Framed hard drive

Backblaze: real unlimited cloud backup tested

by Michele Seghieri

Let’s not beat around the bush: Backblaze’s Personal Backup plan is my favorite cloud backup solution. 

In this review, you can find a detailed description of the pros and cons of their service.

Backblaze’s Personal Backup plan is very easy. It provides an unlimited disk space license for a Windows or Mac computer and all the hard disks connected to it.

After installing their software on your Windows or Mac, it builds your cloud backup in the background. It’s a lightweight, stand-alone application that doesn’t affect your system and network resources.

Several recovery methods help you to restore from single files to whole backups.

You can access your data through the Backblaze website. If you connect your account to their B2 Cloud Storage platform, you have 10 GB free to share files with secure links.

You can remotely access and download your documents on the go using the Backblaze mobile app for Android and iOS devices.

What is Backblaze?

A Backblaze data center storing our cloud backups
A Backblaze data center

Backblaze is a business company based in San Mateo, California, that’s backing up data since 2007.

Backblaze’s business strategy is to keep everything as simple as possible. They offer only one online backup plan with an unlimited backup storage.

How does it work

It doesn’t matter if you run a business or are a photography enthusiast: your production must be secured!

Backblaze has many great features, but the main thing that makes it so great is that it’s everything easy! After the installation, the application is already set up to secure your computer data to their data centers. 

Backblaze lets you back up unlimited data from one computer. In addition, you can back up all internal or external hard drives connected to that computer.

Backblaze application works similarly to other cloud backup services. It backs up existing data automatically when it is changed and new data when added to your hard disks or selected folders.

Backup your PC and all your hard drives

Backblaze creates a backup of your computer hard drives and all external hard disks connected to it.

That’s why in my opinion, it is handy for all people that manage tons of terabytes of files.

Photographers, retouchers, video makers, graphic designers, and many more professional or amateur figures can benefit from using the Backblaze personal backup plan.

Especially if you keep your documents on hard disks or a multi-bay hard drive enclosure, Backblaze is the service to trust.

You will forget about backups copies, saving a lot of disk space and money.

It is not necessary to back up your files periodically; everything is automatic. It works in the background, similarly to Google Drive or OneDrive stand-alone apps.

Sharing files with Backblaze

Individual files within a Backblaze backup can be directly shared from the View/Restore Files page.

To share a file, an account must first have B2, Backblaze’s cloud storage service, enabled via the account settings. Once B2 is enabled, Backblaze includes 10 GB free to share your files, with up to 1 GB per day of download bandwidth.

Backblaze 15-day free trial. No credit card required.
Backblaze offers a 15-day Free Trial.

Continuous improvement

It’s pretty clear that Backblaze is always trying to improve its products.

Even though they still need some additional tools to download and interact with the data. Their mobile app is one practical example of their continued innovation.

Backblaze mobile app

Your files are available for consultation and download on Android or iOS with the Backblaze app. You must be logged into your account and can’t share them. Sometimes it could be helpful, but I think it would be great if you could also share your files with others. It will be awesome, but at the same time, Backblaze’s backup goal is to offer unlimited backup storage. Keeping the backup plan unlimited is tough duty. Adding the sharing file option will make it impossible. 

Cloud storage and NAS backup

With your personal backup plan, you have 10 GB free on the B2 cloud server.

I require more space for clients’ deliveries. For this reason, I use Microsoft OneDrive, which is included in my Microsoft Office subscription. In my opinion, it is way easier. 

Keep in mind that the Personal Backup plan doesn’t support NAS Backup or direct share the documents on the server.

In these cases, you can opt for the Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage service. It’s good value for its price, but it exceeds my specific demands.

Integrated solutions for Synology, QNAP, TrueNAS, and more, let you secure your NAS on the B2 Cloud Storage service.

Security

Backblaze’s servers are secured against any actions from your part after the initial setup, so every piece of data is kept backed up. 

A detailed explanation of Backblaze’s encryption policy can be found on its website. It uses symmetrical AES-128-bit keys, 2048-bit public/private keys, and HTTPS using SSL. You can securely transfer and store your backups.

The private encryption key

You can protect your data by creating your private encryption key.

The private encryption key allows you to add an extra layer of security to your backups. This feature makes you the only one able to decrypt your data.

Backblaze also supports two-factor authentication through authenticator apps, email, and text messages.

