I’ve been thinking about getting an online service to backup my computer for a while now, however most services made the plans confusing, didn’t have a Mac client, or had price levels that just made it more than I wanted to spend. However, I signed up for Backblaze and it’s been wonderful ever since. I no longer think about backing up, it just happens.
I know what a lot of Mac users are thinking, what about Time Machine? Well, as great as Time Machine is, if my house were to burn down, so would all my backups. An off site backup solution is the only way to ensure that my files are safe. Time Machine works well for local backups, but really isn’t the best solution overall and that’s why I looked into other options.
Backblaze costs $5 month per computer and works for Mac and Windows machines. They give unlimited space and you always have access to your files via a web browser. Want a copy of your computer? Backblaze can send you a USB drive or a DVD with all your files for an additional cost.
So how does it work? Once you sign up, you install the application on your computer, put in your account information and let it go!
For those that haven’t backed up over the internet before, it takes a long time the first time. Why? Because you have a lot of files that need to be uploaded. It took days for my first backup to complete. Yes, the initial backup seems to take forever, but that’s based on how many files you have, your file sizes, your computer, your internet connection and a lot of other things. Chances are, any online backup system will take just as long. I found myself leaving my machine on 24/7 so it could work all night and all day long. However, once the initial backup is done, you never have to worry about it. It only backs up files that are new or have changed since the last backup and doesn’t slow down the machine.
There are a number of preferences to play with if you want too. I used these to control and prioritize my initial backup; plus make sure I’m not backing up stuff I don’t want or really need.
Throttle lets you control how many system resources Backblaze uses when backing up. I usually set this to Faster Network when I wanted to use my computer and then Faster Backups when I went to bed or to work. Backblaze might as well work as hard as it can when I’m not on my computer. After the initial backup, I just leave it somewhere in the middle and it’s all good.
You can also filter out folders or file types that you don’t care to have backed up with the exclusions preference. For me, I had a bunch of old files and folders that I just hadn’t gotten around to removing and don’t really need. I also chose not to backup my Parallels drive and some random other folders. You can use this to prioritize backups too by adding the less important folders to the exclusions list so that everything else gets backed first. Then go back in and remove the exceptions.
I’m very happy with Backblaze and would recommend it to other users. I’ve had no issues and no complaints. I now don’t even have to think about backing up my computer as all my files are automatically backed up and safe!