Backblaze Cloud Backup 5.0: The Rapid Access Release

By | August 10th, 2017

Announcing Backblaze Cloud Backup 5.0: the Rapid Access Release. We’ve been at the backup game for a long time now, and we continue to focus on providing the best unlimited backup service on the planet. A lot of the features in this release have come from listening to our customers about how they want to use their data. “Rapid Access” quickly became the theme because, well, we’re all acquiring more and more data and want to access it in a myriad of ways.

This release brings a lot of new functionality to Backblaze Computer Backup: faster backups, accelerated file browsing, image preview, individual file download (without creating a “restore”), and file sharing. To top it all off, we’ve refreshed the user interface on our client app. We hope you like it!

Speeding Things Up

New code + new hardware + elbow grease = things are going to move much faster.

Faster Backups

We’ve doubled the number of threads available for backup on both Mac and PC . This gives our service the ability to intelligently detect the right settings for you (based on your computer, capacity, and bandwidth). As always, you can manually set the number of threads — keep in mind that if you have a slow internet connection, adding threads might have the opposite effect and slow you down. On its default settings, our client app will now automatically evaluate what’s best given your environment. We’ve internally tested our service backing up at over 100 Mbps, which means if you have a fast-enough internet connection, you could back up 50 GB in just one hour.

Faster Browsing

We’ve introduced a number of enhancements that increase file browsing speed by 3x. Hidden files are no longer displayed by default, but you can still show them with one click on the restore page. This gives the restore interface a cleaner look, and helps you navigate backup history if you need to roll back time.

Faster Restore Preparation

We take pride in providing a variety of ways for consumers to get their data back. When something has happened to your computer, getting your files back quickly is critical. Both web download restores and Restore by Mail will now be much faster. In some cases up to 10x faster!

Preview — Access — Share

Our system has received a number of enhancements — all intended to give you more access to your data.

Image Preview

If you have a lot of photos, this one’s for you. When you go to the restore page you’ll now be able to click on each individual file that we have backed up, and if it’s an image you’ll see a preview of that file. We hope this helps people figure out which pictures they want to download (this especially helps people with a lot of photos named something along the lines of: 2017-04-20-9783-41241.jpg). Now you can just click on the picture to preview it.

Access

Once you’ve clicked on a file (30MB and smaller), you’ll be able to individually download that file directly in your browser. You’ll no longer need to wait for a single-file restore to be built and zipped up; you’ll be able to download it quickly and easily. This was a highly requested feature and we’re stoked to get it implemented.

Share

We’re leveraging Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage and giving folks the ability to publicly share their files. In order to use this feature, you’ll need to enable Backblaze B2 on your account (if you haven’t already, there’s a simple wizard that will pop up the first time you try to share a file). Files can be shared anywhere in the world via URL. All B2 accounts have 10GB/month of storage and 1GB/day of downloads (equivalent to sharing an iPhone photo 1,000 times per month) for free. You can increase those limits in your B2 Settings. Keep in mind that any file you share will be accessible to anybody with the link. Learn more about File Sharing.

For now, we’ve limited the Preview/Access/Share functionality to files 30MB and smaller, but larger files will be supported in the coming weeks!

Other Goodies

In addition to adding 2FV via ToTP, we’ve also been hard at work on the client. In version 5.0 we’ve touched up the user interface to make it a bit more lively, and we’ve also made the client IPv6 compatible.

Backblaze 5.0 Available: August 10, 2017

We will slowly be auto-updating all users in the coming weeks. To update now:

This version is now the default download on www.backblaze.com.

We hope you enjoy Backblaze Cloud Backup v5.0!

Yev

Yev

Chief Smiles Officer at Backblaze
Yev enjoys speed-walking on the beach. Speed-dating. Speed-writing blog posts. The film Speed. Speedy technology. Speedy Gonzales. And Speedos. But mostly technology. He also runs social for Backblaze.

Follow Yev on:
Twitter: @YevP | LinkedIn: Yev Pusin | Google+: Yev Pusin
Category:  Backing Up
  • mrobrien

    Your site says that you can upload up to 50GB in an hour. Do you have any throttling? If I wanted to backup 3TB, would I be able to do this without being slowed down.

