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Backblaze Review | Online Backup Companies

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Online Backup Companies Backblaze Review

Backblaze Review http://onlinebackupsearch.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/300x225s/d2/7f/ee/backblaze-300x225-36-1360923899.png

Expert Rating:9.1

User Rating:6.6

$5.00/month

GO

What We Like:

  • Simple, Unlimited, Automatic Backup (up to 9GB file size)
  • Throttle Adjustment for Better Bandwidth
  • Web & Software Restore
  • Version Saving
  • Works on Windows and Mac
Review by David Blane
Created: January 24, 2011 / Updated: May 16, 2013
 
Write Review

Editor review

Install & Setup

Setting up Backblaze was very easy to do and took 2.5 minutes. We went to their website, signed up for an account and downloaded the software. Once the software was downloaded, we launched the installation script and after a short installation the backup begins automatically.

Backblaze gets the setup process right by minimizing the installation steps. The fewer the steps the less potential confusion people have during the setup. We see keeping the setup simple as a good thing. With our experience, people feel more comfortable when things are simplified.

On a Mac, the application can be found in of system preferences. On Windows you will find the Backblaze control panel in the start menu or taskbar.

File Selection

Backblaze is automatically starts backing up files to your hard drive after installation. Since we wanted to do a custom backup, we stopped the backup transfer that was already in progress.

In the settings area, we selected the specific hard drives we wanted to backup. We used the exclusion setting that restricts files over a certain size from being backed up. This was set to 5MB’s so that only files under 5MB’s will be backed up. This brought our total backup size down to 4GB’s. NOTE: Look under the “Exclusion” section for more info about this option.

Backup

Initial backups are always the longest step, that’s why we opted for the reduced size backup mentioned in the previous step. With this setup we were able to backup at 1.8 GB's in an hour and a half. A little more than a gig an hour.

Other things to note: Backblaze runs in the background, it automatically throttle's bandwidth to keep the internet fast while you’re using it, by default all files will be backed up (with some default exclusions), and you can schedule it to backup on a certain time everyday.

This works well for us. We like that we can run efficient backups with little intervention on our part.

Settings

The first option under 'Settings' lets you can change the name of the computer to anything you want. For instance, "Home iMac" or "Work Laptop".

The next option is to select a Temporary Data Drive. Backblaze temporarily stores files over 30MB locally while they transfer so that if the connection breaks nothing happens to the original copy.

Next, you can set up an alert to remind you to backup after a period of days. It will let you choose options 1 through 7 days and never.

Lastly, you can select which hard drives to backup.

One interesting thing to note is that we could not select our Time Machine for backup. This is because Backblaze sees Time Machine as duplicate information that it should not waste time backing up. This is part of their system which called deduplication. It simply means only one copy of the same file will be uploaded.

Performance

Here you will get a sample of how fast your computer is ready to backup. Ours says we will backup at approximately 31GB/day. We think having this information is pretty handy.

In the next section you can select whether or not automatic bandwidth throttle is turned on. If it’s set to manual then the user has to set the max upload speed.

The next option is for laptops. It allows you to stop backups when laptops are running on battery power. This is meant to save the laptop’s battery until it’s plugged in again.

Lastly, at the bottom of the page, you will see the last file transfer speed. Ours was 3.07 Mbps upload. Not only is that a fast upload speed, but it’s great to see the the speed is tracked for easy review by the user.

Scheduling

You get three options for scheduling: backup continuously, backup once per day, or only when "backup now" is clicked.

We chose "Once Per Day" and selected start time, which was 5:00pm (after work). For the end time we chose “When Done”, which means it will wait until the backup is complete. If we had needed the backup to stop before work the next day, we could have set end time to 830am.

While we were testing out the Backblaze backup software our internet connection was slowed down. Because of this we found it very necessary to have the backups run after work. This keeps the internet fast while we work and gives Backblaze all the freedom it needs to backup after we leave.

Exclusions

This section can really help you save some space and time with your backups. You have three options.

1. Exclude folders by using a browse window

2. Exclude file types by extension (".mov" for example)

3. Exclude files over a certain size.

Like we mentioned earlier, we used option 3 to exclude files over 5MB’s. This saved us a lot of time backing up our initial backup.

By default, Backblaze blocks some of folders and file types from being backed up. Some notable folders that are excluded from backup by default are “Applications”, “System”, and “Library”. We did not see any notable file type extensions excluded, but check for yourself when you setup your backup.

