Backblaze vs. Carbonite – Is There a Clear Winner?

What sort of data do you keep on your computer? If you’re like most people, you probably keep a variety of photos, music and other media on your PC. You probably also store important, personal documents such as financial info and medical records.

backblaze vs carbonite

If any of this information were to be lost or destroyed, you’d likely be unhappy at best and in real trouble at worst. Unfortunately, your PC is vulnerable to both virtual and physical damage. A natural disaster, leaky basement, virus or something else can permanently damage your PC and cause important files to disappear.

Backblaze

backblaze

Backblaze isn’t just the name of the company, it’s also an accurate description of the services provided. This online backup platform is fast – blazingly fast. They don’t offer many frills or features, just fast, reliable file storage and protection.

Founded in 2007, CEO Gleb Budman and CTO Brian Wilson created the service as a data backup solution for their personal use. Since the initial launch, however, Backblaze has quickly grown into a worldwide company. According to Deloitte, they’re one of the top 500 fastest growing tech companies.

Key Features:

  • Automated Online Backup
  • Scheduling Options
  • Fast Speeds
  • Unlimited Storage Space
  • Continuous Backup

Carbonite

carbonite png logo

Sometimes there’s simply no substance on earth strong enough to reflect your company’s level of security and reliability. This is the thought process behind Carbonite, which is actually named after the fictional element from The Empire Strikes Back used to capture Han Solo.

While their name is inspired by fantasy, their service is certainly very real. Carbonite offers unlimited cloud storage, private encryption and security settings which are compliant with most major standards including HIPAA, GLBA and FERPA.

Carbonite doesn’t offer any free plans but their prices are reasonable, their support is U.S. based and their entire platform has a lot to offer.

Key Features:

  • Unlimited Storage
  • Compliant with Major Regulations
  • Private Encryption
  • Incremental Backup
  • Mobile App

Which Company is Easier to Use?

which one to choose

Online backup can cause some funny behavior in users. If the backup platform is confusing or difficult to use, most people will simply not backup as frequently. Even if you want a platform which features a lot of customization and options, you’ll still need the basic backup features to perform effortlessly.

Backblaze is extremely easy-to-use. The entire service is completely automated. As soon as installation is complete, Backblaze scans your entire hard drive and uploads your files. This entire process is done in the background so you can still use your PC.

Carbonite is a powerful platform with a variety of features including HIPPA security compliance, unlimited storage space and private encryption. But don’t be intimidated. The basic backup features are very easy to use. Carbonite can be set to automatically upload all the data, video, images, music and other files on your system. A color-coded system lets you easily see which files are backed up and which aren’t.

Backblaze is easier in the sense you have less buttons to click. But we’re not thrilled with the lack of options. With Backblaze you can only select which hard drive, not folders, you want to upload. If you don’t want to store the entire contents of your hard drive, but would rather backup select files and folders, then Carbonite is really the easier option.


Which Company is Fastest?

A data disaster can happen at any time. So when you want to backup files to the cloud, you don’t want to waste a lot of time. If backing up individual files and folders is too complicated, time consuming or resource intensive for your computer, then you might just decide to skip backup entirely. The more times you decide to forgo backing up your files, the more useless your cloud storage provider becomes. In order to be effective, your cloud storage provider needs to be fast.

Backblaze is going to run fast and, frankly, there’s not much you can do about that. The default setting can’t be altered by the user. This means Backblaze will likely throttle your bandwidth and ensure resources are always available for your cloud storage. You can even use the Backblaze speed test to see how fast you’ll be able to backup files.

Remember when Han Solo was freed from his carbonite prison? Only a few button presses on the side of the block and he was instantly free. Carbonite the cloud storage provider takes the same approach. Retrieving data from the cloud takes a few mouse clicks. You can even turn on Carbonite’s data throttling feature so all your internet resources are dedicated towards making data retrieval as fast as possible.

Both services offer fast backup recovery. When files on your PC are lost, you can be confident backup copies will be ready and waiting. We do think Carbonite provides the fastest recovery times, if not always the fastest speeds. Aside from all the traditional recover features, and their bandwidth throttling feature, they also offer a paid service where large files can be mailed overnight to you on a flash drive. For large recoveries, such as system recoveries, this is going to be the fastest restoration method possible.