    I am currently a CrashPlan user but since they are ditching their consumer business, I am looking for a new company to use for backups.

    One last question – if I do have an emergency, do you have phone support? If so, is it 24/7, 10/5, or what?

    Thanks!!!

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  • Zanpher

    Hello, I’m a former crashplan user (since they abandoned their userbase). I signed up for B2 Cloud since it seemed like a good deal. Of course, I totally forgot about needing a client … oops!

    I was looking at just using the regular Blackblaze service… but it looks like you do not support home servers? I have a Calibre server (ebooks), and a Plex server (photos, home videos, music, etc). As well as minecraft, terraria and ARK servers for family and friends…

    It would be cool if I could use BackBlaze to back up my stuff… but … you guys don’t support servers?

    I guess another option is for me to code some kind of custom backup client.. I looked at what’s out there and the folks who sell clients compatible with B2 Cloud are neurotic when it comes to home server prices. :/

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  • Ragkopf

    Hi, I’m a current CrashPlan user. Your service looks great with two exceptions, retention and restore. Retention should last longer, especially with deleted items. I might not notice a corrupted or missing file. CrashPlan had indefinite retention.

    Your method of restore is the deal breaker. What good is having my own key if I have to upload it to your servers in order to restore files? Sorry, but in today’s age of rogue 3-letter agencies, that’s a leap too far. No, I have nothing they want, but that doesn’t matter.

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  • Riger

    After update “View restore files” still sends you to a web page. The “View restore files” feature seems broken, I cannot see or select any files. Nor can I continue with a restore options (as no files are selected).

    • Riger

      Oh good grief! This is a GUI design issue… :(
      The file tree is hidden below the page fold, just above it is a graphic separator bar. When you’re directed to the page, you see the content above the fold (select a restore option then a “Continue with restore button” – Huh?)… At the bottom the separator bar, which to many is a visual indicator that the content has ended and nothing is below. I just happened to accidentally look at the slider in the right gutter and notice it could slide down even more.

      Suggestion…

      Please move the file tree to the top, lose one of the restore buttons, and place the three restore options under the file tree (with no graphic separator bar). And just above the file tree (now at the top), please provide a brief blurb, telling people what to do (select files, then a restore option below).

      Currently it’s backward, selecting a restore option, clicking a “Continue with restore button”, finding out it does not work, then seeing a previously hidden file tree below the page fold, with another “Continue with restore button”.

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  • Davison Long

    @YevP:disqus Does this release address the issues raised quite some time ago? Here’s my list:
    1) Fix indexing problems for those of us with a large number of files
    2) Bring back ability to exclude folders/files by specific drives
    3) Tying into #2, allow users to set an exclusion list BEFORE a new install starts scanning files

    Without those basic issues addressed I still can’t use Backblaze, so if those issues are still present I’m afraid I’ll probably have to cancel my subscription (I’ve still been paying for the last year and a half despite not using the service). Faster backups are great, but if it still is crippled by the above limitations those “faster” backups don’t really help much for people who actually want to backup more than a few hundred gigabytes of files.

    • Not sure about the indexing problems you were experiencing, but you can take a look at -> https://help.backblaze.com/hc/en-us/articles/220973007-Advanced-Topic-Setting-Custom-Exclusions-via-XML regarding exclusions.

      • Davison Long

        The link you provided doesn’t change anything. As specified in that page, even when creating “custom” exclusions “all rules apply to all attached volumes”. This means you can’t exclude a folder “A” on one drive and NOT exclude it on other drives. That’s a pretty serious limitation. We shouldn’t have to be renaming folders and such to get basic exclusion rules to work correctly.

        Also, the indexing problems aren’t something specific to me. This was discussed at length well over a year ago and multiple support tickets couldn’t resolve the issue that the Backblaze indexer just simply breaks down when dealing with a large number of files. I even tried starting over (deleting my entire backup) and beginning from scratch to see if that would resolve the indexing problem. It didn’t help. I simply had to give up on Backblaze and move to another provider. Nothing would please me more than to be able to move back to Backblaze as I like a lot of how the company operates, but it is disappointing that after over a year and a half nothing has really changed in the areas that matter to “power users”.

