. Users also receive email alerts, when their files are processed and ready to download.

Downloads come in zipped files, in the original file and folder structure, complete with parent folders as they were previously arranged.

At least this eliminates having to search through folders, just to locate a single file.

File Syncing and Sharing

As we’ve already established, Backblaze is a strict cloud backup solution optimized for just that one task.

Unlike regular cloud storage applications such as:

Backblaze does not provide file syncing and sharing functionalities.

The only way to share a file is by downloading it to your PC or mobile phone and using the device’s native features to share and distribute.

Backblaze only supports mobile devices to facilitate remote access and the download of backed up files. It, therefore, cannot be leveraged in collaborative environments.

If you’d like to share and sync files, I’d advise combining Backblaze with a cloud storage application.

Mobile Access

65% – Decent

Backblaze is only compatible with Android and iOS smartphones. Despite steady growth in the Windows Mobile space, Backblaze is yet to come up with a Windows Phone app.

The first thing you notice after downloading and installing the mobile versions is that Backblaze is very consistent with interface cleanliness and simplicity.

The iOS and Android versions are pretty similar, with home pages displaying backed up computers, from where users are able to access individual files to download.

Web Access

95% – Excellent

The web interface forms the backbone of the service’s functionality. Everything is pretty much controlled from the Internet app. Strangely, Backblaze does not backup mobile phone data.

There’s no functionality for backing up:

  • Contacts
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Other files

The only way to backup files on your smartphone is by copying them to a PC, before transferring them to Backblaze’s cloud servers.

We can only hope that Backblaze takes this problem very seriously, and includes the feature in future versions, plus also facilitate mobile phone tracking.  

On the upside, however, users can play multimedia files directly from their phones.  

Despite carrying the bulk of Backblaze’s interactive features, the web app is also very simple and straightforward. All the tabs and options are self-explanatory. You don’t need extra documentation to find your way around.

Tabs include:

  1. Overview
  2. View/Restore Files
  3. My restores
  4. Locate My Computer
  5. Preferences
  6. Account
  7. My Settings
  8. Billing

     

  • “Overview” displays general account information, backed up computers and provides file restore points.
  • “View/Restore” files is the main tab for viewing all backed up files, and your restoration options.
  • “My Restores” displays all the files that got processed and are ready to get downloaded (as ZIP files).
  • “Locate My Computer” is very helpful when a PC is stolen or lost. It tracks any file changes made to backed-up files, plus maps and finds the PC.
  • “Preferences” let’s a user choose their preferred package, manage email preferences, and delete backed up computers.
  • “My Settings” contains profile settings like name, email, password and general email settings.
  • “Billing” allows you to specify a preferred payment method, and track past transactions related to the account.

Support

75% – Good

Apart from welcoming me to the service, the only other email I received was a file processing alert about a prompted restoration. No spam emails were sent, warning me about a subscription ending or subsequent pitches on buying new packages.

When it comes to customer help and support, Backblaze not only provides a comprehensive knowledge-base coupled with a search tool, it also allows users to raise tickets and contact the support team for chats.  

It took just 33 minutes for the support team to get back to me, on a payment issue I had raised.

However, I was surprised that Backblaze does not offer direct calls to the technical team. Personally, I prefer calls over online chatting, because they are more comprehensive.

With such limited contact options, I expected Backblaze to provide 24/7 online chats. Unfortunately, they are only available from 9 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 5 pm PST. I find it strange for contact centers to have such lunch breaks.

Bottom Line

Going by current trends in disaster management, online backup is pretty standard across businesses and individual users.

And since Backblaze is as straightforward and cheap as they come, I recommend it over a bulk of other backup applications. However, since it does not offer full system image backups, it may not be particularly ideal for system critical processes.

I would advise users with similar needs to consider a cloud backup solution that offers such functionality.

Finally, remember that cloud backup is only a secondary solution. You should implement a comprehensive backup framework using local HDDs as primary backups.

