Reviews

Backblaze Review – In Depth Analysis for Correct Decision

blackbaze reviewBackblaze is a leading cloud backup service provider in the cloud backup industry. It offers an unlimited amount of storage space and promises to relieve its customers from the fear data loss and data theft by providing secure cloud storage space. It can backup documents, image files, music, videos and movies that you can access from any location and from any supported device.

Moreover, you can also create a backup of your external hard disk that you can obtain from Backblaze through FedEx without any extra cost. The service provider also provides easy restoration in case of accidental deletion or hardware failure. Following is a highly extensive Backblaze review for individuals as well as businesses who plan on to invest in this cloud backup service.

You may want to check if blackbaze is in our list of top cloud service providers

  • Blackblaze Review & Depth Analysis

 

Who can use Backblaze?

  • Individuals – For storing personal files of all types, individuals can take full advantage of Backblaze by taking up any amount of space they need because there is no upper limit to the storage size. Personal files mostly include photos, music, videos or personal documents.People who are short of storage space on their desktops or laptops have the option to spend less and get space on the cloud. Uploading and securing your precious moments with friends and families in the form of snapshots and videos are a norm and Backblaze ensures your memories are preserved with no chance of losing them.
  • Academics – While the major purpose of Backblaze is online backup for your computing device, teachers and students would prefer this cloud storage for storing their homework assignments so they can access it from anywhere.
  • Businesses and enterprises – Businesses of all types can use it for storing confidential data safely and privately. For the corporate sector, a secure encrypted cloud space with full privacy is essential and of utmost importance and Backblaze provides ultimate solutions to meet these needs of companies of all sizes.

 

Pros

  • Unlimited Storage Space – With ever-increasing data, there will be no data downsizing in future. Hence, unlimited storage is becoming the need of today.
  • Multiple restore file options
  • File Version history
  • Automatic backup and updating
  • Local encryption for better security
  • External hard drive support
  • No file size restrictions
  • Controlled backup performance – you can decide how much bandwidth you want Backblaze to use for backup using slider in performance tab
  • Lost computer locator

 

Cons

  • Allows for single device only
  • No sharing
  • No synchronization
  • No free version
  • Limited duration backup for external drives
  • No option for customized backup
  • No backup for network drives
  • Slow uploads

 

Rating

  • BACKUP (RATING: 10/10)

 Backup means keeping a copy of the data on a different location so that in case you lose it from original location, you can recover that copy from that location. Backblaze is purely a cloud backup service that provides backup space for its users on cloud with the essential feature of security.The provider emphasizes on its main purpose by distinguishing it from online storage companies that provide cloud storage mainly for sharing purposes.

That is why, Backblaze’s backup is high on the ranking. They have a unique backup procedure that is unlike every other cloud provider. Instead of letting user select which files to backup, it automatically backs up everything on your computer accept for operating system files, temporary internet files and applications that are unlikely to be backed up by any user.As opposite to selecting files for backup, you get to choose files that you want to exclude from backup.This procedure of backup is a much-wanted feature because most people are either lazy, too busy or new to technical stuff and too much details and steps in back up procedure is a annoys them. They want automated and simple-to-use applications and Backblaze has effectively targeted its customer needs.

  • PRICING (RATING: 10/10) 

If you have do a comparison of cloud services, you would see that all those cloud providers who offer unlimited storage space do not provide free storage giveaways forever to its customers. Rather they give it for a limited time period for the trial of their services. If users like the service in this trial period, they can go on to continue with a certain price.Backblaze is amongst these cloud service providers that provides a 15 days trial period to prospective customers.

After this time, if they still wish to continue they can take their monthly plan at $5.00. It also offers yearly plans of up to three years. 1 year plan costs $50.00, 2 year plan costs $95 and 3 year plan has a price of $180. Obviously, whether you choose a monthly plan or a yearly plan, you get unlimited amount of cloud backup space.

  • SECURITY (RATING: 8/10)

Online Security of data is a much sought after aspect that is a hot topic and a much discussed issue lately. Customers who are willing to pay for cloud services do not just want a storage space, it’s the security feature of the cloud service that they are willing to invest in. That is why, Backblaze addresses this aspect in their services with deep concern and claims to deploy high-end security technologies to its user’s data.Backblaze’s security structure is of military level.

It gives its users the option to encrypt its data locally before uploading it on its cloud servers. This way, none of the data lies naked online available to be accessed by hackers and attackers. Even if someone is able to get hands on the data, he won’t be able to understand it until it is decrypted. Decryption is only possible by means of encryption password that is in the sole custody of the original owner of the data in its computer. That means, only he can access to its data.This encryption technology is new in the cloud market. Not many cloud providers have deployed it yet and quite a few of them looks in to the security concerns of its customers this seriously.

