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.
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.