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Show HN: I made a privacy-first minimalist Backblaze (blobbackup.com)
236 points by bimbashrestha on March 6, 2022 | hide | past | favorite | 119 comments
Creator here. I was looking for something as simple as Backblaze Personal [1] but privacy focused and open source. This is my attempt to build that.

Uses PyQt6 [2] for the GUI and Pyinstaller [3] for creating the platform specific binaries. The backup engine under the hood is Restic [4]. The server code is written in Laravel [5]. All the code is on GitHub [6].

I actually really like Backblaze (even use B2 for this offering behind the scenes) so this isn't meant to throw shade their way. Just wanted a private open source alternative. Something like Bitwarden but for backups.

[1] https://backblaze.com

[2] https://pypi.org/project/PyQt6

[3] https://pyinstaller.readthedocs.io/en/stable

[4] https://github.com/restic

[5] https://laravel.com

[6] https://github.com/blobbackup/blobbackup

Would be cool to back this to decentralized cloud storage (should be pretty easy to do via Storj S3 integration): https://docs.storj.io/dcs/getting-started/quickstart-aws-sdk...

Or even Restic directly: https://docs.storj.io/dcs/how-tos/backup-with-restic/

I think decentralized storage + Blobbackup could make for an interesting pairing. I'll make time to look into it.

So as of now I can use it your app and to b2?

Because that’s where my restic backups go to (natively).

I tried the app and I did notice the first screen is "Select Storage Location" after you try to add a new backup and it lists: local dir, aws, gc, azure, b2, s3, sftp.

So I indeed guess it can as well be used as restic frontend (but I am not really sure to what extent it uses restic and whether blobbackup is just a gui/skin for restic)

Hey! Thanks for trying the app.

I think you may have tried our original app (the original folder in the github repo). I need to clean up the Releases page. That version used a custom backup engine and allowed backups to a number of storage providers (S3, B2, SFTP, etc).

The new app uses restic as the backup engine and only supports backups to B2 right now. Sorry for the confusion.

So I’m using restic currently (barebones; with scripts). And I pay for storage on b2.

Should I download it from elsewhere? Isn’t Blobbackup opensource?

Can I use blobbackup instead to do the same only that Blobbackup will be a gui for Restic?

As an analogy - what is Vorta for Borg.

Yoh can download the binaries if you create an account! I should also just put the new binaries on the release page. I'll do that soon

Ahhh … sftp is a choice.

Great job!

Was looking quite long for the company behind this and expected a B2B offering to be located at "Company", not an about us.

Stating your company name and an address would greatly increase my trust.

Ah good point. I've made a github issue for it (you'll find the company name and address there btw) [1].

We are actually working on a B2B offering right now (see the banner on the top of the home page for more info) [2][3].

[1] https://github.com/Blobbackup/Blobbackup/issues/93 [2] https://blobbackup.com [3] https://forms.gle/euPCbhZaf1CMN8LbA

Is there a Google Drive clone with encrypted backups?

I love the usability of Google Drive (being able to access / make files offline whenever I want), but the Mac update started to force me to upload all my files, which I don't want to do, as the files are not encrypted.

You can host Seafile yourself, which has end-to-end encrypted libraries[1] and version control. There are also hosted versions listed in their partners page [2] if you'd rather not manage that yourself. Apps are available for most platforms, I believe.

I don't know how good macOS support for FUSE style filesystems is these days, but you could work around the encryption problem by mounting something like an EncFS file system over your cloud drive (Homebrew seems to have it?). It'll make the files virtually inaccessible to other tools (like the GDrive web UI) but it'll protect your files and should keep away most unnecessary sync operations. I don't know if and if or how it conflicts with the GDrive application, though.

[1]: https://help.seafile.com/security_and_encryption/use_encrypt...

[2]: https://www.seafile.com/en/partner/

The only Google Drive/Dropbox like service that I am aware of that does end-to-end encryption is:


The other solutions would be self-hosted (i.e. mounting an encrypted cloud drive using rclone crypt or using cryptomator in combination with something like Cyber Duck or Mountain Duck)

It looks cool and easy to use, I think this is the only complete solution from the replies, but the other comments were interesting as well.

Google Drive with rclone and the crypt layer (https://rclone.org/crypt/)?

It looks like a command line application, I'm looking for something with a great OS X, iOS, Android and web GUI (and happy to pay for it).

