Backblaze Review

Backblaze is Cloudwards.net's top pick thanks to its unlimited storage, decent pricing and ease of use.

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By Joseph Gildred
— Last Updated: 22 Mar'18
2016-08-14T05:26:30+00:00
Table of Contents Rating
Features
85%
Very Good
Pricing
90%
Excellent
Ease of Use
96%
Excellent
File Backup & Restoration
90%
Excellent
Speed
87%
Very Good
Security & Privacy
77%
Good
Support
83%
Good

Very Good
$ 396 monthly for Unlimited GB (All Plans)
Visit Backblaze
Best Online Backup Reviews

Backblaze has been providing end-user computer backup since 2007 and currently ranks as one of the most popular online backup solutions available. In fact, here at Cloudwards.net, we feel it’s the best overall choice for consumer online backup today, as you can read in our roundup of best online backup solutions.

The reasons for that come down to three things above all: Backblaze provides unlimited backup for your computer and external drives, sets the bar for online backup when it comes to ease of use and comes at a cheaper price than any other service.

We’ll talk about those benefits in much more depth throughout this Backblaze review, in addition to discussing its file transfer speeds, security and support. We’ll also point out where Backblaze falls short, which might lead some people to prefer Backblaze’s most competent competitor, IDrive, which you can read all about in our IDrive review.  

If you’ve already made up your mind to give Backblaze a shot, head over to Backblaze to make use of the 15-day free trial. For an overview of online backup services for home users, be sure to check out our best cloud storage providers comparison chart.

Alternatives for Backblaze

Starts from$ 434monthly for 2000 GB
  • Unlimited device backup
  • Inexpensive plans
  • Sync capabilities
  • File-sharing capabilities
  • Harder to use than Backblaze
  • No unlimited backup plan
  • No two-factor authentication
  • Not multithreaded backup
$ 200monthly for 100 GB
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Image-based backup
  • Multi-platform support
  • No included storage
  • Not for casual users
  • No mobile app

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths:

  • Unlimited backup
  • Low cost
  • Very easy to use
  • Backup by file type
  • Block-level backup
  • Continuous backup
  • No bandwidth throttling
  • External HD backup
  • Mobile file access
  • Courier recovery
  • File versioning
  • AES 128-bit encryption
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Multithreaded backup
  • Live chat support

Weaknesses:

  • Limited to one computer
  • Private encryption not end-to-end
  • No mobile backup
  • Versioning limited to 30 days


Backblaze’s defining strength is its ease of use, which is rooted in the fact that it’s an unlimited backup service and works by simply backing up files based on their extension. There’s very little user management required.

Weaknesses include a lack of mobile backup and the fact that previous file versions aren’t kept indefinitely. Also, you’re limited to one computer, although that’s not surprising for an unlimited backup service.

There are some concerns with Backblaze’s approach to encryption, too, which is only private when you’re backing it up. More on that in our “security” section.  

Features

85% - Very Good

Backblaze provides a good online backup service while still keeping the process as simple as possible.

As a solution designed to minimize the work its users need to do to protect their computers, it shouldn’t be surprising that Backblaze isn’t quite as feature-packed as online backup services like IDrive, SpiderOak ONE or CloudBerry Backup (CloudBerry Backup review), all of which take more complex approaches to disaster recovery.

For example, Backblaze doesn’t offer any sync capabilities like IDrive or SpiderOak do (SpiderOak review). Also, its scheduling options are much more sparse than what you’ll find with IDrive. We’ll talk a little more about that last point when we discuss the backup process below.

All that said, Backblaze does provide some nice perks. These include speed throttling, multiple backup threads, external hard drive backup, smartphone access and file sharing.

Backblaze also backs up previous versions of files, although only for up to 30 days. There’s no way to extend the versioning policy, which is a shame given that Backblaze is an unlimited backup service. This limits Backblaze’s usefulness when it comes to ransomware protection.

Backblaze also has some good security features that we’ll cover more, below. These include semi-private encryption and two-factor authentication.

Pricing

90% - Excellent

Backblaze keeps its pricing structure as simple as its service. There’s just one plan for home computer protection, which gives you unlimited backup for one device. The cost is $5 per month, which makes it one of the cheapest backup services available in addition to being one of the best.

If you’re not opposed to a long-term subscription, you can even get two months free for signing up for a year in advance, and five months free for signing up for two years.