Security

You have one option in this section and that is to enter your own private encryption key. This means you will be the only person who can access your data. Not even Backblaze will have access to your data. They start with AES military grade encryption and adding your own private key creates an extra layer of protection.

Reports

The last tab of Settings is reports. Here you can see either reports of each type of file backed up, files scheduled for backup, or the event log.

You can see an overview of the file types and their total size queued for backup. This gives you a great idea of how long the backup could take. Files scheduled for backup and event log are lines of text that will help you determine if a file is backing up or if you have an error.

Restoring files

To get your files whether can be done three different ways.

1. Web download - Instantaneous

2. USB Flash Drive - FedEx delivers (max 53GB restore)

3. USB Drive - FedEx delivers (max 3TB restore)

The fastest and easier way to restore files is via the web download. This is the option we selected for our test. We selected which files were included in the restore and they were archived into a .zip file. Then we navigated to "My Restores" and downloaded the .zip file. This is how we did it, but you can also wait until you get an email from Backblaze with a link to your archive.

Restoring via USB drive or flash drive will take at least 24 hours to receive. If something catastrophic happens and you lose everything, the USB drive will make it much easier to restore all your files. If you have 3TB's of data, downloading from the internet will take a good bit of time. You might as well get a hard copy of your files and transfer them back to your computer via USB.

One complaint we have is that you cannot simply restore files within the software. You must use the website to download the files.

Syncing/Sharing

Backblaze has no sync or file sharing options. The iPhone app gives you a way to share files, but it will be limited based on what the iPhone is capable of. There's more about the mobile app in the next section.

Mobile

The mobile app is very basic. Navigate your files and select them for download. You can use the built in iPhone share utility to share downloaded files to Twitter and Facebook. This will only work with pictures.

Conclusion

Backblaze is the way online backup should be which is simple and straightforward. Backblaze has cut out all the unnecessary features leaving a strong backup utility which makes your data safer.

Having an ultra streamlined backup option means sacrificing some of the more popular options like computer syncing and social sharing options. Backblaze focuses on maintaining top of the line backup software. They do not offer file syncing and have limited file and social sharing.

Options built into the Backblaze software make a huge difference in the time it can take to backup your data. If you manage it properly you can save hours of your time and never feel any of the bandwidth being used.
Overall rating 
 
9.1
Ease of Use 
 
9.5
Features 
 
8.5
Space / Price 
 
9.0
Customer Support 
 
9.0
Security 
 
9.5

Great all-around unlimited storage company

Reviewed by: David Blane
Experience Level: Backup Professional
Customer for: more than 1 year
Reviewed on: May 07, 2013

Overview

Backblaze is a streamlined backup backup solution. It minimizes user input by providing efficient upload options. Backups are easy to schedule, Max file size and file type exclusion keep backups small and transfers fast, and bandwidth throttle keeps the internet connection from so you can work at the same time.

Backblaze is built for single computer users with lots of data. Simply backup and forget. If you want to expand your plan to include multiple computers you can, but it costs extra.

Pros and Cons

Pros
Unlimited backup
Easy to use
Scheduled backups
Personal key encryption
File type/size exclusion
Multiple restore options
Cons
No syncing or sharing options
Restore could be more streamlined
data is deleted after 30 days of inactivity

Full Review

Install & Setup

Setting up Backblaze was very easy to do and took 2.5 minutes. We went to their website, signed up for an account and downloaded the software. Once the software was downloaded, we launched the installation script and after a short installation the backup begins automatically.

Backblaze gets the setup process right by minimizing the installation steps. The fewer the steps the less potential confusion people have during the setup. We see keeping the setup simple as a good thing. With our experience, people feel more comfortable when things are simplified.

On a Mac, the application can be found in of system preferences. On Windows you will find the Backblaze control panel in the start menu or taskbar.

File Selection

Backblaze is automatically starts backing up files to your hard drive after installation. Since we wanted to do a custom backup, we stopped the backup transfer that was already in progress.

In the settings area, we selected the specific hard drives we wanted to backup. We used the exclusion setting that restricts files over a certain size from being backed up. This was set to 5MB’s so that only files under 5MB’s will be backed up. This brought our total backup size down to 4GB’s. NOTE: Look under the “Exclusion” section for more info about this option.