We’re interested in learning about your experiences and opinions with Backblaze, so go ahead and drop us a comment or two, and thanks for reading!

Founder Interview

Listen to Our Founder interview

Gleb Budman CEO of Backblaze answer all of my questions in this interview. 

Alternatives for Backblaze

Starts from
$ 5.00 per month
CrashPlan Review
  • Free local backups
  • Seeded backup
  • Mobile access via apps
  • Windows, Mac & Linux
  • A lot of options
  • No sharing or syncing
  • Slow backups when outside of the US
www.crashplan.com
Starts from
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IDrive Review
  • Military grade encryption
  • Blazing-fast transfer speeds
  • Free local backups
  • Overwhelming amount of features
  • No monthly payment plans
www.idrive.com

Features

Backblaze Features
www.backblaze.com
Free Storage
Free Trial15 Days
System
  • windows
  • mac
PriceStarts from $ 5.00 per month
Mobile Access
Mobile Apps
  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Android
Syncronisation
Free External HD Backup
Continuous Backup
Incremental Backup
Backup Scheduling
Bare Metal Backup
Exclude File Extensions for Backup
Network Drives
Bandwidth throttling
Web Access
HIPAA Compliant
File Size LimitUnlimited GB
Included Machines1
File Sharing
Multiple Accounts
Share Photo Albums
Music Streaming
Folder Collaboration
Outlook Backup
Local Encryption128-bit
Server Side Encryption256-bit
Keeps deleted files30
File Versioning30

Backblaze Review

Simple, no-frills unlimited online backup. Period.

One of the easiest online backup services to use. Very limited features. Good as a secondary backup solution. True unlimited backup storage.
Starts from
$ 5.00 per month
Visit Backblaze

33 thoughts on “Backblaze”

  1. Hi,

    I have been using Backblaze for quite a while now and I am totally happy with it. I actually almost forgot that I was backed up at all until last week my PC crashed and just wouldn’t start. Fortunately, I could recover all my data thanks to this amazin piece of software.

    I had, however, some trouble with installing Backblaze but support helped me (it was some weird configuration I had no idea about). Could have been a little faster (waited 3 days) but they contacted me as soon as I reached out to their social media team.

  2. overall i will give backblaze 4 stars – there are a couple of things that i miss and that i think could be done better for example file restore can only be done via the web client and give you very little control over your restore. i was very satisfied wiht the speed of the backup (backed up 100gb in aournd 10 days). I had one little issue wiht my backups and contacted their support their response time could be improved it took them 4 days to get back to me but anyway – overall great service i feel like my files are pretty safe now.

  3. Hi,

    I’m actually a long time user of Backblaze and overall I’m quite happy with how my backups are running so far (that’s why I gave 4 stars). Backblaze does everything it should – it backs up everything you have automatically and it does it in the background. Their client is very light weight so you don’t have to worry about getting into trouble with your system resources.

    Performance is OK. You guys say it took you 9 hours uploading everything of your 10GB folder – for me it took longer but I don’t care as it runs in the background anyway and I can get my local backup on my NAS.

    Speaking about NAS: I’d love for Backblaze to have the ability to back that up, too, then it would certainly be the perfect online backup service for me. Instead, I have to look for other solutions that will back that up, too.

    Even though the software runs in the background, sometimes I’d love to have more options especially when it comes to back up scheduling but then again, this is online backup for absolute beginners and I’m just using it as a secondary backup solution for my files.

    I highly recommend Backblaze for people who are afraid about backups and don’t know where to start. If you have some technical background probably a different provider like Crashplan would be ideal.

  4. I’ve been using Backblaze for several years and have a few TB backed up so far. I love the lightweight client and how it is very unobtrusive in the recommended “continuous mode”. I don’t even know its there backing up all my data while I’m working. The performance is fantastic as it maxes out my 5Mbps upload speed when I’m not otherwise using it. I’ve backed up almost 50GB of photos in 24 hours before. That’s a lot of piece of mind. The incremental back ups are also great as I’ve had to restore files to a previous version before.