PlanUnlimited Personal
Price Plan
$ 5 00monthly
$ 50 00yearly
$ 95 002 years
Storage Unlimited GB
Details

Plan is for one computer.



Once you’ve decided Backblaze is the best home for your data, you might as well take advantage of the annual or biannual discounts.

Initial backups can take days or even weeks to complete, so switching backups is often more trouble than it’s worth, particularly if you’ve got a good service like Backblaze. Most backup services don’t actually offer a month-to-month option for that reason.

Now that CrashPlan has closed its doors to home subscribers, the closest competition to Backblaze is Carbonite (Carbonite review), which also offers unlimited backup for a single device. However, the nearest analog subscription Carbonite has to Backblaze Personal is its Plus plan, which costs $99.99 per year.

You can get Carbonite Basic for $59.99 a year, but that plan doesn’t include automatic video backup or external drive support.

IDrive is another popular CrashPlan alternative. Its monthly plan is $52.12 for the first year, after which it bumps up to $69.99. With IDrive, you’re capped at 2TB of backup space, too, although IDrive can be used to backup unlimited devices and sync files.

The bottom line is that Backblaze is all about the bottom line. For most users, there’s likely not a better deal to be found in the online backup space.

Ease of Use

96% - Excellent

Backblaze unquestionably provides the easiest backup experience out of any service we’ve ever tested here at Cloudwards.net. Since there’s no need to manage how much data you’re backing up, Backblaze simply takes it all.

Well, most of it. Operating system files, applications and temporary files aren’t backed up automatically. The reason for this is that restoring those kinds of files can cause some issues for your computer.

The Backblaze application embodies minimalism. This sets it apart from services like IDrive and SpiderOak, which have interfaces packed with settings.

Backblaze does have a settings tab, but there’s no need to ever tinker with it unless you find the backup process slowing down your system (we didn’t experience any such problems during our testing).

The Backblaze web interface shouldn’t cause any headaches, either. Navigation tabs are along the left side where you’d expect them to be and include an “overview” tab to check your account status and “view/restore” tab to access files.

Overall, Backblaze is just really well designed.

File Backup & Restoration

90% - Excellent

During installation, the Backblaze client automatically scans your hard drive for files to backup. There are no file size limits. Once finished, it returns an aggregated overview of everything it’s found.

Click “okay” and your backup will get underway. Depending on how much data you have to backup, this can be a very lengthy process, taking several weeks in fact. (See our speed section below to find out how Backblaze compares with the competition).

If you don’t want to backup certain folders or file types, these can be excluded from the settings menu.  

Once your initial backup completes, you can choose to let Backblaze protect your computer continuously, or you can opt for scheduled backups.

Unlike IDrive and a few other backup options, you can’t restrict your schedule based on certain days of the week. You can only switch to once-a-day backups, telling Backblaze what time to start running. This is only a minor inconvenience, however, given that continuous backup is the best way to protect your hard drive and doesn’t seem to impact system resources in our experience.

Backblaze also lets you backup any USB or Firewire external drives you have (do note it doesn’t allow NAS devices). If they’re connected during initial backup, it’ll handle that part automatically. Otherwise, you can plug them in later and add them from settings.

That’s really all there is to know about the backup process.  

Restore processes with Backblaze are run entirely through the web interface. Clicking the “restore options” button in the desktop client opens your browser and your account on Backblaze, where you’re given three options to get your files back.

The most common is restore via zip file. However, zip restores are limited to 500GB per request and can take quite a bit of time. You don’t have to stick around and stare at your computer, though: you’ll receive an email once your zip file is ready. A maximum of five requests can be submitted at any one time.

Backblaze Courier Service

Alternatively, you can go with the Backblaze courier recovery service, which is usually faster for large recoveries. Courier recovery options include a flash drive for up to 128GB and a hard-drive for up to 4TB. The service costs money up front for the recovery device, but Backblaze will refund you when you send it back, basically making it a deposit.

Courier recovery is a nice option, but IDrive does the same thing for both restores and initial backups, and only charges you if you don’t send the device back.

Once you’ve selected your recovery preference, you can scroll down to select which files you want to recover. This part of the process is pretty straightforward. Our only complaint is that file preview is limited to images and only images smaller than 30MB. You can also access your files via your mobile device.

Speed

87% - Very Good

There’s not much getting around the fact that initial backups can take a lot of time. That said, some backup services handle uploading and downloading better than others.