Backup

Initial backups are always the longest step, that’s why we opted for the reduced size backup mentioned in the previous step. With this setup we were able to backup at 1.8 GB's in an hour and a half. A little more than a gig an hour.

Other things to note: Backblaze runs in the background, it automatically throttle's bandwidth to keep the internet fast while you’re using it, by default all files will be backed up (with some default exclusions), and you can schedule it to backup on a certain time everyday.

This works well for us. We like that we can run efficient backups with little intervention on our part.

Settings

The first option under 'Settings' lets you can change the name of the computer to anything you want. For instance, "Home iMac" or "Work Laptop".

The next option is to select a Temporary Data Drive. Backblaze temporarily stores files over 30MB locally while they transfer so that if the connection breaks nothing happens to the original copy.

Next, you can set up an alert to remind you to backup after a period of days. It will let you choose options 1 through 7 days and never.

Lastly, you can select which hard drives to backup.

One interesting thing to note is that we could not select our Time Machine for backup. This is because Backblaze sees Time Machine as duplicate information that it should not waste time backing up. This is part of their system which called deduplication. It simply means only one copy of the same file will be uploaded.

Performance

Here you will get a sample of how fast your computer is ready to backup. Ours says we will backup at approximately 31GB/day. We think having this information is pretty handy.

In the next section you can select whether or not automatic bandwidth throttle is turned on. If it’s set to manual then the user has to set the max upload speed.

The next option is for laptops. It allows you to stop backups when laptops are running on battery power. This is meant to save the laptop’s battery until it’s plugged in again.

Lastly, at the bottom of the page, you will see the last file transfer speed. Ours was 3.07 Mbps upload. Not only is that a fast upload speed, but it’s great to see the the speed is tracked for easy review by the user.

Scheduling

You get three options for scheduling: backup continuously, backup once per day, or only when "backup now" is clicked.

We chose "Once Per Day" and selected start time, which was 5:00pm (after work). For the end time we chose “When Done”, which means it will wait until the backup is complete. If we had needed the backup to stop before work the next day, we could have set end time to 830am.

While we were testing out the Backblaze backup software our internet connection was slowed down. Because of this we found it very necessary to have the backups run after work. This keeps the internet fast while we work and gives Backblaze all the freedom it needs to backup after we leave.

Exclusions

This section can really help you save some space and time with your backups. You have three options.

1. Exclude folders by using a browse window

2. Exclude file types by extension (".mov" for example)

3. Exclude files over a certain size.

Like we mentioned earlier, we used option 3 to exclude files over 5MB’s. This saved us a lot of time backing up our initial backup.

By default, Backblaze blocks some of folders and file types from being backed up. Some notable folders that are excluded from backup by default are “Applications”, “System”, and “Library”. We did not see any notable file type extensions excluded, but check for yourself when you setup your backup.

Security

You have one option in this section and that is to enter your own private encryption key. This means you will be the only person who can access your data. Not even Backblaze will have access to your data. They start with AES military grade encryption and adding your own private key creates an extra layer of protection.

Reports

The last tab of Settings is reports. Here you can see either reports of each type of file backed up, files scheduled for backup, or the event log.

You can see an overview of the file types and their total size queued for backup. This gives you a great idea of how long the backup could take. Files scheduled for backup and event log are lines of text that will help you determine if a file is backing up or if you have an error.

Restoring files

To get your files whether can be done three different ways.

1. Web download - Instantaneous

2. USB Flash Drive - FedEx delivers (max 53GB restore)

3. USB Drive - FedEx delivers (max 3TB restore)

The fastest and easier way to restore files is via the web download. This is the option we selected for our test. We selected which files were included in the restore and they were archived into a .zip file. Then we navigated to "My Restores" and downloaded the .zip file. This is how we did it, but you can also wait until you get an email from Backblaze with a link to your archive.

Restoring via USB drive or flash drive will take at least 24 hours to receive. If something catastrophic happens and you lose everything, the USB drive will make it much easier to restore all your files. If you have 3TB's of data, downloading from the internet will take a good bit of time. You might as well get a hard copy of your files and transfer them back to your computer via USB.

One complaint we have is that you cannot simply restore files within the software. You must use the website to download the files.

Syncing/Sharing

Backblaze has no sync or file sharing options. The iPhone app gives you a way to share files, but it will be limited based on what the iPhone is capable of. There's more about the mobile app in the next section.

