For those looking to build an affordable online backup solution that doesn’t involve Backblaze or IDrive, Wasabi is a hot storage company worth considering. A fresh entry in the cloud infrastructure market, Wasabi has made its mark with pricing far below competing services like Amazon S3, in addition to speeds that won’t leave you cursing the gods.
As a cloud infrastructure solution, Wasabi provides server space to host your files, but doesn’t offer much help in getting those files there. To use it as an online backup tool, you’ll need to pair it with backup software like CloudBerry Backup — a Cloudwards.net favorite featured in our best online backup guide.
During this Wasabi review, we’ll be running through basic features, costs and other elements to help you decide if Wasabi is the best cloud infrastructure solution for your needs. While the price is right, you can sign up for a 1TB Wasabi trial account to test it out before committing.
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Low cost
- Good speeds
- Good security
- Telephone support costs extra
- Only one server location
- Requires separate software for backup
Wasabi is a cloud infrastructure service, sometimes referred to infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). The idea behind IaaS is to provide cloud server access that businesses and individuals can use for file management.
We’re looking at Wasabi purely as an online backup solution, but you could also use it for cloud storage (find out the difference between cloud storage and online backup) or even to develop your own cloud-based application.
Wasabi does let you upload both folders and files by logging into your account online. However, to effectively use Wasabi for online backup, you’ll want to pair it with a separate application.
Duplicati (read our Duplicati review) is a solid, free online backup application that works with Wasabi, but if you can scrape together a one-time license fee of $30, we recommend using CloudBerry Backup (read our CloudBerry Backup review).
Wasabi and CloudBerry
CloudBerry Backup is a roll-your-own cloud storage solution that can be used to backup data to over 50 different cloud services, including Wasabi. CloudBerry Backup will let you schedule your file backups to Wasabi or run continuous backup, ensuring that your disaster plan is always up to date.
The application can encrypt files before sending them, too, and backup simultaneously to both Wasabi and a local storage device for a hybrid backup setup. It also lets you setup file versioning and can be used to image your entire disk.
Basically, by pairing Wasabi with CloudBerry Backup, you’ll be getting one of the most powerful, inexpensive backup experiences there is, taking advantage of CloudBerry’s features and Wasabi’s low-cost plans.
Wasabi currently has one data center located Virginia, United States. There are plans to open a second data center in the western United States in early 2018. Once launched, you’ll be able to choose which facility you’d like to backup your data to.
Even two data centers isn’t nearly as many as Amazon S3 offers, which has servers around the world. This is one of the trade-offs of going with Wasabi, although if you’re located in the United States, it shouldn’t cause any issues.
Wasabi lets you make storage buckets “immutable,” which means any data written to it cannot be deleted or changed. This feature is ideal for building disaster recovery plans that are HIPAA compliant.
Within the cloud, Wasabi is designed to perform data checks every 90 days for the duration that any file is stored. This is to ensure files remain intact. The company claims 11 x 9s durability, which means you should never really lose files. Of course, we can only take the company’s word for this, since its a claim that’s not possible to vett on a single account with limited data.
Wasabi also lets you set deleted file retention policies, which, as you might guess, refers to how long you have to recover deleted files. Many online backup tools that pair with Wasabi, including CloudBerry Backup, also let you customize retention policies.
That’s about all there are for features. As an IaaS, features aren’t the important thing, however. Cost and performance are more important, evaluations of which are coming up.
Of Wasabi’s two claims over Amazon S3, the easiest to verify is its pricing structure. And, as promised, it is cheap.
Wasabi recently launched new default pricing that’s $0.0049 per gigabyte per month. That works out to about $5 per terabyte, which is a steal.
The downside is that you have to pay for at least 1TB each month, even if you don’t use that much. However, given that Amazon S3, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure cost over four times as much, that’s probably an afterthought.
The crux of the new pricing is that Wasabi no longer charges for egress — or file downloading. That’s a charge you’ll find with just about every other cloud IaaS solution.
If you prefer the old Wasabi pricing structure, you can still sign up for it, too. Under those terms, the base storage price is $0.0039 per gigabyte per month.
Legacy pricing does include egress fees, which amount to $0.04 per gigabyte downloaded. That means that if you download 1TB of data from Wasabi, it’ll cost you $40 to do so.
That’s cheaper than Amazon, Azure and Google Cloud, but twice as much as Backblaze B2, which charges $0.02 per gigabyte (read about that in our Backblaze for Business review).
We suggest opting for the new pricing if you download frequently. You can, however, switch between the pricing options later if you decide you made a mistake.
Overall, Wasabi’s pricing should appeal to businesses on a budget. It’s even priced low enough to make for an affordable home backup solution, even with the $30 one-time charge for CloudBerry Backup.
Ease of Use
Signing up for Wasabi takes a few minutes at most. In our case, we created a trial account, which prompted an verification email to create an account password.
Once logged into your new account on the Wasabi website, you’ll need to create a bucket (a data repository) in order start backing up data. You can create as many buckets as you want.
You’ll need to give your bucket a name. There’s also a drop-down menu to select a region, which refers to the data center location. As mentioned, right now the only location is US-East (Ashburn, VA), with a US-West facility opening in early 2018.