Typically, we test how well a backup service performs by completing a few upload and download tests with a 1GB test folder. Because Backblaze backs up files automatically, however, we weren’t able to do so in this case. Instead, we had to rely on data provided by Backblaze.

When you run your initial backup, there’s a button in the client that reads, “how long will my first backup take.” Click this button and you’ll be redirected to a website where Backblaze will give you an idea of how long you’ll be waiting. In our case, it was two days.

The amount of data tagged for backup on our test computer was 89,251MB (about 89GB). That works out to almost 45GB per day or 1.85GB per hour. WiFi upload speeds on our test computer were clocked at 8Mbps, which without overhead should upload at a rate of around 1GB per 17 minutes.

So, our upload to Backblaze was running at around 50 percent of capacity, which isn’t great, although to be fair we also ran these tests from Chiang Mai, Thailand. Also, the two-day estimate we were given was rounded to the nearest day, so our math is far from precise.

Backblaze states it doesn’t limit upload or download speeds, so the only factors that should be impacting those times are distance to server (Backblaze is in California) and two processes: encryption and file compression.

For comparison’s sake, we tested IDrive under these same conditions and were able to upload our 1GB test folder in around 20 minutes. Backblaze was outperformed by IDrive, though not by too much. If you’re running backups in the U.S. and over a fast Internet connection, you shouldn’t have any issues.

Backblaze Speed Up

To speed things up, Backblaze also lets you increase the number of backup threads you have running, which is something most other online backup services (IDrive included) don’t do. Additionally, you can increase the speed at which backups complete by adjusting throttle settings manually.

Finally, after your initial backup, backups are processed incrementally. Not only are just the files that have changed backed up, but only the parts of files that changed, too. Backblaze does this by processing files at the block level

Security & Privacy

77% - Good

Backblaze takes some but not all of the steps we like to see to protect consumer data. That includes an option for private encryption, which you can activate from the “settings > security” tab of the desktop client.

Normally, Backblaze retains your encryption key. With private encryption enabled, only you have the key. The advantage is that only you can ever decrypt your files.

However, Backblaze’s implementation of this feature is deeply flawed. While your files are encrypted privately before being sent to the cloud, recovery requires that you give your passphrase to Backblaze so the service can decrypt them before sending them to you. 

Most other online backups that offer private encryption, including Acronis True Image (Acronis True Image review), don’t require the same. The reason is that all Backblaze restores are performed over the web, rather than using your desktop client.

Backblaze states that your passphrase isn’t recorded and is deleted after its used to decrypt your files. However, you have to take the company’s word for that, which completely defeats the purpose of private encryption (not having to take anybody’s word that your privacy won’t be mishandled).

The disadvantage of private encryption — even Backblaze’s halfway version — is that if you forget your password, Backblaze can’t reset it for you; you’ll have lost access to your data.

With or without private encryption, Backblaze encrypts all of your files at rest on its servers. The level of encryption used is AES 128-bit, which for all practical purposes is uncrackable. It’s estimated that it would take brute force attack from a supercomputer several billion years to succeed.

Your files are encrypted before they leave your machine and are further protected in transit with SSL to rebuff any would-be eavesdroppers. Within the data center itself, multiple copies of your files are stored on multiple servers so that if one should ever crash, you won’t lose your data.

This method of data protection is called RAID. The Backblaze data centers are also secured against both physical and virtual intrusions, and designed to withstand natural disasters. They’re also climate controlled.

While encryption keys might be unhackable, weak passwords are not. To prevent someone with your password from accessing your backup, Backblaze lets you enable two-factor authentication (2FA).

With 2FA on, whenever a login occurs on an unrecognized computer, a security code will be required in addition to your normal user credentials. Backblaze lets you receive that code via text or using Google Authenticator.

You can also choose to require a security code every time you login. In addition to great security for your data, Backblaze features a computer location option. While not really in the scope of backup, it’s a nice feature to have.

Support

83% - Good

Backblaze provides two support channels for resolving any issues you might have: email and live chat. Email requests can be sent through an online form or you can email support directly. You can check the status of your request online after it’s been filed so you’re not left in the dark.

Generally, however, email response times are pretty good. Backblaze has support technicians answering them 24/7 and guarantees a response within 24 hours.  We filed a test question Saturday morning and received a response back in about two hours.

