Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Mac Backup Options: Crashplan and BackBlaze

You should back up your Mac because who knows if something goes wrong with your Mac (if gets stolen or damaged), at least your data would be safe. We all know this, but understanding the different ways of backing up, and picking a backup strategy that’s right for you can be a little tricky.

Mac on-board backup utility Time Machine is OS X’s main application for backup. But you can back up your computer to the cloud so that your backed up files are stored in an off-site location. There are plenty of cloud backup options available, but two of the most popular options are CrashPlan and BackBlaze, but choosing just one can be a tough decision.

A good, safe backup strategy

Back up using Time Machine, Clone your hard disk daily to a disk connected to your Mac or Use a cloud backup or peer-to-peer backup service. These three strategies, are available. In this post we will be discussing Crashplan and Backblaze (cloud backup). Both CrashPlan and BackBlaze allow you to install software on your Mac and then use it to point to a source directory on your Mac that you want backed up. From there, the data is sent to an off-site data center for safekeeping.


CrashPlan service allows you to back up to an external hard drive for free, as well as back up to another computer, whether it’s on the same network or not, just as long as it has CrashPlan installed and is registered under your email address. Uploading depends on your internet connection, so CrashPlan can actually send you a hard drive to back up to, and then you can send it back to them to be safely stored.

Moreover, it also has mobile apps that you can use to access your backed up files, and this makes it work a lot more like a cloud storage service like Dropbox and Google Drive. One feature that may be a red flag to some users is that CrashPlan keeps any files you delete from your backup, but this is a feature that you can turn off when you go to back up your Mac.

You’ll pay as little as $4 per month for the privilege of backing up your Mac to an off-site location through the cloud. And if you’re worried about hacking and someone stealing your data, those who pay for a CrashPlan online plan get 448-bit encryption with their online backups, which is quite impressive. Crashplan is a bit more well-known than BackBlaze.

To Backup

  • Set up a new account and download the software from CrashPlan.
  • Follow the installation instructions and will begin to back up your hard drive.
  • You can change the speed of backup by clicking on the CrashPlan menu, clicking on Settings , clicking on the Network tab and changing the “Limit sending rate” settings.

To restore

  • Launch CrashPlan application and click on Restore.
  • Next, select the file or folders you want to restore by clicking the checkbox in front of their names.
  • Click on the Restore button. Files will be restored to the Finder desktop.


The only difference between BackBlaze and Crashplan is, BackBlaze backs up your files online and saves them on an encrypted server and it has many of the features that CrashPlan has, including truly unlimited storage and the ability to back up external hard drives as well.

It also has an iOS app which you can use to access your backed up files from your iPhone or iPad. BackBlaze can also be had for as low as $4 per month, making it another inexpensive option that’s worth looking at. One unique feature of BackBlaze is that it automatically will back up every single file you have.

BackBlaze also comes with the ability to locate a lost or stolen computer. It’s similar to Apple’s Find My Mac service. When it comes to deleted files, BackBlaze only keeps them for 30 days, compared to CrashPlan, which keeps them forever. This could be a problem for some.

To Backup

  • Go to the link and Set up a new account and download the software from Backblaze.
  • There follow the installation instructions and Backblaze will immediately begin to back up your hard drive.
  • Just like Crashplan the upload speed depends on your Internet connection. To change the speed, select Backblaze preferences… from the Backblaze menu then click on the Performance tab. Uncheck Automatic Throttle and set Manual Throttle to the setting you’d like.

To Restore

  • Open Backblaze and click menu then select Restore Files.
  • Log in to the Backblaze web site using your user ID and password.

Depending on the size of your restoration, you can either restore over the Internet by downloading a compressed .zip file, or if you want to pay extra you can order a USB flash drive or a USB hard drive.

Backblaze will email you as soon as the archive is ready for download. For smaller files it’s usually immediate.

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