Backblaze Cloud Backup 5.0: The Rapid Access Release

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
  • 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.

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

  • 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?

  • 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!

  • 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.

          • 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

      • 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

  • 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).

      • 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