Dropbox looks similar to Google Drive with the same problem (No E2E encryption)

Maybe https://www.arqbackup.com/ works for you? Has E2EE. As far as I know, it’s not open source, but the format is open. I use them to back up files from my Mac to Dropbox.

I also use Cryptomator but that’s just for regular files that I pull from different iOS device to Dropbox.

You can use Cryptomator with the various cloud storage backends.


Try Duplicati. Cross platform, free and supports several backends (google drive, s3 and s3 compatible providers etc). Supports encryption so you have data security.

It won't give you cloud just at the moment, but syncthing supports "untrusted peers" which keep all your files encrypted when they're on that remote.

Nextclouds sync client has 'virtual files' where it only downloads stuff when you need it, or when you mark a file/folder as available offline.

You could try using cryptomator to encrypt and then keep using drive or any other cloud service.

My goto tool for secure backups is tarsnap. He only supports S3 as far as I know so using B2 could be a good differentiator.

Wonder if either of you will add support for cloudflares R2?


I think price is the main differentiator here. TarSnap is 50x as expensive.

Does Cloudflare’s R2 exist?

I saw the announcement but nothing else other than folks like me wondering; has anyone at all got access yet?

Seems its still in closed beta: https://www.datacenterdynamics.com/en/news/cloudflares-r2-st...

But yeah, comment sounds so weird for a non released product.

I acknowledge it may not happen but cloudflare hasn't done anything to make me doubt them.

Isn't backblaze still just a single datacenter?

There is nothing weird postulating about using a storage service with the lowest price among cloud providers with (planned) free egress on a show HN thread.

You are certainly free to disagree if free egress actually matters but cloudflare R2 is the first to offer free egress AFAIK. B2 may be cheap at 1¢ / GB but that still adds up once you start moving TBs around.

Lots of variables and unknowns and room for debate.

> I acknowledge it may not happen but cloudflare hasn't done anything to make me doubt them.

I suspect CF R2 may get popular and multiple tools will work with CF. Why not?

Ah good so it actually does exist in a way that's more than a spec, that's good enough for me.

I'm in no rush with that slurp mode or whatever they called it, just hadn't heard of anything more since the announcement :)

The lack of direct support for Windows prevented me from using tarsnap. Restic allows me to use shadow volumes.

backblaze supports s3 protocol

Interesting. I had not heard of restic, yet. My default backup choice has been borg[1] for a long time, so borgbase.com was a natural choice for off-site backups for me. They make Vorta a decent GUI client for borg - that's how I found out about them.

Can someone here give a comparison of borg and restic by any chance?

[1]: https://www.borgbackup.org/

Borg supports local and SFTP backups while Restic supports more (a lot more). S3, Google Cloud, B2, etc. In fact, they integrate with rclone so anything you can access using rclone, you can backup to using Restic.

Borg uses compression while Restic does not. Restic just uses deduplication so your backups with Restic will likely be larger in size.

Anyway, that's what jumps to mind. They're both pretty great honestly (in terms of community support and reliability). There are a lot of other options too btw. The Restic repo has a pretty good list [1]

[1] https://github.com/restic/others

The rclone backend is a killer feature of Restic - using it in my home setup which is:

6 computers backing up using UrBackup client to a 6 drive 2U NAS running Raid Z2 and UrBackup server (which is nice as it stores incremental backups as ZFS child datasets).

I then have a post backup script which creates a snapshot of the latest backup, mounts it, backs up using Restic using the JottaCloud rclone backend.

Do you know if Restic supports block-level deduplication? I am backing up some database dumps and the backup filesystem has ballooned in size, even though the dumps are 99% identical every day. This makes me suspect that they only deduplicate on the file level, and that I would have some very significant savings if I zipped the dumps before backing up.

EDIT: Some details on deduplication are here, and I'm puzzled as to why my backups are so big: https://restic.readthedocs.io/en/latest/100_references.html?...

Restics dedupe window is tuned to a 1mb boundary - it's optimised for cloud provider IOPS.

Bup with it's rsync sized one always did much better for databases for me.

That's interesting, thank you. Do you have any info on how to enable that one?

Could you please add a Postal address to your https://blobbackup.com/company/ ?

> I actually really like Backblaze (even use B2 for this offering behind the scenes)

B2 is $5/tb, you are charging $9 for 5tb? How does that work? Do the old versions count towards the quota?

