Business

Backblaze Business Backup vs. IDrive Team: Who Has the Best SMB Data Protection?

Published

on

 

With the pandemic forcing a broad business pivot towards remote work, one big challenge IT professionals face is coordinating the backup of important data. Employees are spread out over dozens or even hundreds of locations, and they’re also using not just work-supplied computers, but often their own personal devices, too. This makes a business-grade cloud backup service the only feasible data protection solution for most companies, especially smaller organizations.

That’s born out in a survey conducted by sister site, Spiceworks Ziff Davis, called Data Storage Trends in 2020 and Beyond. This study shows that 39% of businesses have already adopted a cloud backup and storage solution and that this will rise another 20% by 2022. The difficulty for most IT pros is that these cloud backup services come in all shapes and sizes. Some are oriented for enterprise-sized buyers, some for midsized companies, and a large and growing number are closely focused on small businesses or even small teams within larger organizations. That means your selection of features and capabilities can vary widely, so choosing the right solution becomes difficult. To help, we decided to take a close look at how two of the more popular services compare.

Backblaze Business Backup is a versatile business cloud backup service that excels at backing up Apple macOS and Microsoft Windows 10 computers. It also handles network attached storage (NAS) devices and a variety of server types. For storing backups, Backblaze provides its Backblaze B2 Storage, which will make your cloud backup target choice a lot simpler, if limited. You can restore or access data via a simple cloud download, organize and then retrieve inside Backblaze B2, or even ask Backblaze to mail you your most recent backup on an external hard drive. Backblaze also boasts automated and continuous backups without caps or throttling. All in, that makes Backblaze a robust contender across both small and midsized businesses (SMBs).

IDrive Team begins with a tier for five users connected to one account with 5TB worth of cloud storage. This is an easy solution for both very small companies and teams, though the service also offers tiers for larger concerns. IDrive Team can backup data from macOS and Windows PCs as well as Apple iOS and Google Android devices. It, too, can handle NAS boxes, and it also does well when it comes to managing data and backup jobs via a remotely accessible web console. Add end-to-end data encryption, 24/7 priority support, and the same option to have your data mailed to you on an external disk, and this is a solid choice that compares closely with Backblaze Business Backup.

Below, we compare the similarities and differences of both these services across several key categories. For each category, we’ll declare a winner or a tie and then tally up the results at the end. Both services are not only well engineered backup solutions, they’re also two of the most popular offerings in a very crowded and competitive field.

Flexible Plans and Pricing

 

Pricing is one of the key reasons small businesses are attracted to cloud backup services. The ability to bundle both cloud backup as well as storage costs into one monthly payment is not only convenient, it’s also much cheaper than trying to match those features on-premises. A well-managed service should also help businesses avoid surprises, like older backups suddenly getting erased because your storage space has run out or finding out you’ve been bumped to a more expensive tier because you’ve accidentally exceeded a data cap.

Backblaze Business Backup starts at $6 a month per computer, though you can also get it for $60 a year or $110 for two years. Backblaze puts a simple pricing calculator on its website, so you should be able to quickly determine your projected costs. Another online wizard helps you figure out storage pricing for any server or NAS endpoints. This works by determining the initial upload size, monthly upload size, monthly delete and download size, and finally the time period you’re seeking. As long as you’ve got a decent handle on those stats, the result should be a fairly accurate quote for how much your organization will need to spend on Backblaze. In case you’re wondering about competitive rates, another calculator determines competing costs from Amazon S3, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure. This is obviously a marketing ploy, so you should still check with those sources directly before taking these numbers as gospel. Cloud pricing is notorious for changing on a dime, so the latest information is always best.

IDrive has a larger menu of services and pricing options. IDrive Team is $99.50 a year for five users and five computers with 5TB of storage. This is aimed squarely at very small businesses. But IDrive Team also has a 10TB plan for larger teams and this costs $199.50 for 10 computers and 10 users. Then there’s a 25TB plan costing $499.50 a year for 25 computers and 25 users, and, finally, a 50TB plan available for $999.50 annually that can handle 50 computers and 50 users. Again, those options are all for the IDrive Team tier, but the company also offers a higher-capacity plan, called IDrive Business.

