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Backblaze Raises Prices, Makes Extended Version History Standard

In an email to customers and accompanying blog post, Backblaze CEO Gleb Budman announced price increases, standard extended version history, and a forthcoming local restore capability for the online Backblaze Computer Backup service.

Today, Backblaze costs $7 per month, $70 per year, or $130 for a 2-year subscription. As of 3 October 2023, prices for new purchases and renewals will increase to $9 per month, $99 per year, or $189 for 2 years. Existing licenses will be honored for their duration. I’ve subscribed to Backblaze since 2018 and always opted for the longest and cheapest period because I’ve seen no reason to switch to another online backup service. The price increase could incentivize switching, though I have no sense of how prices and features compare across the industry at this point.

Although the increases are non-trivial, Backblaze is cushioning the impact by changing the price structure surrounding its extended version history. Backblaze retains file versions and deleted files for 30 days, but you can pay an additional $2 per month to retain them for an entire year. If you want to maintain version history indefinitely, you pay an incremental storage fee of $0.005 per gigabyte per month for versions changed or deleted over a year ago.

The new pricing model essentially builds 1 year of extended version history into the base price, though it doesn’t quite work out at the 1-year and 2-year levels. On 3 October 2023, you’ll be able to log in to your account and select One Year of Extended Version History for free; if you don’t take that action, your account will remain at 30 days of version history. The new Forever Version History plan drops the $2-per-month fee but raises the incremental rate for when a file has been changed, modified, or deleted over a year ago to $0.006 per gigabyte per month.

Backblaze also said version 9.0 of its software would launch sometime in September with a significant change: a local restore interface. Right now, restoring files requires using the Backblaze website, and while the interface is functional, it’s not a joy to use, mainly because the directory listings load slowly—it took about 2 minutes to load the listing for the backup for my iMac and two archive drives. With luck, the local restore interface will cache the directory so we can navigate it much as though we were using the Finder.

Simultaneously, Backblaze said that its B2 Cloud Storage service would increase its monthly pay-as-you-go rate from $5 per terabyte to $6 per terabyte. However, egress fees—the cost to download data—will be waived for up to three times the amount of data you have stored in B2; additional egress costs $0.01 per gigabyte. B2 Reserve pricing doesn’t change, and unlimited free egress between B2 and content delivery and compute companies partnered with Backblaze remains in place.

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Comments About Backblaze Raises Prices, Makes Extended Version History Standard

Notable Replies

  1. I subscribe to the two-year plan for two machines. If I’m doing the math right, this is a 45% increase, taking my bill from $260 to $378. Backblaze has been extremely useful on more than one occasion (although, as you point out, time consuming). I am thinking that at renewal time I will stop using Backblaze on my laptop. My work habits have changed and it’s no longer a daily driver - virtually all its important information is synced with the desktop via iCloud anyway.

    I wonder, though, if you could clarify this statement:

    “The new pricing model essentially builds 1 year of extended version history into the base price, though it doesn’t quite work out at the 1-year and 2-year levels.”

    I admit to such laziness that I haven’t done the math on the monthly or one-year plans - is the percentage of price reduction better on the monthly plan, or is there something else? I’ll still look for the absolute (as opposed to relative) dollars out of pocket over any given two years.

  2. I started using Backblaze in 2014 when it cost $50 per year so $99 per year is twice the price and approx. 7% compound increase in 10 years. According to Backblaze’s own data (The Cost of Hard Drives Over Time) storage costs per gigabyte have more than halved in that time. The total volume each subscriber stores has increased by a large factor and only Backblaze has this data but in my case I am pretty sure I now backup more than 4 times the volume I did in 2014.
    Consequently, the price increase should be acceptable but it is steep and I would be interested to learn about alternatives. I have actually never taken advantage of the 30-day version history so a one year history doesn’t add value for me.
    Eager to hear what others think.

