Why I quit using Backblaze

When I heard about Backblaze, I was excited. Full offsite backup for just $5/month.

I’ve been using Time Machine with a Time Capsule for years, but it’s not going to back you up when you’re traveling, and Apple’s Time Capsules are expensive and don’t work terribly well.

When I recently switched to an eero wifi system, I decided to drop Time Machine and go with just Backblaze. I’d been using them together for a while, but doing both seemed unnecessary. That was, until I actually needed my backup.

Three weeks ago today, I dropped my Mac off with Apple to fix a stuck space bar. It took them a week to fix with no communications, and when I got it back, it was completely wiped.

Backblaze to the rescue!

Or so I thought.

Turns out, it took Backblaze a full 14 days, two weeks, to get a USB hard drive shipped to me with my data.

Gathering my backup data from their storage pods and getting it into a form that they can get to me: Two full weeks.

Being an engineer, I’ve been thinking about how I would go about designing a storage system that has this kind of latency on retrieving data. Mind you, they’re using hard drives, not tapes. I can’t think of how I’d do that, other than inserting “sleep(2 days)” statements all over the code.

What good is a backup solution if it takes several weeks to get your data back?

Okay, I guess it’s better than losing those precious photos forever, but if you’r actually using your data to get work done, it’s worthless. It’s going to be almost a month from I dropped off my laptop till I’m going to have all my data back.

Needless to say, I’ve now canceled Backblaze and I’m looking into alternatives.

I’ve restarted Time Machine backups. I’ve attached the old Time Capsule to one of my eeros and am backing up to that. I’m doing a full clone onto an external HD using the fantastic SuperDuper! And I’m using Arq.

I really like the idea behind Arq, that you can backup to your own Amazon S3 or Amazon CloudDrive or Google Cloud account, and it’s stored in an open format. But the execution of the Arq client leaves a lot to be desired in terms of usability.

Backup is super important. How come in 2017 it’s still not a problem that anyone’s solved?

If Backblaze was able to actually get our data back within a reasonable period, that would be close to perfect in my book. Anything longer than 12 hours to prepare a full restore and get it shipped to me seems too long to me.

Anyone got any good leads? Anyone want to tackle this with me?