With unlimited cloud storage, real-time backups and a “set-it and forget” approach to keeping valuable data safe and secure, Backblaze is undoubtedly one of the best cloud backup solutions existing on the market as of today!
Whilst Backblaze undoubtedly looks good on the surface, it is the sheer ease of signing-up, installing the software and the (almost) zero configuration required to get a PC or MacOS device baking-up to the cloud (in almost no-time at all) which helps to make it our top cloud backup choice! In-fact with the unlimited cloud storage included by default, simple pricing from just $7 per month, automatic selection of files for backup and the Backblaze software itself coming as a pre-configured download (after creating a Backblaze account), its hard to see how anyone cloud make getting a cloud backup in place any easier!
In this guide I will be highlighting some of the key features of the Backblaze backup service and how they can be of benefit to anyone seeking a top-rated cloud backup solution. A little later on in this same guide I will then also be listing some of our favourite Backblaze alternatives to see how they compare to the Backblaze service and in which cases they might form a viable alternative.
NB – If you are looking for cloud backup then be aware that Backblaze are currently offer all new customers a full 15-day free trial of their cloud backup service, this is a great way to see Backblaze in action for yourself!
Why Consider using Backblaze?
One of the biggest reasons for considering Backblaze for making backups is the ease at which it can help to get a solid cloud-based backup in place with the minimal of fuss. A big reason for this ease of use is the well-designed backup software itself which comes as a pre-configured download with all necessary account settings already in-place and is available as native software for both Windows and MacOS devices.
NB – One of the (many) reasons Backblaze runs so smoothly is thanks to the use of native device software for both Windows and MacOS and the subsequent performance tuning for the operating system the software is being used upon!
Once installed, as well as connecting automatically to the respective customers Backblaze account, the Backblaze device software will also automatically select all important files which are required to be backed-up. In-fact, the default Backblaze approach to file selection involves backing-up (basically) everything on a device with the device users then able to de-select any files which they specifically don’t want backing-up (if this happens to be the case). This approach is slightly different to many other backup software providers who might require users to select all files for which are required for backup or (at best) the software offering to automatically add the current users “My Documents” folder to the backup set by default.
NB – Given that Backblaze offer unlimited cloud storage to all backup customers by default, this “backup everything” method means users won’t have to worry about wasting cloud storage space nor will they have to worry that something important might be missing from their backup set thanks to everything being included!
Moving on and another important thing which Backblaze really does get right within their backup solution is data security. All data being backed-up is automatically encrypted with AES 256-bit encryption by the Backblaze software before it leaves the device in question and it is then only transferred over SSL / TLS secure connections to a Backblaze secured datacentre!
Further security details include the option to make use of multi-factor authentication (2FA) when logging into a Backblaze account as well as (optionally) being able to make use of private encryption keys should you not want all encryption settings to be managed wholly by Backblaze themselves.
With the ease of use, security features and unlimited cloud storage aside, some other stand-out features of Backblaze include:
- Pricing from just $7 / month per device
- Ability to backup multiple external hard drives
- Email status alerts / warnings
- Fast web-based data restores
- Smartphone apps for iOS and Android
- Ability to help locate lost / stolen devices
- Automatic performance tuning
- File sharing services
- Order large restores on a mailed USB drive (additional costs might apply)
NB – For more information on the full set of Backblaze features and pricing, be sure to checkout our detailed Backblaze review right here on BestBackupReviews.com!
Why Consider an Alternative to Backblaze?
Whilst Backblaze is undoubtedly a great choice for making cloud backups, there are still some instances in which it might not be the best choice given certain backup requirements being in place. One of the first issues to be aware of when choosing Backblaze is that it is priced per device, whilst this might not be too much of an issue for those with just a single device and a lot of data to keep safe, it could soon become an expensive choice for those with multiple devices and a relatively small amount of data to protect.
Moving on and whilst Backblaze do include unlimited cloud storage for all accounts, it does only provide a default 30-days of historic file versioning on the standard $7 per month plan. In essence, this means that files can be recovered with older versions up to a maximum of 30 days in the past (although original versions will always remain available no matter what the timeframe). Whilst this 30-day arrangement will be perfectly fine for the majority of its users, Backblaze do offer additional file version history options, albeit all of them at an additional cost over and above the standard $7 per month plan.