  • PRIVACY (RATING:  7/10)

Privacy means confidentiality of data and information. Besides security, privacy is also a major concern ever since it has come to light that US companies, whether operating inside the country or outside, are bound to provide its user data to Intelligence and defense agencies as and when demanded.Based in Silicon Valley, Backblaze also comes under this jurisdiction so it isn’t guaranteed that it won’t hand over your data to NSA or other government agency.However, your data will be encrypted and although not impossible, these agencies can break encryption to read it.

The provider states these terms of disclosure and sharing clearly in its privacy policy. It also explains what personal information it can use and how. For example, when using the service or accessing any of their websites, they can store information about your system such as IP address, webpages you access, cookies and logs and operating system you use.

  • EASE OF ACCESS: (RATING: 8/10)

Users can access their files on Backblaze cloud through Windows and Apple supported device from anywhere and anytime. These device include windows and Mac Operating systems, iPhone and android phones. As an additional protection or in case you can’t access from somewhere, you can order your backup data from the provider in 128 GB flash drive or in a 3 TB external hard drive. As long as you have access to internet, you are free from the worry of inaccessibility.

  • PERFORMANCE (RATING:  6/10)

The user application of Backblaze is also interactive and easy to use with minimal work for the user. Either you can let Backblaze select bandwidth usage for your system to upload data or you can manually set it using the slider in the performance tab. So for faster backups when you are doing minimal work on your device, you can slide to higher bandwidth.If you are doing heavy uploading or downloading already, then you can slide to lower bandwidth value so that your work doesn’t get affected. For a balanced bandwidth usage, you can set the slider in the middle.

  • RESTORATION (RATING: 8/10)

To restore data, you need to log in to your Backblaze account on the internet. After logging-in, it gives you an overview of all the devices that are registered with your account to use Backup service. You can select the device which you want to restore.The next step shows three ways to restore. Either download a zipped folder of your files or get your data couriered to you through Fedex. You can receive restored data of up to 128 GB in a flash drive or of up to 4 TB in an external drive at $99 and $189 respectively.Unlike its automatic backup, restoration is manual. Not all files are restored automatically.

You get the option of selecting folder and sub-files and folders that you wish to restore.If restoring data in a zipped folder of more than 2 GB, Backblaze provides its own installer for Windows and Mac Operating system for faster download speeds.You can also restore deleted files. In the Restore menu, select Deleted Files from the left pane under the Restore section and select a date and time when you remember the file was still there. Backblaze will roll back the backup to past 30 days to bring you the required file.Its Versioning feature also works the same way. You can restore a previous version of your file as old as 30 days.Another unique feature of Backblaze is the Locate My Computer. With this feature, you can recover your lost or stolen computer.

It updates your IP address every hour. In case it gets stolen, it can track its location using the IP address the thief is using as IP address translates to the physical address of the computer. Simple log-in to your Backblaze account and select Locate My Computer on the left pane. On the right, click on the Mapping On button. In the Select Computer drop-down list, select the name of the computer. Clicking on the Map this button will show the last location of your computer.

  • SHARE (RATING: 0/10)

A major turnoff of Backblaze found by most cloud users is its non-sharing feature. But the provider has a valid and a sensible reason for not including this feature. Since it is strictly a cloud backup service provider, it is meant to be secure. In order to enable you to share files with other people, it needs to decrypt your data on cloud server. On the other hand, as discussed above, Backblaze doesn’t keep encryption keys with it.Hence it is unable to share links of your data with your peers.Sharing and security cannot be put together in a pure online backup service. You have to trade-off one feature for the other. Cloud backup companies that offer sharing feature have weak security. Backblaze is a secure cloud backup provider in its true sense.

  • SYNC (RATING: 0/10)

Sync is short for synchronization. That would mean that if file is updated on a device, it should be updated on other devices/places connected to it. While Backblaze does automatic backup or update of new or modified files on the cloud, the opposite is not supported.That is, unlike Dropbox and other cloud service, it doesn’t sync your cloud space with your device. Any file added exclusively on the cloud can be downloaded on the connected device by logging in to the web client.

  • HELP & SUPPORT (RATING: 8/10) 

Backblaze helps and supports its users with its comprehensive knowledge base available on its website. Categorized under the topics of Installation, Backup, Restore, Billing, How-To Guides and Frequently Asked Questions, it has multiple subtopics to guide and answer all possible queries of the users. In the Sticky bits section, it has help pages on Best Practices, What is Backed Up, External Drives, Restore Guides, Stolen Computer and Transfer Backup Rate.For those who can still not find solution to their problem in its knowledge base, Backblaze has a chat support system. In this section, you can either chat with the team on business days during specific hours or submit a chat request. You can also check the status of your request online.

