Introducing: Restore Return Refund

By | January 26th, 2016


We’d like to introduce you to the Backblaze “Restore Return Refund” Program, which is an exciting addition to our Restore By Mail service, and supplements our free web and mobile restore options. Simply put, if you order a flash drive or hard drive restore and then return the drive to us within 30 days we will refund you the entire price of the restore. You can always opt to keep the drive, in which case your payment will cover the purchase of the drive.

Throughout the 9 years that Backblaze has been in business, we’ve tried to make the backup process easier for everyone. Our Mac and PC clients were designed to take the guesswork out of backing up your computers, and allow folks to continuously and easily backup all of their data. We’ve also tried to make the restore process as painless as possible, first with our free web restores (allowing you to download and access your data from anywhere) and then with our DVD (now flash key) and hard drive USB restores. We also added iOS and Android apps to make getting individual files back a snap. Over the years though, the popularity of our Restore By Mail program has only increased.


We’ve stressed throughout the years that we don’t use the restore process as a profit center. That would feel like we’re holding the data hostage or something icky like that, and indeed, we often lose money off of the USB flash drive and USB hard drive restores (especially when we ship them to our customers internationally). They have always been a flat $189 for a USB Hard Drive up to 4TB in size or $99 for a USB Flash Drive up to 128GB in size, and are profit neutral for us. It’s our goal to allow people to get their data back as easily and inexpensively as possible. In the case of hard drive restores you can now decide if a hard drive with your data on it is worthy of keeping and paying for, or worthy of returning for a refund.

Restore Return Refund Program:

Today we are announcing our Restore Return Refund program. For the last 6 months we’ve had a pilot program where some customers requesting a hard drive restore were offered that if they pay for return shipping and send their hard drive to us within 30 days of receipt, we would refund the $189 that they paid us.

We did this because we never want our customers to feel like they can’t get their data back from us, and we understand a web restore of all your data may take a while or be expensive if your ISP has bandwidth caps. This program enables people to get large amounts of data backup quickly and inexpensively.

So far we’ve had over 100 people send us back their hard drive for a full refund, and the feedback has been immensely positive.

How It Works:
How does the process work? It’s easy:

  1. Purchase a Restore By Mail restore.
  2. Once you have recovered your data send us that drive back within 30 days.
  3. Once we get the drive back we’ll refund you the entire Restore By Mail purchase price.
  4. Or – just keep the drive for yourself, it could make a great local copy or backup.

We highly recommend that you delete your data and reformat the USB drive before sending it back to us. If you forget, don’t worry, when we receive your drive back we’ll ensure the drive is wiped and reformatted. We use standalone USB erase devices which are set to the DoD 5220.22-M 3-pass wipe standard. This will securely remove any data on the drive.

For a complete breakdown on how the program works, check out this help article: “How To Return a USB Restore Drive for Refund”. You can of course continue to download individual files or all of your data via our free web restore, and use our iOS and Android apps to grab your files on the go.

We’re still working hard to make Backblaze the easiest personal and business backup service out there, and this is just one more step in that direction.



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.

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Twitter: @YevP | LinkedIn: Yev Pusin | Google+: Yev Pusin
Category:  Backing Up
  • Donn

    I need the opposite. I need to GIVE backblaze a hard drive containing my TBs of files. It will take months to backup over the Internet over ADSL (with a captial “A”!) and so I am stuck at my current cloud backup provider.
    It would be great if BB made it easy for us to switch from a competitor to BB (with a quick way to seed the initial backup).

  • Phil Stollery

    Hi, if I return the drive after a restore do I stil have ot pay duty?

    • Hi Phil! Yes, you would be responsible for getting the drive back to us so we could refund you the purchase price.

  • Scott Weintraub

    I had always assumed that the low price of the backup capability was subsidized by catastrophic restore revenue. That seemed reasonable to me.
    Keeping these prices, and making large restores essentially free is just plain amazing.

  • Allan Rozarto

    so the only cost to us after returning the drive is the cost of shipping back the drive?

    • That is correct!

  • jp

    is it still limited to 4tb. if we have say 16tb backed up can we get it sent to us on multiple drives this way

    • Yes, though you would pay for each drive individually, but we’ve had large restores like that. If you need something “special” just contact support and they can work with you!

  • Kv F

    Nice, instead of holding our data hostage, yuk, you hold our money hostage, yukkier.

    • Well, you can always restore it via a .zip for free! Though larger restores can take a while to download depending on your internet bandwidth. The choice is yours!

  • DaGardenGuy

    I’ve been a BackBlaze user for many years… I have a question… Why Doesn’t Back up my whole iMac drive and not just an assortment of things? If my drive does a “deep six”, how do I get my Quicken Bank totals restored… Does BB or can i use BB for that purpose or do I need another drive running an application like Carbon Copy? As you may be aware… I am not tech savvy so I need a non technical, straight forward answer… Thanks a Ton !

