Backblaze is a major cloud storage and backup provider that tries to appeal to both home and business users.
In the market putting so much focus on businesses, Backblaze is trying to please everyone.
But does this solution tick the boxes for both home or enterprise users? Or maybe it's a jack of all trades, but a master of none? Let's ask the important questions:
What Is Backblaze?
Backblaze is an online backup service that is intended to protect the information you hold on your computer.
With all providers in this market needing to stand out from the crowd, Backblaze places its emphasis on delivering a straightforward system that is user-friendly and unobtrusive. While that is great, it also means that the system is less feature-packed than some of its rivals.
Indeed, Backblaze does not have any sync capabilities and scheduling is also kept down to a bare minimum.
That doesn't mean that there are no features included with the Backblaze client, though. In fact, multiple backup options, external hard drive backup, smartphone access, and file sharing are all available.
Backblaze will also back up previous versions of files and retain them for 30 days. Unfortunately, there is no way to extend this versioning policy, and it doesn't quite reach the standard of some other solutions.
I suppose this isn't a great start to my Backblaze review, but will it get better?
A Closer Look At Its Features
The greatest strength of Backblaze is undoubtedly its ease of use. From my experience, it serves as the easiest and most user-friendly backup provider available on the market. This means that even the technophobes among us can safely back up their personal data without struggle.
I really like the front-end user interface included as it is uncluttered and extremely pleasing to observe. Perhaps this helps with the way that Backblaze backs up your files, which I found to be incredibly simple.
During my Backblaze review, I actually tested the backup process while some processor-intensive programs were running in the background.
Surprisingly, I found that the performance of the system didn't slow down at all.
The speed of this system is excellent, and I can say the same about the final backup and restoration process.
Backblaze delivers a suitably swift and a stable backup system, with the client automatically scanning your hard drive for files to backup. Furthermore, this is an unlimited backup service, which is always a very big positive.
Backblaze also makes it easy to backup USB or FireWire external drives, and will even detect them if they are connected during the initial backup process.
The automation of the system is highly impressive, and is undoubtedly one of the strongest suits of this software.
I also found customer service agents to be responsive, informed and helpful. This is always a good sign of a well-run organization and one that likes to take care of its customers.
With all these perks, will my Backblaze review also confirm that its system is safe?
Is Backblaze Safe?
This is one area where this provider somewhat disappointed me.
That is not to say that your data isn't safe with this backup service, but rather that it lacks many provisions that I personally like to see supported.
Firstly, Backblaze does offer private encryption, which can be accessed from the settings tab of the desktop client. This means that only you can decrypt your files - providing you with total reassurance.
However, there is a problem with this private encryption system.
For some strange reason, customer services require you to hand over your passphrase in order for the service to decrypt your files, before returning them back to you. Backblaze naturally reassures users that this passphrase is never recorded, and deleted once decryption has taken place.
All of this encryption, all of this security - just to hand everything to a human being. That's a security bottleneck if I ever saw one.
In my opinion, this completely neutralizes the entire point of having private encryption in the first place.
In terms of the actual encryption though, Backblaze uses AES 128-bit. This is slightly less sophisticated than the 256-bit system that's offered by some providers, but it is still virtually uncrackable. Therefore, you shouldn't be concerned about your data with regard to this system (but still, 256-bit would be neat).
It was also pleasing that Backblaze includes two-factor authentication, which protects your password against unauthorized access. Their system collaborates with Google Authenticator in order to deliver this functionality.
There are plenty of positive things to say about safety and security, but the one massive oversight with customer support stains an overall pleasing experience.
Backblaze has an extremely simple pricing policy. It simply charges $5 dollars per computer on a monthly basis, which means that it is one of the cheapest backup services around.
The company also offers sizeable discounts if you choose to sign up for a longer period - which is always welcomed.
Quite honestly, you will struggle to find a better deal anywhere in the industry in terms of affordability.
Two-factor authentication included
Some good encryption features
Private encryption not end-to-end
No mobile backup
Backblaze Review: Summary
I liked a lot of things that Backblaze does, but the system is ultimately let down by several mistakes that should be addressed as soon as possible. The customer support handling your private keys means that the safety and security of the Backblaze system is ultimately compromised.
However, Backblaze does a lot of stuff extremely well - backing up data is swift and easy to operate, while unlimited backup is particularly welcome. The price of its services is reasonable, too.
But I cannot recommend this system as a market leader until the criticisms made in this review are properly addressed. It's a good option to retrieve your files in case of an issue - but it's not a super-secure option it should be.
Do you agree with the criticism in my Backblaze review? Let me know in the comment section below.
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