It's $9/computer so if you have another computer, you can't use the same 5 TB quota. I'm banking on most people having less than 5 tb per computer to backup. It's kind of like what Backblaze Personal does for their unlimited plan but slightly lower tier I suppose (since there is no way I could do unlimited).

You probably will want to have something to discourage the data hoarders. They might not be many in numbers, but they can rack up quite the TB count.

Disclaimer: I work at Backblaze. Here is a histogram of backup sizes of our Backblaze Personal Backup Customers if it is useful:


You have to zoom in to see the meaningful information. It can be super surprising to developers and IT people (like us) to see a lot of customers have less data than you might think.

When we started we had no idea what might come of all of this, so it was "stressful". :-) So I welcome another backup client developer to our club, and hope this can help them out.

They aren't that many, but I'm assuming he's starting up so not sure how many he can handle. I recall Crashplan having enough >10TB guys that they decided "unlimited" wasn't, and that was many years ago.

Personally I have 3TB of essential data, and about 10TB if I wanted to backup most of my computer.

Interesting graph though, thanks for sharing!

That url just shows a bunch of memes. Can you reupload?

Could this be used for something like S3 for uploading images and serving them in an app or website? Like are there options for signed url uploads?

i love seeing more innovation with backups . can you talk about the agent ? many of them drain the battery and overload cpu .

It uses restic (github.com/blobbackup) to create backups every hour by default. After the initial backup, the load on battery and cpu should be pretty minimal since the agent is idle most of the time (because incremental backups are fairly quick).

Not to throw shades, but I think we have restic which is awesome for backup across multiple backends (through rclone). What is needed is a user friendly GUI to use restic for regular folks. I hope some one can use this framework to create a simple GUI for restic for windows/Mac users afraid of the terminal.

Check out Kopia. It’s very similar to restic in how it uses repos, and they’ve put some effort into a GUI too!

Second this.

Just switched from borg to kopia, using a kopia repository server for my family computers backup (890 GB currently).

Idk if you caught this but Blobbackup uses restic under the hood and I'm planning on adding support for other storages in the future.

Sorry missed it. I'm gonna use it soon then. It would also be useful to get the blessing of restic community by posting it in their forum.

looks great! I have a question about backing up my mac. Let’s say my mac is stolen/dropped from a bridge. Can I actually restore everything on a new mac, or still need to install and configure from scratch and “just” have a backup of documents, images etc?

It's a file level backup (as opposed to an image or disk backup). So anything related to the operating system is not backed up but all your "data" (documents, photos, music, movies, etc) is. Here is a support page that explains what is backed up by default (which you can ofc change) [1].

[1] https://blobbackup.com/support/what-is-being-backed-up/

If this would allow me to check my files in a simple web UI (no need for collaboration or anything), and create share links for low-volume downloads I could just leave Google Drive permanently.

Ah sadly that probably won't happen soon. All the data is encrypted with your master password (password manager style) and that master password isn't transfered to the server. So you'd have to use the desktop client to access your files.

You could create a sharing mechanism, though; let the desktop client encrypt a copy of the file with a randomly generated key and share that key in the download URL like Mega does it.

Requires extra data transfers and extra storage, but for small files that seems doable without invalidating the master password setup. You do end with two separate encryption systems, though.

A more scalable solution would be to encrypt every file with a different key and encrypt the key store with the master password (but that would obviously require a relatively extensive rewrite). You'd be able to get more fine-grained file access without sacrificing the single master password setup.

That way, you can simply share the file key when you want to generate a share link.

If you want encrypted file storage with secret share links then you might be interested in https://peergos.org (disclaimer: I'm one of the creators)

Here's an example secret link: https://peergos.net/#%7B%22secretLink%22:true%2c%22link%22:%...

It's P2P, fully open source including the server, self-hostable, audited by Cure53, can use S3 compatible block storage or local disk and built on top of IPFS.

Consider using https://wetransfer.com for one off transfers.

I have had great luck using https://www.wesendit.com/ for this use case.

Is that related to the Chinese WeChat?

I'm a little paranoid about avoiding SAAS out of China.

Thanks the name set off alarm bells for me. Good to know they're not affiliated.

You could, but would you, really.

Need some proofreading:

"We only offer montly biling at this time"

That's embarrassing... Thanks, I'll fix it:)

This looks really great! I love restic but miss a simple UI to keep track of my backups. Will definitely keep an eye on this.