Is One Company More Reliable than the Other?

cloud storage reliability

If data goes missing from your PC, you already have enough problems. Worrying about the security of your stored data should be the last thing on your mind. A reliable storage provider will have both technically secure servers as well as an established reputation for guarding customer privacy.

Backblaze has been around since 2007 and has a proven track record of satisfied users. Located in San Mateo, California, they offer U.S. based support from a helpful, knowledgeable team. Their highly automated platform is another reason this is a company you can count on. User error isn’t much of a worry because the advanced software does all the work for you.

Over 1.5 million individuals trust Carbonite to protect their photos, music, documents and other previous data. Apparently, if it’s good enough for Jabba the Hutt, it’s good enough for everyone else. Another reassuring fact about Carbonite is that they were founded in 2005. This makes them a veteran within the cloud storage industry.

Backblaze is reliably fast, and there’s certainly plenty of reasons to trust them to protect your data, but we feel Carbonite is the more reliable company overall. The primary reason for this is their age. Founded in 2005, they’re actually one of the first providers to enter the market. They have a long, established reputation for trustworthiness and competency.


What Kind of Features are Offered?

Do you want to store your entire hard drive in the cloud as a safeguard against total data loss? Or do you have a few important files which you want to store yet which you’ll also need to update often? The type of features you’ll need in a cloud storage provider depend on the type of data you plan to store.

backblaze carbonite features

Backblaze’s speed is the feature which really makes the service stand out from the crowd. Fast backup and fast storage are the name of the game here. Backblaze uses automated, full hard drive backup where the user can’t make a lot of adjustments. This allows the fully optimized power of the Backblaze platform to bring you “blazing” fast speeds.

Carbonite’s most compelling feature is probably their ease-of-use. After installation, Carbonite can automatically upload everything on your PC. You can back up your entire system without ever having to know anything but the bare basics as to how cloud storage works.

Although Carbonite can do practically everything for you automatically, there are also options available. You can select specific folders for backup or even specific file types. This flexibility is why we feel the features offered by Carbonite are better than those offered by Backblaze.


How Does Each Company Handle Security?

Cloud storage has two major types of encryption. Local encryption protects the data on your PC. Server side encryption protects your data during storage. There’s also physical security, which are the steps taken by the provider to ensure their servers are always up and running no matter what environmental conditions may be occurring.

Backblaze moves your data quickly while also keeping that data secure. In transit, data is given SSL/TLS encryption. Server side, AES encryption protects the data while stored. 128-bit local side encryption and 256-bit server side encryption provides another security layer.

carbonite backblaze security

Carbonite provides a variety of top security features. Storage is compliant with HIPAA, GLBA, FERPA and other official regulations. Server side and local encryption are 256-bit. With proper encryption, not even Carbonite will know what type of data you’re storing on their servers.

Security for both providers is very strong. Your data should be sufficiently protected both in transit and in storage. By a small margin, we choose Carbonite over Backblaze. Carbonite specifically states they’re compliant with many different government regulations, which makes them the better choice for storing sensitive personal data.


What Are the Differences in Pricing?

Backblaze offers everyone 15 days for free to trail out their service. After that, they offer a simple and straightforward pricing plan. Backblaze is $5 a month or $50 a year.

cost options carbonite backblaze

Carbonite offers a variety of personal and business plans. Their basic personal plan is $59.99 annually and includes unlimited cloud storage, external drive backup and remove file access for one computer. The Plus plan, at $99.99, includes all these features plus mirror image backup. Finally, their Prime plan has all features including the option to have your files sent to you on a flash drive overnight by courier.

It’s hard to find fault with Backblaze’s no-nonsense pricing structure. There aren’t multiple plans to consider, just one simple price for one simple service. We like that. In terms of price alone, we favor Backblaze over Carbonite.


So, Which Do We Like Better?

Backblaze only offers a few features but they implement those features very well. They’re a fast, automated, low-priced backup storage provider. If that’s all you’re looking – and nothing else – then you’ll be perfectly happy with their service.

carbonite png logo

But we’re actually going to recommend Carbonite over Backblaze. Most users don’t want something so simple as to be sometimes restrictive. Carbonite lets you select specific folders and files for backup. They offer several different types of paid plans. Plus, they have a long tradition of protecting the privacy of their users. While we certainly run the risk of offending Han Solo, we think Carbonite is the better option of the two.

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