Backblaze Visit Site

Pros / You get unlimited storage.

Cons / The backup and restore speeds are very slow.

 Verdict / With unlimited storage, Backblaze is an excellent option for any family with a lot of data to protect on a single shared Mac. However, the backup and restore speeds are very slow and the cost is high.

Backblaze is a cloud backup service for Macs and PCs. At just $5 a month for unlimited storage, the value appears, on the surface, to be excellent. However, the subscription only allows you to back up one Mac. For a family with multiple computers, you'll have to add $5 to that fee for each computer you want to protect. In our tests, the performance of the desktop app was subpar. And while the encryption levels aren't as high as those of the best Mac backup services, you do have the option of maintaining your own encryption key, which is a strong security feature.

For our review of Mac online backup services, we closely evaluated the cost per computer for five Macs, three Macs and one Mac. Then we tested the performance of the desktop app by performing multiple backup and restore tests. Finally, we looked closely at ease of use for the two major phases of the backup and restore process.

In our backup speed tests, Backblaze recorded consistently slow speeds, receiving a D. We tested the backup speeds at various times of the day with the settings optimized for speed, and it was still very slow, recording a speed that suggests it would take nearly three weeks to complete a 1TB backup set. This was the slowest backup speed among the apps that made it into our review. In contrast, the fastest Mac online backup service could complete the backup in less than three days.

The restore speeds were even slower, receiving an F. Much of this is due to extra steps in the process. Backblaze lacks a restore-in-place feature, which means it can't restore files to their original locations. Instead, when you click the restore button on the app, it sends you to the website, where you have to log in and select the files you want to restore. Once you select them, it prepares a ZIP file and sends you an email when the file is ready to be downloaded. Once you receive the email, it sends you back to the online portal to download the file. It's an overly complicated process. As a result, Backblaze recorded one of the slower restore speeds in our tests.

Due to the complicated restore process, its Ease of Use received a D-. The backup process received a B, largely because there's one step to it. You simply click on the "backup now" button and it backs up your entire Mac, which is the major reason why it didn't receive a higher grade. Backblaze's app backs up your entire Mac, even folders that you don't want backed up. You can exclude folders from the backup, but doing exclusions is an advanced feature with a significant learning curve. The service touts this as one of their advantages, but we feel the user should have more control over what they want backed up.

Backblaze provides good security. The files are encrypted, but only with 128-bit AES encryption, which is the lowest level available. However, the files are encrypted before being uploaded, and you maintain the encryption key, which is the most important security feature. Since you control the encryption key, which is a password used to decrypt the files, you can rest easy knowing that your data can't be viewed by prying eyes. Maintaining your own encryption key does come with some risk, though, which is why it's optional. If you forget the key, Backblaze can't reset it, since the encryption keys are never stored on the servers.

Summary

Backblaze comes with unlimited storage, but only for one Mac. As such, the value is great for an individual but drops considerably with every device you want to back up. The overall performance was subpar with slow backup and restore speeds. While it's easy to instigate a backup, it's difficult to exclude folders from the backup set. The restore process is unnecessarily complicated. The security is one of the best features, because you own the encryption key, which ensures that you're the only one who can view the files.

Backblaze Visit Site