Live chat will result in an even faster response, provided the issue doesn’t require escalation. However, live chat support hours are restricted to Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. PST.

In addition to email and chat, Backblaze maintains a knowledge base that should answer most basic questions. In fact, as you’re filling out a support request, Backblaze will suggest a few articles from its help site that might be relevant.

To help navigate the support site, a search option is provided. You can also browse by categories such as installation, troubleshooting, backing up, restoring and FAQs. Overall, we were impressed by the depth and clarity of available articles. Video tutorials would have been a nice addition.

A forum might be a nice touch, too, although Backblaze is so simple to use that it’s not likely it would get much use.

The Verdict

There are reasons to not like Backblaze. You’re limited to one computer and mobile device backup isn’t included. The most compelling reason to look at some of our other online backup reviews, though, is the company’s incomplete implementation of private encryption (the fact that you have to supply them with your password when recovering data, which shouldn’t be the case with true private, end-to-end encryption).  

Beyond that, there’s not much to dissuade our belief that Backblaze now reigns as a king of the online backup hill — at least, when it comes to consumer backup. The term that comes to mind when trying to encapsulate what Backblaze is all about is “set-and-forget.”

It’s the backup solution for users who don’t want to be bothered backing up their computer but still want it backed up (the have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too crowd).

Automatic file uploads based on file type and unlimited backup make that possible. Beyond ease of use, Backblaze offers exceptional data security and pretty solid customer support. Overall, it’s just a well-designed, elegant approach to hard-drive protection.

Agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.

$ 396monthly for Unlimited GB

Backup

Backup Scheduler
Continuous Backup
Incremental Backup
Image-Based Backup
External Drive Backup
NAS Backup
Server Backup
Hybrid Backup
Mobile Device Backup
Unlimited Backup
Unlimited Devices
Speed Throttling
Block-Level File Copying
Multithreaded Backup

Restore

Courier Recovery Service
Browser Access
Mobile App Access
Versioning
Deleted File Retention

Security

Private Encryption
Semi-Private
At-Rest Encryption
In-Transit Encryption
Encryption Protocol
AES 128
Two-Factor Authentication
Hardened Data Centers
Proxy Server Settings
HIPPA Compliant

Support

24/7 Support
Live Chat Support
Telephone Support
Email Support
User Forum
Knowledgebase

Misc

File Sharing
Device Sync
Free Trial
15

Backblaze Review

Our favorite backup service for so many reasons

Backblaze is Cloudwards.net's top pick thanks to its unlimited storage, decent pricing and ease of use.
$ 396monthly for Unlimited GB
Visit Backblaze

52 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.

    2. It uploads in the background and is dependent on the speed you purchased from your ISP. When you download the data it transfers much faster than uploading. A huge file that takes 20 minutes to upload will likely download in less than 5 minutes. This is the internet and not a limitation of backblaze. If you want to backup and/or restore data in a few hours, the cloud method isnt for you unless you have a 1 gig up and down connection to the internet backbone. As far as restoring a computer image – you would simply boot to a linux usb drive and download the zip files that way. The only better way way would be for backblaze to provide a bootable linux image. But you would still need to download that to a USB drive.

      Its easier if you have multiple computers – but I have restored a system image just using a bootable usb stick. If you are worried you should create that stick now. Otherwise you will need to use another computer to download the linux recovery image and put it on a usb.

      Other than that – they could have you install a hidden recovery partition which would boot you into linux or something. But if your hard drive completely fails – that partition would also be gone and you would be back to the usb boot option again.

      Maybe a bootable usb recovery stick is an option they should sell. Maybe for 10 or 20 bucks for those that dont feel comfortable making one (Though its not that complicated). People like completely packaged solutions. In all for people just backing up data like photos, documents, videos, etc – it’s a real no brainer – reinstall your OS then download your backup and restore.

      Its also a good idea to make sure you have your OS restore disks. If you dont have them, many manufacturers have a way to burn them right on your working computer. But you’ll need to do it while its still working. If you dont have these – you will likely have a recovery partition. You simply make an image of that and burn it to DVD/CD. Because again – if you have a total drive failure – that recovery partition wont be there after the fact.

      You can of course backup that restore partition and/or disks to the cloud as an extra protection in case you lose the DVDs.

