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Backblaze Now Sponsoring TidBITS

I’m thrilled to welcome Backblaze as our latest long-term sponsor. Backblaze has been my online backup service of choice for the past few years, and I’m more than happy to recommend the company, especially if you need an alternative to CrashPlan (see “CrashPlan Discontinues Consumer Backups,” 22 August 2017).

I spent a year with CrashPlan, but I was never happy with the service. I found its Java-based client slow and unresponsive, backup speeds unimpressive, and worst of all, it appeared to hurt my entire system’s performance. After trying Backblaze for a week, I was a convert, and I’ve been a paying customer ever since.

I’m not the only one. I first heard of Backblaze from Marco Arment, who found it faster and more reliable than CrashPlan. Likewise, Glenn Fleishman often found himself turning to Backblaze, despite having already paid for CrashPlan, because Backblaze was that much better. And Joe Kissell, long a champion of CrashPlan, now unequivocally recommends Backblaze.

But maybe you didn’t use CrashPlan at all? Maybe you don’t use any online backup! Or just as bad, you only use online backup! You need to fix that! We recommend Mac users maintain three types of backups:

  • A constantly updated Time Machine backup. It’s built into macOS and is useful for retaining previous versions of every file you modify.

  • A nightly bootable duplicate of your primary drive, which you can make with Carbon Copy Cloner or Super Duper, among others. A bootable duplicate is essential if your system drive dies because you can use it to get right back to work.

  • A regularly updated offsite backup, which you can maintain manually or hand off to a cloud backup service like Backblaze. With an offsite backup, if a hurricane flattens or floods your house or if thieves steal your backup drive along with your Mac, you can still recover your data.

If you store unique data on external drives, don’t forget to back those up as well! Fortunately, Backblaze can back up external drives too. (That said, Backblaze cannot back up network drives, remotely mounted computers, or shared volumes.)

Why do I prefer Backblaze over the alternatives?

  • It provides speedy Mac client software with an elegant interface.

  • It gives you the option to maintain your private key so only you can see your data.

  • Restore by Mail! That’s right, Backblaze will send you your data on a backup drive via FedEx, which will be much faster than restoring everything via the Internet. You get your $99 (128 GB) or $189 (up to 4 TB) deposit back if you return the drive within 30 days.

Backblaze is everything online backup should be: simple, secure, and affordable. Try a 15-day free trial today and see if you agree. If you stick with Backblaze, it’s only $50 per year per computer for unlimited backup, including your external drives.

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