- Easy to use and setup.
- Unlimited space with no file size or bandwidth limits.
- Supports external hard drives.
- Option to use a private encryption key.
- iOS and Android apps for easy access to files.
- Locate computer feature to help recover stolen or lost computers.
- No support for networked drives
- Restores can take time to prepare.
- Memory use can grow large with millions of files.
Easy to use I think is the mantra of Backblaze. Easy to install goes along with that. Setting up Backblaze is a simple process compared to some cloud backup software. The first step is to create an account on the Backblaze website and download the setup file or if you like you can download the trial and setup an account when you are installing the software. Once you have the installation file double click it to start the installation process. Depending if you created an account before you downloaded the software or after will change your initial installation slightly but it is still one of the easiest installations you can have. The best part is once the installation is complete there is not much you need to do to start your initial backup, except perhaps click the Backup Now button, but even if you don’t Backblaze will start your initial backup probably within an hour.
Remember I mentioned that Backblaze was easy to use? Setting up your initial backup is an example of that. Most backup software you need to tell it what you want to backup. If you don’t know where all your files are or you accidentally miss a folder with some cloud backup software it will never be backed up. Backblaze makes that problem disappear, they simply select all user files across the whole computer, including your external drives and add them to the backup. Instead of telling Backblaze what to backup you can alternatively tell it what NOT to backup. For most people though the initial settings and exclusions that Backblaze uses will be correct. There may be occasions when you need to add a new folder exclusion but it is pretty rare.
In the video below you can see the initial account setup, installation and initial backup using the Backblaze trial. It was a small backup test so the initial backup took roughly half an hour. I wouldn’t blame you if you skip most of that part.
Some images of the default settings from Backblaze.
The restore process is perhaps the most complicated part of Backblaze, and even then it is pretty straight forward. Restores all start on the Backblaze website portal where you can select how to receive your restore and select the files to recover. If you have had a total system crash and need to recover all your user files you can select a flash drive or external hard drive restore that Backblaze will send to you. If you have a smaller restore a simple download file is probably all you need. Simply select the folders and files you want to recover and ask to prepare the restore. There is a little wait for Backblaze to prepare your files and you will get an email when the files are ready to be downloaded.
I recorded the restore process and you can check it out in the video below. I was able to speed up the download portion in the video, I wish my Internet was that fast. Since the backup test was fairly small the restore did not take very long and you can see the restored files side by side with the original files.
If you want to backup your personal desktop or laptop and do not want to sit and fuss with settings and just want your backup to work Backblaze is the right cloud backup service for you. Yes there are more complete services out there that offer complete image backups, backing up to other computers etc but those all miss the point that backup should be easy. Backblaze understands that backup should be easy.
For the record, I am a Backblaze customer and a partner. If you signup for Backblaze through my link they will compensate me but that in no way has impacted my review. Like I said I am a Backblaze customer and have been for many years. While I test many different cloud backup and storage services it is Backblaze that I ultimately trust my cloud backup too.