Why not just use Backblaze Personal Backup?

I am having second thoughts about using duplicati + B2 as my backup solution. Reason: I realized that I may well be paying 15 USD per month to store about 3TB of backups in B2. And then I saw that Backblaze Personal Backup would costs me 5 USD per month (or 4 USD on a 2 year plan). And that includes unlimited storage. Need I say more?

But I’m not giving up on duplicati so easily. So let’s make a proper comparison and I’m sure, duplicati will come out better at least for some scenarios.

Most obviously, duplicati + B2 is cheaper if you need less than 1 TB in the cloud (not that that equals a good bit more data on your harddrive, given duplicati’s compression). So that’s that one sorted. Unfortunately, I need more than 1 TB.

Next: if you have multiple computers to backup and your total backup archive is less than the number of computers in Terrabytes (e.g. If you want to backup three computers and your total backup archive is less than 3 TB). That is because Backblaze Personal Cloud charges you 5 USD per computer.

And here is one more easy scenario: you want to backup from a linux machine. Backblaze Personal Cloud simply doesn’t have a Linux client. Of course, you can complicate your calculations somewhat by keeping your linux machine (e.g. a NAS) out of the picture and using a different solution for your other computers. But I’ll leave that to you and your calculator.

Any more arguments pro duplicati?

Well, I am not going to do a detailed feature comparison because it looks like Backlblaze has a pretty good feature set but maybe someone else has identified some serious difference?

To me, it seems to boil down to the question whether I want to have total control over my backup archives or depend (to a larger degree) on a company and how much am I willing to pay extra for that? As we have seen in the case of Crashplan, even large companies can suddenly discontinue your backup plan causing all kinds of issues, not just because you need to find a new solution but because they have your data in a proprietary format that you can’t just transfer to a new provider. In other words, you have to upload all your stuff again and, most importantly, any deleted files you still have backed up will be lost forever, unless you download them from the old provider and upload them again to the new provider, potentially causing all kinds of confusion, because they probably don’t have their original dates on them any more. And I won’t even start thinking about the older versions of not deleted files, which will also be lost.

Such problems are avoided completely with duplicati. (Instead, you might spend your time solving other problems.)

Have I missed something?


A few points

  • I got pCloud because their 2TB deal for $100/yr will allow me to back up my PC, my server, my phone and my iPad. I am paying for the storage, not per PC.
  • Not one of those four computers runs Windows. But I can use Duplicati on the Linux machines and pCloud has a mobile app that handles the other two
  • Because I am just buying a 2TB bucket of storage, the encryption is up to me.
  • That said, my wife’s Windows computer is running Backblaze Personal. She’s a photographer and her backup load would choke my pCloud. She’ll be running Duplicati, however, for the local copies. Because…
  • …if BackBlaze Personal has a local storage option, I could not find it! So unless you’re satisfied with a cloud-ONLY backup, you still need something else. And for me that is going to be Duplicati.

And then there is also their Lifetime plan, where you keep those 2 TB for the rest of your life for just $250. Not bad. The problem is that, as far as I can see, duplicati doesn’t support it yet so that you have to go via their virtual folder, which, I believe is what you’re doing.

@kenkendk, are there any plans for supporting pCloud? An api exists but the last discussion about this was somehow inconlusive…

I’m willing to drip it out $100 a year until it looks like they will survive long-term.

Not actually using the virtual folder directly. Their desktop client includes a Sync feature where you sync local folder(s) to the pCloud. So I am syncing one of my local backups. Together with a 2nd backup on another box at home, that gives me 3-2-1

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I wrote the OP based on the assumption that B2 was more or less the cheapest backend available right now. Apparently that isn’t true.

To my surprise, jottacloud provides unlimited (sic!) storage for 7.5 EUR per month and there is an additional 50% discount for Crashplan users who switch before the end of October.

And hubiC currently offers a 10 TB plan for 50 EUR per year.

