I just saw the email from Backblaze regarding their price increase (basically $1/mo or $10/yr). It’s not a huge increase but also can’t say I wasn’t expecting it.
With many of the tricks in use to get around external drive limitations (some advocated for on this podcast), I figured it was only a matter of time. They have to cover their costs for storage and still make a reasonable profit. Maybe the concepts aren’t related, though, I don’t know?
I almost wish they offered tiers of storage you could pay for. Regardless, I love their backup service and have zero plans of going anywhere.
I to like Backblaze as a backup service and the $10 a year increase is nothing for what they offer. The idea of offering different plans for ones storage use has merit within reason. My neighbor works for Code 42 in accounting and told me one big reason Code 42 did away with CrashPlan for home use was the amount of storage space some users were consuming. They couldn’t keep adding servers and bigger hard drives. Some users thought that they had to keep every file they ever touched or acquired forever and as a result they hurt everyone.
It is the better deal, for sure, but time will tell how sustainable it is. I suspect that is what caused CrashPlan to have to raise its prices.
To be clear, I don’t blame anyone for using the plan the company is offering — you’d be crazy not to! I just wonder if it will eventually catch up to us, and if it does I hope they do a tiered approach instead of raising prices too high.
I still believe Backblaze is well worth their prices! Couldn’t be happier at their service (including their restoration by mail service which I had to use recently).
Edit: I wrote this before reading the next response…sorry for the additional “I suspect” regarding CrashPlan!
If you do not expect significant portions of your stored data to change over time, and do not need to restore data from storage, then consider B2 (or similar). I have 190GB of data in B2 (initial load) and with expected monthly updates and downloads, the annual cost projected using B2’s calculator was $14/year. That has turned out to be a very accurate estimate.
Like @anon41602260 I use B2 instead of regular Backblaze. I backup using Arq and pay about $7 a month to backup 700GB or so. This should increase to about $10-$13 a month once all my photos get backed up. I like using Arq as I want to be use my stuff is encrypted. If Backblaze offered better encryption along with versioning (pretty sure that’s a major reason why I decided on B2), then I’d switch back. That said I do also have local copies of stuff. My overall thought is that if one has a Plex server for instance to not waste money on storing that in the cloud.
So for me personally I have the following storage setup:
3 external HD’s, one is mirrored to the other. Although not the best idea I have my 2 external HD’s partitioned. These are Backup of HD (CCC clone of my laptop), Photos (all my photos from Lightroom etc), and Archive (stuff I don’t access much but still wanna keep). My HD is fully backed up to B2 with Arq. I’m working through doing so for my Photos and Archive HD’s. My Photos is my main priority at the moment. I guess what I would ask you would be “if I could grab my laptop in a fire and then had to replace the rest of my data, what would I live without or redownload?”. Based on this I wouldn’t back up the stuff that’s easily replaceable.
Others please weigh in. I know @FrMichaelFanous might have some useful thoughts on this topic as well.
In 2016-2018, my workflow was everything was backed up to the Synology (including time machine). Any file was backed up on there. From the Synology, I had Crashplan backing it up to the cloud. Then I had an additional external passport that I would swap out and update and carry with me when I would be gone for extended periods.
I re-evaluated my workflow and updated the following for end of 2018 and 2019 so far.
Purchased B2 (in hopes of getting rid of Crashplan) and Synology backs to B2. Many hiccups happened I started noticing huge difference in the number of files on B2 versus my Synology. B2 support said it wasn’t their issue and Synology support wanted file access to my Synology device, I felt uncomfortable at that point.
2 external drives hooked up to my computer 24/7. (1 is for Time Machine and 1 is CCC)
Synology still is my archive of everything. (due to B2 giving me issues, I never cancelled Crashplan)
My goal in the next few weeks is to run another B2 test with a different client or something, perhaps the Synology client is not that great and I should use something else.
I know the backup rule of 3-2-1 but I am looking over its practicality and priorities.
Example - The reason for 2 externals for my macbook (Time Machine and CCC) (instead of backing them up to the Synology). It’s rare that I keep a physical working file on my computer, 99.999% of the time, any file I am working on is being pulled from my Synology. Essentially, my macbook only has the apps that I use and all files are being called upon from the Synology or some cloud service. So this backup is really just about having to reboot or copy settings to a new device for sake of speed.