      In a perfect world you would turn on your PC and it would be backed up to the cloud. (We have that part down). Then if it detected a change in a system file, it will pull the correct one back from the cloud and replace it. If your main hard drive failed – no worries – there would be a small flash drive that held the OS – so you would just simply select restore where the OS would be restored and then then your data would begin restoring from the could. But until we all have 1 gig up and down internet – there will be a bottleneck that no software can overcome.

      I have 4 Terabytes of data uploading now. Its been uploading for a week and halfway done at this point. I really dont care that it takes that long. My upload speed is 25 Mb – download is 500 MB. So if your backup was going to take 66 days – you either have way more than my 4 Terabytes or you have really slow internet, router or PC.

      I recently moved from an area where by download speed was 20 and upload was 2 MB. I’m loving the 25 MB up – but I am a bit jealous of those that have 1 gig or even 100 mb up. And I come from a time before the internet where the max speed was 300 baud and there were no graphics other than ASCII and ANSI.

  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. 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.

  21. I like these guys primarily because they have outsourced their pods and their whole procedure which does show bona fides unlike the hard core corporate demeanor taken by Amazon and the rest of the clan, who never hesitate to change plans and bills at a second’s notice caring little about the customer and long term plans, and which does say a lot about reliability. What good does durability and redundancy do if the company you save your precious files changes attitude at a moments notice with their interests taking precedence. On the other hand a company which does show its good will via these small gestures gets very high scores in my book.

    As to online backup in general, perhaps for a US resident with gigabit connections this does make sense but for us in Europe with 8/4 cable lines, it takes a mammoth time to have a decent backup considering that one will avoid destroying the whole bandwidth availability in the process.

    Whatever the case, thanks backblaze

  22. My experience has not been good. My RAID failed while I was away on a three week trip. When I returned, I went back and forth with the manufacturer troubleshooting it and finally needed to send in in for repair. This took another couple of weeks. Ultimately it could not be repaired and I lost all of the data on it. Fortunately everything was backed up by Backblaze. But, if your drive has not been backed up for 30 days, Backblaze purges your data. I went back and forth with their customer support to find out how to stop this. They told me that if I turned off continuous backup and changed it to manual, the data would remain for 6 months. Nothing on their website speaks of this and I continued to receive messages that my data would be deleted. It was hugely stressful, like playing Russian Roulette. There is no way to to see from their dashboard when the data will be purged.

    I requested a hard drive of my backup, which was 4 TB. This took almost 2 weeks for them to “prepare” the drive to send it to me. I think that is outrageous. Nevertheless, I did receive the backup and restored it. However, when I went to re sync my files with their servers, that is when they decided to purge all of my data. Now I am faced with having to re upload it online and the estimated completion is three months!!. They will not accommodate my request to send them a drive to upload to their servers. Throughout this nightmare, their customer support has not demonstrated the least bit of concern for my problem. I would not recommend them to anyone.

  23. We purchased 5 licenses and in the progress of testing Backblaze. As we intend to purchase for all laptops, it is important for us to be able to do silent installation with command line. While testing, found out if we uninstall and reinstall backblaze with ‘same’ user email, we receive error ‘account already exists’. I found out the fix from FAQ which can skip that problem (normal installation) but could not find the fix for command line. I contacted backblaze support team and they could not give me the answer. Seems like the guy I met from support team do not have enough knowledge for the software. Following is the marvelous reply from him.
    1) Hello there,
    Thank you for taking the time to write in,
    If you already have Backblaze installed on one machine, it will prevent you from installing it again. If you’re trying to reinstall Backblaze you will need to uninstall first.
    Let me know if you have any further questions.
    Bob
    The Backblaze Team
    2) Robert, Nov 3, 09:04 PDT:
    If you’re receiving the error message “account already exists” What you’ll need to do is when the installer asks you if you would like to create an account or sign in to an existing account you will need to sign in using the email and password you used to originally create the account.
    If you have any further issues, let me know.
    3) Robert, Nov 6, 16:29 PST:
    We don’t have a command line for installation.
    The issue you are experiencing is being caused by attempting to create a new account instead of logging into your existing one during installation. Please follow the directions from my previous email.

  24. I’ve used Backblaze for several years but am finally trying to find a more reliable solution. I’ve had to re-upload all of my data four times because of file corruption issues. I have three external drives connected as well as my main hard drive, so it is a lot of data to have to upload.

