Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage has moved to Public Beta

About three months ago, I wrote an article entitled Backblaze to Sell Cloud Storage for a Quarter the Price of Amazon S3 and Its Other Competitors. It described the company’s plans to sell secure and encrypted online storage in the cloud at just half a cent per gigabyte per month with the first 10 gigabytes free. That’s about one-fourth the price of most other file storage services. The earlier article said that the new service would be available “soon.” Backblaze’s “soon” has now arrived. B2 Cloud Service is available today as a public beta.

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Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage for Windows and for Macintosh works similar to Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, and most other files storage services except for one thing: the prices are much lower on Backblaze B2 than on the others. It allows you to store unlimited data in the cloud. It will also store any kind of files, including text, pictures, videos, genealogy databases, and more. You can see a price comparison of Backblaze B2 versus some of its larger competitors at https://www.backblaze.com/b2/cloud-storage-providers.html.

The user must manually upload the files to Backblaze’s servers by using a very simple drag-and-drop interface. For those who know how to create command-line interface scripts (Windows batch files or Macintosh Automater), users also can script the uploads and downloads and have them run periodically at any interval.

Other features include:

Security. Nobody else can ever read your files, not even the Backblaze employees. Data encryption is built in. Files scheduled for backup are first encrypted on your machine. These encrypted files are then transferred over a secure SSL (https) connection to a Backblaze datacenter where they are stored encrypted on disk. The Backblaze service uses a combination of proven industry standard public/private and symmetric encryption methods to accomplish this task. Even if a hacker was able to access your files on Backblaze’s servers (which is doubtful), all he would ever see is something similar to this: “yjkn(77ds,nRbaq;F.543o8%!0(Mkjjlklj.” To a Backblaze customer, all of this is invisible and automatic. You can read more about the encryption methods used at https://www.backblaze.com/backup-encryption.html.

Browse Files: Upload through the web, through a command line interface, or with an API. Whatever method is used to upload files, you can always browse through the folders online.

Versions: Keep unlimited file versions automatically if you prefer.

In a hurry to restore some or all of your files? Uploading many terabytes of files may require a week or more. Restoring them online could take just as long. However, Backblaze offers additional options. You can package many files together and save, download, or receive them on a 128 GB flash drive ($99) or an external drive up to 4 TB ($189) via overnight FedEx delivery.

Reports: You can see reports on data stored, uploaded, downloaded, and more at any time.

Caps & Alerts: Set daily spending limits and get email and text alerts when nearing caps.

Mobile: Access uploaded files via Backblaze iOS and Android apps.

Keep your deleted files forever: If you delete some files from your computer’s hard drive, some other file storage services will also delete the same files from the backups. With some backup services this happens immediately while a few services will keep backup copies of your deleted files for a while, maybe 30 days or even 90 days. In contrast, Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage will keep all your files, including deleted files, forever unless one of two things happen: (1.) you manually delete the file(s) from Backblaze’s servers or (2.) you stop paying the monthly storage fees.

Unlike some other file storage services, Backblaze B2 will back up flashdrives and attached external drives.

By default, Backblaze B2 does not backup certain files types, such as .bak, .tmp, .iso, .dmg, and others that typically never need to be restored. However, any or even all those files types may be overridden if the user prefers.

Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage is available as a 15-day free trial. Try it first to decide if you like it before paying any money.

I signed up today for Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage. At these prices, why not? I downloaded the small Backblaze program and installed it in my computer. The software scanned my entire hard drive and then started backing up the files and folders that I specified. I don’t expect the initial backup to finish for a week or two, maybe more. After all, I specified a lot of gigabytes and my home Internet connection can only send a certain number of gigabytes per hour. Once completed, new “incremental” backups should require only a few seconds to complete as only the new and the modified files need to be backed up. All older files will already be in your Backblaze B2 backups.

