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Backblaze cloud storage review 2021

Affordable cloud storage for large businesses

Backblaze logo
(Image: © Backblaze)

Our Verdict

Backblaze is a simple and easy-to-use cloud storage provider that offers strong data encryption and basic file-sharing features. It offers reliable speeds and great prices, but is set back by its limited feature set and lack of mobile backup.

Pros

  • Unlimited storage
  • No file size restrictions
  • Affordable pricing

Cons

  • Single-device usage
  • Limited file-sharing features

When it was launched in 2007, Backblaze’s only goal was to provide a secure backup service for storing device data on the cloud. Due to the company’s small size, that meant focusing on a streamlined platform that lacked the fancy file management and data discovery features we have come to expect from most cloud storage providers.

Backblaze’s cloud backup used to be, and still is, a set-it-and-forget-it kind of system where you simply configured it to constantly back up any new files on your PC or Mac. The only time you actually accessed those files was when your device was compromised for some reason. 

Since 2016, however, Backblaze has been promoting a new offering called Backblaze B2, which provides data management and file sharing features that aim to compete with the likes of best cloud storage providers like Amazon S3 and Google Cloud.

Backblaze review: Snapshot

While the cloud backup solution continues to provide a solid no-frills environment for automatically backing up your precious data to prevent data loss, the new cloud storage offering comes with improved features and platform integrations that should interest any modern business. 

Based on what we found during our Backblaze review, Backblaze offers highly affordable cloud storage and backup solutions with reliable security and great speeds. Keep reading to see if it ranks among the best cloud storage for business.

Score: 3.5/5

Read on for the full review.


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Backblaze's competitors

How does Backblaze compare to its main competitors?
BackblazeIDriveSpiderOak
Score3.5/54.5/54/5
ProsUnlimited storage for one device - No limits on individual file size - Affordable subscription plans - Easy to operateSupports several platforms - File versioning and recovery - NAS and server backups - Unlimited devices per userUnlimited devices per user - Highly flexible software - End-to-end data encryption - Cross-platform integration
ConsLimited to one desktop device only - Limited file sharing and data managementSlow upload and download speeds - Dated applicationsUnreasonably expensive - No phone support
VerdictBackblaze is a simple yet fully functional cloud storage and backup provider available at an affordable rate for small businesses.IDrive is the best cloud storage platform for those who want complete control over how their data is stored. It’s also very affordable.SpiderOak gives you complete control over your device backups, but expensive rates prevent it from reaching mainstream adaptability.
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Key features

Backblaze’s no-frills secure backup service is state of the art, while its relatively new instant storage offering comes at some seriously attractive prices. But does this platform have enough features to justify a purchase from your business? Let’s find out!

Backblaze’s key offering is an utterly simple cloud backup service that works on a single desktop per user, and lets you constantly upload all of your precious data onto the cloud for safekeeping. The cloud backup service is fast and secure, while also being a lot cheaper than traditional cloud storage. You also get unlimited storage per device.

Backblaze’s system works by automatically syncing every single file on your device with the cloud. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have any control over the files that you back up. In fact, you can set up exclusions to prevent certain folders and file types from being synced, which helps you save your storage space for only the most important files. 

Backblaze offers proper end-to-end data encryption for all your data, both in transit and at rest. Data at rest is protected by a 128-bit AES connection using 2048-bit RSA encryption keys. Data transfers are secured using a 256-bit encrypted connection. Two-factor authentication can be set up for your account using the web application, requiring you to verify your identity through a text message sent to your phone each time you log in.

Apart from all this, Backblaze also has a very straightforward privacy policy. Like most other services, it collects your personal data during signup, as well as certain device data required to maintain your accounts. However, this data is only used to improve its services, it claims. 

Backblaze’s headquarters are located in San Mateo, CA, which means that it’s subject to the same privacy and data regulations as the rest of the United States. Backblaze might therefore be compelled to release your data to law enforcement if required.