Mobile

The mobile app is very basic. Navigate your files and select them for download. You can use the built in iPhone share utility to share downloaded files to Twitter and Facebook. This will only work with pictures.

Conclusion

Backblaze is the way online backup should be which is simple and straightforward. Backblaze has cut out all the unnecessary features leaving a strong backup utility which makes your data safer.

Having an ultra streamlined backup option means sacrificing some of the more popular options like computer syncing and social sharing options. Backblaze focuses on maintaining top of the line backup software. They do not offer file syncing and have limited file and social sharing.

Options built into the Backblaze software make a huge difference in the time it can take to backup your data. If you manage it properly you can save hours of your time and never feel any of the bandwidth being used.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 
Learn More at BackBlaze

User reviews

Average user rating from: 4 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
6.6
Ease of Use 
 
8.5  (4)
Features 
 
7.1  (4)
Space / Price 
 
7.8  (4)
Customer Support 
 
2.6  (4)
Security 
 
7.0  (4)
Ratings (the higher the better)
  • Ease of Use
    How easy was the software to configure and run your first backup?
  • Features
    How many helpful tools are available?
  • Space / Price
    How much space do you get for your money?
  • Customer Support
    How helpful and accessible is customer support?
  • Security
    How secure do you feel your data is?
Overview
Pros and Cons
Comments
I have been with Backblaze for over a couple of years now and have to say the service does get better with time. I pay a very small amount per month and get unlimited backup. When I have needed to access my files it has never been a problem. I have never needed their support so I cannot really rate that.

I will continue to stay with them, and look forward to the continuous improvements they seem to publish every so often.
Overall rating 
 
8.8
Ease of Use 
 
10.0
Features 
 
7.5
Space / Price 
 
10.0
Customer Support 
 
7.5
Security 
 
9.0

Getting Better

Overall Rating: 8.8 out of 10
Reviewed by: Paul
Experience Level: Backup Beginner
Customer for: more than 1 year
Reviewed on: April 26, 2013

Pros and Cons

Pros
Love the way it runs in the background
I can access my files online from any computer which has been very useful when travelling
Never throttles my Internet connection
The updates get better all the time
Its unlimited
Supports external Drives
iPhone app
Cons
none

Full Review

I have been with Backblaze for over a couple of years now and have to say the service does get better with time. I pay a very small amount per month and get unlimited backup. When I have needed to access my files it has never been a problem. I have never needed their support so I cannot really rate that.

I will continue to stay with them, and look forward to the continuous improvements they seem to publish every so often.

Was this review helpful to you? 
overall, would not recommend
Overall rating 
 
7.0
Ease of Use 
 
9.0
Features 
 
9.0
Space / Price 
 
8.0
Customer Support 
 
1.0
Security 
 
8.0

if need customer service, forget it

Overall Rating: 7.0 out of 10
Reviewed by: Lynn
Experience Level: Backup Expert
Customer for: more than 1 year
Reviewed on: December 29, 2011

Pros and Cons

Pros
does well for what you expect
Cons
don't count on anything timely in terms of customer support. I decided to close account and still waiting for refund 2 months later and having to send numerous emails and still no refund check. Lack of support if needed is also a major con as they only respond by email, still not meaning that anything gets done.

Full Review

overall, would not recommend

Was this review helpful to you? 
Basic use is easy and uncomplicated, but Backblaze only backs up user files, not apps or system files. What do you do if your computer dies?

Backblaze puts hidden files on your internal HDD so it can distinguish it from external drives. If some of these drives are backups, it can get complicated, confuse backblaze, and subject the user to frequent nagging screens.

Support is only via email. After I asked too many questions, a support rep suggested I cancel my account and go to a competitor.
Overall rating 
 
5.2
Ease of Use 
 
7.0
Features 
 
4.0
Space / Price 
 
8.0
Customer Support 
 
1.0
Security 
 
6.0

Easy to set up and run but with some nagging issues and mediocre support

Overall Rating: 5.2 out of 10
Reviewed by: Joe Hansen
Experience Level: Backup Expert
Customer for: one to three months
Reviewed on: November 07, 2011

Pros and Cons

Pros
Easy to set up
relatively cheap
backs up both internal and external drives
Cons
Does not back up apps and system files
cannot provide a bootable backup
complicated issues if you have backups on local drives
looks at all of your mounted drives, whether you like it or not.