Since Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage is listed as being a “public beta,” I will not depend upon this service for storage of my only copies of important files. Then again, I never depend upon ANY one service for storage of my only copies of important files. I also will never place all of my eggs in one basket for the same reasons. Any files that are important to me are always backed up in multiple places and in multiple locations. Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage will simply be “one more place to keep copies of my important things.” If Backblaze B2 should crash or suddenly disappear, I will still have my other copies.

L.O.C.K.S.S.: “Lots Of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe.”

You can learn more Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage at https://www.backblaze.com/blog/b2-cloud-storage-public-beta.

9 Comments

I am trying to find a reasonably priced cloud storage that does not automatically delete files once they are removed from my computer. I would prefer to work with a smaller sized HD and store permanent files in the cloud and on multiple back-ups at home. Can you recommend any cloud backup services that allow for this for the home user? Thank-you for your help!

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    —> I am trying to find a reasonably priced cloud storage that does not automatically delete files once they are removed from my computer.

    Backblaze B2 and Amazon S3. Also Dropbox for Business but not the lower-priced Dropbox for individuals. There may be others but those are the first ones to pop to mind.

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Ok, this is NICE, but this is another NEW cloud storage system… I wonder which of the so-called “cloud backups” are the OLDER ones and may have or would have worked out all their bugs and problems or errors? It would seem to be that JUST for price one might not want to go the newest “cloud backup” that’s on the market!! Would not an older one be the safer one? Also I have not looked at all the cloud backups available as there are probably hundreds claiming to do this or to be able to do it? I have tried two, one called ZipCloud… hdq.ed in England and MegaBackup…. so far it looks like the ZipCloud one knocks my MAC offline when it comes on… or when I power up and so I have manually “exit it”…. and the MegaBackup one seems to not allow me (all the time) to shut down my online access to sites, or to de-power the Mac… it tells me that IT has stopped that function and I have to “exit out” at least twice….. Both system seem to back up files auto wise and I don’t have to worry abt. that issue, auto or manually….. They are more in price then this one that Dick E. is talking abt., but I don’t trust that the “newest” kid on the block to be the way to go…. However, I am only dealing with appox. 2 gigabits of data… so maybe that is NOT enough data to make “cloud backup” for me feasible?? But I do like the MegaBackup one as iT automatically keeps a check on my overall system, id’s errors, problems, unneeded permissions, virsus’s, etc. and then tell my MAC Support abt. them and the MAC folks in CA then automatically FIXES my system. I don’t have to deal with any of it, or take it to a local MAC store for fixes!! So to me that is a BENEFIT of the MegaBackup cloud system…!!

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I already use Backblaze as my online backup service. What is the difference between that and the new Backblaze Cloud Storage? Is there any reason to use both?

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    —> What is the difference between that and the new Backblaze Cloud Storage? Is there any reason to use both?

    There are numerous differences, such as the ability to keep backup copies of files that have been already deleted from your computer’s hard drive and the ability to keep multiple versions of files that have been changed or updated. I am sure there are more as well.

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I have Backblaze backup and Drop Box/individual. Why do you not recommend DB for individuals?

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    —> Why do you not recommend DB for individuals?

    I DO recommend Dropbox for Individuals for many purposes. If you search through past newsletter articles here you will see that I have recommended it many times. I also use it myself as one of the several services I use. (I would never use just ONE service.)

    Dropbox for individuals is an EXCELLENT file storage service. However, no one service provides everything that everyone would want. I have found one item not available in Dropbox for Individuals that is available in one or two other services. That one item may or may not be important to you. I suggest you evaluate your own needs and then decide for yourself which services meet your needs.

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I’m interested in starting a family “archive” where my close relatives could share family photos, scanned letters, etc. for permanent storage. Could these cloud storage services be used…or is my better choice to create a website? (Thousands of photos BTW)

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I just opened an B2 account but I have no clue how to install the B2 command in my PATH. I have a little html knowledge but this is entirely out of the realm (mine) of installing on my computer and using. Sigh.

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