    • I would just export those files and save them in a seperate folder and have BB back up that folder that way if you need to restore you can bring those files with you

  • David


  • Jonathan Perkins

    Great modification to the service — you guys are getting better and better!

  • Rodrigo Abello

    Awesome idea.

  • ksandvik

    Good! Not that $189 is a cheap investment concerning getting data back.

  • WriterGuy10

    Great addition to your service!

  • Great news!

  • I hope I never have to rely on the restore but having this option makes me even more happy to know BackBlaze has me covered.

  • Cora

    This seems like a significant security concern for those of us with sensitive data.

    • cStyle

      Yev above said “you can choose to encrypt your restore drive upon check-out, though it does add time to the restore process.”

  • Randy S

    Just curious – Is that a 4 TB Seagate SSD? I am thinking of buying a USB hard drive and have been reading about your experience with them.

    • It might be, we have a variety, but most are Western Digital or Seagate.

    • There are no consumer level 4 TB SSD drives that I’m aware of. I just bought a 1 TB laptop SSD for around $300. BackBlaze is all about using the most efficient method to store your data. For 4 TB that is going to be a rotational drive.

  • Does a hard drive restore a full backup support extended attributes (finder tags etc.) on the Mac? Otherwise it’s not really a full backup… just kind of a last-case lost-cause, “hope you didn’t have anything too important in there” kind of backup

    • We support some meta-data, but not extended attributes.

      • What’s the timeline to support extended attributes? I love Backblaze but if it’s not truly a full backup I can’t trust it with my data

        • Pedro

          Just use time machine and backup the time machine file. Or maybe get a PC?

          • “Use another backup” or “Use a PC” are not valid backup strategies…

          • William in Toronto

            The one Mac backup tool that guarantees all data plus extended data is copied faithfully is ARQ —

          • Domain Rider

            ARQ looks considerably more expensive…

          • Kv F

            Really? Why not? A valid backup strategy is one that works, and those would both work, therefore they are valid by definition.

        • Not knowing your specific use case, you would at least still have the data, if not all the metadata.

          • I’d say metadata is data. It shouldn’t be for the backup software to decide which data is worth backing up.

          • Agreed, but even the OS calls it “extended attributes” as opposed to data.

        • We don’t currently have it on the road-map, but that’s not to say that may not change in the future!

          • This is an important omission and should be made very clear to all potential Mac users that they will potentially lose data if they use Backblaze!

        • calmdownbro

          Spend 500+ hours of development time, to support 0.0001% of the customers. Hmmm. Sounds like a very, very viable business decision. :)))

    • William in Toronto

      Please note that the one Mac backup tool that guarantees all data plus extended data is copied faithfully is ARQ —

  • mikee60369

    But if you refund the full price of the Restore By Mail, isn’t BackBlaze actually LOSING money on this deal? (Or is outgoing shipping from BB to the user an additional charge that doesn’t get refunded?)

    • Well, in the long run, if we can re-purpose the drives, the savings will cover a few outward shippings!

  • cryptochrome

    Do you still only ship drives to the US or do you ship internationally?

    • We’ve always shipped internationally! As long as FedEx has service at the destination, a customer opt to do the Restore by Mail option.

      The $189 USD price includes outbound shipping, including international. It does not include any customs, duties, taxes or fees upon delivery. International customers can take advantage of the Restore Return Refund program, but they should pre-pay any customs, duties, taxes, fees.

  • Nicholas Oldroyd

    Still just 4TB for a restore though huh?

    • If you have more than that to restore, you can always order multiple USB drives – each with a portion of your data.

      • Nicholas Oldroyd

        Well, that makes this refund feature all the better!

      • jp

        great i asked that question then read this. that makes this a great benefit to your service. i have about 16tb data which would be too time consuming to web restore and too expensive to buy the drives from you outright this will allow your service to be useful to me i will have to look into switching from crashplan

  • Tony Stagge

    I had to use this program once, on a Crypto Locker incident. LIFE SAVER. I had no concern about the $189 price and actually mounted the drive in a spare bay in my desktop after the restore. Thank you BackBlaze!

  • ewong_emb

    I am close to difficult decision to move to crashplan for Linux support, but this makes me hesitate (I don’t know for how long). Please add Linux support and I won’t have to leave!

    • You might look at the new B2 service—you’d need to find or create a client to upload, but you’d get good pricing on the storage used.

      • Bert

        Can data stored on B2 be shipped via drive as described above?

        • Not at the moment, no. The functionality is a bit different.

          • Gilles Doge

            @YevP:disqus is the feature ready now for BackBlaze B2 ?

          • Yes, you can ship a B2 Snapshot by mail.

  • Jared

    Are the hard drives still shipped to customers unencrypted? This seems like a significant security concern for those of us with sensitive data.

    • Jared, you can choose to encrypt your restore drive upon check-out, though it does add time to the restore process.

      • Jared

        That is excellent news. Thanks.

  • Yet another reason you guys are the best!

    • Daniel Wisehart

      Agreed. Another great program from BackBlaze!