Backblaze Review - A Powerful Backup Service
Written byBranko K
Updated · May 19, 2022
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- No storage limit
- Very cheap
- Refundable courier service
- Lacks more advanced features
- Backs up everything by default
People change their computers far more often than before and it seems that the only options are losing files or going through tedious backups. Because of that, the popularity of online backup services just keeps rising.
But how to find a simple yet affordable solution in the sea of choices? Enter Backblaze. It’s a cheap, quick, and easy-to-use service. Sounds too good to be true? In this Backblaze review, we’ll test and evaluate its features to see whether that’s the case.
What Is Backblaze?
Backblaze is an online backup and cloud storage service suitable for novices with a limited budget.
How Does Backblaze Work?
First, you have to set up an account. It is pretty straightforward and you can start backing up your files immediately.
Keep in mind that Backblaze is a backup service with file hosting capabilities. But in this review, we’ll focus on the former.
Devices and Operating Systems
This software has PC and Mac versions, as well as Android and iOS apps. However, you can only backup files from a single computer. You can use the mobile apps to retrieve the files that you have backed up with Backblaze.
It is time for the juiciest part of our Backblaze review - its main features.
File Types and Limits
Backblaze backs up nearly everything by default unless you specifically list which files you want to be secured.
It does not cover system files, applications, Windows and Mac disk images, virtual machine files, and drivers. But these exclusions can be removed manually.
Additionally, Backblaze has no file size limit. Should you need it, though, you can easily set it up.
The Backblaze backup options are somewhat basic but comprehensive enough. You can either let the program continuously copy files in the background, set a certain time for it to perform a daily backup, or do it on-demand.
Its scheduling is rather limited, but it does the job.
Although it’s not very flexible, Backblaze allows you to control the backup process to some extent.
Most online backup services do not support this feature—unfortunately, Backblaze is one of them. But that’s not entirely a bad thing—block-level uploads can compromise your cybersecurity and do prevent zero-knowledge encryption. And if you still want to take advantage of this feature, Backblaze’s cloud storage counterpart, B2, provides it.
Backblaze supports multithreading, which means you can upload multiple files simultaneously.
It also allows you to adjust the number of threads to optimize the upload speed without impacting the overall performance of your device.
Throttling allows you to achieve optimal file upload speed while still performing other activities. It is set automatically to use 70-90% of your bandwidth, but you can also adjust it manually.
Backblaze has no version history limit for your files.
But you can only keep older versions and deleted files for 30 days unless you pay up. For an additional $2 per month, the deleted file retention period goes all the way up to one year. If you add $0.005/month per a gigabyte’s worth of files that you’ve changed, you will get rid of the time limit entirely.
Unfortunately, the Backblaze full-image backup option is not available. If you find that crucial, consider some of the Backblaze alternatives we at Web Tribunal discuss below.
Types of Restore
Backblaze doesn’t perform a bare-metal restore either.
To recover your file, you can download a zip file with your data (up to 500 GB), permanently save them with the Backblaze storage service, or have them shipped to you on a USB flash or hard drive. The last two options come at an additional price.
If your computer dies or you lose valuable data, you can request a Backblaze external hard drive or a USB Flash drive with your files. The provider will send it to you via FedEx. Another important benefit is that this makes offline data restoration possible, which speeds up the process significantly.
You can request a Backblaze hard drive with up to 8 TB of capacity for $189 or a USB drive with a maximum size of 256 GB for $99.
If you return the drive to Backblaze in up to 30 days, you will be eligible for a full refund.
Users have fairly different thoughts on Backblaze’s speed. Everybody agrees that it is not ideal and that the download is much faster than the upload.
The first Backblaze backup is relatively slow, but it gets better afterward. If you aren’t content with the speeds, try to enable multithreading or change the throttling settings.
With Backblaze, you can restore your data to a new computer or find your device if it’s lost with the Locate My Computer feature. The online device locator that the web client offers can map your computer by showing you where it is and its IP address so you can report everything to the police.
Ease of Use
The software’s simplicity is one of its main advantages. It’s easy to install, even easier to use, and it backs up everything by default.
This, along with its low price, is the main point of praise in nearly every Backblaze review by users. If you’re looking for a straightforward solution, Backblaze is the right choice for you.
