I tend to be a slow adopter of new technology. And, I fought the possibility of having a cloud backup, especially to backup photos from my computer for the longest time. I felt the upload to the cloud would be too tedious and take too much time for the amount of data that I have. Well I gotta tell you things have changed.

Backblaze to the rescue

I was first introduced to Backblaze on Photofocus. But that is not why I made the decision to subscribe to the service. Backblaze has a free 15-day trial. By availing myself of the trial I learned that technology has made the process almost invisible. Once you are signed in the download begins … and it is invisible to the user. The upload happens in the background and there’s no need to change any of your work habits. If you turn off your computer the upload picks up right where it left off. It can’t be more simple than that.

My computer and four hard drive enclosure is being backed up as you read this.

Need to use the backup?

Should you need to recover files due to a loss Backblaze makes it easy to reacquire your files. If it is just a few files you can download them. If it were a major loss your Internet download speed would take a long, long time. In that case Back Blaze will load your files onto a flash drive or a USB drive and send it via FedEx. You get your money refunded when you return the drive.

Is this the final solution?

In an ideal world your backup strategy should be based on 3-2-1. Three copies of your data. Your original and at least two other copies with one of those needing to be off-site.

Using Backblaze can be a perfect part of your strategy in protecting your files. I keep my hard drive copies in a fireproof safe which is very close to off-site. Adding the cloud storage makes me feel even more secure.

The price

Some of the best news of all and another reason I signed up. The price is $60 per year per computer for unlimited data. Unlimited data. Did I mention unlimited data? You can also pay $6 a month if that works better for you, which still works out to only $72 a year. There is business NAS upload service as well.

Be aware

Backblaze does not backup your operating system or your application files. This means you cannot depend upon the service to get you totally back up and running in case of a complete failure. For that you need to make sure you also save a clone of your hard drive.

A clone drive is different from a backup in that it is a bootable hard drive. If you save a clone you don’t have to track down and reload all of your system and application files. You don’t have to rework or reload your preferences and software to which you no longer have access. If your OS drive — a.k.a. the ‘C’ drive on a PC — takes a dump you can replace that drive on your computer. Then copy your clone drive back in to the newly installed blank hard drive. You’ll be back to work in a relatively short period of time.

I’ll talk more about clone drives and the process for their creation in another post.

Yours in creative Photography, Bob