Photographer and retoucher backup needs

I manage large quantities of photos and videos that I use for a short time. On my PC, I have a 2 TB SSD for “Work in progress” and a 500 GB SSD for temporary files. I store all my closed projects on 4 TB 3.5″ hard disks on an external enclosure.

Currently, my archive is about 40 TB, but I have only 10 TB stored on Backblaze.

That’s why I never had the patience to upload all my data. But I decreased my backup prices a lot with Backblaze. Now, I rarely buy new hard drives, and I do not have to worry anymore about disk space.

How much time did Backblaze’s backups last?

Backblaze offers a 30-day backup history. If your computer or hard disks don’t get scanned by the Backblaze software for more prolonged, Backblaze will keep your latest backup for six months.

For an additional fee, you can extend the backup version history to 1 year or a lifetime. Your backups will last one year or for a lifetime. The only thing to do it’s to keep your account paid.

I always keep hard drives connected to my PC, so the standard 30 days history fully satisfies me. It is enough time to reduce ransomware attacks and protect your data from accidental delete.

In any case, let the Backblaze application scan your hard drives from time to time, and you won’t have any issues.

Email reminders

Backblaze missing drive reminder.
Missing drive reminder.

Do not worry! You will receive email reminders at 14, 21, 28, 60, and 90 days. To avoid the deletion, connect your missing drives to your PC while the Backblaze app is running, and wait for the scan. It won’t take long.

Restoring your data

Backblaze cloud backup recovery
Backblaze recovery panel.

With Backblaze, you can restore just one file, a folder, or all your backed-up files. You have multiple options to recover your files:

  • Web Restore: simply download your backup for free.
  • Save to B2 Cloud Storage: data will be kept in a zip format in B2 as a Snapshot until you delete it.
  • Restore by Mail: feature costs $189 for a hard drive that stores up to 8 TB of data or $99 for 256 GB. You can keep the hard disk for yourself or return it within 30 days for a full refund.

Backup speed and bandwidth 

Backblaze is super easy, but I also find it very fast. The process of backing up online can be slow, especially the initial chunk of data. I managed to upload around 100 GB per day.

With the Performance settings dialog, you may adjust how many backup threads the software will run and whether the speed will be throttled.

Backblaze offers automatic throttling, so backups never interfere with your computer’s or network’s performance.

Backblaze has options for throttling backup speed if you want to boost your backup. Computer’s and network’s performance will be affected, but if you do it overnight, your backup speed will be considerably faster.

Pricing

  • $7.00 paid monthly
  • $70.00 paid annually ($5.83 per month)
  • $130.00 paid every two years ($5.41 per month)

Backblaze Personal Backup’s monthly fee is $7.00. If you prepay for one or two years at the start of your subscription, you will get substantial discounts on Backblaze’s services.

If you sign up for Backblaze’s Refer-A-Friend program, you can get a month free per friend.

Backblaze free trial

You can try Backblaze’s unlimited online backup free for 15 days, no credit card required, before joining a monthly or yearly plan.

Pros and Cons of Backblaze

The following list of pros and cons is exclusively for the personal backup plan.

Pros

  • Easy and lightweight software
  • Simple user interface
  • Different recovery methods
  • Remote access to the cloud with the mobile app
  • Real unlimited cloud backup storage
  • Low cost, especially for long-time memberships
  • High service quality for a low price
  • B2 Cloud Storage free 10 GB to share your files
  • The customer service team provides support and information
  • 30-day backup history (1 year o lifetime for an extra fee)

Cons

  • Each license allows one single computer: desktop+laptop would be the best
  • Can’t choose what to back up (you can only exclude folders and file types)
  • No NAS cloud backup (B2 Cloud Storage needed)
  • The file-sharing process is slow
  • Can’t share files directly from the app

Backblaze blog and drives statistics

On their website, you can find a lot of valuable articles in their blog section. You can find tips to optimize your backup service, tech articles, their partners, takeaways, and more. You can learn about ransomware protection and prevent a data loss disaster.

Since 2013, Backblaze has built an incredible amount of stats about drive reliability. They share detailed stats quarterly. A meticulous work, monitoring more than 200,000 hard drives and SSDs.

Conclusion

From my experience, Backblaze company delivers what they promise without any hassles. Price is hugely convenient for real unlimited storage. You don’t need to copy your files on different hard disks.

That’s I consider Backblaze the best cloud backup provider. I am a happy customer since 2018.

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