This plan costs $199.50 a year and covers an unlimited number of users, computers, and servers. It also provides direct connectors for Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server databases as well as NAS devices with 500GB of storage. There are further storage options within both the Team and Business plans so you should be able to design an overall solution that’ll fit most any small business or team needs. If you find yourself exceeding these tiers, though, you can check out the highly customizable IDrive Enterprise tier as well as the separate IDrive BMR (bare-metal recovery) service. This offers solutions for backing up virtualized infrastructure as well as very high-end NAS devices and a variety of back-end server platforms. But while you can bolt IDrive BMR onto any other tier, the cost for this service or IDrive Enterprise requires a custom quote. Note that for its lower tiers, IDrive discounts the first year, so new signups for IDrive Team will pay a reduced subscription price of $74.62  for the first year, a 25% discount.

Overall, IDrive has the upper hand when it comes to the range of available plans as well as how much tweak room the company provides. The discounted first-year pricing is a nice bonus, too, though this likely won’t last forever. Backblaze Business Backup, however, has no data caps or throttling, so if your business uses data-intensive apps, this should be very attractive. It’s also good if you’re now backing up a larger number of endpoints since so many folks working at home are doing so across multiple devices. With each service showing clear strengths aimed at different needs, this segment becomes a toss-up depending on which capabilities you find most compelling.

Winner: Tie

Backup Features

 

One thing you should always consider when evaluating a cloud backup solution is ease of use, both for setup and day-to-day management. The more intuitive the company’s web or desktop client, the more this helps demystify the backup process. That encourages users to take a more active hand in keeping data safe. Also, if a solution can’t deploy these clients automatically, either because of device or location limitations, then having a service that’s easy enough for an employee to install becomes important.

Backblaze Business Backup is nicely straightforward to set up. It’s built to run continuously in the background, and we found that to be consistent even with Backblaze issuing regular and automatically installed updates. Backblaze Business Backup tends towards a set-it-and-forget-it stance since it not only performs near-constant backups, it also automatically detects current network speeds and adjusts itself to optimize backup performance.

If you’re a manager or IT admin, you’ll like how Backblaze’s Group Management page presents all its options and data in one easy-to-read page. You don’t even need to scroll down to access all the sections, and you can initiate restores to any client right from the menu, which is super convenient. By having a lightweight web client that’s mostly made out of text links, Backblaze may not exactly blaze in terms of throughput, but we did find it reasonably quick and responsive as well as generally lag-free.

IDrive Team can backup multiple macOS and Windows PCs, too, but it can also handle Apple iPhones and iPads as well as any Android-based devices. This can be important not only if your users are doing work off a smartphone, but also for businesses that employ mobile devices directly, like a retail business that uses phones or tables as point of sale (POS) systems.

Similar to Backblaze, IDrive performs continuous data backups in near real-time by recognizing recent changes to files and folders and then only backing those up, not the entire file. This keeps bandwidth needs low and speeds up backup times. IDrive Team also backs up open files, like if an inbox is open in Microsoft Outlook or a ledger is being used in Intuit QuickBooks. This extends to companies still using Windows Server 2003 and 2008, which is great if your business is slow to update. Finally, there’s the option to backup up mapped USB or external drives as well as NAS devices, which IDrive supports through dedicated applications aimed at popular brands, like Asustor, Netgear, QNAP, and Synology.

IDrive Team’s desktop clients also do a good job of integrating seamlessly with their target operating systems, so the Windows client, for instance, is constantly visible in the Windows taskbar. Mousing over the icon tells you when your next scheduled backup job will run, and if you need to run a manual job, that’s just two clicks away. This kind of integration is not only easier for users to learn, it also means IDrive can work more quietly in the background without throwing up constant alerts and notifications from a fatter client.

Both of these solutions shine at backing up popular desktop operating systems, and their backup by mail option is a very easy way to keep a recent data copy local and off-site. However, IDrive Team extends its backup capabilities to mobile devices, which are becoming increasingly important to any business, while Backblaze still can’t reach those platforms.

Winner: IDrive Team

Getting Your Data Back: Recovery Features

 

While backing up data is a straightforward concept to most employees, restoring that data is less clear and can often confound even experienced power users. The best business backup services work to make this as easy as possible by putting restore options front and center. They also offer various ways to quickly access individual saved files and folders not just the complete system restores you’d use in the event of an emergency.

Data restoration is a particular strong point for Backblaze. Downloading your backed up files from the cloud is the most common method, and likely the quickest if you’re just restoring a few folders or documents. But you can also opt to save files or recover to a Backblaze B2 cloud storage account where your data will be kept in a ZIP file that you can access from any device. This file can be retained even if the data it contains is gone from your device or your cloud backup volume. This option costs more because you need to pay for the additional Backblaze B2 storage space, but it’s a convenient failsafe for securing critical files and backups.