Full Review

Basic use is easy and uncomplicated, but Backblaze only backs up user files, not apps or system files. What do you do if your computer dies?

Backblaze puts hidden files on your internal HDD so it can distinguish it from external drives. If some of these drives are backups, it can get complicated, confuse backblaze, and subject the user to frequent nagging screens.

Support is only via email. After I asked too many questions, a support rep suggested I cancel my account and go to a competitor.

Was this review helpful to you? 
Backup stops running and was not warned based on the 3 day parameter. Emailed support and am still waiting after 2 days for them to assign a help desk operator. Will not be recommending this product due to lack of support and this issue.
Overall rating 
 
5.4
Ease of Use 
 
8.0
Features 
 
8.0
Space / Price 
 
5.0
Customer Support 
 
1.0
Security 
 
5.0

Support

Overall Rating: 5.4 out of 10
Reviewed by: John Clark
Reviewed on: August 06, 2011

Full Review

Backup stops running and was not warned based on the 3 day parameter. Emailed support and am still waiting after 2 days for them to assign a help desk operator. Will not be recommending this product due to lack of support and this issue.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 

Company Overview

Lowest Price
$5.00/month
Storage Space
Unlimited
Free Trial
Yes - 15 Day
Free Plan
No
Single Computer Plans
Yes
Multi Computer Plans
Yes
Business Plans
Yes
Enterprise Plans
No
Year Established
2007
Price
$5.00/month

Supported Operating Systems

Supported Platforms
Windows
Yes
Mac OSX
Yes
Linux
No
Windows Server
No
iPhone / iPad App
Yes
Android App
No
Windows Mobile App
No
Blackberry App
No

Backup Features

Max File Size
Unlimited
Scheduler
Yes
Versioning / Snapshot
Yes
Browse Files Online
Yes
Incremental Backup
No
Bandwidth Throttle
Yes
Idle Backup
Yes
Resumes After Interruption
Yes

Support Options

Email/Online Ticket Support
Yes
Phone Support
No
Live Chat
No
Blog
Yes
Knowledgebase
Yes
FAQs
Yes
Tutorials
No
Video Tutorials
No

Web/Mobile/Remote Access

Web Access
Yes
Mobile Phone Access
No
FTP Access
No
Can Set Permissions
No

File Restore Options

Restore from Software
Yes
Restore from Website
Yes
Restore to Hard Drive and Ship
Yes

Security

SSL Secure Transfer
No
Data Encryption
Yes
Geo-Redundant Storage
No
User Generated Encryption Key
Yes

Company Highlights:

Easy to use, great design and works well. Backblaze works best for personal and home users that need to back up their data without much thought, automatically. Keep things simple and back up your entire computer without worry.

View All BackBlaze Prices & Plans

 

Backblaze has become more and more popular over the years as an Online Backup provider. It’s pricing plans and types of service are like Mozy or Carbonite, but with a simpler feel.
They regard ease of use as an important trait of Online Backup.

Backblaze Facts:

  • Founded in 2007 by current CEO Gleb Budman.
  • Located in Palo Alto, CA
  • First to announce unlimited online backup for businesses
  • Recommended by over 50 online backup articles online
  • Renown for their encryption techniques

Backblaze Features & Plans:

  • Backblaze Home Online Backup - $5/month or $50/year
  • Backblaze Business Online Backup - $50/computer/year

Backblaze Technical Features:

File versioning, remote access, mac and windows support, DVD & USB drive recovery, auto & custom throttling, secure encryption, and many more options

Backblaze Backup Support:

  • Phone Support: No
  • Email Support: Yes
  • Ticket System: No
  • Live Support Chat: No
  • FAQ & Knowledge base: No
  • Guides: Yes
  • Blog: Yes
  • Facebook: Yes
  • Twitter: Yes

Photos

View All BackBlaze Prices & Plans
1.
9.2 / 10
 
2.
9.1 / 10
 
3.
9.0 / 10
 
4.
9.0 / 10
 
5.
8.6 / 10
 
6.
8.4 / 10
 
7.
8.4 / 10
 
8.
8.4 / 10
 
9.
8.1 / 10
 
10.
8.0 / 10
 

Top User Rated

1.
9.6 / 10
 
2.
9.3 / 10
 
3.
8.9 / 10
 
4.
6.6 / 10
 
5.
4.5 / 10
 

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