Backblaze: Key features and highlights

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Backblaze's backup interface

Backblaze’s key offering is a simple cloud backup service (Image credit: Backblaze)
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Backblaze's graphics for its security features

Backblaze offers strong end-to-end encryption for your backups (Image credit: Backblaze)
Image 3 of 4

Backblaze's B2 software in use

Backblaze B2 comes with limited file-sharing options and no password-protect feature (Image credit: Backblaze)
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Backblaze's webpage promoting its mobile app

Backblaze’s mobile app does not let you back up your device, but it lets you upload files to B2 (Image credit: Backblaze)

When you sign up for an unlimited backup plan with Backblaze, you also automatically get 10GB of storage space and 1GB of daily downloads for free on B2. B2 is the company’s business cloud storage platform, which includes file management features with the option to share and collaborate with other users.

B2 is, of course, an entirely optional part of Backblaze. B2 storage needs to be manually enabled for your account and can be increased for $0.01 per GB a month. You can enable link sharing for any file on B2, although a file with sharing enabled is publicly available, and can be accessed by anyone who has the link. There are no options to password-protect or otherwise restrict access to your shared files.

Backblaze’s mobile app is available across Android and iOS. It’s a very simple application that lets you access the data that’s backed up on your account on the go. However, searching for backed-up data using the mobile app can be quite tedious. There is a search function that lets you quickly find files you are looking for, but there are no additional filters to sort search results by file type. 

The mobile app also allows you to upload files directly to B2. Unfortunately, however, the cloud backup service works on desktops only and cannot be used to back up files from your smartphone through the mobile app.

What’s new?

Backblaze is a cloud backup service built on simplicity and ease of use. It’s fairly straightforward, and doesn’t offer many options to confuse you with. Both the web application and the software client are updated regularly. Updates focus mostly on quality-of-life changes that make backing up and restoring your data more convenient.

Backblaze B2, on the other hand, is the shiny new cloud storage platform from the provider that offers more interesting features. While it still follows the adage of simplicity, with only the most basic file-sharing and data-discovery options, the platform is a great choice for those looking for a secure vault to upload custom data outside of your regular device backups.

Backblaze recently updated its cloud backup service to version 8.0. This update focuses entirely on performance improvements while providing a faster and less resource-intensive way to backup your data. For example, the new version comes with a bigger thread count, with a maximum concurrent thread limit of 100 instead of 30. This helps significantly increase upload speeds on powerful systems.

Pricing

Backblaze employs one of the most clear-cut pricing structures in the industry, whether for personal or business use, as it's the same pricing for both. It’s also super affordable if you’re just looking to back up a single computer or a small number of computers. For each PC or Mac, it offers unlimited storage for a flat fee of $6 a month or $60 a year. You can also pay $110 for two years of subscription.

The backup plan comes with file versioning for up to 30 days, but you can pay for unlimited file versioning should you need it. There’s no free forever plan here, but there is a 15-day trial for those who want to take Backblaze on a test drive.

Backblaze B2, on the other hand, offers a pay-as-you-go subscription plan that charges you based on the amount of storage and downloads per month. You pay $0.005 per GB for storage and $0.01 per GB for downloads. However, Backblaze also offers a handy cost calculator that lets you input the amount of initial storage and downloads you intend to use and get an estimate of the monthly or yearly pricing.

You can also take advantage of a deal between Backblaze and ExpressVPN, the best VPN service as rated by IT Pro Portal, whereby you can get Backblaze for free for a whole year when you sign up to ExpressVPN!

Backblaze's pricing plans
Plan type/featurePersonal backupBusiness backupB2 cloud storage
Cost per month$6$6$0.005 per GB a month
Cost per year$60 ($110 for two years)$60 ($110 for two years)Dependent on number of devices/storage required
StorageUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited (pegged to pricing)
Users11Unlimited
Devices11Unlimited
Automatic backupsYesYesYes

Testing Backblaze

To better benchmark Backblaze against its competitors, we analyzed its upload and download speeds, which are a key factor in terms of cloud storage.