As mentioned above, the Backblaze Business Backup Restore by Mail service will cost you $99 to ship your files (up to a maximum of 256GB) on a USB flash drive anywhere in the world. If you return the drive within 30 days after your restore, Backblaze refunds you for the service. The same rules apply for a USB hard drive option, which costs $189 for up to 8TB of data.

IDrive Team’s restore options are also both transparent and easy to access. You can quickly restore files, folders, or entire drives from the web application or from the desktop client. We found restoring folders or files both quick and trouble free. You can jump on the web client to grab files not just from your device, but from any other device to which you’ve got access credentials. For IT administrators that need to deal with a user who may have lost or destroyed their current device, this makes restoring to a new device easier.

Similar to Backblaze, IDrive customers that prefer to manage restores locally can avail themselves of the IDrive Express option. This service mails customers an external USB hard drive containing their most recent data. Unlike Backblaze, however, this is available only thrice yearly, which means the data might not be that current when you restore. Any additional ship requests cost $59.95, and there’s no option to make it free by returning the hardware.

Both backup services offer several convenient ways to restore your data. However, Backblaze has a wider range of restore options, so it wins this round.

Winner: Backblaze Business Backup

Securing Data and Transfers

 

These days, all businesses, big and small, need to consider security when backing up to the cloud. You’re storing your organization’s most valuable data on someone else’s servers, so you need to know not only that it’s protected, but how. Even small business cloud backup often requires enterprise-grade security, especially when it comes to adhering to compliance requirements. These regulations mean you need to know where the data is, who has access to it, who has accessed it in the recent past, and exactly how it’s protected from prying eyes.

Backblaze is fairly robust on security, considering its price. It employs 2,048-bit public and private encryption keys, and it can also secure a symmetric AES 128-bit key or token that changes for every backup session.

Once encrypted, backups are uploaded to Backblaze’s data centers. In transit, they’re protected by an SSL connection, and they’ll remain in an encrypted state once the data is at rest in the cloud. The encryption is a good precaution because that’ll let you restore it more safely after some forms ransomware attacks. It’ll also keep data safe even if someone hacks into your company’s cloud storage account. Continuous automated storage makes it easier to recover from several kinds of malware attacks, since your backed up data will be very current. That also makes it easier to rebuild shared files, especially if they’ve been recently saved by multiple users.

IDrive Team is also strong on the security side, but it makes sure to directly address the requirements of vertical compliance regulations, like HIPAASOXGLBA, and SEC / FINRA. In addition, IDrive’s Team and Business tiers are SOC 1- and SOC 2-compliant, which means the company has demonstrated that it adheres to a long list of best practices for safe and secure data management. Even if you don’t need to adhere to any of these regulations, the SOC 1 and -2 support means you’ll know that IDrive can deliver more advanced features for specific business processes, like electronic record retention for accounting purposes, for example.

For more granular security requirements, IDrive also encrypts data both in transit, using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), and at rest, via AES 256-bit encryption. With these measure and its deep support for complex compliance requirements, IDrive Team edges out Backblaze Business Backup and wins this round.

Winner: IDrive Team

IDrive Wins

Backblaze Business Backup and IDrive Team represent two of the more popular cloud backup options for both small and midsized businesses, and each represents a robust choice. They both have excellent backup features, and each offers endpoint software that integrates well with target operating systems.

Both are great for backing up macOS and Window PCs, and each has a healthy range of recovery options, including the ability to manage recovery through the mail via external flash and hard drives. Finally, while some other services offer even more advanced security capabilities, Backblaze and IDrive both do a good job of maintaining the core basics around encryption and access control. However, IDrive Team moves ahead a bit when it comes to adhering to regulatory business standards and compliance concerns.

Backblaze Business Backup’s simple pricing, its abundance of recovery features, and the absence of data caps or throttling will be ideal for many small businesses. But it can’t back up mobile devices and plan customization options are limited, too. Either of these issues might be deal breakers for some customers.

IDrive Team not only has support for mobile devices, it’s also got a wider array of pricing options and the ability to perform more advanced operations, like backing up virtualized infrastructure. All this means that IDrive Team edges ahead as the more complete cloud backup solution for businesses and smaller teams.

No matter which backup service you pick, make sure you understand not only the service’s capabilities, but that you also build a good working plan for keeping all your data safe. If you need help in that area, check out our eight step guide to simplifying this process.

Have any questions you need answered about business cloud backup? Subscribe to the PCMag Small Business Update newsletter and join the [email protected] business community on LinkedIn, where you can connect directly with vendors, other marketing professionals like yourself, and PCMag’s editors.

 

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Get Fresh News

Exit mobile version