 

What may satisfy you

  • Multiple Restore Options – Probably the most hot and most satisfactory feature of Backblaze is Restoration. With it multiple data restoration options, it gives its user the peace of mind of least chances of losing their data. One way or the other, you can get your data conveniently. You can either use the conventional restoration method of downloading data from the internet, receive up to 128 GB of data in a flash drive or up to 4 TB data in an external drive shipped via Fedex courier service on your door stop. The courier service is provided at reasonable charges which is worth it.
  • Version History – Another cool thing of Backblaze is its Versioning feature. For most of us who can’t make up our minds to decide which version of a file is better, it helps in recovering previous versions of the files that were accidentally deleted or were not required.
  • Back up External Drive – Though it allows for one device per account, you can back up USB and external drives of any size. Once attached to your computer, automatic backup starts for your back up as well as the drive. However, you must re-attach it within 30 days from the last detachment in order to prevent Backblaze from deleting it from the backup.
  • Automatic Updates of Backup – Any file or folder that is modified on your computer after the backup gets automatically updated on the cloud backup. This prevents the user from the hassle of remembering which files to update manually on the cloud. This automatic update feature is rarely found with other service providers. You can schedule the automatic updates or select to do it manually.
  • Unlimited File Size – Another attraction in Backblaze is that there is no cap on the sizes of the file you backup. Before, file sizes were limited to 9 GB. But recently, the provider has revised its features and removed the upper limit on file sizes. This is an amazing feature for those who want to back up huge file sizes.
  • Unlimited Storage Space – Backblaze imposes no upper limits on cloud storage space. At reasonable rates, you can store your data on cloud without having to worry about space. Very few competitors in cloud market offer unlimited cloud storage at the same cost.
  • Military-Grade Security – State-of-the-art encryption technique is used by Backblaze to protect your data while uploading it and secure it on its cloud server. However, it involves the risk of losing backed-up data if you forget your encryption password as there is no way Backblaze can recover it for you.

 

What may dissatisfy you

  • No Restore client – Backblaze client does not support restore as for the backup. You have to access backup through web and then select files and folders that you want to restore.
  • No Sharing option – For users who are looking to share their photos and videos with their friends, family and their followers, Backblaze won’t be a good option. The cloud service provider only provides for a secure and unlimited cloud space for backup. These are mostly the extroverts and sociable people who are open to sharing and leverage social media and other online technological tools to stay in touch with their friends, family, fellows and followers.
  • No Syncing option – The cloud service provider secludes itself from the many other traditionalists in the market by making exclusive cloud backup service with strong security features and denying services that hamper its security.
  • Slow Upload speed – Users have reportedly reviewed Backblaze as slow in its backup process. For average file sizes, it performs pretty fast but for files greater than 2 GB, the provider recommends to use its built-in downloader to avoid slow upload speed performances. However, for extremely large files which are usually media files and libraries, it can take days to weeks which is found annoying to most users.
  • Risk of data loss – you can have top-notch security of your cloud backup data with Backblaze at the cost of risking to lose it in a tiny yet disastrous way. The local encryption procedure of Backblaze enables user to encrypt data and lock it using secret encryption key before uploading it on the cloud thereby disabling itself from accessing it. Though the brighter side is obvious that user has the sole access to it.However, on its darker side, in case you forget your encryption key, there is no way you can access your unencrypted data. There are no procedures of recovery such as resetting password or hints or secret questions. It is mandatory to either have a very good memory or to save it in case you forget.
  • Limited history time period – as an upside, it helps in recovering deleted files and older file versions but on its downside, this is possible only for files that are up to 30 days old. We hope that in future, Backblaze will improve its history keeping feature.
  • File exclusion backup – Most people like conventions of selecting files and folders individually which they want to back up. Backblaze is different. It backs up everything on your laptop or desktop automatically. Users have to deselect files and folders that they don’t wish to back up.
  • No backup support for Network Drives – Although it does allow backup for external hard drives, network drive support is still missing and many Backblaze users are looking forward to that in future.

 

How it is compared

Rated as the top cloud backup provider in 2013, the company is continuously struggling to be the best as more and more competitors enter the cloud industry. With the fast pace in technological changes, it is continuously upgrading itself to the new cloud technology. To acquire new customers and to retain old ones, every year it revises its terms and policies as well. It has removed the bar from the upper limit of cloud storage which was previously limited to 9 GB. Also, it has added search feature in its services for looking files in the cloud backup which was previously missing.   