How fast is Backblaze?

Backblaze review

We tested Backblaze’s transfer speeds by uploading a 152MB file using an 80Mbps connection (Image credit: Backblaze)

Backblaze’s cloud backup service does not allow for individual file upload, making it very difficult to test its upload and download speeds for a single file or folder. We decided to upload a file to Backblaze B2 instead to test the platform’s transfer speeds. It took us exactly two minutes and seven seconds to upload a 152MB file on an 80MBPS connection.

Unfortunately, Backblaze’s Web GUI doesn’t support uploading files over 500MB. To upload large files, you need to go through the convoluted process of downloading and installing the Command Line Tool. This requires access to the Windows Command Prompt or macOS Terminal so you can install and run Python3. For details on how to install the command line tool, see the full documentation.

Alternatives to Backblaze

Backblaze offers instant storage and cloud backup solutions for individuals and businesses. But how well does its offering hold up against competitors? Here, we compare Backblaze to IDrive and SpiderOak to see how well it fares.

As an instant storage solution that prides itself on features, IDrive offers considerably more options for storing and managing your data. If you want complete control over your cloud storage platform at affordable prices, IDrive is the platform you should choose. After all, we ranked this provider the best cloud storage platform of the year. Read our full IDrive review to find out why, and check out our comparison feature that pits IDrive vs Backblaze.

SpiderOak is a cloud backup solution quite similar to Backblaze. It offers great security, but charges expensive rates that prevent it from reaching complete mainstream adaptability. If you are looking for more security, however, SpiderOak is definitely the better option. Our comprehensive SpiderOak review gives more detail.

Backblaze’s offering consists of an instant cloud storage platform for businesses as well as a cloud backup solution for individuals and organizations. Its main selling point is its affordability, combined with decent security and reliable speeds. If you want a cloud storage provider that offers pay-as-you-go instant storage and unlimited space for device backups, Backblaze is definitely worth considering.

Backblaze's features compared to the competition
BackblazeIDriveSpiderOak
Zero-knowledge encryptionYesNoYes
Real-time collaborationYesYesNo
SupportKnowledge base, online form, emailKnowledge base, emailKnowledge base, online form, email
Basic plan$60 a year$79.50 a year$69 a year

The verdict

Throughout our detailed review of Backblaze, we evaluated every aspect of this cloud storage platform, and compared it with two main competitors. Here's what we found.

Backblaze is a really affordable platform. If you want unlimited storage for backing up a small number of devices, it’s a great option. However, prices may increase quite a bit if you have lots of devices to back up and don’t require unlimited space. The instant storage platform, Backblaze B2, offers a transparent pay-as-you-go subscription, which is great for storing individual files instead of backing up your entire computer.

Security is one of the primary focuses for this platform. It offers end-to-end data encryption with optional private encryption keys and two-factor login authentication. However, because it’s based in the US, it does not offer full security, and can be compelled to divulge your files to law enforcement should you not enable the private encryption keys.

In the end, Backblaze is hardly the most feature-rich platform we have evaluated. However, if you need a no-frills backup solution with an optional instant storage component, this might just be the platform for you.

Further reading on cloud storage

To learn more about Backblaze, read our comprehensive comparison pitting IDrive vs Backblaze. Find out more about cloud storage vs local storage, reducing cloud storage costs, and the best cloud storage, the best cloud storage for business, the best free cloud storage, and the best cloud storage for photos.

The Verdict
3.5

out of 5

Backblaze cloud storage review 2021

Backblaze is a simple and easy-to-use cloud storage provider that offers strong data encryption and basic file-sharing features. It offers reliable speeds and great prices, but is set back by its limited feature set and lack of mobile backup.

Ritoban Mukherjee

Ritoban Mukherjee is a freelance journalist from West Bengal, India. His work has been published on Tom's Guide, TechRadar, Creative Bloq, IT Pro Portal, Gizmodo, Medium, and Mental Floss. Ritoban is also a member of the National Association of Science Writers.