You’ll also be given the option to enable or suspend versioning and logging. Versioning refers saving past copies of altered files, in case you want to rollback changes. You can switch both settings later, if needed.
The final step for creating a bucket is to review your selections and hit the “create bucket” button.
You can upload folders and files directly to your newly created Wasabi bucket if you want to, but doing so isn’t really effective for online backup because it’s a one-time upload
Duplicati and CloudBerry Backup both have continuous and scheduled backup options to make sure your computer files get protected without you having to manage the process manually. That, and they have many other handy features besides designed to make your backup more convenient, inclusive and secure.
In order to connect either online backup application to Wasabi, you’ll need to generate an access key, which you can do by logging into your account online, clicking on the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner and selecting “my profile.”
Then, click on the API Access tab.
There you can generate both a key and a secret key that will let your backup solution of choice connect to your Wasabi bucket.
With CloudBerry Backup, for example, you’ll enter the keys when you first select Wasabi as your cloud service of choice upon creating a new backup plan.
We won’t walk you through the rest of the setup process with CloudBerry Backup since that’s outside of this article’s scope. It’s reasonably straightforward, however.
Overall, the Wasabi side of things is about as simple as it can get. More impactful will be which backup service you choose to pair with it.
Wasabi makes some bold speed claims, including being six times faster than Amazon S3. In particular, on its website, Wasabi claims to write 456MB of data in five seconds, compared to 75MB for Amazon S3. You can request a full report — including instructions on recreating the tests — from Wasabi if you need to perform your own testing before committing.
For most users, it’s unlikely Wasabi’s reported speeds will be touched. That’s especially true using WiFi. If your WiFi upload speeds are 10 Mbps, for example, the absolute fastest you could upload a 1000MB of data using a single thread is just over 14 minutes.
We conducted our own tests to see how quickly we could upload and download files using Wasabi with CloudBerry Backup. For these tests, we used a 1GB folder and worked over a WiFi network with 10 Mbps upload and 22 Mbps download speeds.
Here are our results:
Those speeds aren’t terrible when you consider that the files were being encrypted by CloudBerry before being sent. However, they’re also inline with what we’ve seen with Amazon S3, Google Cloud, Backblaze B2 and many other IaaS solutions.
For the record, we conducted these tests from SE Asia. In the United States, you’re likely to see better performance. Of course, if you work from anywhere but the U.S., Amazon S3 has regional servers you can use, while Wasabi does not. That will likely tilt the speed factor to Amazon’s favor.
Wasabi stores your data in hardened data centers designed to thwart both physical and virtual attacks. The data centers are tier four, which is the Uptime Institute’s highest rating with a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee. Security patrols are onsite 24/7 and backed by CCTV surveillance. Biometric scanners help keep trespassers out, as well.
Data is encrypted at rest in the Wasabi cloud, even if you’re not encrypting through your online backup software. HTTPS is also used to secure uploads and downloads from online eavesdropping through man-in-the-middle attacks and the like. For more protection there, consider also running a VPN (find the best VPN).
Wasabi doesn’t give you access to the encryption keys or an option to set them yourself. Even with server-side encryption in place, we’d recommend using an online backup tool that lets you encrypt files prior to leaving your computer. Private, end-to-end encryption ensures nobody but you can read your files.
Both Duplicati and CloudBerry support private encryption, as do many other online backup tools.
Wasabi offers both basic support that’s free and premium support for a hefty $300 per month. The primary difference according the Wasabi website is that premium support gets you telephone support and priority email response.
Email inquiries for basic subscribers are generally answered during business days from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. Premium support emails are answered 24×7. Wasabi support did inform us that the company will try to answer emails from non-premium subscribers during off hours, depending on resource availability.
We didn’t test priority support, but we did fire off some test emails to measure basic support response time. We received responses back within one day on all occasions and even got a reply on a Sunday.
Wasabi has a small knowledgebase and technical support documents. There’s also a getting started video.
Wasabi support isn’t bad, in general, and the representatives seem friendly and knowledgeable. That said, we’d like to see some form of free live channel like chat and 24×7 support for all users. Also, the $300 per month premium support charge is a bit much.
It’s hard to credit Wasabi’s speed claims over Amazon S3. Its unlikely if you’re using Wasabi for backup, that you’ll get speeds that are six times faster than Amazon.
In fact, depending on your location, its likely that Amazon will work better for you thanks to the fact that it has a global server network. Wasabi, meanwhile, only has a single data center in Virginia at the time of this writing, with plans to open a second in early 2018.
That said, there’s no questioning that Wasabi is not only significantly cheaper than Amazon, for most users it’s going to represent better value than even budget-friendly Backblaze B2. Beyond that, the service is easy to use, the security looks solid and the support seems responsive.
If you’re looking for a 1TB home backup setup, pairing Wasabi with CloudBerry Backup seems like the way to go. While there’s certainly more work involved, such a solution may well save you money over online backup options like Backblaze and IDrive, two of Cloudwards.net picks for best online backup.
That’s our hot take on Wasabi. Of course, we welcome other opinions, so feel free to leave yours in the comments below. Thanks for reading.