Wednesday, October 15, 2014 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Begemann’s Backblaze Review

Ole Begemann (Twitter comments):

There is this saying that a backup system that requires manual work is not a reliable backup. That’s Backblaze if you have to deal with external drives.

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The Backblaze client has no restore functionality. All restores (be it a single file or your entire archive) start on the website and require you to send your private passphrase to Backblaze’s servers where the data will be decrypted before you can download it. Needless to say, this is not at all ideal from a security perspective.

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This may sound like an obscure limitation that is largely irrelevant in real life, but it means you won’t be able to move data between drives without risking the loss of your backup state for weeks or potentially months (until the initial backup is complete).

Also, it sounds like moving a file causes its backup history to be lost, which is not the case with CrashPlan or Arq.

3 Comments

I don't have much confidence in CrashPlan's encryption either since the private key is shown in clear in the configuration. And CrashPlan openly admits that you cannot upload faster than 1 MB/s … OK, still better than Backblaze for sure, especially cost-wise if you have more than two computers with the need for cloud backups.

Been using first Backblaze for a year or two and then Crashplan for the last two years I can say I much prefer Crashplan for a number of reason, some of them mentioned above. Here are some of them:

- I can backup network drives.
- I don't loose external drives just because I don't connect them regularly.
- I've replace Time Machine (which repeatedly failed and erased my history) with Crashplan for lokal backup as well as cloud backup. Very convenient. Even when I'm away from home the backup goes to my local backup at home. (And then there is the option to backup to friends on off site location, although I have not used it yet.)
- There are a lot of configurations options for those who cares, multiple backup sets with different settings, file selections, network interface and more. (But only if you want to, not forced on everybody.)
- Crashplan does not restrict what files can be backed up as much as Backblaze do.
- The family plan is a very nice value if you have a couple of computers.

Yes, Crashplan is very slow for initial backup, took me months for a complete backup of 0,5 TB (from Sweden) even though I extensively tried solutions for speeding up backup mentioned around the web. I also had to increase memory allocation (as recommended by Crashplan for large amount of files) to solve crashes. But on the whole I'm pleased with the service.

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