Backup your files with Backblaze

Dead technology on beach

Image by blmurch
Used under Creative Commons

For all that hard disc drives are very reliable these days, they can still fail when you expect it least. I well remember the sickening feeling of discovering that the hard disc was fried on my PC and I’d lost my e-mails, pictures, and work. You could justifiably call me a fool for not having a backup… a lesson I learned the hard way.

Since then I’ve kept regular backups of my files, manually at first, and using Time Machine when I switched to using a Mac. The problem is, though, those backups were still stored in the same room as my computer. If there was a fire I would still have lost all my data.

Backblaze is an online backup tool that automatically backs your files up to Backblaze’s servers whenever you have an Internet connection. This is now the way I do my backups and it gives great peace of mind to know that my files are stored in an altogether different location from my computer. Even better, I can get to them from any Internet-enabled computer. I’m always wary of security when storing my files online, but Backblaze encrypts your files on your computer before sending them to the server. Quite nice to know nothing’s being transmitted in an unsecured format.

$5 per month or $50 per year isn’t a bad price either when you consider that there’s unlimited storage space to accommodate everything you have on that hard disc. Restore options are to download the files you lost via the Web, have Backblaze burn a DVD ($99) or have them send you a USB hard disc with all our files on it ($189). If I’m honest, the only restore option I plan to use is the web download… because it’s included in the original subscription price :)

What I like is that Backblaze just kind of sits there constantly backing files up (assuming you use continuous mode). I have literally hundreds of gigabytes of files to backup, and I’m impressed that I’m given as much storage space as I need. That much data does take a very long time to upload, but that’s more an issue with my connection speed than anything else. If I had more bandwidth I could unleash Backblaze to do the backups much more quickly. But instead I throttle it back a little and just leave it in the background while it uploads my files without interfering with whatever else I’m doing in any way.

Backblaze is available for Windows and Mac (Mac version is in beta – but that’s what I’m using and it works just fine). Try out the free trial and see what you think.

Backblaze links are affiliate links and will generate income for Geek-Speak if you choose to take out a subscription.

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  1. Thanks for the StumbleUpon review suggesting getting a second hard drive and using RAID to parallel your first one. That’s great, and does indeed keep redundant data. However, I mention in the article that in the event of a fire (or theft, I guess) keeping all your backups right next to the computer isn’t a great idea. Hence the reason I changed from using Time Machine to using online backup. Hope that clears things up a bit.

  2. Amen to online backup. Theft and damage take USB drives out of consideration for permanent backup. There are many options out there now – I use, but there is also Carbonite, Mozy too.

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