In both cases your trade off is obviously customer service (hubiC’s TOCs are in French only and, well, just look at their website…, and the Jottacloud forum isn’t even linked from the main site and is not very active). In addition, I’m not sure how long the hubiC 10 TB plan is valid, since it’s some celebration promotion. It may may well be that they come up with different pricing after a year. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Jottacloud end up discontinuing their unlimited account just like Ondrive and Amazon did before.

So, I don’t know…

Concerning the API - pCloud does webDAV which works well enough. Any reason for mentioning/requesting about using API approach?

From my speed testing - Jottacloud and hubiC were both really slow (Jotta cripplingly so and hubiC not amazingly better). Talking about 10-15 minute backup times on occasions on a 10mB - I shudder to think what a large (multiple hundred Gb or several Tb) would be like on those platforms

(hmm… maybe another test suite for me… but that would take much much longer to get results)

It was Ken who said that that’s what’s needed here: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/duplicati/tuVDI2_U7Io/-8-mVzsECwAJ

Well, that fits the picture. I have basically written off hubiC (also because I’ve not heard so much great stuff about OVH, the company behind the product, either). Jottacloud is somewhat tempting though (I like the idea of not having to think about bytes) and I wonder whether speed matters so much once you have uploaded all you stuff and only add smaller amounts later during daily backups. But then again, I know that slow and inconsistent speeds annoy the hell out of me. So I should probably leave it alone. (Where have you been testing from? I seem to remember reading that jottacloud speed didffers very much depending on location. I am quite close to their servers …)

So that leaves me with pCloud which is obviously very good in many respects. Lots of good reviews all over the place. So you are saying that I can access my pCloud storage via webDAV? That’s probably how the native client does it too? In that case, why would you do the backup via the virtual folder? It only adds one more element that can fail…

Their 2 TB cap bugs me though. But since they’re rather cheap, maybe it’ll be okay to just add a second account when needed. Though juggling two accounts is also a PITA…

I am testing from Singapore. I am not too sure if the results would be valid, but I can VPN to Norway (?) to see if the inttermediate links are what is causing things to fail (as I said, validity of results questionable; because it could be my VPN is slow… …)

The local folder approach is because of speed. The WebDAV introduces the latency/speed issues from talking directly to server where as a virtual folder is speedy like local storage (and asynchronously backups to cloud in background after the backup complete).

Well, but for the backup to complete, the stuff needs to be uploaded. So what’s the point of tricking yourself into believing how incredibly fast your backup is if it isn’t? It’s still running in the background… In my mind, that setup only introduces additional possibilities for failure: duplicati says the backup is done, but if something goes wrong with the pCloud virtual folder, that backup is gone and you may not even realize it…

I don’t find pcloud amazingly cheaper than b2, especially not if you don’t have almost exactly two tb to store… Anyone who is offers lifetime accounts or unlimited storage fishy in my book, the economics of that simply cannot work.

Understood on the risks… I guess it is like a poor man’s parallelism for me - can have pcloud doing its thing while backing up to something else. But yeh another link in the chain for mess ups so have to be careful.


Your analysis is spot on but you forgot one important consideration: local backup.

Backblaze appears to be a cloud-only solution and does not allow you to backup to local storage. I have dual on/offsite backup sets. Onsite backup gets me most of what I need, while the cloud backup is there in case of a disaster. Add to that the 9 systems I need to back up (Windows, Mac, & Linux) and Backblaze wasn’t even in the ballpark pricewise. So I’m using a Duplicati/B2 setup as many other users are.

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Not if you go by the yearly subscription. But the lifetime plan is cheaper after just a few years.

Yes and no. There are some important differences between unlimited and lifetime. For one thing, our lives do eventually come to an end and thereby the subscription.

But more importantly, unlimited storage means that you can put unlimited data onto that account right now. The only limit is your upload speed. In other words: it can be abused. Lifetime, on the other hand, cannot be abused because the “free storage” for the user only accumulates over time. They’re not giving away a lot of storage for free, they are letting you keep a limited amount of storage for a long time.