This additional file version history pricing is as follows:
- Extend version history to 1 year for +$2 / month (per device).
- Unlimited version history for +$4 / month (per device) plus applicable B2 storage fees (at $0.005 per GB) for any history versions over 1 year old.
Whilst I feel this additional pricing for extending file version history periods is reasonable, it should be pointed out that Backblaze’s main competitor, Crashplan, do offer unlimited file version history by default with no additional fees due for this service!
Moving on and another potential limitation of Backblaze is its ability to only include external hard drives which are connected to the main device at least once every 30 days. This is understandable as Backblaze do need to manage their storage and avoid misuse of the service overall, but it should (again) be noted that their main competitors Crashplan do not place such limitations on any external hard drives which have been backed-up using their own service.
Whilst Backblaze’s standard pricing of $7 / month per device is very reasonable for those using a single device, such “per device” pricing can start to become expensive for anyone using more than one device (especially so for those with multiple devices but only a small amount of data to keep safe, thus minimising the value of the unlimited storage element). Instead, for anyone in such a situation, making use of a backup solution which has either a lower subscription cost per device or one which allows multiple devices to share a fixed allocation of cloud storage could prove a more beneficial option.
Another consideration when making use of Backblaze is that it is a file-level only solution, this means that it is focused upon backing up individual files and folders as opposed to some other solutions which can make use of disk imaging technology to create a more comprehensive backup of both the device itself and any data stored upon it. Whilst disk imaging won’t be right for all users in all circumstances, it is always worth considering as an option given the flexibility it provides.
For more information on both file-level and disk imaging technology, click to read our guide on the differences between disk image and file-level backup technologies.
Our Top 10 Best Backblaze Alternatives
Finally, in this section of this guide we will be listing 10 of our favourite Backblaze alternatives, these are cloud backup solutions which, like Backblaze, are quick and simple to use as well as being able to provide a top-rated cloud backup solution.
Remember, any ratings given below reflect our own opinions and are intended only for use as a guide, be sure to always check the details for any potential backup solutions before purchasing and, if possible, always try and make full use of any free trials before making a decision!
1) Crashplan for Small Business
Crashplan for Small Business is a leading cloud-based backup application offering unlimited cloud storage for Windows, MacOS and Linux devices for a simple cost of just $10 / month per device.
Whilst unlimited cloud storage, easy-to-use software and strong AES 256-bit encryption are all key components of the Crashplan offering, the inclusion of unlimited historic file versioning plus the ability to backup multiple external hard drives (without the need to keep them plugged in every 30 days) at no additional cost are two key features differentiating it from Backblaze. Other notable features of Crashplan include support for using multiple backup sets, both web-based and device-based restoring of data, multi-factor authentication (2FA), optional private key encryption and built-in email status reports and warnings amongst many others.
Crashplan is priced at a simple $10 per month, per device with unlimited cloud storage included. More information on the Crashplan service itself plus the 30-day free trial can be found at the official Crashplan website.
2) Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office
Cyber Protect Home Office (formally known as True Image) is the leading all-round backup solution from software experts, Acronis. A solution which now combines both local and cloud-based backups, strong malware and cyber protection and both file-level and disk image-based backups all within a single piece of easy to configure software!
Acronis have for a long time being known for building leading backup software products capable of both file-level and disk image-based backups, the recent integration of the Acronis cloud, a strong antivirus component plus many other useful features helps to take this leading solution to the next level. Many other useful features including strong AES 256-bit encryption, good historic versioning options, blockchain verification, disk cloning tools and file sharing options, amongst many others, all combine help to make Acronis Cyber Protect a top choice and a serious Backblaze alternative!
Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office is priced from $89.99 for the Advanced edition (with 500GB Acronis cloud included) and $124.99 for the Premium edition which brings the cloud storage allocation up to 1TB (the Essentials edition does not support cloud storage). More information on Cyber Protect Home Office, multi-device pricing options and the 30-day free trial can be found at the official Acronis website.
