Today, it’s likely that every photo you take and every document you create is digital. Digital files are convenient, easy to share and easy to save. However, their prevalence combined with mounting threats often invite catastrophe. Fire, theft, viruses and and natural disasters jeopardize the safety of your files every day. Failing to regularly backup your data means that you risk losing everything if the worst comes to pass. Many people tend to think that creating local copies of your data is good enough. And while backing up your files locally is a good start, it is wholly insufficient since your local backups are subject to many of the circumstances that threaten your data at present. A complete backup plan must incorporate uploading your files to an online service. But with so many backup utilities to choose from, it’s hard to know which is right for you. Here is a look at two of those offerings, ElephantDrive and BackBlaze available for both Mac and PC. Both of these computer programs also have Android and iOS apps available with differing levels of capabilities.
ElephantDrive Vs Backblaze Overview
ElephantDrive is a storage visualization service that doubles as a backup tool. It offers people an easy way to back up important files that are then saved in the cloud. ElephantDrive is also a great tool for users in need of file-synchronization and file-sharing capabilities.
Backblaze is a solid, low-cost option for those who need to back up their data without having to mess with too many complicated controls. This option is great if you need to back up a lot of data from a single device.
ElephantDrive Vs Backblaze Ease of Use
Once installed, ElephantDrive allows you to choose which folders you wish to backup. Some folders such as your Desktop, Pictures and Music folders are selected by default and a fourth, Documents, can also be added easily. Adding additional folders means navigating to that particular folder and selecting “Backup this Folder” from the right click menu.
Backblaze takes this process of selecting folders and makes it unnecessary. Unlike with ElephantDrive, users don’t have to do anything to have their data backed up. Upon installation, simply set it and forget it. The minimalist screen displays limited options from which users can choose either “Backup Now” for immediate backups or “Settings” which allows users to tweak their configuration.
Left alone, Backblaze saves all of your data automatically without you having to deliberately select files or folders. This means that everything on your chosen device is backed up by default, preventing any important files from slipping through the cracks.
The app does allow you to exclude certain files, however, since Backblaze lacks a storage limit, this practice might be more tedious than helpful. However if your ISP imposes bandwidth limits or if you generally have to contend with a slow upload speed, you might find this feature beneficial.
ElephantDrive Vs Backblaze File Access
Both ElephantDrive and Backblaze have Android and iOS apps that make it easy to access your files no matter where you are. However, one of ElephantDrive’s best features is its Everywhere folder that is created upon the program’s installation. The Everywhere Folder allows users to sync data among multiple devices on which ElephantDrive is installed.
Users can also access the Everywhere Folder on their mobile apps and have access to their important files wherever they go. The Everywhere Folder allows those important files to be synced across devices, meaning when you edit them on one device, your edits show up across all instances.
The Android and iOS apps created by Backblaze do not have a feature similar to the Everywhere Folder. However on Backblaze, users will still be able to access their files through the app.
However, one feature these apps do not give users is the ability to back up your mobile files. This is definitely a disadvantage that comes with using both ElephantDrive and Backblaze since most of us have important files on our phones that we would like to be able to back up with a single app.
File Sharing & Collaboration
ElephantDrive makes for much easier file-sharing. Forget about having to carry around a flash drive or having to email files. Users can share files from their ElephantDrive accounts in one of two ways. (i) They can share a folder with friends and colleagues who have ElephantDrive installed on their devices. This folder must be located in the Everywhere folder. (ii) Users can also share flies in the website application by creating a URL. This URL can also be password protected.
Just as with ElephantDrive, Backblaze also allows you to share a file with a colleague or friend by creating a link. Howeverver, it does not appear that you can password protect that link in the same way. With B2 activated on their accounts, Backblaze users can share up to 10 GB of data for free. Anyone with access to the link will be able to download the file. Yet, unlike ElephantDrive, Backblaze is not a collaboration tool and can’t be used as such.
ElephantDrive has protection for files that are accidentally deleted. These are considered ‘“archived” files and can be kept in your account for any length of time, including forever. Apart from this, the program can retain older versions of files. The user can determine how many versions of a particular file are kept and for how long.
Backblaze also allows you to restore old versions of your files for a standard 30 days. However users can extend this period to one year or forever for an additional fee. Besides being able to just download your files all over again should your device become permanently lost or damaged, Backblaze users can order a USB device or external hard drive of their data and have it mailed to them.
Backblaze boasts a high level of security with their secure data centers, 24 hour staff, biometric security, redundant power and encrypted SSL, just to name a few of their features. You can also use the app to locate your computer if it ever gets stolen or goes missing.
Backblaze says that they utilize a “strong protocol” for data transfers. They also say that their 2048 bit public / private keys secure a symmetric AES -128 key.
Because ElephantDrive is ready to host all of your business’s important files, the makers of the app have also beefed up the app with tight security protocols. Adhering to the principles of “Least Privilege” and “Economy of Mechanism”, the makers of ElephantDrive have sought to make the program as inaccessible to hackers as possible by closing every port that isn’t required for operations. Files are also encrypted before they leave your computer and are transferred using a 128-bit SSL channel. Files are stored on the ElephantDrive server using an AES protocol and a 256-bit key.
Backblaze offers a number of options for your business including integration from Veeam, servers and network attached storage (NAS) (including integrations from Synology, QNAP, TrueNAS and more). Backblaze’s B2 Cloud Storage can be used to backup your company’s data whether or not it exists on a single computer. You can keep this data for however long you like.
For business customers, ElephantDrive works well with a number of NAS platforms and comes pre-installed on a number of storage platforms such as Austor, DLink, Drobo, Netgear, to name a few.
ElephantDrive Vs Backblaze Cost
To get started, ElephantDrive offers users a 30-Day free trial. If you would like to keep the service beyond the 2GB free option, the company has two attractive and cost-effective packages. Its 10/month Home plan gets you 15,000 GB of storage while the $20/month Business plan bumps this storage up to 50,000 GB and the $30/month Enterprise plan guarantees you unlimited data uploads.
Conversely, Backblaze is one of the lowest priced options out there. You can have access to Backblaze for as little as $7 per month. Yearly and bi-yearly plans make using Backblaze even cheaper at $70 and $130 respectively.
Backblaze is a lower cost option for those wanting to backup files saved on one device while not being willing to spend too much. However, if you have data spread across multiple devices, ElephantDrive makes a case for the better option since its Home plan allows you to back up data from up to 10 devices. Your choice may lean heavily on how much work you’ll have to do. Do understand that Backblaze users end up sacrificing customization for simplicity. If you would rather not have to individually select files and folders and instead have all the files on your folder backed up, Backblaze would be a better, more worry-free option. Of course when using services like ElephantDrive, you run the risk of omitting important files.
Both software installations appear easy to use and relatively safe. Backblaze’s “save everything” philosophy is incredibly attractive. However, ElephantDrive also comes outfitted with user-friendly features such as its Everywhere folder that makes it easy to have your files when and where you need them.
With regards to security, Backblaze is not as explicit about measures they have taken to ensure the security of your files and this may be concerning to some.
No matter which option you settle on, the important thing is to have your data backed up as quickly as possible and depending on the features you are in search of, both of these options appear to be solid choices.