There has been recently another thread discussion different routes to cloud backup, and some discussion of BackBlaze vs Arq.
I have posted a number of times about the three big reasons that I use Arq and not BackBlaze (see below) but wanted to through out some thoughts that occurred to me today for comments.
I don’t use BackBlaze even though I acknowledge it to be an excellent product, for three big reasons:
- Lack of pooled storage. I have a desktop with about 1.7TB of active data, and two laptops each with relatively small amounts of data on them. If I used BackBlaze I would need three subscriptions, for $180/year (plus tax) while two of the subscriptions would use very small amounts of storage. WIth Arq into B2, my total storage is still about 2TB, keeping my costs lower, and I can add another computer in with a very small increment in cost.
- BackBlaze does not keep files after 30 days after deletion, which means that if something is accidentally deleted or otherwise lost, after 30 days it becomes unretrievable. Arq allows me to keep files indefinitely (at the cost of paying for the additional storage). I understand why BackBlaze’s business model makes this a necessary approach.
- The same issue applies if an external drive is disconnected; the backup will eventually be deleted. In BackBlaze’s defense, however, they do email you warnings on this as well.
Today a colleague asked me to help him plan out a backup strategy. He has a desktop and several laptops, and no backup plan in place. As I have been thinking about how he can best accomplish this, noting that he is not a tech guy or a power user, and needs a simple, easy to install, understand, and use, reliable solution, the obvious answer is BackBlaze, but again he is looking at multiple subscriptions and a significant cost, while each laptop has very little data to actually store. My obvious answer to him is going to be Arq. I bit more upfront configuration work, but a much lower overall cost to pool data in B2.
That got me things along a few different lines:
As a (maybe) more sophisticated user, I could in fact use BackBlaze in a somewhat roundabout way, by having each of my laptops do incremental backups to my iMac Pro desktop (which has plenty of storage) and run BackBlaze on the iMac Pro only. I would have to figure out how to have the laptops do that backup, but I can find such a solution (or just use rsync).
Maybe my thinking has been off base. It occurred to me today that the purpose to the cloud backup may well NOT be, as I have envisioned, to provide the ability to restore any historical file or version. Rather, the cloud backup might be better thought of as a last-resort way of recreating the state of your computer system at the moment it dies / is stolen / is destroyed in a fire, and it is only that state that matters in the cloud. Historical versions can be maintained on a home clone or whatever as needed. There is a small window where you could accidentally delete some files, not realize it, have your house burn down, and then those files are irretrievable lost with this approach, however.
If I have my laptops make a daily clone to the iMac Pro, and using CCC’s technique for storing changed and deleted files in a rescue folder, I could also have BackBlaze handle all the files in those folders as well. BB would NOT back up the entire clone as that is redundant and unnecessary, but could backup the CCC saved files, which provides that extra safety net.
Given this thinking, I might decide to shift over to BB. Still thinking this through.