        Obviously Backblaze has the ability to store massive amounts of data and files when aggregating multiple users. It’s just a shame that there are some serious performance and usability limitations for a single account. I’d truly appreciate it if Backblaze would allow some direct communication to the development team and provide feedback directly from engineers addressing my concerns. I feel like it wouldn’t take a huge amount of effort to resolve the issues I listed, so it would be nice to figure out if there are other reasons why they simply aren’t being addressed.

        • EnerJi

          Out of curiosity (from someone evaluating options due to CrashPlan Home ending), how many files and drives are we talking about?

          • Davison Long

            My Crashplan account currently shows 3TB of data with 3,047,555 files. I had roughly 10% less than this a year and a half ago before I switched from Backblaze due to constant IO thrashing and backups hanging up because the index file gets too big for the Backblaze client to reliably handle. I had even tried to start from scratch and re-upload everything again but it simply didn’t work. Of course, I’m now in the same boat you are with Crashplan Home being discontinued.

      • Davison Long

        @YevP:disqus, now would be a good time for Backblaze to step up big time with more than
        just a marketing blog post to capitalize on the Crashplan fiasco. If the problems I mentioned got fixed then Backblaze would be the absolute best online backup platform out there. I’d even be willing to pay a 50% premium for a “pro” version that resolved my issues (especially if server support was added).

        Otherwise, you may lose out on a large number of Crashplan users who just follow the path of least resistance and migrate to Carbonite because of their “partnership” (i.e. Carbonite paying a commission for all the converted accounts).

        Now is the time to heavily invest in features to take things to the next level and become THE place to be for online backups.

  • High fives and fist bumps for continuing to support Snow Leopard. Thank you.

    • Walbertus

      I too appreciate the Snow Leopard support. Please do not discontinue this as so many other services seem to do.

  • Scott Menard

    I’ve been using BB for my business workstation for several months. Only once have I need to restore some data and it worked as advertised. I need the ability to access a set group of files at any given time remotely and to date, have tried DropBox and OneDrive. DropBox screwed me on my free storage space and OneDrive says you get 1.TB of storage with your Office 365 account but that isn’t true either. The worst part is neither have REAL TECH Support so, GONE are both of these accounts. Does BB offer a REAL PERSON to speak to if needed? I have not the time or patience to txt back and forth with a person reading a script to troubleshoot my issues. I want to make sure everything is working as required. If I need a person I want to call and speak to a person. Do you offer this level of Service? Yes or No?

    • Hey Scott! Sure, we have live chat and you can always open a ticket with a real human here -> https://help.backblaze.com/hc/en-us/requests/new. If live chat is available, you’ll see a little pop-up on the bottom-right of your screen asking if you’d like to chat.

  • Niv Lilien

    Finally!

    I hope you fixed all those communication problems your previous clients had – stopping the initial backup although not all files are backed up…

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  • “Could not communicate with server (**). Fix your internet connection.” Well that’s rude – and broken.

  • Chris

    for the love of god, please make a linux client!

    • Hi Chris! Nothing on the roadmap now, but you can use Backblaze B2 and the CLI or one of our integrators to get your linux machines backed up!

      • Brad Magyar

        Seriously, how hard would it be to port to Linux? You have millions of potential customers chomping at the bit to use your services.

        • poundsmack

          I second, I would really like a Linux client as well. It doesn’t have to be anything special, just a basic Qt based app would be nice.

        • There’s already a lot of great Backblaze B2 integrators that offer great backup solutions for Linux folks! We recommend using one of those.

          • Brad Magyar

            I know, and I’m using them just fine (Duplicati), but it would be nice to not have to use an enterprise backup solution just for a simple home PC backup. We would all love you if you guys built something that doesn’t need B2.

  • weltysparrow

    This is all good stuff but please can you implement a directory tree structure for those of us who actually have a brain and would like to choose what gets backed up.

  • Paul

    This is all great but is are the mobile apps going to get an update soon as well? One of the key things missing from this is being able to see images as thumbnails or previews. The app hasn’t been updated in 18 months.