    For users that are wanting to back up a NAS to Backblaze, just connect the NAS to a computer locally via USB and set it up as an external drive for that machine. Then install the client and pay your $5/month to back up your NAS.

  5. The Backblaze downloader does not work. If you want more than 2 gig of your data back this forces you to buy the $189 drive, which is not 3 TB as advertised if your data will fit on a smaller drive.

    Support was unresponsive to my questions about known issues with the downloader.

    I lost my C drive. I’ve downloaded the same 9 gigs of critical data three times now. The files fail to unzip correctly. The data is corrupt and unusable. Backblaze support failed to respond to my yell for help.

    1. I personally haven’t run into this issue in my test with restoring large amounts of files. Large zip files could be the culprit in your situation. Maybe you should try requesting smaller chunks of files?

  6. Here in New Zealand, we have monthly data caps.
    This renders cloud backup effectively useless for users with large amounts to back up – to back up my desktop Mac would require 11 months of my entire monthly allowance!
    ADSL is also very slow upload – only 1 mbps – so it would probably take 11 months too!

    I do successfully use Backblaze for my Macbook Air when travelling, however.

  7. I tried using backblaze to backup my personal photos and files. It would take 66 days to upload to backblaze and during that time I would need to have my computer running 24 hours/day. This is not acceptable. I did not attempt a restore but if my internal HD crashed, it would be almost impossible to download a complete set of files from their website. It would take forever. Backblaze charges $189 to send a flash drive no matter how many or few files you need to restore. That is a very expensive way to restore. There has to be a better way.

    1. Unfortunately, that’s a general problem with cloud backup and pretty much the bottle. You can consider yourself lucky with only 66 days. But this is not Backblaze’s fault. Transferring files over the internet takes time and it depends a lot on your internet connection. You should always make a local copy first and then start your cloud backup, that way you can access all of your files in case of emergency.

      1. “Always make a local copy first.” Many of us newbies could use suggestions as to how to do this. Can you be of any help? Thank you.

        1. For local backups, such as to an internal drive or an external (USB) drive, you could try the ACRONIS program. I have been using it to backup my computers for many years. It works well. I have successfully used ACRONIS to recover my full system, when I screwed up some disk partitioning. The thing I like most about Acronis is that you can restore individual files from a disk image backup.

  8. You talk about the ‘tedious process’ of selecting your test files for backup. Couldn’t you just move it to it’s own partition and then only select that “drive” for backup?

    1. Hi Atakartal,

      more than 4TB is absolutely no problem with Backblaze. But it will take its time depending on your internet connection.

  9. I’ve had a Backblaze subscription for 6 months and I have to say that it works fine to backup your data and do an occasional restore. It’s not a big deal that file permissions are not backed up, because I’m the only person who can access the backup anyway. But I do have a problem with the fact that Backblaze insists on making a local copy of each file that it wants to back up. That means that the amount of free space you need is the size of your largest file. At least it warns you when you don’t have enough space, but it doesn’t tell you which large file is being skipped when there’s not enough space available.

    The big problem that has me on the lookout for another solution is that restoring large amounts of data completely sucks. You can pay them to send you a USB stick or hard disk with your data (which makes me wonder how safely encrypted my data is, by the way), and it appears that they deliberately keep their free download-restore feature crippled to encourage people to pay 4 times the annual subscription rate to get a hard disk.

    If you want to download your data for free, you can select the files to download from a (slow) web interface that prepares a ZIP file from your data and then sends you an email when the ZIP file is ready. It recommends that you don’t create ZIP files of more than 20GB or so, and you can only create 10 restore-zips at a time. Once you create a ZIP file, you can’t see what’s in there, so if you have a large tree of big files to restore (let’s say a disk full of movies), you have to somehow manually keep track of what goes in each ZIP file.

