Backblaze Reviewed

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Tim Higgins

Backblaze
At a glance
Product Backblaze Backblaze () [Website]
Summary Unlimited online backup for $5 per computer.
Pros • Simple setup
• Unlimited backup
• Low price
Cons • Can’t easily restore individual files and folders.
Backup
Exclude
Y
Include
N
Drive selection
Y
Folder selection
Y
File type selection
Y
File selection
N
File size filter
Y
Archiving
N
File versioning (number) 9999
File versioning (days) 30
File size limit (GB) 9
Force full backup
N
Auto file type organization
N
Auto resume
Y
Transfer Backup
Y
Bandwidth Control
Y
Account Types
Unlimited
Y
Free
N
Free Trial
Y
Home
Y
Business
Y
Monthly Billed
Y
Yearly Billed
Y
Min. Limit (GB) 9999
Max. Limit (GB) 9999
Free Space (GB) 0
Restore
Web download
N
Zip File
Y
DVD
Y
Hard Drive
Y
OS
Windows
Y
Mac OS
Y
Linux
N

Backblaze offers no-frills, unlimited backup for Windows and Mac OS based computers for $5 per month per computer. There are no free backup offerings except for a 15 day trial that doesn’t require a credit card number to start. You can select a monthly subscription or a yearly option for a small savings.

Backblaze also has a "for business" offering, which has the same exact features and costs. The differences for Backblaze Business are:

  • Central billing for multiple unique accounts. (Where each account is tied to an individual person & could have multiple computers like the standard service.)
  • Central reporting for multiple accounts. (A weekly email summary with which computers are backed up, how much data is left, etc.)
  • Ability to pay via invoice. (In addition to pay via credit card.)

The service is focused on backup and doesn’t offer options to store anything that doesn’t reside on the computer being backed up.

By default, Backblaze selects most everything on your computer to be backed up. If that’s not what you want, it offers only exclude-type selection for drives, folders and files types. You can’t however, exclude the C drive or individual files.

Also by default, Backblaze will save files up to 4 GB in size, but this can be extended to 9 GB, or reduced to as low as 5 MB. Upload bandwidth use is controlled via a simple slider.

Backblaze doesn’t offer archiving, but will save an unlimited number of file versions out to a 30 day limit.

Restore

The service has a web interface where you can select files and folders for restore. Selections are packed into a zip file for download; you can’t download individual folders and files directly.

For large restores there are options to have a DVD or USB hard drive overnighted.

Backblaze Control Panel

The Backblaze Control Panel sits in the system tray, ready to be pulled up. There isn’t a compact view, however, and no tooltip to show backup status.

Backblaze Preferences

The Settings Preferences tab has a Throttle control to limit upload bandwidth use and a Hard Drive selector. You can’t exclude the C drive, though.

Back Preferences Schedule settings

This tab holds the options for controlling when backups are done.

Backblaze Exclude settings

The Exclude tab has some file types and system type folders entered by default.

Backblaze Security settings

Here is where you can enter an up to 50 character private encryption key.

Backblaze Files For Backup

This tab shows all files in the backup queue.

Backblaze Reports

Reports shows a simple summary of key backup information.

Backblaze Events

Event log for debugging.

Backblaze Restore webpage

Files for restoration are selected and backup method chosen here.

Access, Support, Security

Support
Email
Y
Online Ticket
Y
IM / Chat
N
Phone
N
Knowledge Base
N
Tutorials
N
Security
Private Key
Y
Access
Browser-based file manager
N
File Permissions
N
Folder Permissions
N
Blackberry
N
iOS
N
Android
N
Windows Mobile
N

In keeping with its no-frills approach, Backblaze doesn’t offer remote file access, browsing or retrieval optimized for mobile devices. But any device that supports a web browser and the ability to open zip files can retrieve files.

Support is strictly via email and online ticket, with no option for phone support or online chat.

Finally, for the ultra paranoid, there is the ability to specify a private encryption key using 1-50 characters. If you lose this key, however, Backblaze can do nothing to recover your data.

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