    • Hi Paul! We’re working on updates now! No ETA right now, but we’re working on them now that this release is out the door!

  • For those of us who live in “The Internet Ghetto ™” the ability to set what has backup priority would be awesome. So I’d like to say that /Documents is my #1 thing to backup, then /Work then… etc etc. That way I know my most important stuff is always at the head of the queue to be backed up.

    • Hey Glen! That’s a philosophical change that we’d need to make in order for that to work, so not sure if that’s going to get on the roadmap any time soon, but you can sort of do that by excluding folders/directories you don’t want uploaded (effectively forcing us to back up whatever is left) and then undoing all of those exclusions once you’re ready – you can also tell us not to back up files larger than _x_ in size – that might help. We don’t recommend that as we think all data deserves to be backed up, even if it takes a while, but it is an option.

  • still no retention of deleted files for longer than 30 days though :/

    • That’s correct! We evaluate that every now and again, but for now, if you need an archive service we recommend something like B2 which would keep your data indefinitely!

      • it’s not about archiving – it’s about having the security of knowing that if you delete a file by accident (but not realise for >30 days), you can still get it back – that’s what a backup service should do (and why I have to stick with Crashplan).

        • Thanks for the additional insight! I’ll forward it along! :D

          • Thanks – to be clear – I am not asking for the files to be kept forever (ie archive as you put it), but 30 days is too short.

          • Steve Offutt

            I back up both my internal HD (3TB) and an external HD (6TB) to Backblaze. I use SuperDuper to make my external 6TB drive acts as a clone but not a true mirror.. meaning only new and changed files are added to my external.. but anything deleted from my internal HD is never deleted from my external UNLESS i manually delete it off the external. Since I use BackBlaze to back up both hard drives, i can delete stuff from my internal drive and yes it will disappear from Backblaze in 30 days… but it remains on Backblaze via my external HD backups. Im a wedding photog and this system works perfect for me and skirts around the issue of >30 day delete window. Even if my internal drive partially crashes and data is lost, my external drive doesn’t mirror that loss. make sense? i think this is one way to get around the >30 delete window and may work for some users. may not work for others that don’t want/need an external hard drive.

          • Lau Bigb

            yes i agree too, i think 3 month is a good option.

          • danblondell

            Yes, this is my only complaint with BB. 30 days can feel punitive under some conditions, and 90 days seems a bit more standard.

          • Jesse Baynard

            I agree I had an external drive fail and didn’t notice it since it’s mostly just an archive of older family photos… It probably died more than 30 days before I noticed it and poof it’s missing from BackBlaze too. Don’t get me wrong BB has saved my bacon before so I still love them, but 30 days is rough. I can’t even take a entertain snow-birding or long vacations without worrying about home computers or left drives being erased from the back-up.

          • Marcel Lanz

            I second that. I would sign-up immediately if I could configure retention to more than 30 days or I would pay for the data it sucks up to have much longer retention or infinite one.
            I am looking into how to switch away from crashplan currently and BB would be a great option.

        • David W Ristau

          Mr. Henderson is correct regarding >30 day retention. My solution for the past 2 years is having both Back Blaze AND Crashplan running at same time, just to insure I have access to the past 30 day rolling delete. B2 isn’t a viable option for me due to cost and low data (less than 3 TB) that I’m backing up. Heck, the actual daily back-up is usually less than 1 GB, slightly more during tax season. Whomever you’re “Forwarding it along” to has sat on their tush for 2 years and not commented through email to loyal customer base that is increasing asking you for the service so it’s a one stop shop for back-up…. Consider this a hard knock on the Vestibule wall to pay attention to request and give full answers, not blow-off ones

          • Hi David – Crashplan is ending it’s home service (it’s stopped accepting new and renewed subscriptions as of today). What do you think you will do?
            …Luckily, I have 1 year remaining from a 4 year plan to think about this….

          • David W Ristau

            I’ll migrate over to the Small Business version for my current subscription that expires in Nov 2018, get the 75% discount and then pay $ 120 per year. SO far Backblaze refuses to go beyond the 30 day rolling erase of data so there really isn’t any other reasonable choice for me. Carbonite is a POS that I wouldn’t ever subscibe to, so basically I’m going to pony up to keep what I have now.