    Creating a ZIP file goes pretty fast (though you can’t check for progress: it only says whether the file is available or not) but downloading it through the web interface is extremely slow. I think the web interface is throttled to 1 megabit per second or so, which is about 1/50th of the capacity of my connection. You can only download one ZIP at a time and various download managers that would normally be capable of creating multiple simultaneous download connections to increase speed, don’t work because the download is handled from a script.

    They have a downloader program that helps you download the ZIP files faster. I could download a 20GB file in less than an hour using the downloader. But that program has to be downloaded separately (it’s not part of the main user interface), and it doesn’t come with an installer, you have to just drop it on your hard disk somewhere and run it from there. Every time you want to download a ZIP, you have to restart the downloader, and every time you start it, you have to enter your account information, password, and restore location, and set the number of download threads (they recommend 1, I recommend 10). You can’t use common key combinations (such as Tab to navigate from the user name to the password field) so you have to use the mouse. But worst of all: the downloader always downloads only the latest ZIP file you created; you can’t simply choose which prepared ZIP file to download, and there’s no button “next ZIP file” or even a button to start over without re-entering everything.

    I was in a situation where I had almost 2TB on an external drive, which I lost in a move. When BackBlaze doesn’t see the external drive every so often, it deletes the data from the server (it warns you about this every few days) so if you lost the drive and need to restore its data, the clock is ticking. Fortunately I had most of my data on other disks, too, so I only had to restore a few hundred gigabytes. But I imagine people with slower internet connections would really have a race against the clock in situations like that, which is exactly what you DON’T want in an emergency situation where you lost a lot of data at once.

    As long as the restore process is as cumbersome as it is now, I have to say I can’t recommend BackBlaze as a primary backup solution.

  10. Backblaze is easy to use and it works quietly in the background updating my files. 5/5

  11. I would be careful about relying on BackBlaze to be there when you need it. I have seen instances of files being uploaded and never making it to their servers. I uploaded over 500 GB of data that just disappeared due to bugs in their program. If you have a slow internet connection and lots of data I would NOT use BackBlaze at all since their code is so flaky.

    1. Hi Kolya,

      have you contacted their support? I have more than 1TB with them and never experienced any issues. They might resolve your problem quickly. It does take longer when you’re behind a slower Internet connection no matter the service you use (without wanting to take sides for Backblaze).

      1. I did contact support. I provided extensive data showing that the amount of data available for restoration was not increasing even though I was uploading > 75GB per day. Initially they said everything was fine. Eventually they admitted that there was a bug in their client code (versions 4.0.X before 4.0.2). But they would not consider that more bugs remained or pay much attention to my observations. From this interaction I learned two things: 1 – BackBlaze is not transparent about their problems with their customer base. 2 – BackBlaze is not receptive to bug reports from their customers – especially about complex bugs affecting a small portion of their customer base.

        I don’t trust this company any more – I will probably do my own archival using Amazon Glacier or Google Cloud Storage Nearline since I do not trust consumer grade online backup companies to be competent enough at handling my data. They are “best effort” outfits – most of their customers probably never attempt significant restores and when they do are not likely to notice missing or corrupted data unless it is very obvious. There are few online sources for information / reviews about these companies so they can get away with shoddy service.

        BackBlaze’s motto should be: we’re cheap, we’re friendly and we are better than nothing. Unfortunately I need better than nothing.

  12. I wanted to give 2.5 stars but rounded up.

    I have worked with many cloud backup service providers and while BackBlaze has it’s place it is not my solution of choice.

    BackBlaze is cheaper than most other providers, but this is reflected in their product in a number of ways. While for the most part it does the job to back up your files, it is an extremely no-frills solution.

    In short it is fine if you have a few users, (I’d say 10 or less). If you have more than that however, BackBlaze lacks the reporting, permissions, support, and other features needed to make it a viable solution and it will become a big administrative burden.