  3. Yeah…it’s going up but then everything is going up so in reality this is pretty small potatoes. Wife and I have 2 laptops, a 2013 mini in the entertainment center, and a Studio that’s the home fileserver and Lightroom computer for photos. I long ago gave up on network Time Machine for the laptops since it basically is not reliable and replaced it with CarbonCopyCloner jobs cloning /Users to both the Mini and the Studio…the Studio has BackBlaze but it isn’t backing up the share with the laptop /Users on it. However…everything actually important is on DropBox, iCloud, and a pair of Samsung T7s that get plugged into the laptops for an auto full clone so unless the whole house burns down we’re pretty good there…and although we’re in SW FL we’re in a concrete block house that isn’t going to flood (Ian certified that…the eye wall passed about 9 miles from us) and isn’t going to blow down either. I need to take a look and see about adding the /Users destination share on the Studio to BackBlaze anyway…what’s another couple hundred GB compared to the 4 TB that’s already getting to BackBlaze.

  4. I didn’t calculate percentages, but at a quick glance:

    • Monthly: Was $7 + $2 = $9, so it’s a wash in the $9-per-month pricing.
    • Yearly: Was $70 + ($2 * 12) = $94, so you’re paying $5 more with the new $99-per-year pricing.
    • Two-Year: Was $130 + ($2 * 24 = $178, so you’re paying $11 more with the new $189 for a two-year plan.

    Hence the extended version history not quite working out as being being “free” with the new pricing plans.

  5. I have been very happy with iDrive for several years. Look at this link for different plans and features.

  6. Ken

    I have a bit over 3 TB backed up, so would save money on their 5 TB plan, but it doesn’t make enough difference to change. Plus I’ve seen once how long it takes to upload everything and I would have to pay for a faster connection for a month.

  7. had BB for a couple years, but hated the interface.
    when it came to dl’g something I’d lost and wanted back (3TB of media. toasted Seagates) I had to zip in small bits. pita.
    Went to iDrive last year and changed a couple clients to iDrive as well. Better interface and faster to dl.
    $100/10TB. $8.25/mo for way more than I’ll ever need. Plus local b.u. of the important bits with CCC.

  8. Gonna say, +1 for Arq. It’s wondrous. Takes a bit to get it set up right, but gives you maximum flexibility and supports APFS point-in-time snapshots, which is the chief reason I run it on my server Mac (otherwise the command line tool restic, for the Linux box). Highly recommended.

  9. It’s right on that page:

    Additional TBs of storage $.00599/GB per month

    So another TB would be $5.99/month.

  10. I’ve used Arq for a long time. It’s great, with a terrific developer, but the resource usage can be very high. I believe this is because it does its own indexing instead of using the Spotlight index. I often have to pause backups to avoid system slowdowns. It also slowly fills up the disk with cache files, which as far as I know have to be manually deleted only to be slowly rebuilt. I’m considering trying another service that utilizes the Spotlight index.

  11. Oh sorry, I missed that.

    Although if you have even a few TB’s of data, then $6/TB/mth ($72/TB/yr) could get expensive, compared to Backblaze’s all you can eat for one fee (provided your extra drives are DAS not NAS, of course, given the latter they don’t offer backups for).

  12. Have you tweaked the settings under [Backup name] > Edit… ? Those under the Network and Options tabs may help you optimize Arq’s performance/minimize resource consumption.

  13. Yes, I have drastically reduced Arq’s maximum CPU usage setting but still experience obvious system slowdowns when Arq is making a backup. I haven’t investigated exactly what’s going on, but I suspect the disk indexing is the culprit.

  14. IIRC there is a reason for this, something about the Spotlight indexes being incomplete/inconsistent. I’m fairly sure the author realises there’s a problem though, it’s a common enough complaint he’s replying to when it’s brought up. I’d try and make your backup sets as exclusive as possible to avoid making work for the indexer and also of course to avoid backing up redundant info like caches (including Arq’s own). On my server Mini disk indexing by Spotlight is always off because I have no need for it, though I’d not be averse to re-enabling it if it could be made reliable/useful for backup apps.

    Re costs, Arq will back up where you want, so you could make a tiered backup plan where you put offline media backups on a NAS or other device (or just use Time Machine), put your most precious stuff in Wasabi or B2, and anything that doesn’t change frequently (like your movie collection) in Glacier for minimising storage costs. No, it is clearly not as convenient as “all-you-can-eat”, but there are no restrictions on what you back up, and from where, and everything’s encrypted with your key. It’s wonderfully flexible and liberating, but not the cheapest.

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