Currently, it is ranked as the second best in cloud backup market after Justcloud. As compared to price package, Backblaze’s prices are very reasonable, its performance, platform support and cloud space is all competitive and appealing. What currently puts it on second to Justcloud is the sharing and syncing feature being provided by the latter. In contrast, the former provides more robust high-end security but not much users understand the importance of secure data.

All those cloud companies that provide sharing and syncing features are the ones that offer limited cloud storage space under different price packages. For example Dropbox, SpiderOak, Mozy, Mega and SugarSync all offer either sharing or syncing or both features at the cost of an upper limit on the maximum storage space. Moreover, data security is also traded-off with these features. Such cloud providers can be a good option for those who want data to be publicly available online.

 

How to backup

When you are out of space on your device, you get USB, flash drives and external hard drives to cope up with it. And even when that space is not enough, you go for cloud space. When storing data on cloud, its security becomes an additional concern. Backblaze promises to address both these concerns – unlimited cloud space with high-end security which they call it as “Military Grade”.

It is common to lose data from your PC, laptop, mobile phone or hard disk. Hardware or software failure, hacker attack, virus, malware or device stolen – there are a number of ways you can lose your data. So, having a backup on cloud is a wise choice of today.

After subscribing to its services, Backblaze’s user client automatically starts backup of all types of files. Except it omits out systems files and folders. If you don’t want to backup certain files, you will have to deselect them individually. The backup procedure is automatic that looks for new files added on your device to upload on the cloud whenever you boot in. However, you can change the backup settings. You can set a scheduled date and time for backup or manually start backup when you think is required.

To back up and external hard drive, attach it to your device and the backup starts automatically. If you remove the drive, make sure you re-attach it within 30 days from the detachment as Backblaze deletes files from back up that it does not find on the device after a 30 days period.

 

How to restore backup

Backblaze restore procedure, unlike its backup procedure is web-based. This is advantageous in a way that wherever you are, in order to restore data, all you need is a computer and internet. To restore, log-in to Backblaze account through its website and go to the Restore menu.

Under this menu, you will see three restoration ways:

  1. Download Zip File
  2. Get up to 128 GB data in Flash drive
  3. Get up to 4 TB data in external drive

Except for the first method, the rest two are with cost. After selecting the desired method, you have to select the file and folder that you wish to restore. If you have selected first method, you will be proceeded to select the location where you want to save the restored files and selected files will start downloading in a zipped folder. A continuous progress of the download can also be monitored in the Restore Menu. If you have selected any of the rest two methods, you will be proceeded to the payment window.

In order to restore deleted files or previous version of a file, select View Deleted Files in the Restore section. Then select the time period when you think the file or the file version was not deleted. After this, select the Restore button and Backblaze will roll out an image of backup from that date. If it has been more than 30 days for the file or version to be deleted then unfortunately you cannot recover it.

Similarly, if you have detached your hard drive from the device after creating cloud backup, make sure you attach it again before 30 day time period. Otherwise you will again have to start the backup procedure for the hard drive which can be tedious for bigger drive sizes.

 

Our Final Opinion

There are two major reasons why people want cloud space – when they go out of space or when they foresee future possibilities and want to backup existing data. The trend is that most people are using cloud services for the former reason and you can find ample service providers for that. Additionally these services enables its users to share and sync data among different devices for limited amount of data which is trending as another reason to use cloud backup. But Backblaze is among the quiet few of the cloud service providers that has kept the sanctity of true cloud backup service. It offers cloud space for safe and secure backup.

Rather than being a jack of all traits, it has mastered itself as a true cloud backup provider. It denies all those additional features like sharing and syncing that hampers data integrity and freeing its users from apprehensions of data theft and exploitation. However, in its privacy policy, it clearly states to handover user data to intelligence and defense agencies when required but this privacy policy rules over every US – based company and there is no way you can get away with it.

Backblaze has tried to be unique in every possible way by addressing all those general issues that is faced in a conventional could backup service. To avoid slowing computer speed when doing backup, it allows the user to select how much bandwidth the process should take. Otherwise, the process is designed to work in an optimal way. It has made an automatic backup process that doesn’t require any input clicks from the user. To be even more different, rather than asking the user which files and folders to backup, it asks the user to deselect any files that are not required for backup.

Not many cloud providers give the option of backup for deleted and older file versions. What needs to be improved is the time span for which it keeps this history. Extending the ‘30 day’ period to ‘forever’ is what users are looking forward from this cloud backup provider. All in all, Backblaze is a loyal and true advocate of cloud backup. At very reasonable rates, it’s the best cloud backup space.

About the author

Reece Anderson

Anderson is the co-founder and marketing strategist for
EZCustomApps.com. In his spare time, he enjoys freelance web
development, blogging, and volunteering with various
nonprofits.

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