Backblaze is a cloud solution for OS X and Windows that uses its software and web application to backup files. Launched in 2007, it has become a popular backup solution for individuals and businesses alike. Considering this, we decided to see what it’s about and create a Backblaze review.
Backblaze Review – an In-Depth Analysis
Backblaze is a good example of an unlimited backup solution that is secure and simple. For a lower-than-average price, users can back up their prized data with a highly-secure cloud solution. Its need to connect an external hard drive once a month to prevent deleting the cloud files is an inconvenience, but users are notified via pop-ups and e-mails. This is a deal-breaker for constant travelers or people who do not have their external hard drive attached at all times.
Here’s a list of its most and least appreciated features observed during the making of this Backblaze review:
- Easy to set up.
- Unlimited online backup.
- Easy restoration.
- Requires little assistance.
- Attractive design.
- “Stolen Device Location” feature.
- Good encryption system.
- No file exploration or search available.
- A bit slow.
- Buggy – some backed up files cannot be viewed.
- A subscription can only be used on one computer.
- Somewhat inflexible.
- No file-sharing options.
- Cannot backup applications or operating system files.
A missing feature that would have been useful is the ability to backup other devices attached to the same network. Nevertheless, Backblaze is a viable option for small businesses or individuals who are looking for a permanent cloud backup solution.
Backblaze offers a 15-day free trial for their services, but no permanent free backup solution. At the time of this Backblaze review’s writing, prices are $5/month, $50/year, and $95/2 years of unlimited backup storage for a computer, making it cheaper than other cloud services. However, the subscription can only be used on one computer.
Backblaze also offers a B2 cloud storage solution for developers to build apps or host data in, for $0.005/GB/month.
Creating a Backblaze account is simple; It only requires an e-mail address and a password. After installing the software, it immediately scans the hard drive and backs files up. The software offers no options regarding the types of files to backup and stays away from applications or system files.
Even though it was designed as a solution to restore backed-up data on new devices, the process is difficult and challenging because of their “1 computer/subscription” policy. An upside is that users can set a schedule for backing up their files. The system permanently checks files for changes and updates the backed-up copy, thus continually updating the cloud storage.
Backblaze Review – Performance
The service appears slow if compared to SOS Online Backup, for example. Selecting files or folders to be backed up is a dreadful task because of its few options and features. However, it does offer the useful feature of tracking the location of a backed-up computer through their web application. It uses OpenStreetMaps to accurately show the location of your computer and its IP address.
During backup, the overview panel displays the chosen backup mode and the file that is currently transferred. After the process is complete, users can see reports on their backed up files and identify which are the largest.
Backblaze Backup Speed
Backblaze has average speeds of 337 Kilobytes/second for uploading a file and 1401 Kilobytes/second for downloading a backup. This means it takes almost 9 hours to upload 10 GB and about 2 hours to download the same amount.
The interface of Backblaze’s software is compact and well-designed at first glance. However, that is not enough to be user-friendly. After using the software it becomes obvious that it’s too simple; It’s difficult to customize the backup process. The web interface has more features: an overview of your enrolled computers and backups. Restoring is available through their web application, but users cannot see the actual files until the downloadable .zip is complete.
Security Backblaze Review
Backblaze encrypts files before being transferred and uses SSL when backups are uploaded. This results in a highly-secure cloud backup since files are only decrypted when downloaded by the user who was the original encryption key. If desired, these can be managed by users willing to lose the password reset feature.
The Backblaze Mobile Experience
The Android and iOS apps display your enrolled computers and allow navigation through backed up files. They also have extra features like downloadable files, which does not exist on the web version.
Backblaze is good for casual users or companies that only have text files. Its encryption feature is a plus, and so is the permanent backup system. It’s definitely not recommended to experienced users who back up large files often. It provides superficial control in selected files and is less comfortable to view files remotely or sharing them. It is slower than most competitors but still makes a good choice for users who want to backup few small files.