Backblaze Review (updated Oct. 2014)

Backblaze is an unlimited online backup service for PC and Mac.  It lets you backup all your computer files for as little as $3.96/month.  Founded in 2007, the company now stores over 100 petabytes of customer data.

I’ve been using Backblaze for over a year now, and it has protected my PC the entire time.  Backblaze has changed slightly since my last review, so I’ve re-written it to reflect what I think of it now, in 2014.

Backblaze logo

BackupReview Editor's Choice 2014

Editor's Rating:
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User Rating:
Rating: 3.0/5 (232 votes cast)


  • Easy to use
  • No file size or bandwidth limits
  • Backs up external hard drives automatically
  • Android (new) and iOS apps let you access files anywhere


  • Can only restore files from the web interface; no restore option in the software
  • Can take many hours to prepare files for restore

The Bottom Line

Backblaze provides continuous, automatic, and unlimited online backups at a great price.

Backblaze Pricing

Personal Plans

Backblaze has 3 personal plans to choose from:

  • $5/month per computer
  • or $50/year (save 15%)
  • or $95 for 2 years (save 20%)

Business Plan

  • $50/year per computer

There are no storage limits on any of the plans.  You can have multiple computers under one Backblaze account, by selecting additional licenses on the payment page.

Backblaze: Possibly the Easiest Software Setup Ever

Backblaze makes backing up your computer easy.  It does this by automatically selecting every file and folder for backup to their servers.  Instead of selecting common folders to backup (like with other online backup services), Backblaze backs up everything – even external hard drives, unless you uncheck them.

Backblaze requires no input from you in choosing what to back up.  It’s all automatic.  If you can double click the setup file, you can backup your computer with Backblaze.

Backup and Restore Performance

After installing Backblaze and letting it analyze my computer, it started backing up my files.  My files, which were 100GB in total, were backed up in just over a day.

Backblaze main screen

Backblaze backing up my files.

The Backblaze client used between 5 – 50MB of RAM depending on the number of files backed up, making it lightweight even for demanding backup jobs.

One thing that Backblaze changed from previous versions is that files over 4GB are now backed up by default.  Previously, users had to turn off the max file size setting.  So now large files (such as HD video files) are going to be protected by the default Backblaze settings.

When you choose to restore files through the web interface, Backblaze will send an automated email when the files are ready for download.  You can then download the ZIP, then extract and restore your files.  This allows you to restore files on a computer even if it doesn’t have Backblaze installed.  Backblaze also provides a tool for downloading large restores from their servers, which is more reliable than downloading it through your browser.

Although it’s easy enough to restore files using the web download, I would have liked to see an option to restore files directly from the software.

Backblaze restore screen

Restoring files through the web interface.

I tested my restored files against the original files with a cyclic redundancy check (CRC).  There were no errors among any of the files, which ranged in size from several kilobytes to 20 gigabytes.

Backblaze Settings

Although the default settings are fine for most users, Backblaze is very customizable.  Here are some screenshots of the various settings tabs.

Backblaze settings

Backblaze has many preferences available.

Performance Settings

Backblaze performance settings

Backblaze can throttle your backups to not overwhelm your connection.


Backblaze schedule

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

File Exclusions

Certain file types, such as .ISO and .VMDK, are not backed up but can be removed from the exclusion filters if desired.  Also excluded are system and program folders which you probably don’t want backed up.

Backblaze exclusions

Backblaze file exclusions.

Get Your Files Shipped Right to Your Door

For an additional fee, Backblaze can ship your files to you on a USB flash drive or external hard drive.

The price is $99 for the USB flash drive, which supports restores up to 128GB.  The external hard drive costs $189, and it holds a maximum of 4TB.

Backblaze says most USB restores ship within 3 – 5 days, and the time is dependent on the size of the restore.  Shipping is done via FedEx overnight.

File Versioning

Backblaze keeps up to 34 versions of each file on your computer.

More specifically, 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 spreadsheet you’re working on).

Backblaze Speed

I backed up 100GB of files at 7.2 megabits per second (Mbps), which nearly maxed out my internet connection.  Backblazes states they don’t throttle bandwidth, and this has been my experience every time I’ve tested them.

Backblaze restored my files at a lightning-fast 31 Mbps, completely maxing out my internet connection in the process.  However, it took 11 hours to prepare 100GB of files for restore.  Splitting the restore into 20GB chunks (as recommended) shortened the prepare time to about 4 hours.

So if you need to restore files immediately, Backblaze might not be the best solution.  But if you don’t mind waiting as files are compressed, Backblaze is a superior choice.

Mobile Apps

Backblaze has mobile apps for Android and iOS.

I tried the newly-released Android app and thought it was great for accessing files on the go.  I could browse folders on my computer, select files for download, and open files in other apps.  There’s not much in the way of settings.  Login info can be saved, but that’s the only option.

There is one limitation, and that is files over 30MB can’t be accessed through the mobile app.  Backblaze also can’t backup your mobile device, unlike Carbonite and IDrive.


Backblaze is a very secure online backup service.  All files are stored using 128-bit AES encryption.  Files are also transferred over an encrypted SSL connection, so even if you’re backing up over public WiFi (such as a coffee shop or hotel room), your data remains secure and private.