          • Sabatashi

            I switched to IDrive, seems to work great so far, no B.S. browser based restores, no 30 day retention for deleted files you can decide the retention, backs up open files, ability to select the folders/files you want to backup.

      • Dan Morris

        I’d pay $50/month+ to be able to retain drives for more than 30 days. A cold storage option based on data amount would also work. B2 is not as convenient.

      • Howard Goff

        Is there a way to have the Backup Service auto-archive to the long term storage?
        It should be configurable. eg) archive up to x weekly restore points and y monthly restore points. I am guessing this would have to cost more and the cost would likely be tied to the number of GB of storage used according to your existing pricing.

  • James

    Expected backup amount of 312 gigs per day. I can live with that. 250 meg upload speed is always nice to be able to saturate once in awhile.

    The file sharing is freaking awesome as well.

    • Not too shabby! :D

    • 312 GB per day….PER DAY?? WHAT?? 😯

      • James

        lol, that’s the maximum theoretical amount I can upload per day.

        Or in my case I would be able to upload my entire backup set in about 12 days.

        In reality it took me about 14 days to do a full refresh of the data when needed.

  • Travis

    What will you see if your choking the connection… complete stop or just slow response… Im just hoping to get my backup done in less than 2 yrs… im on 25Mb /up and still waiting for initial backup .. started April 25… I have been set on Manual Throttle at Faster backups but on the recommend 1 Thread and still how 180 days to go on backup… any suggestions…
    Cheers Travis

    • Yes, you’ll just start seeing slowness, and the backup will not appear to be making much progress. The threads should help, but we recommend ramping them up slowly after you see how your network accepts the changes :D

      • Travis

        Ah Thank you kindly! … I will set it to auto throttle and see if things improve.

        • Yup auto-throttle is great as we’ll now select the optimal throttle and threads for your backup! See how it goes!

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  • EricTheRed

    Thank you so much for the 20 threads! My gigabit connection thanks you.

    • Just be cautious! Too many threads can actually choke the connection, so keep an eye on it :D

      • bug: if you click on the link in the warning window when you select more than 10 threads the Link isn’t accessible with a web browser – redirects to 404.

        I’m actually experimenting whether traffic shaping programs help with many threads. or at least bundle the threads that way that the connection actually isn’t choked anymore.
        One of the upsides I already discovered that ping-critical online gaming or a 4k-youtube-stream next to a 10-thread backblaze is actually possible with the software from cfos.de (No Advertising, really).

        • Do you mean the link to learn more about “Backup Starvation”? Should direct you to -> https://secure.backblaze.com/online-backup-speed.htm, we’re seeing it working on our end! Could you please ping support so they can take a look: https://help.backblaze.com/hc/en-us/requests/new

          • David Kozinn

            It looks like that link is no longer a 404, but the page that it redirects to doesn’t actually explain specifically what Backup Starvation is. It goes here https://secure.backblaze.com/online-backup-speed.htm but there’s nothing in there at all about what the downside to creating too many threads is. I remember back when threads were introduced and there was a writeup, but I don’t recall seeing anything since.

          • Thanks we’ll see about adding more on to that page, I could have sworn we had something in there!

          • David Kozinn

            Thanks. I recently dumped a ton of pictures that needed backing up (from my son’s wedding! :) ) and I wanted to tweak for max upload speed. I think I wind up setting for 4 or 6 threads and it was fine, but I’m curious to know what I could have set it to. Was there another article about tuning or was that just in a previous blog post?

          • Hi David. This help page, with additional links, is a good place to start to optimize upload speeds. https://help.backblaze.com/hc/en-us/articles/217666578-How-to-optimize-your-settings-for-faster-uploads

          • David Kozinn

            Thanks, that does help!

          • The previous maximum was 10 threads, this release bumps it up to 20.

      • Note that with the new release, if you set it to “Autothrottle”, Backblaze will figure out the right number of threads for you.

        • I don’t want to have Backblaze uploading slower when I otherwise use the uplink for something else. That’s why I disabled the Auto setting…

      • EricTheRed

        On my gigabit connection I’d need about 40-50 threads to choke it