3) SpiderOak One Backup
With a clear focus on providing a secure and privacy friendly cloud backup solution, SpiderOak One Backup provides one of the safest cloud backup solutions available as of today!
Not only do SpiderOak put a great deal of emphasis on providing a very secure cloud backup product, they have also been very busy adding many great features to their service including support for Windows, MacOS and Linux devices, zero-knowledge AES 256-bit encryption, built-in file sharing tools, file synchronisation options and a good scheduling system amongst many other useful additions.
One of the biggest selling points of SpiderOak One, however, is that an unlimited number of devices can be used within a single account, all sharing from a fixed allocation of cloud storage. Whilst this is not unlimited in the same way that Backblaze is, this approach from SpiderOak could work out more cost effective in providing cloud backup to users with multiple devices and a relatively small amount of data to keep backed-up instead!
SpiderOak One Backup is priced from $6 / month for a 150GB allocation of storage with other plans offering up to 5TB for just $29 / month also available! More information on pricing plus the option to take a 21-day free trial can be found at the official SpiderOak website.
Blobbackup, a relatively new service, is a simple, easy to use and open-source cloud backup solution allowing both MacOS and Windows devices to be backed-up to the cloud!
With a very generous 2TB of cloud storage included per device, strong AES 256-bit end-to-end encryption enabled by default, unlimited historic file versioning, built-in email reports, automatic (real-time) backups plus much more, Blobbackup is a great choice for anyone seeking an alternative to Backblaze!
Blobbackup is priced at a simple and straightforward $9 per device, per month with 2TB of cloud storage included. More information on the service itself plus the option to take advantage of a 15-day free trial can be found via the official Blobbackup website.
5) Ashampoo Backup Pro 17
Backup Pro 17 is the leading all-in-one PC backup solution from software experts, Ashampoo! A solution which allows for the direct integration of multiple well known 3rd party cloud storage services making it a great alternative to Backblaze, especially so for anyone wanting to make use of an existing cloud storage account for storing their backups upon.
Cloud storage aside and not only is the Backup pro 17 application very easy to install and (thanks to some pre-made plans) easy to configure, it also offers a compressive set of backup features ideal for keeping all data safe and secure. Some of the most notable features include support for both disk image and file-level backups, use of multiple backup sets, strong AES 256-bit encryption, built-in recovery media creation tools, great scheduling options and the ability to mount backed-up data as virtual drives within Windows amongst many others.
Ashampoo Backup Pro 17 is priced at a one-off cost of just $50 for a single licence. More information on the software itself plus the option to take a 30-day free trial can be found at the official Ashampoo website.
6) iDrive Backup
A well-known and highly usable solution, iDrive provides a lot of useful functionality including cloud drive, device backup, fie archiving, device synchronisation plus the ability to use unlimited personal devices per account, amongst many great features, making it a great alternative to Backblaze!
With desktop software available for Windows, Linux and MacOS devices, strong AES 256-bit encryption, multi-device synchronisation tools plus good historic file versioning and archiving options, amongst many other great features, and it becomes clear why iDrive is a great choice for anyone seeking a highly flexible cloud backup solution.
iDrive is priced from just $79.50 per year with 5TB of cloud storage included which can be used across an unlimited number of personal devices. More information on the service itself, pricing for other plans ranging up to 10TB in size and the 5GB free account can all be found via the official iDrive website.
7) Arq Backup (Arq 7)
Arq is a lightweight, cloud-focused and easy-to-use cloud backup solution, one which supports the direct integration of many well-known 3rd party cloud storage services as well as now offering cloud storage services directly themselves!
One of the key features of Arq is its support for integrating numerous 3rd party cloud services (including Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive amongst others) directly into the software itself. Arq also provide support for any S3 compatible cloud storage service meaning additional storage flexibility is provided for those who might require it. Other notable features include an easy-to-use software client for both MacOS and Windows devices, zero-knowledge AES 256bit encryption, support for configuring multiple backup sets plus great scheduling options amongst many other useful functionalities.