Your files can only be viewed by entering your email and password.  If you want even more security, you can specify a private encryption passphrase (which not even Backblaze has access to).  However there is no “password reset” for this feature; if you forget your passphrase your data becomes unrecoverable.

As far as storage infrastructure, Backblaze uses fully redundant, custom-built storage pods.

Backblaze storage pods

Backblaze storage pods (photo courtesy of Backblaze)


To contact support, you can submit a 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, available 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. PST.  I contacted live chat on numerous occasions and was always impressed with the help I received.  Backblaze does not offer phone support.  There’s also an online knowledgebase, FAQ, and How-to guides.

Conclusion – Should you use Backblaze?

Backblaze is one of the easiest online backup services on the market.  The software automatically selects external hard drives to backup, and backs up every folder on your hard drive with minimal exclusion filters.  There’s no need to select folders to backup.  Just install the software and let it run.  It’s that easy.

There are a couple downsides.  Restores can take a bit longer than other services, and there’s no option to backup to a local hard drive like with CrashPlan.

However, if you’re looking for a truly unlimited online backup service, Backblaze is a great choice.  It’s affordable, automatic, and doesn’t place any limits on what or how much you can back up.


Product Name Backblaze
Operating Systems WindowMac
Storage Unlimited
Monthly Price $5
Average Upload Speed 7.2 Mbps (8 Mbps connection)
Average Download Speed 31.0 Mbps (30 Mbps connection)

General Features

Free Trial yes
Free Online Storage no
Mobile Apps Android, iOS
Bandwidth Controls yes
NAS Support no

Backup Features

File Versioning yes
Keep Deleted Files 30 Days
Back Up to Local Drive no

Sync and Share Features

File Sync no
Selective Sync no
Public File Sharing no
Collaborative Invites no


Encrypted Storage yes
Encrypted Transfer yes
Personal Encryption yes
Zero-knowledge Encryption yes
Two-factor Authentication yes


Phone Support no
Email Support yes
24/7 Support no
Live Chat yes


Data Center Location(s) Sacramento

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund

Geoff Akerlund is the founder and editor-in-chief of He enjoys attending music festivals, whitewater kayaking on the American River, and board game nights in his free time.

Geoff Akerlund


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@FabacusSuite Just noticed your tweet! I’m not aware of any cloud storage needs specific to manufacturing. I’m open to insight/suggestions. – 2 years ago

  • Ueih Gnad

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

    • anita

      Tried it, and is slow, you are right. too slow for me

  • 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 🙂

  • BobT

    Speeds for backing up remain dire, max 3mbps up also as confirmed by means of their speed test (Ookla). However when I repeat the same speed test using Ookla directly low and behold I get what I expect a upload speed of 10mbps – not impressive given the overwhelming desire to use them!

    • aghosheh

      I have to say uploading my 800+ GB data was a breeze on Blaze compared to Google Drive for example. I am on Google Fiber and the upload and download speeds for my main computer hooked up to the router as meassured by is 997 mgbs. Pretty fast. On Google Drive it took FOREVER, like 12 hours if not more to upload and/or download. With Blaze the whole thing was done in couple of hours. I do have an issue as previous readers mentioned of auto selection of what to backup. I do need to have a bit more control. I would recommend for Blaze to have a Simple Mode and Advanced Modes on the interface.

      • Your internet connection speed is much, much faster than mine. So thank you for sharing that. It’s good to know Backblaze can handle a Google Fiber connection.

  • Arber Ibrahimi

    Backblaze is not Unlimited on any aspect. You can backup anything that is possible to upload with max 8MBPS for 30 days and than you can download this data with max 30mbps within 30 days.

    • Arber, I’m not sure what you mean when you say it’s not unlimited. Can you clarify?

  • concernedcitizen

    Hi. I’m just coming out of a “bad relationship” with my formerly abusive partner Zipcloud (took me a while to work out just how awful their service is) and want to try a new one. One of my problems was backing up a lot of data from one PC, then wanting to back up (more or less) the same data from a new PC. I wanted to just transfer the old PC backup to the new one and save all the time (like, two weeks) of making a new backup. They said it wasn’t possible. Do any of these reputable services do that?

    • Definitely. Backblaze calls this “transfer backup state” and the directions can be found here:

      CrashPlan calls this “adopting another computer” and their directions are here:

      I hope that helps.

      • concernedcitizen

        Nice one, thanks. Just as I suspected, it’s a standard feature in a proper backup service! I can’t believe Zipcloud and the like are getting away with existing. They are literally just scam artists. You would almost forgive them the up-selling and the poor customer service if their service actually worked, but it doesn’t. I recently tried a new backup with them after the aforementioned problem, and it just didn’t happen. Luckily all my data is already backed up on physical disks. I sent them a message regarding this and instead of answering my question, they just sent me a standard email back suggesting I upgrade to their “business plan” because I had exceeded my data allowance – my UNLIMITED data allowance!