    I recently had a system crash and needed to restore my data and found that random folders of files had not been backed up, even though BB was telling me that it was. Luckily I had my Time Machine backup to use. BB support said:

    “This was caused when a large number of files on your computer ended up having the same ID numbers that we assign them in our indexing file. We normally resolve this issue by reassigning those IDs and re-uploading those files, but it happened for many files just in the one log that you showed us. We are worried this may have happened to many more files, which can cause major problems with your backup in the future. So the best and safest thing would be to start over in complete new backup.

    This issue can sometimes be caused when the indexing file is deleted for whatever reason, by the user or by an overzealous security software or simply when the file gets corrupted. Starting over a new backup will create new clean indexing file.”

    The Backblaze pricing is great, the unlimited storage is great, and even the support is speedy, if not always that helpful. But, I don’t trust that it’s working as it should, at least not when you have large numbers of files like I do. Now being faced with re-uploading everything yet again, I’m looking for another solution. I’m considering Cloudberry with AWS storage.

    Suggestions anyone?

  25. Cloudberry with AWS is a good choice. Though it will cost you quite a bit more, you should definitely see a speed advantage, especially since you can choose to backup to a data center near you. Acronis True Image, which we should have a review up of pretty soon, is also pretty impressive.

    1. Ah, yes. I just checked and my storage costs for AWS WOULD be way higher and then restoring data (if it’s needed) costs way too much. I just looked at Acronis and it looks really good. I’m very interested in your review.

  26. This review fails to mention a huge problem with Backblaze. But most reviews do, I assume because they all just test the backup, not the restore.

    In short: Backblaze’s private key encryption feature, which is central to their claim of security and privacy, is just a farce. Private key encryption only makes sense if the encryption key never leaves your hands. This is fine at Backblaze while you upload your backups. However, come the time you’re in need of a restore, there is NO OPTION of restoring your files without HANDING OVER your private key to Backblaze. THEY will decrypt your files on THEIR servers before handing them out to you, circumventing and nullifying the entire point of the encryption. This is true (as of January 2018) whether you do your restore yourself over the Internet, or have them send you a USB or HD drive (they will re-encrypt those for transport, but only after decrypting them using your “private” key).

    This may sound like a technical detail to those without any knowledge of information security, but you should be aware that to anyone who understands how private key encryption works, reading what I described above will make their toes curl. It’s a gross violation of the most fundamental rules and principles of the concept. What may be most worrying about that is the implication that whoever implemented it the way it has been over at Backblaze, obviously didn’t have even a basic understanding of information security. It makes you wonder what other parts of their system are in such a sloppy state.

    It ultimately makes most of Backblaze’s claims of privacy and security moot. Their claims only hold up if you never ever need to restore any of your backups, which is not really the point of doing backups.

    If you are still fine with doing a cloud backup considering that all your files will be essentially unencrypted and readable to anyone, then Backblaze can still be an option for you. Otherwise, hope that word spreads about this gargantuan flaw of theirs (bordering on false advertising, considering how much they boast about their encryption and security) and that they will finally wise up and FIX their broken restore process.

  27. Thank you for pointing that out, Daniel — good spot. I no longer have my test account setup, but I do see that Backblaze verifies what you’re saying on its website. I’ll update the review and adjust our ranking.

  28. This is a horrible service run by horrible people. Have used it because I have a Mac Mini and its limited to 750GB. I’m a photographer. So I’m in regular need of more space. And Timeline does not back up external drives. I believe I’ve been with them over 2 years. I started to hear noise from my drive and immediately got a new drive. Couldn’t get data off that drive. Whenever I opened the software it would greet me with “You’re backed up”. That’s false.. You dig deeper and I find out that only 1/3 of my day in 2 YEARS was backed. The rest was waiting in line.Smallest files first so my raw files are still waiting. And so I go to call them up and all they have is an answering machine. Then I go to their chat service and spent a wonderful time with Christopher telling me it was my dying drive. But Chris, the drive was not always dying. You’ve had two years to ul 1 TB. But you didn’t and you didn’t inform me of the failure. I’ve left numerous VM’s on their machine. But know call back. I will use all my energy to get this message out and see this company out with the rubbish. That’s 18 years of images. Hopefully a data recovery service will save me. And then I’ll be looking for both an onsite and online backup service that works for a Mac and external hard drives. Avoid Backblaze only if your files matter. Otherwise they’re an excellent choice.

