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Backblaze Lets You Forget About Backing Up – It’s That Easy

BackblazeI’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 Preference

Throttle Preference

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.

Filter Preference

Exclusions Preference

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.

All Backed Up!

All Backed Up!

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!

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12 Responses

  1. Backblaze has been impressive for many online backup users. If you have a minute please come and share your experience of Backblaze with my readers. Thanks.

  2. tim says:

    Good article! I’m currently weighing my backup options (and those of certain family members). I’ve heard of BackBlaze and it’s good to see a review.

    a recent post on the subject: Onsite Versus Offsite Backup Solutions… What To Do?

  3. Billy says:

    I have the same experience, very fast and so simple. I used Mozy with my Mac for over a year, but often had issues with the software becoming corrupt. The Backblaze (so far anyway) has backed up around 80GB in about 3 and a half weeks!!!

    Very pleased. The other good news is that when I emailed for info I got responses the same day. If all goes wrong they will send all my files on a Western Digital hard drive (or multiple drives if more than 500GB files) at a cost of $190 each.

    I find it all very reassuring.

    Billy – Aberdeen, Scotland.

  4. Chuck says:

    My iMac’s been sending the initial backup for about a week now. I downloaded BB to my MacBook Pro and then forgot to install and initiate. I wrote and they said it was no problem, just start it over. So, since my iMac mirrors my MacBook Pro, and I use the iMac only a little while when I’m home, it makes much more sense to send the backup from there.

    One other point, echoing Billy from Aberdeen: in the few e-mails I’ve had to send with questions that I couldn’t find answered in the online documentation, I had prompt, professional, and very clear replies. Good customer service makes a strong impression on me. If the technical side of this works out as expected, I’m pretty sure I’ll subscribe for at least a year, especially since an annual subscription saves $10 ($5/month, $50/yr).

    My ONLY concern on this is that the service excludes certain other data that I’d really like to have out there, such as Library and similar collections of settings that I’ve built up over months and years.

    Otherwise — it looks like one of those things that’s just smooth, easy, and effective. Even if I never need it, $50/year is well worth the peace of mind.

    cb

  5. I am using Backblaze in combination with regular Time Machine backups, and I’ve been pleased so far. It’s been backing up for about a month and a half so far (130gb) and has about 6 gigs to go– probably another day or two at this rate. I’ve periodically tested the files as donwloads, and they’ve all come through intact. I do like the fact that in case of a disaster, I can get my most important job files back via hard drive. And I consider $5/month a reasonable price to pay for the peace of mind of having your data in the cloud.

    I think a pretty good backup strategy is to use Backblaze in combination with weekly or monthly local Time Machine backups. In the event of a computer crash, you could back up your entire system from your most recent Time Machine backup in order to retrieve basic system settings and software, and then pull the most recent job files from BackBlaze if necessary. This seems like the easiest, no-hassle way to handle backups, IMO.

    p.s. On a side note, the title of your post is a little ambiguous– at first read, it seems you’re saying you don’t like it– as in “Forget about trying to backup with Backblaze…”

  6. Evan says:

    The title of this article “Forget about backing up with Backblaze” makes it sound like you thought Backblaze was horrible. Might want to revise it.

  7. David says:

    Exactly what Evan said. Your title implies the exact opposite of what this article is about. You should definitely change the title of this article. I came to this site to read about the negative experiences you had with backblaze (as your title suggested). And wanted to know why I should forget about using backblaze as my backup service.

    But I am glad you had a positive experience and this has pushed me to use their service.

    thanks,
    david n.

  8. Thomas says:

    Ok Ok. I updated the title. 🙂

  9. CB says:

    Likewise I found quick attention on tech questions when I tried BB. I appreciated that. It left a good impression, such that if I do decide to return to cloud storage, I will in fact likely revisit BB first.

    I’m just not crazy about having all my stuff on someone else’s machines. And I’ll echo Chuck (5/12/09) regarding Library and so forth. Lots of the App Support and so forth I certainly want backed up.

    Meanwhile, I don’t bother with Time Machine, as it’s not bootable. Instead, I rotate four external drives (and now a fifth I just got for Snow Leopard) doing incrementals with Carbon Copy Cloner to keep my office machine mirrored at home. The externals stay in different places. A little more hassle, yeah. I don’t mind.

  10. CB says:

    Oh, and Thomas, I think you should change the title. It’s too positive and easily understood. 😉

  11. Chris says:

    RE: Title

    Don’t forget to change the title tags! Google still picks up the older title and displays it in the search results. I thought this article was going to be a negative review until I read through it (and also noticed the title change on the page from these comments).

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