Backblaze and Carbonite are two of the leading online backup services. They both offer unlimited cloud storage, affordable pricing, and similar features. Carbonite has been in business a couple years longer, and is a $300 million publicly traded company. Backblaze on the other hand has taken the online backup industry by storm, and is now storing over 100 petabytes of customer data.
So which should you choose to backup your files? I’ll take a look at how both of these services perform in this in-depth comparison.
Ease of Use
Both Backblaze and Carbonite are among the easiest online backup services. The Backblaze software installs on your computer and begins backing up your data immediately, just like Carbonite. Files are automatically selected for backup, and there’s no lengthy setup process with either service.
Files can be easily restored from the web interface. One thing I liked about Carbonite is that files can also be restored from the desktop software. From the Restore tab, you can search and restore, browse your backup, or restore all files. Backblaze only lets you restore files from the web interface, by downloading a ZIP.
Backblaze is less expensive, overall.
Backblaze charges $5/month per computer, with the same features on all their plans. You can save 15% by paying for 1 year in advance, at $50/year. Or save 20% by paying $95 for 2 years.
Carbonite offers 1-year, 2-year, and 3-year subscription lengths. The Basic plan is $59.99/year per computer, which includes unlimited data. The Plus plan is $99.99/year, which adds external hard drive and mirror image backups. The Prime plan is $149.99/year and adds automatic video backup and a courier recovery service. You can save 5% by paying for 2 years in advance, or 10% by paying for 3 years in advance.
Although Carbonite has a couple unique features, Backblaze places less restrictions on the types of files it backs up. Backblaze can also backup external hard drives, while Carbonite charges extra for this.
Both services feature:
- Unlimited cloud storage space
- Secure encryption
- Automatic throttling
- Easy restores
Features specific to Backblaze include:
- Automatic backup of files over 4GB
- Automatic video backup
- External hard drive backup (Carbonite: Plus plan only)
Features specific to Carbonite are:
- Sync and share files
- Public file sharing
- Mirror image backup – create a local backup of your entire hard drive (Plus plan only)
Both services let you restore files to a USB hard drive and have it shipped to you. This can be faster than restoring files over the internet. Backblaze charges $189 for a 4TB hard drive. Carbonite charges a $9.99 service fee, and it’s available only to Personal Prime customers.
Both Backblaze and Carbonite support Windows and Mac for their desktop software. Linux is not supported with either service.
Carbonite also has a “Sync and Share” app for Windows and Mac, which lets you synchronize files across devices.
Winner: Carbonite (barely)
Both Carbonite and Backblaze have apps for Android and iOS.
With the apps you can access your backed up files, although you can’t upload files like Dropbox and other cloud storage services (however, Carbonite’s separate “Sync and Share” app can do this).
The Carbonite app can automatically backup your Android phone’s data, such as photos and videos, which I liked. Protecting the files on my phone is just as important as protecting the files on my computer, so I’m giving a slight edge to Carbonite.
Backblaze is much faster, according to my speed tests.
Backblaze maxed out my internet connection when uploading files, at 8 megabits per second (Mbps). Download speeds were equally impressive at 31 Mbps, which also maxed out my bandwidth.
Carbonite uploaded files at 3.1 Mbps (about 33 gigabytes per day), and downloaded files at 4.7 Mbps. The restore speed is particularly concerning, since it would take almost a week to restore a 250GB hard drive from the cloud. I tested the speed multiple times on different days, to avoid random traffic congestion, and the end result was about the same.
Both Backblaze and Carbonite encrypt your files on their servers, and further encrypt your files while they’re being transferred over the internet (using SSL). This is the same level of security used for online banking.
Both services give you the option to use a personal encryption passphrase, if you’re worried about NSA spy programs and such. This increases security, by putting you in control of the encryption key. However, there is no “forgot passphrase” reset mechanism, so it becomes your responsibility to safeguard the passphrase.
Both services have knowledgeable, U.S.-based support. However, Carbonite offers phone support while Backblaze does not.
With Backblaze you can get tech support via email 7 days a week, and they will respond within 24 hours. They also recently added a live chat box, which is available 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. PST.
Carbonite support is available 7 days a week, 8:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. EST (excluding U.S. holidays) via phone, live chat, or email.
Backblaze vs Carbonite: Which should you choose?
Personally, I think Backblaze is the clear winner.
Backblaze is faster, less expensive, and doesn’t restrict the files that are backed up on any of their plans. The cost is just $5/month per computer for unlimited backups, and it will backup all the files you want. Speeds to Backblaze were almost double what I got with Carbonite, so you’ll be able to backup and restore files faster.
With that being said, there are a couple advantages to Carbonite. Only Carbonite can perform local (aka mirror image) backups, in addition to the cloud. Also, the “Sync and Share” feature can be used to collaborate on files. Backblaze doesn’t let you sync or share files – it’s backup only.
Get Backblaze at www.backblaze.com
Get Carbonite at www.carbonite.com