Review of BackBlaze Online Backup Service

     Overview and History - BackBlaze provide just the one package which allows unlimited storage for only $5 per month or fifty dollars per year. Their answer to online archiving is slightly unusual in that they assume most people want to archive all your personal data - documents, music, pictures, videos, etc. – therefore you will need to remove files you do not require archived. The service offers support for 11 languages and file restores can be delivered from the internet or for a charge can be sent to you on DVDs or a USB drive.

Security - BackBlaze security is something they are very proud of. They use double encryption techniques linking 128bit AES encryption and your own private key to safeguard your information is totally protected.

Physically, the data center is located in 365 Main Datacenter where they share space with such companies as Sun Micro, CNet and Esurance amongst others.

For additional information about BackBlaze’s security, check out this entry on their blog:

Archive Features - Initially BackBlaze uses continuous backup to make certain all alterations to your files are immediately archived. You can also enable scheduling or manually kick off backups whenever you wish.

Open files can be backed up, but server databases such as SQL server or Exchange Server are not supported. You can archive external drives but not network drives. File versioning is available upto 45 days for an number of versions of files.

Restore Features - Restores are executed from the web portal and can be provided in 3 ways: A compressed file directly to any device you want - this is free. The second option is to DVD if you are restoring less than 4Gb of data - this will cost you $99. Or if you are restoring additional files, they will send you a portable drive and charge you $189.
These options seem a bit steep yet most Online Backup Providers do not even give you these options.

Control and Analysis - A central control panel is provided on the web portal which provides management of multiple accounts. Within the client program you can see information on files waiting to be archived as well as overview graphs of what has already been archived.

Interface - The web and client interfaces are clear and straightforward. Information is offered in a clear and concise way and there are a reasonable amount of options without there being a bombardment.

Device Support - Current BackBlaze supports MAC and PC platforms only.

Limitations - None.

File Sharing and Collaboration - None.

Synchronization - With web portal but not between computers.

Web 2.0 Integration - None.

Customer Support - There is no direct support, i.e., telephone or live chat. Yet there is email support which is quickly replied to and the technical support guys are friendly and well-informed. There is also a Blog filled with useful information.

For do-it-yourself there is some documentation - although the system is so straightforward that more documentation would be fairly pointless. There is also an FAQ section and the free trial which lasts 2 weeks, so you have lots of time to assess the service before committing your whole five dollars per month!

Ease of Use - BackBlaze is really easy to use, if you leave it at the default settings, BackBlaze will backup all non-system information from all your attached drives automatically. If you need to amend things then the options screens are well laid out and straightforward to navigate.

Initial setup - free
Monthly Fee - $5 / mth / device
Annual Charge - $50 / year / device
Initial allowed storage amount - unlimited
Cost of additional storage - n/a
Cost of additional devices / PCs / users - $5 / mth / device
Referral Program - No
E-billing facility - Yes

You can be up and running with BackBlaze in under 5 minutes. The experience of setting up BackBlaze was similar to jumping on a excitable horse: The issue is not getting started; the problem is trying to keep up! The minute BackBlaze is installed it rapidly scans your locally connected drives, finds your personal information such as documents, pictures, music, etc. and instantly starts to back them up for you. It's comparable to having your very own over-eager Jeannie desperate to get the job done.

The pricing is very cheap and while there are quite a lot of customer support options not provided, the available support is very good and their tech staff are really helpful and friendly.

If you are looking for a simple online backup solution at a fixed price then BackBlaze is well worth considering.

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Posted on 2010-08-11, By: *

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Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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