  29. I found the restore with a flash drive to be horrible. I’ve been a paid customer for 4 years and recently needed a restore. I paid the $99. for the flash drive to be sent to me because it was supposed to be faster than downloading on my own. It took 2 weeks to get the drive and unlock code did not work. Customer service just said, oh, we must have sent you the wrong code. How do I know that they didn’t send me the wrong flash drive? Mine could have been sent to someone else.

    They suggested that I pay $99 to order a new one and said they would refund the first $99, which they never did. I didn’t order a new one because what’s the point? We deleted the data on the one they sent and I did a zip file download to put on it. I plan to send it back to get my $99 back and then to cancel the service. They offer false security.

  30. I used to backup with Carbonite, then the company was bought out. I didn’t bother to pick an alternative backup company for a long time because I dreaded the speed drain on my entire household network the initial backup causes. And it’s not just for a day–it’s for up to a week.

    So last WEEK I started a trial with Backblaze. I have about 200 GB of files (movies, text, music), likely a lot less. It’s been nearly a WEEK now and the backup proceeds painfully slowly. I use two computers on my home network, only one of which is being backed up. That machine is ethernet cable connected to my modem/router and I’m trying to work on my other machine. Web pages load so slowly I keep checking to see if something’s wrong with my machine. Forget streaming anything. I’m giving Backblaze two more days to complete the backup & my machine to return to normal Internet access speed. If that doesn’t happen, I’m ending my trial with Backblaze & will find another backup solution. The drain on my network is just unacceptable.

    BB looks great on paper, but so far in practice, I’m not impressed. I’d happily pay more for a faster service as speed is just as critical to me as security.

    1. Hi, you have to log into the Backblaze interface and share files from the view/restore files tab. This feature isn’t available on the desktop client.

  31. Disaster.
    I live with limited bandwidth. I drove to a Google fiber city two weekends in order to complete a backup. Upon return, Backblaze hiccuped and lost the bulk of my backup. No explanation other than I must have done something. Can I restore from an earlier backup? No, I can get it via a hard drive mailed to me, and then I can upload all over again! No indication of any concern about my situation.

  32. For years I had been giving Backblaze my $$ to back up my computer and external hard drive and 2 weeks ago they deleted all of my stored data from my external drive because it “hadn’t connected with their servers for 30 days”. Due to travel I wasn’t able to resolve the problem (my drive had died) until I returned but figured “everything is OK!! Backblaze has all my data!!”….and they did, but what they didn’t tell me was that they were going to delete it ALL on June 26th.

    They didn’t send me a single email telling me they were going to delete my data. The last email they sent me was on June 14th staying my “drive was missing”.

    I know I know. It’s just data. But it’s also all of my photos taken with my non-phone camera including scores of baby and photos from both girls, it’s also $$$ of digital sewing patterns and my research from my fellowship among many other things.

    Backblaze told me they were “Sorry for the inconvenience”.

    If you are using them — switch! Other companies back up and store data INDEFINITELY.

    If you need a back up solution — choose anyone but Backblaze. Data back ups shouldn’t be drowning in details and terms and conditions and arbitrary rules out of your control. It’s your data. You are paying them to keep it safe.

  33. Security key handling is the reason why I’m rejecting BackBlaze. If I ever need to recover anything, I will need to hand over the password to all of my content. As someone who works in IT, that’s a complete no-no. It’s surprising that they haven’t figured this out yet.

  34. Never trust your data to Backblaze!!

    Their app is really buggy!

    After a long time I was finally able to backup my 7tb of data. Then the software started to use the complete RAM of my computer, making it completely useless.

    I contacted support and they wrote me: “Sorry but you have to delete your backup and start again from scratch”.

    When I asked why this would happen, their explanation was that “I shouldn’t rename folders which contains many files” (??)

    Stay away from Backblaze!!!

  35. I have been using BackBlaze personal with no issues for myself and several of my clients PC’s/Laptops. As a consultant I attempted to have one of my clients use BackBlaze B2 for their servers and PC’s but had an issue with B2 installation for servers which support did not help much at all – actually no help as it turns out. My client went to iDrive with their 14 servers (385 Tb of data) and 85 PC’s and all works well. An Image backup was desired but BackBlaze could not provide one. Too bad since I like BackBlaze but only for personal backup as it turns out.

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Backblaze Review

Our favorite backup service for so many reasons

Backblaze is Cloudwards.net's top pick thanks to its unlimited storage, decent pricing and ease of use.
$ 396monthly for Unlimited GB
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