  13. I began my search for a cloud backup service for my MacBook Pro (mid-2010 model now 6 years old, but with upgraded 1TB hyrbid drive) about 5 weeks ago. Carbonate was my first thought as it has been advertised in podcasts I have listened to for years but after 4 weeks of it sucking 45% of the CPU turning the fans on loudly, there were only numerous upload errors such that just over 100GB of data made it online and the tree mapping was all messed up so I just said no thank you and canceled it. Immediately after canceling it I tried BackBlaze and like this article says, I set it and could forget it. It uploaded all the 300GB of data I wanted it to very quickly, in less than 3 days! I averaged over 100GB a data essentially leaving my Mac on 3 days straight, but it only took up about 3% CPU so m MacBook Pro was still silent while it churned away, even with setting the upload speed in the settings to max and using all 10 threads. After Carbonite I was very impressed.

    Tommy I just checked again and BackBlaze does not permit the backing up of the Applications folder. Did you put your apps in another folder to “trick BackBlaze into uploading your apps or something? If you know a way to get the Applications folder backed up, please share because as of May 2016 this version of BackBlaze cannot.

    Since my initial upload just finished today, I do not have any experience with recovering files, but if 300GB can upload in less than 3 days, Iw would expect the download to be at least as fast if not faster, plus there is the option just to get a hard drive mailed to you.

    I am very happy with my BackBlaze experience through the initial upload process.

    One thing to note is using the iOS app it will not show any files larger than 30MB, but since you have to download any file to your phone to view via the app, this does not bother me.

    Give BackBlaze a chance and avoid Carbonite as I was told by their tech support 45% CPU usage is forever, not just during the initial backup!

  14. I am very disappointed with Backblaze, I keep all my pictures on an external drive backed up by Backblaze.
    I have been traveling this summer and now I find that the data is no longer backed up at my storage at Backblaze and there is no way to recover it. The 30 day rule for external drives is the opposite of backup! I assumed that backup means keep it safe for me whatever happens, not just for the next 30 days. Any service where the core functionality is not available to those that don’t read the small print should be considered a scam.

    1. This is not about the fine print, you did not understand the service at all, if you disconnect the external drive but still use the sottware on your computer it assumes the data was deleted. If you don’t plug the external drive in again in the next thirty days the data is gone. Or what do you think how many unplugged devices should be backed up eternally? Don’t blame others for your lack of understanding.

  15. Backblaze is based on the idea “users are dumb, they don’t make backups because they find it too complicated to select folders and so we backup all”.
    This makes things very slow, not to mention that stuff will be included you don’t need/like. Files can be excluded but this make things not easier.

    Backblaze doesn’t support many platforms because they don’t use some cross-platform framework or some newer technologies for the GUI.

    They don’t support sftp which could be a workaround if people like to backup from (or to) other machines eg. Linux.
    They don’t support other cloud providers.
    To sum it up: featureless.

    I don’t like the the idea of Backblaze, tested and uninstalled.

  16. Since some time Blackblaze is offering B2 for backup. I think this can be your answer to backup your NAS.

  17. I have used Backblaze now for awhile, and tested several random restores with everything being really good. It took about 3 weeks for my initial backup to get done, but it happened in the background anyhow, so what’s the difference? I did have one question, which they answered the next day. Now, I have the peace of mind that my data’s safe if something happens and I need it. Of course, I have local backups as well – Clones of my hard drives and Time-machine of my system disk as well, but what if…? If I ever needed a lot of data from my backups at Backblaze, I can get it on a hard drive, and since they welcome me to return that hard drive later, to get my money back, it’s the best of all situations! I know I need to plug-in my external hard drive at least once a month, so that’s no problem. I really don’t want to spend a lot, but I also don’t want to lose any files! I really can’t complain.

  18. I’m considering Backblaze for a single home/business computer with one external USB drive.

    If I go travelling without my computer (hence not doing any backups) for more than 30 days, will Backblaze delete ALL my file backups?