Arq 7 is priced at a one-off cost of just $49.99 per device with a 5x device licence also available for just $79.99. Arq Premium is also available which sees the Arq software bundled with 5TB of cloud storage (provided by Arq themselves) and supporting usage on up to 5 devices for just $59.99 per year. More information on pricing and the Arq software itself can be found via the official Arq website.
8) Carbonite Safe
Carbonite Safe is a well-known and easy-to-use cloud backup service for both Windows and MacOS users alike, so much so that is has developed a great reputation as a leading cloud backup service over recent years for both home and business users alike!
The Carbonite software itself is very easy to install, configure and, once running, will automatically keep files backed-up in real time or on a fixed schedule as might be required. Other notable features found within Carbonite include strong file security and encryption options, unlimited cloud storage, good historic versioning options (initial version plus last 12 versions being kept) plus the ability to restore files from anywhere thanks to the web-based recovery console.
Carbonite is priced from just $6 / month (per device) with unlimited cloud storage included for this price. More information on other plans with more functionality and those suitable for business use can be found at the official Carbonite website as can information on the 15-day free trial!
9) Duplicati Backup
Duplicati is a highly cloud focused backup solution, one which is well known for providing great cloud support for numerous well-known 3rd party cloud storage services. Best of all, Duplicati is open-source and 100% free to use for both individuals and business users alike!
With great cloud storage options aside, many other great features also exist within Duplicati, thus making it a great Backblaze alternative. Some notable additional features include strong, zero-knowledge AES 256-bit encryption, support for S3 compatible storage, potentially unlimited historic versioning options, a command line tool, use of multiple backup sets plus great scheduling support amongst many others.
Duplicati is 100% free and open-source software. More information on the software itself can be found at the official Duplicati website.
Backup4All is a compressive backup application for Windows PCs which, amongst many other great features, includes compressive support for directly integrating 3rd party cloud storage services (including popular choices such as Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive).
In addition to supporting many popular 3rd party cloud services, Backup4all also supports S3 compatible storage solutions making it a good alternative to Backblaze whenever cloud backup is concerned. Other notable features of Backup4all include the ability to make use of the smart backup feature, strong AES 256-bit encryption, potentially unlimited file version history and great backup scheduling options amongst many others.
Backup4all is priced at a one-off fee of just $49.99 per PC for the Professional edition of tool which includes the full range of backup functionality. Other editions are available with slightly less functionality as is a 30-day free trial of the software itself. More details on the software and pricing can be found via the official Backup4all website.
Backblaze Alternatives FAQ
Yes, Backblaze really is unlimited! Backblaze make use of cutting-edge data storage solutions and datacentres to be able to offer all of their personal backup customers a backup solution with no storage limits at all!
All software which works in the background of a running system, like Backblaze backup does, will have some effect on the overall performance of the device. Backblaze does, however, make use of highly optimised naïve software which, as per our own in-depth testing, has proved to work very well and the impact seen on system performance was negligible during our tests.
There are two main methods for accessing (restoring) any files backed-up by Backblaze. These methods include the Backblaze web-based portal where files can be downloaded directly through a web browser or in the case that a larger restore is required, the Backblaze downloader application can also be used.
Backblaze remains our favourite cloud-based backup solution and has been for a while now! Whilst there are many alternatives which can compete in certain areas, no other solution has yet to make the initial configuration process so simple and straightforward meaning this really is the top choice for anyone wanting a fuss-free backup solution which just works straight out of the (virtual) box!
As this guide hopefully points out above, there are some cases in which circumstances might dictate a different solution be considered. For example, if multiple devices require backing-up then a solution which supports adding unlimited devices to an account might prove more cost effective (versus paying an addition $7 per month for each additional device as is the case with Backblaze). Likewise, some alternatives provide a perpetual licencing model meaning an ongoing subscription is not required and users can potentially even take advantage of any existing cloud storage accounts they already have in the process.
Overall, there are some very good alternatives to Backblaze which can be beneficial in certain circumstances, however, Backblaze remains a solid choice for getting a cloud backup sorted out both quickly and easily!