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Backblaze Online Backup Review

Backblaze is an online backup solution that backs up its customers data and files to the Cloud.  Sounds like just about every other online backup provider right?  Well, the biggest difference between Backblaze and its competitors is that it offers truly unlimited cloud storage space, and it doesn't sacrifice features for doing so.

Backblaze offers 3 separate plans, catering to individuals, businesses, and large enterprises.  Here are the biggest key features that you should know about:

  • Web Download - Sign in from anywhere to easily download a zip file with your data
  • Easily backup your MAC or PC into the cloud.
  • Unlimited file sizes.  Unlimited files.  Unlimited speed.
  • All data is stored in secured datacenters with 24-hour staff and biometric security.
  • All files are encrypted before being transferred over a SSL connection.

Who Should Use Backblaze? 

Backblaze has a very simple interface and environment with absolutely no surprises. It is marketed as a dedicated online backup service, and that is exactly what it is. It might not have many fancy features available as the other cloud backup services on the market, but that is because Backblaze wants to keep all its attention solely on backup.

service options

This is the reason it can be used by both personal and business users. If you are a personal user looking for a cloud backup app that does not annoy you too much with emails and sudden pop up on your desktop, then you should give Backblaze a try. It’s a completely automated online backup service which means all you have to do is log in to Backblaze, and it will take care of everything else.

While Backblaze might not have bare metal recovery or image backup, it still attracts business users with its reliable backup and always-running servers.


Backup and Restoration

With all the other cloud backup services, you first have to install them and then select what folders you want to upload, but with Backblaze, you never have to do that.

backup panel

Since this is a fully automated backup service, it starts scanning and uploading your files to the server as soon as you download its desktop app. Yes, it’s important to download the desktop app to give it the necessary permissions to work in the background and upload files.

You only get one option when it comes to what to download – you can select hard drives. The main drive is selected by default, and you can select or deselect other drives. But apart from that, you cannot select any folder; Backblaze handles it all by itself.

preferences

In fact, when you check its desktop app, you will see only three buttons on it – Backup now/ pause backup, settings and restore options. When you go over to the Settings, there are not many options to customize your backup. You can select bandwidth throttle, decide whether you want to backup continuously or only once per day, and you can also exclude certain folders. All the system folders are excluded by default, but if there are some critical documents on your drive that you don’t want to backup, then you can exclude them from here. Remember that you can only exclude and not include certain folders. There is also an option to view logs and reports of the backups created.

Coming to restore options, there are three ways to do that:​

  • Download from the web app
  • Get a 128 GB USB Flash drive mailed
  • Get all your files sent in a USB drive
restore screen

These can prove to be useful when you have several terabytes of data on your Backblaze account. We also have to mention that Backblaze is a genuinely unlimited cloud backup service. You will never receive an email for fair usage nor will you ever face any issues uploading new data. Some cloud backup services claim to provide unlimited backup, but when you finally start using it, you realize there are a hundred clauses linked to the word ‘unlimited.' But trust us when we say that Backblaze is indeed unlimited.

We were mostly impressed by its blazing speeds. Backblaze has default settings; it doesn’t let users play around with it, and that is probably the reason it is one of the top performers when it comes to speed. You can blame it on bandwidth throttling, but we like to believe that it’s because of the powerful software.

performance options

The only issue we faced was while backing up data from an external drive. While Backblaze efficiently backs up data from it, users are required to attach their hard drive to their system at least once in 30 days otherwise Backblaze will delete all the data backed up from it. This can be a little difficult for people who travel a lot and do not have all their hard disks with them at all times.


Privacy & Security

Backblaze encrypts data when it’s in transit and when it’s at rest. In transit, when data is being transferred from your computer to its server, data has an SSL/ TLS encryption. And when the data is at rest, the software uses AES encryption to keep it secure.

It also provides local encryption which means your data is encrypted locally on your system before being sent to the server. The user sets the key for the encryption, and this key is never shared or accessed by Backblaze. This gives you an extra security layer to make sure your data is always secure and safe. It has a 128-bit local side encryption and 256-bit server side encryption.


Web & Mobile App

Backblaze’s web app is as simple as it desktop app. You can view or restore all the backed up files and as a bonus feature, you can also locate your computer through the app. Though what we didn’t like was that there was no option to upload manually files on the web app as well. Backblaze does everything on its own.