    I noticed the comment by someone who travelled for more than 30 days and the backup of their external USB drive was deleted, but I’m assuming their computer itself was connected to Backblaze at some point during their travels.

    1. Yes. Backblaze will delete everything if it cannot detect the original location of the drive being connected to your computer.

      This is the reason why I lost precious times uploading several GBs of data. I was just lucky that I forgot to delete the contents in my external drive after I uploaded everything in that drive to Backblaze thinking that they would stay there forever.

      Unlimited? Yes. But it comes with some caveats.

      The only truly unlimited storage that does not delete anything if it cannot detect the drive at $59.99 a year is Amazon cloud. Note however that Amazon cloud is different from Amazon AWS. You can also store an unlimited amount of data in Amazon S3 or Amazon Glacier (or Google nearline) but it will cost you.

  19. Terrible experience. Had a 3TB Seagate drive failure. It took over 72 hours to download a 455gb zip file which when unzipped 9 could only be unzipped with a particular product), I was left with 155gb of gibberish.
    Data lost

  20. Be careful with Backblaze’s “unlimited” offering

    Unlimited? Yes. But consider the following terminologies.

    The term backup means “making latest copies of the files residing in the system at specified periods”

    The term storage means “keeping copies of files that are left as is for a definite duration of time”

    syncing means “real-time update of files”

    Backblaze cannot be held responsible if someone who is ignorant of the term loses all his files.

    If Backblaze backup does not detect the drive, it assumes that that drive was deleted, and so are all the files.

    Although some people have gone through devastating losses in using Backblaze, the silver lining is that it taught us what backup really means and take each term by heart.

    Now, if what you want is to “backup” your files to the cloud in an attempt to get rid of the physical drive, then you are looking for the storage and not backup. But since your files are still going to be stored in physical drives by your host, your files will consume some precious real estate. In short, your files will be renting spaces in the drives, which, as with rental homes, come with a premium per month.

    Some of the famous Storage Providers:
    Amazon S3 – $0.0245/GB/month (with API)
    Amazon Glacier – $0.0135/GB/month (with API)
    Amazon Cloud – $59.99/year unlimited storage (shareable only with people who have Amazon cloud accounts)
    Google Cloud (formerly called Google APIS) – $0.02/GB/month (with API)
    Google Nearline – $0.01/GB/month (with API)
    Backblaze B2 – $0.005/GB/month (with API)
    Microsoft Azure – $0.02/GB/month (with API)

    Some of the famous Backup Providers:
    iDrive
    Backblaze
    Carbonite

    Some of the famous Syncing Providers:
    box (best one for business, even the free one)
    dropbox (which I never use)
    OneDrive
    Google drive
    pcloud
    sync
    sugarsync
    yandex

  21. I’ve been using Backblaze for a few years now, and I have been very pleased with the service. But there are definitely both pros and cons.

    PROS:
    – You can set it and forget it. Rest at ease knowing that all your files are being backed up in the cloud without any further intervention on your part.
    – You can back up an unlimited number of files
    – Backblaze keeps a backup of several different versions of your files. If you realize that you made an undesirable change to a file, you can quickly revert to a previous version (up to 30 days old on the normal plan)
    – Great value for money

    CONS:
    – No matter how fast your internet connection might be, the backup process will be quite slow. This is most notable for your first backup. After that the incremental backups can keep up nicely.
    – The download restore process is quite slow (if you need to restore an entire hard drive, you can overcome this limitation by ordering a USB stick or external hard drive containing all your files)
    – You will eat up lots of bandwidth because you are essentially backing up everything. If you have an unlimited bandwidth plan, then this is not an issue.

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Backblaze Review

Simple, no-frills unlimited online backup. Period.

One of the easiest online backup services to use. Very limited features. Good as a secondary backup solution. True unlimited backup storage.
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