B2 as a secondary (testing) backup until it’s proven
External Drive Backup of things I can’t replace (Photos) (in terms of a disaster happening)
Last point (sorry for the lengthy post). But I am also evaluating on my own life. I am the only “techie” in the family. Most of my family and extended family are not tech savvy at all. I have setup their email accounts, icloud, etc. So when my time comes, my Synology and all these systems I created will just be forgotten (and if I wrote it down) it would need to be extremely simplistic to understand and follow up with.
To B2, I back up ~/Documents and ~/Photos. I have two local Time Machine backups, and I clone the drive weekly, so I have no reason to backup more to B2. Prior to using B2 I started a Backblaze account and will be considering terminating that account.
(I’ve learned from experience to not take lightly the decision to stop using a backup destination – just this week I was looking for a folder I had not used in years, but now needed. It’s not where I thought it was and I luckily had it on a now-defunct disk that was once used for backups.)
I hope Backblaze can find a way to sustain its model. Anyone remember Mozy?
With increasingly faster upload bandwidth and the side effect to having 4K cameras in our pockets seeing us accumulate vast amounts of unique data, a time will come when they just cannot say “unlimited backup” for a trivial cost anymore.
On one hand the rise of cloud services means less storage needed for most people and therefore less data for BackBlaze to back up. On the other hand, that makes Backblaze less compelling to ordinary consumers (who wouldn’t be taxing the company’s services).
I think Backblaze also has to worry about Amazon. With the backing of storage from its AWS side of the business, and its recent purchase of eero and interest in consumer networks, I can see Amazon making a play for Backblaze-style backup service. Right now Amazon offers Prime members (clunky) unlimited photo storage - anyone doubt they could ramp up to offer transparent data storage with Prime and non-prime price tiers?
I don’t think that there is any sustainable business model in the long run that offers “unlimited storage” for a flat fee.
Amazon Drive with unlimited data storage for a flat fee is gone.
CrashPlan with unlimited data storage for a flat fee is gone.
BackBlaze still offers unlimited data but is increasing prices. And I really do not believe that this will be their final words. They will keep increasing prices or they will stop offering “unlimited” data storage eventually.
Storage space costs money as does traffic. Somebody has to pay for that.
I will not choose any option that offers “unlimited storage”. It is a pain to re-upload my data again and again. For two years, I have been using Arq in combination with several OneDrive Accounts (1TB per account). Right now, 50 to 70 Dollars per 1 TB of storage seems to be the “normal” offering that seems to be feasible.
I am thinking of getting rid of cloud storage altogether. I have everything on my NAS and I put a physical backup off-site
The ability to encrypt backup files really makes storage inefficient for companies like Backblaze. Just think about how many copies of the same, sometimes large, files are sitting on their drives. Something like MATLAB comes to mind, at 10GB. Or tutorial files for some neuroimaging software I’m working on, at 40GB. Admittedly, these aren’t very popular, but I’m sure there are thousands of copies of Keynote.app, Frozen.mp4, etc. on Backblaze’s drives.
They could have doubled the price and I would have thought it was a good value. I want to pay a reasonable price for a service. I am with BackBlaze because Crashplan dropped their non-business support, I don’t want BackBlaze to go anywhere.
Amazon doesn’t have a history of providing profitable underpinnings for others without getting into that business for itself. Just look at how they utilized the sales data for clothes, foodstuffs, electronics and home furnishings in order to decide which areas to offer its own branded competition.
If it sees a big enough business in consumer backup - especially when the marginal cost for storage (which it already needs and uses in gargantuan amounts) could make it devastatingly competitive - I am sure it will do so.
‘They haven’t done it before’ in one particular segment is not an argument they’ll continue to leave it alone, especially when you consider that they ‘left alone’ clothing sales for a decade before moving in force, out of nowhere, with close to a dozen separate house brands for clothing alone (eg Amazon Essentials, Franklin & Freeman, Frnaklin Tailored, James & Erin, Lark & Ro, North Eleven and more) in just one year.