And that brings me to the third point: storage is getting cheaper over time so that the value of that “free storage” decreases. You are not saving $100 every year until you die. (Plus, one might add, whatever you save is not the same as what you are costing the company.) Also, you can expect that the pcloud service that you buy now may well be obsolete in 5-10 years time because of new technologies etc etc. Of course, you can still use it, but they are probably counting on a certain percentage giving up their rediculously small and slow pcloud, despite it being “free” for them. (And you don’t even have to actively close your account because they reserve the right to close an account when you haven’t logged in for a year.)

Well, and if all that doesn’t add up yet, consider all the free advertising they get for offering the industry’s “first lifelong plan”. Their marketing strategy is very growth oriented with a referral scheme, an affiliate program and a reseller program. So you can see the lifelong plan as yet another element in that strategy.

tl;dr: Unlimited accounts can be abused, lifelong accounts can’t.

I didn’t consider it because my local backup strategy is not relevant for deciding about my cloud backup strategy. The only advantage of thinking them together would be to avoid having two different backup tools running in the background, but that is not an issue for me. After years with Crashplan’s horrendous resource usage, I can have duplicati, Backblaze client, pCloud and another service running and it will still be better…

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Ah, excellent point. “One tool fits all” was my strategy just to make my life simpler. Not having that as a requirement does, indeed, open the field.

Not that there was anything wrong with the rest of the post, but WOW do I wish there was a way to “like” just a portion of a post! :smiley:


I agree

After the Crashplan change I also want to have control over my backup archives. Although, Crashplan resource usage and other issues were already causing me some headaches so their change was the last straw.

My Scenario: I have a few computers to backup (and users) – right now 5 machines plus a NAS but I may also add an additional computer or two. That makes all paid backup plans that charge per computer too expensive. I also don’t have that much data…maybe around 2 TB.

My Setup: I decided to purchase Office 365 Home which costs $100 (although you can sometimes get a sale for maybe $80). That gives Office 365 for 5 users for one year but importantly for Duplicati each user gets 1 TB of OneDrive space (for a total of 5 TB). If you have a very large drive on one computer you can create multiple backups (one backup for Music, one for pictures or some other setup) to multiple OneDrive accounts to stay under the 1 TB limit.

At the end of the year, I’ll probably re-evaluate cloud storage cost and with Duplicati I can move cloud backups to another destination if need be.

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I have considered that but since these seem to be 5 separate 1TB accounts, I don’t like it. It means that when I’m backing up a 2TB drive, I’dd always have to worry whether compression will be sufficient to make everything fit etc. And when I want to keep versions and/or deleted files, it gets even more complicated…

If you ever find out that storage quota can be moved between accounts, make sure to post it here. It would be a huge argument for onedrive.

From what I have gathered, Backblaze Personal Backup has some serious limitations, at least on the Mac.

  • You cannot backup data from a hard-drive that is also being used by Apple’s Time Machine. Using external hard drives for backing up the internal drive and storing other (less frequently used) files is a common use case.

  • The external drives that you can backup must be connected to your pc at least once every 30 days. If they aren’t, Backblaze deletes their backups.

  • Previous versions of files are also available for just 30 days.

  • You also don’t have much say in what directories are included for backup. You can choose to exclude things from those pre-chosen directories, but you can not include new ones.

  • We don’t know the specifics of the encryptions scheme they have employed. I prefer duplicati’s decision to use well-know schemes such as aescrypt and gpg which have been vetted by millions.

  • They also require you to send your encryption password to their sever when recovering files after a crash. They delete it after you have recovered your files, but I think encryption and decryption should both happen on my computer rather than their severs.

All this being said, I think most of these decisions were made to either prevent people from abusing their products or keep things simple for the average person. They are just too restrictive for me personally.


I can’t seem to find the reference now, but I could have sworn there was some tool that would take multiple cloud providers and make them appear as a single “drive”.

I know it’s an extra layer of stuff that could break, but if it can handle multiple accounts on a single service, that might be a start to providing something similar to what you’re looking for.