Verdict: Backblaze is one impressive service with plenty of options to give anyone an easy way to manage, backup, and secure their most important data.
Price: As low as $3.99 mth For 2 PC’s
|Ranked #6 out of 10||Compare All Providers Side-by-Side|
REVIEWED by Eric Byron
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Backblaze is an Online Backup Service that will backup all of your files in such a way that you won’t even have to think about it. The service is $5 per month that can go as low as $3.96 per month if purchased for a total of 2 years. If you’re wondering why we haven’t mentioned storage limits, don’t worry we’ll come back to that.
Backblaze only requires an email and password to sign up for the free trial so you’ll have the application downloaded in no time. Installation takes a bit of time but once it’s done that’s it. You leave it alone and never think about it.
Backblaze will automatically backup every single file on your computer so there’s no need to spend any time picking and choosing. The only things Backblaze will leave out are things like temporary internet files or the operating system.
If you’re the type of person that likes things customised to exactly how they like it, you might be disappointed by the minimal options. You can adjust what types of files Backblaze excludes from the backup and even then Backblaze ensures you this isn’t really necessary.
There are also settings for performance and scheduling. For performance you can choose between “automatic throttle” and “manual throttle”. The automatic option will figure out when is the best time to push the speed of the upload. Manual offers a slider for you to decide whether you want a faster network or a faster backup.
For scheduling the only options are automatic, once per day or manually (whenever you press backup now). So there is a little room to make changes, but really Backblaze is designed to just be left alone.
Website and Mobile
The website for Backblaze will let you take a look at what exactly has been uploaded but there isn’t a way of viewing the files as you can with other storage services.
Again, the idea is for you to leave it alone until the day that you need to restore any lost files. At any time you can ask Backblaze to send you a zip file that you can then download and extract yourself.
It would have been nice to have the option to be able to download straight from the web page. Going through the process of sending an email and extracting a zip file just feels like more steps than necessary.
Alternatively there are two other options for restoring files but they come at a price. For $99 there is the USB Flash Drive that holds up to 60 GB. Or for $189 there’s the USB Hard Drive that holds up to 3 TB. These will be sent to you with your chosen files on them.
Backblaze keeps hold of older versions of files. So if you want to restore a version of a file from two weeks ago before you changed something, just search for it on the webpage and request the restore.
At the time of writing, the mobile app isn’t out yet. Backblaze claims that when it is available you will be able to use it to access and download your files. It seems odd that they would offer this on the mobile version but not the web version.
Security and Lost Computers
Backblaze ensures that your files are encrypted at every stage to offer the best security. There is also the option to set your own Private Encryption Key. This will add an extra level of security however it is essential that you keep this safe because if you lose it there is no way for Backblaze to get back your files for you.
A rather nifty feature of Backblaze is the “Locate me computer” function. If your laptop’s been lost or stolen, Backblaze can show you a map of where it is or was the last time it was connected to Wifi. There isn’t a guarantee this will work though (I tested it and Backblaze claimed the Wifi access points weren’t in well known locations).
Price and Storage Limits
There are three payment options for Backblaze. There’s $5 per month, $4.17 per month (when you buy 1 year) and $3.96 per month (when you buy 2 years). You can add extra computers on to the same account, in which case you will be paying the same amount again on top of what you are already paying.
For the Business option the price is $50 per year per computer, exactly the same as the $4.17 per month option. For companies with 5 or more computers Backblaze will include central billing and reports for a master account. Other than that there is little difference.
So, why has there been no mention of gigabytes or terabytes yet? Well that’s because Backblaze sets not limits. You pay per computer and Backblaze will backup everything. This means no debating over which package to buy, no hand-picking what needs backing up the most and no charges for going over a limit.
The support from Backblaze is very limited. There are some FAQs and basic guides but the only way to get in touch is through an online form. This is pretty poor as most other services will at least offer a phone number and email address. Over at Mozy they even provide a specific support Twitter account that will answer your questions in real-time.
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[wptabtitle] Videos[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent][/wptabcontent]
[wptabtitle] Buyer Guides & Resource Center[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]
- Small Business Tips For Choosing A Cloud Back-Up Service
- How to Choose a Cloud Backup Provider
- 6 Factors To Consider When Choosing a Cloud Backup Solution
- Online Backups Should Be Part Of Your Data Backup Strategy
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For someone that really doesn’t want to think too much, Backblaze is perfect. There’s one price, no limits and everything is automatic. Unfortunately this simplicity means that other things are compromised.
There are other services out there that will offer a lot of features with their packages. The biggest loss with Backblaze is the inability to view or download your files from the website. It also seems a little unfair that, after paying your subscription, you will have to fork out for the USB drives to get back your larger files if your computer is lost.