Knowledge Base/FAQs

Best Practices

Backblaze Help
posted this on June 16, 2011 17:06

Best Practices for using Backblaze

Backblaze is a great way to get all your data backed up, with no fuss. Below are some suggestions that we have found lead to a successful online backup strategy.
Backblaze Needs Time
We designed Backblaze to be lightweight. So the service scans your drive slowly to find new or changed files. It can take several hours for Backblaze to update any of the numbers. 

Backblaze needs your computer to be on and awake to make backups, so we suggest turning off your computer’s sleep mode during the initial backup to give Backblaze more time to do the backups.

Ideally, Backblaze should be able to complete your initial backup in 30 days. If your initial backup is estimated to take longer due to a lot of data or slow internet connection, then Backblaze may not be the best solution for you.

At least once every two weeks make sure Backblaze runs for five hours in "Continuously" backup mode (the default) and check afterwards that the main control panel says "Remaining Files: 0 files / 0 KB".  This is a check that you are all caught up and that your backup is working properly.  Remember, Backblaze is a live mirror of your current hard drive contents and not a permanent archival service, if your computer does not contact the Backblaze datacenter for six months then your account will be cancelled and the mirrored copy deleted from the Backblaze datacenter. 
If you have external drives, it is even more important that you run Backblaze continuously for five hours once every two weeks.  If an external hard drive is detached for more than 30 days Backblaze interprets this as data that has been permanently deleted and securely deletes the copy from the Backblaze datacenter.  When the main control panel says "Remaining Files: 0 files / 0 KB" after five hours of continuous running with your external drives attached then you know your backup is safe and caught up.  Click here for more information on external hard drives and Backblaze.

Test the Service
Once a week open up the Backblaze System Preferences/Control Panel and see that Backblaze has been backing up files recently. 

Once a month it is a good idea to sign into the site and restore a few of your files from your local drive and external drive.

Use a unique password for your Backblaze account.

Have a local backup on an external drive along with Backblaze’s offsite backup so your files will be in three places (original file, local backup, offsite backup).

If you choose to use a private encryption key, please keep a copy safe. If you ever forget it, Backblaze will be unable to help your restore your files.

Prepare your restore FIRST THING as soon as you realize you have lost data.  Don't procrastinate, and don't do any other steps before preparing a restore.  If you have any problems, contact Backblaze support to work through the issues, restores are our number one priority.  When your restore is ready, make sure you download the zip to a working computer as soon as possible because Backblaze only keeps your restores around for seven days then securely deletes them. 


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