So says the guy in the airport in a Microsoft commercial. Yes boys and girls I am officially backing up to the cloud. I’m referring to my personal Macbook Pro.
Previous attempts to maintain a reliable backup have resulted in failure. The idea of using Time Machine, at the time, was attractive. Unfortunately, I didn’t want to bring an external hard drive with my MBP. It was a burden and extra weight. The biggest drawback was having your backup at the same location as your laptop: at home. So God forbid a fire broke out or a burglar steals your data.
A local backup kept me up at night.
My solution: Backblaze
A secure, offsite and unlimited storage cloud backup.
The price is right for this online solution. For $50/year you get a plenty of features. $50 is nothing compared to the priceless photos of my family, financial documents, and years worth of work.
Follow me as I run through my favorite features:
No more carrying around external hard drives. You won’t run out of space with Backblaze. It backs up your data continuously as long as you have an Internet connection.
You decide what you want backed up. They make a few obvious selections for you but take it even further. I don’t back up my music because I get it from iTunes which has their own cloud.
A nice feature here is that you can actually tell Backblaze to backup any external drives connected to your laptop. I have one external hard drive with data that I’ve moved off my laptop. I finally get to back that up and keep it safe. I can sleep like a baby tonight.
If you have super duper private information then you’re going to want to enable encryption. Comes included with your purchase! You configure a top secret complex password to enable nuclear bunker type strength encryption. Technically speaking, Backblaze uses public/private and symmetric key algorithms.
I’m taking this directly from their site,
We generate a new 2048-bit RSA public/private key pair when our client is installed, store the public key on the local disk and transmit the private key to our datacenter via https. Then, for each backup session, we generate a new random 128-bit AES symmetric key which we use to encrypt the user’s data. We secure the 128-bit AES key by encrypting it with the user’s public key and transmit the encrypted file along with the encrypted key to our datacenter over https. We destroy the unencrypted 128-bit AES key at the end of each backup session and never write it to disk. To decrypt a file, the user’s private key is used to decrypt the 128-bit AES which is then used to decrypt the file.
The reports are good enough that Bill Lumbergh would give you a raise
Backblaze generates detailed reports of your backups and delivers a simple bar graph categorizing the type of data being backed up and how much of it. Then there’s even more reports. You can get a list of what files are in the queue to be backed up. AND an event log for those who love looking at event logs.
Recovery is simple. You can log into their site, get an overview of your account, the amount of files backed up, etc. There’s an option to view/restore files. Once you’re there you have three options for restore. Either use the web interface and file management window to download the files you need, Have them ship you a USB flash drive up to 28GB for $99, or request a max 1 TB hard drive shipped to you for $189.
Three simple options depending on the severity of your outage or failed hardware. The download option is the easiest. I selected the file I needed, Backblaze will put your data into a zip file, email you when it’s ready and have it available for download.
Backblaze is not a perfect back up solution but it’s pretty damn close. I assume the number one complaint is the amount of time it takes to fully back up your files. I’ve been backing up for 6 days now. Encryption will probably slow that down the upload as well.
That’s my extensive review/first look at cloud backup for personal use. It’s available for Windows and OSX. They even have an option for business use which I find a bit pricey. Try it out for yourself by downloading a free trial.
What backup solution are you using at home?