Backblaze Review

Backblaze is an online backup service for Windows and Mac.  It backs up your most important files to their servers, which can later be restored in the event of a disaster. Backblaze is a pioneer of the “unlimited backup” movement, and in my opinion one of the best online backup services out there.

Backblaze logo

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Editor's Rating:
GD Star Rating
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Pros

  • Unlimited online backups
  • Easy, user-friendly interface
  • Fast backup speed
  • Low price ($5/month)

Cons

  • You can only restore files through the web interface
  • Although unlimited, the default file size limit is 4GB (can be disabled)
  • There’s no option to backup to a local drive

The Bottom Line

Backblaze protects your files 24/7.  It offers fast, secure, unlimited online backups for an unbeatable monthly price.

Plans and Pricing

For Your Home

  • $3.96 a month for 2 years ($95 total)
  • $4.17 a month for 1 year ($50 total)
  • $5 auto-bill each month

For Your Business

  • $50 per computer, per year

Backing Up

After installing, Backblaze automatically scans your hard drive for files to back up.  It will also backup all connected USB drives at the time of the install (you can add more later). Backups are automatic and continuous; your files are backed up constantly throughout the day.

Backblaze main screen

Backblaze backing up my files.

Backblaze also has an option to “Transfer Backup State.”  This lets you transfer your account to a new computer, without having to re-upload all your files again.

Restoring Files

Option 1: Download Your Files

When your computer crashes or you lose data, getting your files back is the first thing on your mind.  Fortunately, Backblaze makes this easy. You can download your files through the web interface.  Your files will be compressed to a .zip before downloading, and for 100GB worth of data this will take about 4 days (according to my speed tests).

Restoring files in Backblaze

Downloading files through the web interface.

Option 2: Get Your Files Mailed to You

If you have a large amount of data, it might be faster to have them mailed to you on a USB flash drive or external hard drive. The price for the USB flash drive is $99, and it holds a maximum of 53GB.  The external hard drive costs $189, and it holds a maximum of 3TB. Backblaze says it can take 2-3 days to mail the drive.  With overnight shipping, that’s up to 4 days before you can get your data back.  At this point it might be faster to download them, depending on your internet connection speed – something to keep in mind.

Preferences and Settings

Although Backblaze is very good at picking the best backup plan, there are a ton of settings to customize if you want to.

Backblaze main settings

Backblaze has a lot of settings to customize.

Performance Settings

Backblaze performance settings

Backblaze can throttle your backups to not overwhelm your connection.

Scheduling Options

Backblaze schedule settings

Backblaze can backup data continuously, once per day, or manually.

Excluding Files

You can exclude folders, file types, and files over a certain size.  There are a lot of exclusions already set, mostly system files and other files you wouldn’t normally back up. The default max file size is 4GB.  This can be changed anywhere from 5MB to 25GB, or turned off with “no limit” (like I prefer).

Backblaze file exclusions

Backblaze file exclusions.

How Long are Deleted Files Kept?

Deleted files are kept for 30 days. In other words: if you delete a file on your computer, you have 30 days to recover it before it’s deleted from the Backblaze servers.

What About Multiple Versions of Files?

If a file changes, Backblaze will keep up to 34 versions. Backblaze will backup:

  • One version every hour, for the last 24 hours
  • One version every day, for the last 7 days
  • One version every week, for the last 4 weeks

This way, you can restore files even if they’ve been overwritten by newer files (such as a text document you’re working on).

Speed

Backblaze is very fast when backing up and restoring files. The backup speed maxed out my upload bandwidth at 7.8 megabits per second (Mbps), which is about 80 gigabytes per day. Restore speeds averaged 17.7 Mbps.  This means it would take about one day to restore a 200GB hard drive over the internet.

Mobile Apps

Backblaze recently released an iOS app.  With it, you can view your backed up files from your iPhone.

Security

Backblaze transfers your files using SSL, which ensures nobody on the network can see what you’re backing up.  This is important with public WiFi such as coffee shops or hotel rooms. All your files are stored using 128 bit AES encryption. Your files can only be viewed by entering your email and password.  If you want even more security, you can specify a private encryption key (which not even Backblaze has access to).  However there is no “password reset” for this feature; if you forget your key your data becomes unrecoverable.

Support

To contact support, you can submit a support request through their online help desk.  I submitted a request and was responded to quickly, within 1 business day. For a more immediate response, Backblaze now offers live chat support, available from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. PST. Backblaze does not offer phone support.  They do have an online knowledgebase, FAQ, and How-to guides.

Summary

Backblaze is fast, easy to use, and keeps your files protected 24/7.  However, be sure to turn off the 4GB file size limit if you’re backing up large files, such as high definition videos.  Other than that, it’s hard to find any faults with Backblaze. The company’s commitment to transparency, security, and giving back to the community (see: Backblaze Storage Pod) has built them a loyal following of fans (including me!). If you’re looking for an unlimited online backup service, Backblaze is a great choice.

Specifications
Product Name Backblaze
Version 2.3.0.631
Operating Systems WindowMac
Storage Unlimited
Monthly Price $5
Upload (Backup) Speed 7.8 Mbps
Download (Restore) Speed 17.7 Mbps
Features
Automatic Backup yes
Selective Backup yes
Local Backup no
Free Trial yes
Free Online Storage no
File Versioning yes
Keep Deleted Files 30 Days
Bandwidth Controls yes
Mobile Apps iOS
Public Sharing no
Security
Encrypted Storage yes
Encrypted Transfer yes
Personal Encryption yes
Support
Phone Support no
Email Support yes
24/7 Support no
Live Chat yes
Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund is the founder and editor-in-chief of BackupReview.com. He is a cloud fanatic and regularly reviews online backup services. He believes backups should be easy, affordable, and automatic.
Geoff Akerlund

@backupsoftware

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Would be nice to have a statement from @Genie9Backup or @ZoolzCloud on meta data scanning http://t.co/DgxFmBYJGV - 1 week ago
 
  • Ueih Gnad

    Good server but speed outside US still low,hope they fix it

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  • Vaïno Paivarinta

    Thanks for the review. I tried Crashplan first, and then Backblaze. I found Backblaze really good, and already bought the 1 year plan. The first backup took a long time (about 2 weeks) but now it’s always up-to-date. I am outside US, and the upload speed was about 1.00 MBits/sec. When I have to retreive a backup file I’ll write the rest of my review :-)

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    • http://www.backupreview.com/ Geoff Akerlund

      Awesome, thanks for sharing Vaïno.

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