Best Practices

Best Practices for using Backblaze

Backblaze is a great way to get all your data backed up with a minimum of fuss. Here are some suggestions we discovered that support a successful online backup strategy.

Give Backblaze the Time it Needs to Backup Your Computer 

1. We designed Backblaze to work quietly in the background while you go about your usual computing tasks. Backblaze constantly scans your drive to find new or changed files and it can take some time, perhaps several hours, for Backblaze to update any of the numbers you see on the control panel.

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

3. Ideally, Backblaze should be able to complete your initial backup within 30 days, and that’s OK. Be patient, especially if you have a lot of data. Backblaze will complete your initial backup as soon as possible.

4. At least once every two weeks make sure Backblaze runs for four hours in "Continuously" backup mode (the default) and check afterwards that the main control panel says "Remaining Files: 0 files / 0 KB.”  This confirms that you are all caught up and that everything is happening as it should. It’s important to remember that Backblaze is intended to be a live mirror of your current hard drive contents and not a permanent archival service. To keep your account active and maintain the backup copy of your data, your computer must contact the Backblaze datacenter at least once every six months.

5. If you have external drives, it is essential that you connect all the drives and run Backblaze continuously for four hours at least once every two weeks. If an external hard drive is detached for more than 30 days, Backblaze will interpret this as meaning that these drives should no longer be included in your backup and it will permanently delete the backup files on these drives 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 using external hard drives with Backblaze.

Check in Periodically on your Backblaze Account

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

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

Keep your Account and Data Secure

8. Use a unique password for your Backblaze account, which is good advice for all of your online accounts.

9. In addition to Backblaze’s offsite backup, maintain a local backup of your important files on an external drive so all your files will be in three places (original file, local external drive backup, and offsite Backblaze backup).

10. If you choose to use a private encryption key, be sure to keep a copy of the key in a secure place. Backblaze does not know your private key and cannot recover it. If you ever forget it, Backblaze will be unable to help you regain access to the encrypted backup.

Restore your Data when Needed

11. 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, please contact Backblaze support. When your restore is ready, download or copy the data as soon as possible, and verify you have all of the data you may want or need.

 

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