Other than that, you can set your encryption key through the web app as well, and you can also manage your subscriptions.

Backblaze does not allow you to backup data from your mobile. And that is probably the reason its mobile app is so plain. At least in the iPhone app, you only get two options – downloads and browse. So, you can either browse all the backed up data, or you can download it, but there is no way to upload data from your phone. The phone app is helpful when you want to view your desktop data when you don’t have it with you.


Pricing and Plans

pricing

Backblaze’s simplicity is reflected in its pricing plans too. There is only one plan with unlimited storage - $5 per month or $50 per year. This makes it extremely easy for the customers to understand the payment system and be assured that there are no extra costs.

With no free storage, there is a 15-day trial offered by the company which is an excellent option to try the service and see if it completely fits your requirements.


What is Backblaze Missing? 

Not being able to decide what to backup is a major issue which could annoy a majority of the users. While Backblaze backs up everything it deems important, not every user will agree with it. We all have some folders that are so critical that we cannot upload them to the cloud. Though there is an option to exclude folders, it can prove to be time-consuming if there many folders that need to be excluded. Also, Backblaze cannot backup network attached storage drives.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is BackBlaze?

BackBlaze is a tool that allows users to easily backup their data from Windows or Mac to the Cloud.  This online backup service offers easy file sharing, fast speeds, and unlimited storage space.  Backblaze offers plans for both personal and business usage.

How Much Does Backblaze Cost?

​The cost for Backblaze computer backup is $5 per month per computer, or $50 yearly.  For business plans, the cost is $5/month per terabyte.

How Long Does Backblaze Keep My Files?

Once you delete your data and files, it will be removed from Backblaze's server after thirty days. 

Is Backblaze Encrypted?

Backblaze has built-in data encryption.  The files scheduled for backup are encrypted on your machine before being transferred through a SSL connection to BackBlaze's cloud datacenter where they are stored encrypted on disk. 

Tech Specs: 

Specifications

  • Free Storage: No
  • Free Trial: 15 days
  • System: Windows and Mac
  • Price: Starting at $5/month

Mobile

  • Mobile Apps: iOS, Android

Backup Features

  • Synchronization: Yes
  • Free External HD Backup: Yes
  • Continuous Backup: Yes
  • Incremental Backup: Yes
  • Backup Scheduling: Yes
  • Bare Metal Backup: No
  • Exclude File Extensions for Backup: Yes
  • Network Drives: No
  • Bandwidth Throttling: Yes
  • Web Access: Yes
  • HIPAA Compliant: No
  • File Size Limit: No limit
  • Included Machines: 1

Sharing/Collaboration

  • File Sharing: No
  • Multiple Accounts: No
  • Share Photo Albums: No
  • Music Streaming: No
  • Folder Collaboration: No
  • Outlook Backup: Yes

Security

  • Local Encryption: 128-bit
  • Server Side Encryption: 256-bit
  • Keeps deleted files: 30 days
  • File Versioning: 30 versions
Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Sara - August 13, 2016

I have a lot of data heavy files so other cloud storage providers are not expansive enough to be worth my time. The unlimited storage space is the number one thing that attracted me to BackBlaze. I was somewhat surprised with how easy it was to get this app up and running and the speeds it runs at were great. It took far less time than I expected to completely back up every file on my PC.

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Ron - August 13, 2016

I gave my son a 2 year subscription to BackBlaze since he is away at school and he has told me it is a lot better than the services and storage offered by his school. He has over 3 TB stored and the upload and download speeds are enough that he has no complaints. Dropbox wasn’t working out for him since he has so many large files to deal with.

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Chas Benning - August 13, 2016

As a part time journalist I am very paranoid about file loss. I am a loyal fan of BackBlaze because I can access deleted files and all my documents are instantly backed up throughout my network. I regret staying with my other service as long as I did because it cost a lot more and was not as fast as BackBlaze is. I have used this cloud storage on PC and Macs and couldn’t tell any difference in performance.

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Deb - August 13, 2016

Finally a service that doesn’t limit the maximum size of files you upload. With as much video as I have it really is a pain when a cloud storage service says I can’t upload a file larger than a gig. With BackBlaze unlimited I can concentrate on my work and all the back up is taken care of for me regardless of what types of files I am working with that day.

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