Backblaze Time Machine Backup

Posted : admin On 1/29/2022

Over the last couple of weeks I completely reworked by backup strategy. Losing data is a big fear of mine and I want to make my system as reasonably bulletpr. The idea is simple: Have Time Machine store its backup on your Synology NAS device, then sync the Time Machine backup from the Synology NAS to Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage. Once this is set up, the 3-2-1 backup process occurs automatically and your files are stored locally and off-site. If you want to use both Time Machine and backup to the cloud, we’d recommend giving Backblaze a look. It only costs $5 a month, gives you unlimited backup space and backs up by file type. STEP 1 - Locate the Time Machine backup (.sparsebundle) file on B2 On any computer with a web browser, log in to your Backblaze B2 account. Select 'Browse Files' for the bucket containing the Time Machine backup. Locate the Time Machine backup '.sparsebundle' file.

Shelby1975 wrote:
I use time machine, and have been very pleased with it. I would also like to use Backblaze for off site backup. Will these two work together and not cause any problems?

In general, they should stay out of each other's way.
Be sure BackBlaze is not trying to back up your Time Machine backups (I understand that's automatic, but it won't hurt to check).
I don't know exactly how it works, but some such apps keep some fairly large files on your system, apparently some sort of indexing or status data, that changes rapidly. By default, Time Machine will back that up, which may result in large TM backups (and backing-it up likely won't accomplish anything anyway). So check their documentation, and/or see #A2 in [Time Machine - Troubleshooting] (or use the link in *User Tips* at the top of this forum), for a couple of apps that will show exactly what's backed-up. If you find something like that, exclude those files/folders from Time Machine, per #10 in [Time Machine - Frequently Asked Questions] (or use the link in *User Tips* at the top of this forum).

Dec 24, 2010 8:39 AM

Last year my friend had to deliver some distressing news to his wife. The external hard drive on which he had been storing their family photos failed. The problem had started a few weeks earlier when his wife mentioned that the hard drive was making some strange noises. My friend had planned on backing up the disk to DVD but being a busy IT manager he just never got around to it.
At that time I remember thinking smugly to myself, if only he had a Mac with Time Machine he would have been protected. I realized later on that I was wrong. I use Time Machine to backup three of the household Macs to Time Capsule once a day. This protects my data should the local hard drive fail but I lose ALL of my backups if the Time Capsule disk fails. I wanted a backup system that was more robust; one from which I could survive a local disk and local network storage failure. That’s where Backblaze comes in.

Backblaze is a cloud based service that backs up everything on your computer except your operating system, applications, and temporary files. The service costs $5/month ($50/year) and provides three methods to recover your data. You can download your files from the Backblaze web site, order them delivered to you on DVD ($99, 4GB max) or for a $189 fee Backblaze will deliver your files on a 500GB Western Digital external USB hard drive. The 500GB seems quite reasonable to me considering that I now have 74GB of data (70GB of photos, 4GB of documents) stored on Backblaze.

Backblaze backup review

After registering for the service I downloaded and installed the Mac version of the Backblaze client. The Mac client is Intel only. Backblaze also offers a client for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.

Backblaze Time Machine Backup System

One of the first things I did was setup the frequency of backups. By default, Backblaze simply backs up all the time so you don’t have to remember. But if you wish, you can schedule Backblaze to backup at a convenient time (like the middle of the night) or only when you click “Backup Now”. I chose the “Continuously” option. I take a lot of photos during the summer and I find myself emptying the SD card from my Nikon at least once a week.


Backblaze will backup any USB or Firewire drive I have attached to my computer as long as I leave the external hard drive attached to my computer all the time. It was simple to add my 500 GB G-Drive Q Firewire HD to the backup queue. Good thing too, since this is where I keep my digital photos.

To prevent users from abusing the service network (NAS) drives, Time Machine drives , remotely mounted computers or volumes, or shared volumes do not get backed up.

From the setting screen the user can also set options to control how much local network bandwidth is dedicated to backup as alerts for failed incomplete backups.

Backblaze time machine backup systemTime

By default Backblaze backups everything on the main hard drive except for applications and the operating system. It also does not backup files over 4GB. Backblaze claims that most users do not create files larger than 4GB. I can’t disagree with that and they do make an except for iPhoto library files.

I don’t really need every user folder to be backed-up. My iPhoto library are stored respectively in the Photos and Documents folders on the externally drive. Unfortunately the mechanism that Backblaze uses to mange what gets backed-up and what doesn’t is not easy. I had to explicitly exclude all the folders that I did not want backed-up — on both the local and external drive. If you have more than one user on the local machine this can take considerable time.
The Backblaze console provides a fair amount of reporting including how much storage each type of file will use and which files are scheduled for backup. This was an eye opener for me. I did not realize how large my iPhoto library had grown. A drive failure would surely be a painful experience.

I’ve been using the Backblaze service and software for just a few weeks and so far I have no had any problems. Of course, the true test of service is how easy it is to service a hard drive failure. Knowing that I can rebuild my machine and recover all my files with a single click gives me piece of mind.

Backblaze Time Machine Backup Camera