backblaze

By John Reynolds
June 19, 2013

 

Quick summary and verdict

Backblaze is one of the most plain and simple online backup applications that comes with unlimited cloud storage, as well as encryption and scheduled backups. It is easy to use, although it may not come with all the bells and whistles that its competitors pack. It also has a more affordable price tag than most other cloud storage services that offer unlimited storage.

However, Backblaze may not be as fast at backing up data as some of its competitors, although users can still use the files as they are being backed up and encrypted. Overall, Backblaze can be a very cost-effective and convenient cloud back up application for users looking for a simple way to back up their files, but users looking for speed or exceptional performance should look elsewhere.

  1. Unlimited online backup
  2. Very easy to use
  3. High level of security

Target market and users – is it for you?

The target market for Backblaze consists mostly of users that want a simple interface to back up their files. The service is affordable for a cloud storage and backup service, with two options for users: a home back up option for $5 per month or $50 per year and a business back up option for $50 per computer per year.

This can mean costs as low as about $4 per month for an online cloud back up service, which is significantly cheaper than its competitors considering its unlimited data option. Furthermore, Backblaze tends to focus on its core services of back up and restoring instead of focusing on expanding its services into synchronizing files, which will appeal to users that want a focused and intuitive back up service.

Therefore, Backblaze is a good fit for users that want a simple service or have a lot of data to store, so they can take advantage of the unlimited data plan for such a low cost.

About Backblaze

Backblaze is an online back up service, and differs from other providers primarily in the fact that it locates its servers at a single data server in the United States, meaning that there is a physical limitation in the location of the data. It was founded in 2007 and located in San Mateo, California, being known for being one of the first data storage and back up company to offer unlimited data storage.

Backing up files

Backing up files on Backblaze is simple, with the option for timed or continuous back up options, including options of daily, hourly, manually backing up data. By default Backblaze just backs up everything (except system files) – so there is very little customization needed if you’re an inexperienced user. In addition, users can also select not only the directories of the files that need to be backed up, but also the file types that need to be backed up.

This means that users can choose an entire category of files to back up, such as only documents and music files. In addition, Backblaze utilizes a 2,048 bit encryption key to encrypt the files, and is one of the most secure encryption system at this price point. In addition, Backblaze offers unlimited storage, although Backblaze ignores system and program files by default.

In addition, while Backblaze allows users to back up multiple external hard drivesonto their cloud profile, it is much more difficult for users to back up their operating system.

Backblaze does store files that have been deleted for a certain amount of time, although this time frame is relatively short, at only one month. In addition, Backblaze doesn’t allow file sharing of any kind between accounts, and users need to pay an extra 5 dollars per month in order to add additional computers to their back up system. The back up interface is fairly simple and intuitive, since Backblaze allows users to simply select the files that they don’t want Backblaze to back up, instead of the other way around.

Restoring files:

The process of restoring files in Backblaze is somewhat unusual compared to other data storage and backup programs and services. The actual restoration of backed up data and files is done through the web browser, instead of the Backblaze client.

Furthermore, the actual restore files are packed into a zip folder to be downloaded through the browser or the client. Users can either choose a full restore or selectively restore certain files for Backblaze to compile the zip file. This takes a little bit extra time for Backblaze to pack the zip file, but after the preparation of the zip file, the only limiting factor in the speed of restoration is the speed at which the files are downloaded.

The speed of the restoration is highly dependent on the bandwidth of the computer, and is comparable to more expensive programs, given the same internet speed.

Special features:

Backblaze does offer some special features that may be lacking in its competitors. It is featured in 11 languages. More importantly, it has an option called “Locate my Computer” which allows individuals to find their computers in the event of theft. This adds a layer of physical security to the data security that users are looking for in the service, and is not present in any of its competitors currently.

One of the features that are lacking in Backblaze includes limited customer support options. There are options for email and online tickets, but not phone support or any form of live chat. These are services that are offered by some of its competitors that offer their services at a higher price point.

  1. Multi-language support
  2. Locate your computer
  3. military-grade encryption

Final verdict and recommendation:

Overall, Backblaze offers a comprehensive and straightforward service. The unlimited data storage, intuitive interface and simple back up options all point towards a target user that wants a basic online back up service and not much more. It is limited by the internet speed and bandwidth of the user, so that is a factor prospective users should take into account. They also feature a free trial for 2 weeks, so interested users can test it for themselves.

Overall, it is a good, basic and inexpensive online back up software but may lack the speed or complexity of its competitors but will protect your computer and files enough for years to come.