Do I need Backblaze on both iMac and MacBook Pro?

I just purchased one of the newly updated 27" iMacs. I also have a MacBook Pro which I will still be using for working on the road or any time I want to work somewhere not at my desk.

I have been backing up my MacBook Pro to Time Machine, a bootable CCC clone, and Backblaze. The new iMac will get the same CCC and TM treatment, of course, and Backblaze for offsite.

My question is: Do I continue to back up the MacBook Pro to Backblaze, or do I just transfer the license to the iMac?

The iMac will be my primary machine, and there will be very little that is unique on either machine; they’ll largely have the same files. If anything, it is the iMac that will have unique files since it has more storage than the MacBook Pro (e.g., I’ll have my entire iCloud Photo Library on the iMac but probably run the MacBook Pro as Optimized, from here on out).

So the question is: Having BackBlaze on both machines doubles my BackBlaze costs, but does it meaningfully reduce the risk of data loss? I am leaning towards thinking that it does not reduce the risk of data loss to a degree that justifies doubling my cost for the following reasons:

  1. I will be doing probably 75% of my work on my iMac. The number of totally new files I generate on my MacBook Pro will therefore be comparatively small.
  2. The VAST majority of my files are synchronized between machines (using iCloud, Dropbox, or Github). Anything novel that I create on the MacBook Pro will get synced to the iMac and backed up to BackBlaze from there.
  3. Anything I create on the MacBook Pro that isn’t also part of a sync service will likely be moved to the iMac at the next opportunity.

The possible risks to only having the iMac backed up to BackBlaze:

  1. I have a novel file or heavily modified file on my MacBook Pro that doesn’t get synced for some reason (service is down, no internet connection, etc), and which is lost/damaged, or the computer is lost/damaged.

This is a fairly unlikely scenario, and the most likely circumstance this scenario would occur would be when I don’t have an internet connection (rather than a failure of a sync service), in which case BackBlaze would also not help.

  1. My iMac is rendered unavailable for some reason (power/internet outage at home that it never recovers from) and doesn’t received synced files, and my MacBook Pro fails.

While this is a bit of an unlikely scenario, it is one that would actually be protected against by having BackBlaze available on my MacBook Pro.

Nevertheless, I’m leaning towards just having BackBlaze on my iMac, and not on my MBP. Convince me otherwise!

(I understand that, ideally, both would have BackBlaze, but I’m a bit budget sensitive at the moment and so any place I can avoid introducing new costs is helpful.)

I’m kind of in the same boat (iMac and MacBook Pro, plus a Mac mini, all of which get backed up to Backblaze). For now I’ve decided to keep paying for Backblaze on the MacBook Pro, but it is something I’ve considered dropping.

Part of the reason I’ve got Backblaze on the laptop is a legacy of the time when it was a travel machine. I generally turned my iMac off when I was on long trips, so if I didn’t have Backblaze on the laptop new data wouldn’t be getting backed up. Now I’ve got the Mac mini, which stays on when I travel and most of my travel is getting done with an iPad rather than the laptop, so cloud backup for the laptop is probably less pressing.

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Slightly different boat (Crashplan) but same issue – multiple systems wanting to back up as one to save costs. For years I’d used Chronosync to synchronize files between my MBP and iMac, something I don’t do any more since I’ve retired. But I do have a server Mac mini and several other computers that I need to back up. So what I’ve done is use Chronosync to backup the iMacs to the server. Then I have the server as the only backup to Crashplan. Been testing for a few months with the actual switchover this summer, but so far it seems to work fine. I also back up our iOS devices to the iMacs, so they get saved to the cloud this way as well.

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Use iCloud to sync data between all your Mac’s
Most people are unaware that you can recover files up to 30 day’s via

Use your iMac with Time Machine to a hard drive to create a local backup with a longer history or in case the internet goes to hell in a handbasket.

If you want to triple down own your back-up strategy create bootable backups using SuperDuper and store them in a safe.

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How about using the iMac as the main unit for BackBlaze then periodically making CCC backups to a backup drive always connected to the iMac (whose files, though not OS, BackBlaze will then back up). You can either directly back up the laptop to the external drive, or connect it to the iMac via Target Disk Mode and use CCC from the iMac.

All you’d need would be a big enough external drive. I can recommend this $149 8Tb Seagate external.


As long as you are sure that everything is being backed up I don’t see a problem with just the iMac. I view my CrashPlan backup as a last resort. My multiple CCC and TM backups are what I use for any recovery. I have an anemic internet connection so I don’t want to use it if at all possible.

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I agree with the previous post. I’ve had Backblaze running on only one if three macs that I have largely synced without concerns, in part b/c everything I am currently working in is in cloud storage, and everything completed is synced manually (with chronosync and an external usb drive).

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Okay this is all great info and I’m glad I’m not the only one whose been in this position!

I think the plan is to have ONLY the iMac back up to Backblaze. Both computers will still have:

  • Time Machine
  • Daily Carbon Copy Cloner Clone

And down the road when the gravy train is flowing a bit more I’ll spring for backblaze on all my machines.
Thanks for your insights and for saving me $110!

Those of you who back up to Time Machine, how do you know that it will actually work/install when you need it? Here is what happened to me when I needed to use TM:

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I’ve always found it unreliable, so it’s just one of several backups I use. I only use it to restore single files I recently deleted by mistake.