Backblaze Review

A Full Review of Backblaze, an Online Backup Service

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© Backblaze, Inc.

Backblaze is currently my favorite online backup service and also tops our list of unlimited online backup plans.

While there are plenty of individual things to love about Backblaze, it's what those things have in common that makes Backblaze so great: they're all simple!

Keep reading for a detailed look at the Backblaze online backup service, including updated pricing and feature information, plus my experience backing up and restoring with them.

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Also, don't miss our Backblaze Tour for a detailed look Backblaze's super-easy cloud backup software.

Backblaze Plans & Costs

Valid December 2018

Backblaze offers just one online backup plan. Most online backup services offer at least two plans, some offer dozens, but Backblaze's strategy keeps the decision process really easy.

Backblaze lets you backup an unlimited amount of data from a single computer with no restriction on individual file type or size.

Here's how their pricing works out: Month to Month: $5.00 /month; 1 Year: $50.00 ($4.17 /month); 2 Years: $95.00 ($3.96 /month).

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As you can see, you can get substantial discounts on Backblaze's service when you prepay for one or two years at signup. Save more with Backblaze's Refer-A-Friend program, where you can get a month free per friend you get to sign up.

Backblaze is one of the least expensive unlimited online backup plans among those I've reviewed but see our Unlimited Online Backup Plan Prices comparison table to see by how much.

Backblaze also offers a similar business-class online backup plan, which you can read about in our Business Online Backup list or check out on their site here.

You can try Backblaze's unlimited online backup free for 15 days before having to commit to a monthly or yearly plan. However, they do not offer a 100% free online backup plan like some other backup services do.

See our List of Free Online Backup Plans if that's something you might be interested in.

Backblaze Features

Backblaze, like all online backup services, backs up existing data automatically when it's changed, as well as new data when added to a location you've chosen to back up.

This means that every piece of important data you have is kept backed up to Backblaze's servers without any action on your part, after the initial setup, of course.

Past these very basic online backup features, you'll get the following with your Backblaze unlimited backup plan:

File Size LimitsNo
File Type RestrictionsNo, but only after removing the default exclusions
Fair Use LimitsNo
Bandwidth ThrottlingNo
Operating System SupportWindows 10, 8/8.1, 7, Vista, & XP; macOS 10.6+
Native 64-bit SoftwareYes
Mobile AppsiOS and Android
File AccessWeb app and mobile apps
Transfer Encryption256-bit
Storage Encryption128-bit AES (key stored with 2048-bit RSA)
Private Encryption KeyYes, optional
File VersioningLimited, 30 days
Mirror Image BackupNo
Backup LevelsExclusion based; exclude by drive, folder, and file type
Backup From Mapped DriveNo
Backup From External DriveYes
Backup FrequencyContinuous, once per day, and manual
Idle Backup OptionYes
Bandwidth ControlAdvanced
Offline Backup Option(s)No
Offline Restore Option(s)Yes, hard drive or flash drive via FedEx1
Local Backup Option(s)No
Locked/Open File SupportNo
Backup Set Option(s)No
Integrated Player/ViewerNo
File SharingYes, via Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage
Multi-Device SyncingNo
Backup Status AlertsEmail
Data Center LocationsUnited States (Oakland, CA & Sacramento, CA)
Inactive Account Retention6 months
Support OptionsEmail and self-support

[1] Backblaze's Restore By Mail feature costs $189 if you want your files sent to you on a hard drive that's capable of storing up to 4 TB of data, or $99 for a 128 GB flash drive. You can keep the drive for yourself or you can return it within 30 days for a full refund, essentially making this service free, which is not something a lot of services offer.

See our Online Backup Comparison Chart to see how Backblaze compares to some other online backup services that I like. Backblaze keeps their own comparison chart on their site if you're interested.

My Experience With Backblaze

I'm a huge fan of Backblaze.

If you're having a tough time deciding between Backblaze and another service, just stop where you're at and pick Backblaze. You won't be sorry.

Why do I love Backblaze so much? It's simple. Everything about Backblaze is easy, including pricing, software setup, configuration, file restoration, you name it.

Read on for more about what I like about Backblaze, and a few things that I don't:

What I Like:

Backblaze isn't messing around with their pricing. I find it quite amazing that, for just $95, you can get a 2-year insurance plan for every bit of the most valuable stuff you own—your information. Some online backup plans from other services run two or three times that much.

I almost didn't mention price first, considering that it's Backblaze's incredible simplicity that has won me over more than anything.

There's only one plan to choose, and it offers unlimited online backup space. One [really good] choice takes all the guesswork out of which size of a plan to choose. The software is quick to download and install and requires that you know next-to-nothing about where your data is at or what's important.

That's not to say that there aren't options if you need them, but they're out of the way and not required. I love that.

Not only is Backblaze easy, I've also found it to be very fast. Backing up online can be slow, especially that initial chunk of data, but I was able to upload almost 300 GB in just three days, a feat that I haven't been able to duplicate with any other online backup service.

Plus, Backblaze won't give up on you if you have a slow network. If uploading a file is taking days, or even weeks, it will keep working on it until the whole thing has finished.

I also like the restoring process Backblaze allows. You can restore any single file directly from your account so long as it's less than 30 MB, else the restore process takes a little longer since it's first put into a ZIP file and then you're emailed the download link. When restoring pictures, you can preview the image in your browser before choosing to download it, which is a great feature so that you're not restoring dozens or more pictures to find the one you need.

True, the quality of my experience no doubt has a lot to do with whatever bandwidth was available to me in those days, but that's been the case with my tests with other services as well and Backblaze "blazed" (pardon the pun) past them in this regard. See How Long Will the Initial Backup Take? for more on this.

What I Don't Like:

If I were running the show over there, the only improvement I'd make to the service is to offer an option for unlimited versioning.

In other words, I wish Backblaze had the ability to keep old versions of files forever, instead of just for 30 days. This is a feature that some of my other top online backup picks do have and you should look closer at them if this is important to you.

I'm told that unlimited versioning may be an option feature in the future, no doubt for an added cost but one I'd personally be happy to pay.

Something else I should mention is that some users have had bad experiences with Backblaze because of a not-so-apparent feature that maybe should be a lot more obvious: Backblaze does not function as a permanent archive of all of your data, but instead as a mirror. In other words, if you delete files on your computer, or the drive fails and you're disconnected from Backblaze's website, Backblaze will see that those files are gone and will remove them from your online account, too.

According to their website: "Backblaze will keep versions of a file that changes for up to 30 days. However, Backblaze is not designed as an additional storage system when you run out of space. Backblaze mirrors your drive. If you delete your data, it will be deleted from Backblaze after 30 days."

My Final Thoughts on Backblaze

For what it's worth, I use Backblaze for online backup at home. No, they didn't pay me to say that or give me the service for free. See What Online Backup Service Do YOU Use, Tim? for more on that.

I highly recommend that you choose Backblaze for your needs at home, too. It's fast, easy to use, and is easy to forget about. And that's a good thing!

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Not convinced that Backblaze is the best thing since sliced bread? Check out our reviews of Carbonite and SOS Online Backup, the other cloud backup providers near the top of our lists.