        So I learned two things – don’t use Zipcloud and always read the T & Cs, because this is where they get away with stuff like this. I’m still convinced that they are operating in a very grey area of legality, if not outright law-breaking, but I’m no lawyer…Would love to see them get shut down on this basis. Here’s hoping.

  • Ron

    Would there be any reason for requesting an external hard drive copy every year or so just to have on hand for archiving pictures. I’ve been with you now over a year I think and have looked at the data being collected and its in a form that even I understand…I have been with others and its difficult for me not knowing where things are,,,,but love the look of your,
    But seriously would there be a reason to have a hard copy once in awhile…I’m leaning that way

    • Hi Ron. Just to be clear: this site isn’t owned or operated by Backblaze. To answer your question, keeping local backups in addition to online backups is always a good idea. Yes, I suppose you could request a USB hard drive (at a cost of $189) every year from Backblaze. However, a much better solution would be to make local backups yourself, using separate software. That way you could re-use the hard drive, and you wouldn’t have to spend $189 every time you want a local copy.

  • AC Ratone

    ” Backblaze makes backing up your computer easy. It does this by automatically selecting every file and folder for backup to their servers. Instead of selecting common folders to backup (like with other online backup services), Backblaze backs up everything – even external hard drives, unless you uncheck them. ”

    “Certain file types, such as .ISO and .VMDK, are not backed up but can be removed from the exclusion filters if desired. Also excluded are system and program folders which you probably don’t want backed up.”

    These two statements in the original review are contradictory. And this is a VERY serious problem for me. Indeed it is what decided me to discontinue my Backblaze subscription. I do NOT want Backblaze to backup anything unless I tell it to! The last thing in the world I want is for a RESTORE to overwrite stuff I do not WANT restored/changed. I only want certain things backed up and restored. This is the ONLY way to keep from having a RESTORE hosing my data.

    What is needed is a program a whole lot like Backblaze that does NOT decide by itself what to backup. Indeed Backblaze advertising says something like , we don’t think users should have to go through a process deciding what to backup, so we do that for them.

    OK fine, thanks for the warning Backblaze. I’m still searching for an easy to use backup solution that backs up nothing until I tell it to, and then backs that up over and over again on schedule until I tell it to slop.

    • AC,

      Sorry if I wasn’t clear. Yes, Backblaze doesn’t let the user choose what to back up (only what not to back up). If you want that level of control, you’ll definitely want to search for another service.

      You can pick and choose which files/folders to restore, so there’s no risk of overwriting anything. Also, files are downloaded in a ZIP, so there are additional dialogs you must go through (when unzipping them) before anything could be overwritten.

      • Michael

        Ok, now I’m confused. If you can choose what *not* to back up, how does that not allow you to do the same thing as choosing what to back up? If you exclude everything but what you want to back up, isn’t the end result the same? Maybe a bit more work as there are more things you need to tell it, but otherwise the same?

  • schtickmeister

    Geoff – thanks for the excellent analyses of this product which I have used for a couple years and am very happy with. What I’d like to find is a cloud storage product where I can park files without their being dependent on synching – I don’t want to have something disappear because I delete it (or lose it) on my local machine – even Backblaze will disappear it if 30 days go by and it’s gone – any suggestions? Thanks so much.

    • You’re welcome! With what you’re looking for, any cloud storage service will do (IDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.). You can simply turn off syncing for certain folders in your account. Some services call this “selective sync.” These folders won’t be sync’ed to your computers; they will exist in the cloud only.

      • schtickmeister

        Thanks again, Geoff – I didn’t even think about that option and of course, you are absolutely correct. Thank you!

  • Jeff

    TERRIBLE SERVICE!!! Used the Free Trial to test their system. Excluded all files except for two folders on an external drive to make the test very simple and straightforward. Backblaze still failed. Multiple issues required using their Chat Customer Support twice. Second time involved needing to recover files due to a failing hard drive, which is what prompted me to test their service in the first place. On both occasions, had to fight them for almost 30 minutes to get anything more than a “wait for 24 hours for the system to update.” Based on my setup, I knew it was a Backblaze issue, not a “system update” issue. When they finally provided me with actually troubleshooting assistance, it turned out to be Backblaze at fault both times. When called out on their poor support, all they did was defend their poor practices, all the way up to the Director of Support, so they clearly have no intention of improving. Also, the record of our Chat, that was supposed to be emailed to me automatically, mysteriously never showed up. That’s how they cover their stupidity!

  • On their website Backblaze says they use consumer grade hard drives in their servers to keep costs down. I don’t know how common that is, but it makes me uneasy.

  • rj

    Service seems good and I’m sure it works for some. However, my experience was not good. The Backblaze backup client completely locked up my external drive to the point nothing was usable if backblaze was running. I set performance to lowest and even tried manually backing up only at night when I was going to bed but when I would try to use the drive or files in the morning I could not. The only resolution was to pause the backup and reboot the machine. Then everything would work perfectly. Support was no help and only sent a generic reply with links to support articles for how to adjust bandwidth usage and performance seettings. Both of which I had already found an tried various settings to no avail. I deleted my account and got a refund very quickly. They seem not to give a crap honestly and that is fine with me. I’ll move on to another service that works without making my drive unusable during the backup.