Backblaze is recommended when security around your data is paramount. If your objective is to ensure your system is up and running as soon as possible after a major hard drive failure or a ransomware attack, Backblaze is not the ideal solution.
The demand for personal backup solutions has been on the rise for the last 5 years and for good reason. Kaspersky recorded one ransomware attack every 40 seconds for business users and one ransomware attack every 10 seconds for consumers.
As terrifying as this is, hackers are getting more skilled at creating better ransomware and extracting money for giving you access to data which was yours to begin with. To make matters even worse, 1 in 5 users never get their data back despite paying the ransom.
With the threat of a ransomware attack on the horizon and so many backup solutions populating the market, we thought of comparing the pros and cons of Backblaze’s backup solutions and putting it through its pace. Our objective is to give you insights into some of the heavy hitters when it comes to backup software solutions.
Analyzing the market
For this review, we took an in-depth look at cloud backup solutions as it stores your data in the Cloud apart from your laptop. In technology, the Cloud is an abstract way of referring to physical data centers around the world, filled with internet-connected computers managed by the company providing the service. Thus, data stored in the Cloud can be retrieved even if you forget your laptop in the cab or accidentally spill coffee over it.
We will be extensively reviewing Backblaze for these three parameters:
- Ease of use
- Data security
- Cost per year
Introduction to Backblaze
Getting your hands on Backblaze is simple. If you follow the onscreen instructions on their website, you will have it up and running in under 5 minutes.
Backblaze is one of the most recognized backup solutions in the industry. Backblaze has earned the reputation of being amongst the most secure backup solution. That obsession is also reflected by the fact that they have written native code for Mac and Windows and steered away from the industry-standard – Java.
Native code is designed to work on a specific operating system and increases development effort as for each platform, most of the code must be rewritten. The upside being, if written properly, native code software is very secure. There is a major downside to this though.
Recovering data is complex since you must download the file individually through the web browser.
Our test system was running Windows. The installation process is intuitive and doesn’t require a tech-savvy engineer.
Strengths and Weakness of Backblaze
1. Ease of Use
Backblaze is easy to use and has a very clutter-free user interface. What we love is the process of backing up data. All you must do is install the software, login with your credentials. You don’t have to select which files to backup, which locations must be actively scanned for changes, etc. Backblaze by default backups all your data and even better, it keeps a 30-day history of that data. This makes it easy to roll back to a previous version of that word file you were writing to be handed over to your boss.
The main let down for this amazing backup software is the fact that it does not support system backup. So, if your system were to crash or ransomware were to attack your system, restoring your system to its default state would be tedious. You would have to individually download all files from the web browser, as Backblaze does not offer a one-click system restore option.
2. Encryption Used
This is where we really respect Backblaze. They have taken a lot of effort to ensure that your data is as secure as it can be. For extreme security requirements, they even offer on-demand decryption which means, you select a password that is used to decrypt your data.
This must be used with extreme caution as if you forget that password, your data cannot be recovered at all, completely nullifying the objective of a backup solution.
In this category, we found Backblaze to be the most expensive at 6 dollars per month, compared to Carbonite and Rebit. However, the price is fairly reasonable as it offers unlimited cloud storage. Thus, its true cost is dependent on how much storage you use. If you work in an industry which deals with big files, like in design where each file on average is 1.5Gbs, Backblaze would be super economical.
After using Backblaze, one thing was clear, Backblaze is designed to ensure your backed-up data is handled in a very secure way. Features like passphrase encryption where there is only 1 key to decrypt your data shows BackBlaze’s commitment to security. This does make the experience of restoring your data tedious and time-consuming. Instances where your system crashes, keep aside a day to restore your system back to its original state
Backblaze is only recommended when security around your data is paramount. The end-user must be aware that Backblaze operates more like a secure secondary storage solution rather than a backup as if a system crashes, each file must be independently restored using a web browser. If your objective was to ensure your system is up and running as soon as possible after a major hard drive failure or a ransomware attack, Backblaze would not be the ideal solution.