Backblaze Personal vs Business Plans
The Backblaze online backup service has a simple pricing plan, the Personal Backup Plan, which comes in one variant for a single computer.
It includes all the previously mentioned features, and you can try it for free for 15 days. Should you pay for two full years, the monthly fee goes down to $5.42.
It's virtually the same as the personal plan, but you can purchase it for as many devices as you’d like—the price will increase accordingly. The business solution also offers a Backblaze Cloud Server/NAS Backup. The cost is calculated based on the amount of storage you use. For example, every 1,000GB will set you back $5. But you can change the storage options and subscription period and the price will vary accordingly.
Backblaze Backup has several support options.
The starting tier is called GIGA support.
It does not provide 24/7 service and the support team replies to your inquiries in one business day.
The other two programs, named TERA and PETA, come with 24/7 support and reduce the reply times to four and two business hours, respectively.
However, these plans are relatively expensive ($150 and $400 per month).
Other than email support, there’s also a Help section on the official website and an official subreddit. Even the software’s developers are present on Reddit, so you can read the opinions of users and devs in the same place.
Privacy & Security
For a simple cloud backup service, Backblaze’s security is decent. Sure, it may not have an AES 256-bit encryption protocol, but it comes with AES 128-bit. In practical terms, it is impossible to crack this encryption, so it provides sufficient protection.
You can also enable private encryption, but Backblaze will not store your key. Although this increases security, if you lose it, you won’t be able to access your files ever again.
Overall, the security is very solid—the provider offers two-factor authentication, which is one of the most important features that such software could have.
Backblaze User Reviews
The Backblaze Cloud backup reviews are nearly uniform. The low-price unlimited file storage is almost unbeatable, especially considering the program’s simplicity. However, there are many advanced features that Backblaze does not have.
This and the encryption issues are the most common user complaints about the software.
When to Use Backblaze
Backblaze, in comparison to other cloud backup services, pales as a business solution. It is an excellent choice for home users—performing single-machine home backups at a low price.
But it lacks many advanced options—system image backup, bare-metal restores, block-level uploads. Its speed won’t satisfy advanced users either.
If you’re looking for a backup solution for your business or multiple devices, you’d have to consider other options. Here’s how Backblaze stacks up to its competitors.
Backblaze vs IDrive
This comparison comes down to what you’re looking for in a backup service. Backblaze is cheaper and has no bandwidth limitations, while IDrive has an abundance of advanced options. The speeds are similar, but unlike Backblaze, IDrive has a free version.
Still, it all comes down to your needs.
Backblaze vs Carbonite
This is a much fairer stand-off. While Backblaze is cheaper and has more features, Carbonite is easier to use and offers a File Explorer integration.
Backblaze’s privacy is not ideal, but it has better download speeds. Carbonite fights back with faster upload speeds and the support of multiple computers. Both Carbonite and Backblaze have unlimited storage.
Backblaze vs Acronis True Image
One of the biggest downsides of Backblaze is the inability to perform a full-system backup. If this is a high priority for you, Acronis True Image has you covered. It does full-image backups, packs a multitude of other features, and has great security.
Its main downsides are the high price and the occasional lag.
If you need cheap online backup service for a single computer, Backblaze might be your best choice. It’s cheap, simple, and you can store as much data as you want. You are still better off looking for something else if you’re on the lookout for advanced features, though.
This is also a pretty secure program, but, as we already mentioned in our Backblaze review, it does gather a bit of your data. The web client could be a little better, but it more than makes up for this with the device locator and remote restore options.
Backblaze is only a cloud backup (not cloud storage) software, which can be used on a single computer. The low price is there to compensate for all that.
Yes. It’s not the safest service around, but its level of security should be sufficient for home users.
With its courier service, device locator, and remote restore options, we would say it’s reliable enough.
It keeps them forever, but older versions and deleted files will only be retained for 30 days. To learn how to increase the retention period, read the Versioning section of this Backblaze review.
Yes. You can back up as much data as you want for a very affordable price.
Branko is a round-the-clock tech geek and loving it. His ideal vacation destination is the Akihabara District (or really any place he can take his computer). If there’s a server out there, count on him to find out what it’s made of… and tell you all about it.
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