Off topic but what is the cheapest object storage service for less than 1 TB of data?

Probably B2 (https://www.backblaze.com/b2/cloud-storage.html). Half a penny per GB.

Google Cloud's Archive tier is cheapest to store at about $1.23/TB per month, but downloading is very expensive.


3.45 EUR/month for 1 TB, plenty of protocols (including borg and rsync), no bandwidth limit, 10 snapshots.

Minio on a raspberry pi at a friends house.

Nicely done. Any plans for allowing to pick a US/EU/Asia data center?

I'm planning on adding an Amsterdam storage location in a month or so!

What operating systems does this support?

It's just Mac and Windows right now. Technically, it isn't that hard to get things working on Linux (since the desktop app is Qt) but I need to get around to it. There is a github issue for it btw: https://github.com/Blobbackup/Blobbackup/issues/92

Right on the landing page it says Mac & Windows.

It’s very small, pale grey text.

Do you have a warrant canary?

Another upvote for restic!

Is there an option for IPFS instead of B2?

IPFS is not for long term data storage, and once you get about the 100k file mark your tables are so damn slow you can't add anything new

Not right now. I'd like to allow the self-hosted version to support other storage backends eventually (will probably start with generic S3 and SFTP first though).

My problem: I just want to back up 5 terabytes.

It's on an external SSD, used for photos. Backblaze has forgotten how to count terabytes at all, preferring to play games about how I need to have it attached and for how long, so people don't play games with their "unlimited" offering. "Did you plug in the external drive to a computer, and leave the computer on for 24 hours without it going to sleep, and reattach the drive regularly every 30 days? I'm sorry, it looks like we'll be erasing your backup. You can make another one and it will take several days to upload despite your very fast connection."

I don't want to play these games either way, I just want to back up 5 terabytes. I don't even necessarily need an agent. You offer a similar pricing scheme to Backblaze ($N/mo/computer). Does your service support my use case, or should I keep looking?

First and foremost: don't use an SSD for cold storage: depending on the chips in your external drive, the bits can decay in as little as 6 months: https://photostructure.com/faq/how-do-i-safely-store-files/#...

Lots of copies keeps stuff safe.

If you don't mind the hassle, you can buy a couple HDDs (maybe a 2.5" and a 3.5" from different manufacturers), rsync to both of them, and hand one to a friend or family member that lives an hour or two away from you.

You may want to encrypt the drive, depending on contents and trust if the remote storage location.

Repeat quarterly/annually depending on your data change velocity/appetite for data loss/willingness to muck with it.

This should cost under $200, and the HDDs should last at least 5 years, so that amortizes to $40/year of 2 remote backups. No cloud offering can get close to that.

Backblaze also supports that pricing model with B2, which is a fixed cost per gigabyte stored per month. B2 also has an S3 compatible API, which lets you use any backup software you want.

This. I use B2 to backup my NAS and it costs me a couple dollars a month. 5TB will cost you $25/month.

The only way I know to go cheaper is Glacier “deep archive” storage which is roughly $1/TB, but a pain to manage, access time is measured in hours and it might cost 100x more in egress fees to download it all.

Depending on your access patterns, Wasabi (https://wasabi.com/cloud-storage-pricing/) could be cheaper, since they charge more $5.99/TB, but don't charge for egress ($0.01/GB at B2) or API calls ("GetObject" at $0.004 per 10,000 at B2).

Note that you can only egress as much as you have stored in total per month with Wasabi. So if you've stored 10GB on Wasabi, you're only allowed to egress 10GB each month. So yes, really depends on your access patterns.

Thank you for pointing that out. I definitely hadn't internalized that point.


> If your use case exceeds the guidelines of our free egress policy on a regular basis, we reserve the right to limit or suspend your service.

Sounds like it's a soft limit, so ok for backups. I normally pull about 100GB/month (just verifying files) on a 4TB backup set, so I don't usually hit this.

I do think this should be more clearly started in the pricing page, though.


The other gotcha with Wasabi is you pay for a minimum of 90 days of storage for each file (so if you upload, then delete it immediately, it's billed for 3 months regardless). This, again, is fine for backups for me, but definitely has made some early months where I was figuring out my backup strategy a bit more expensive than it might otherwise have been.

This matches my price research exactly, and my conclusions. Stay away from Glacier because the gotchas are not worth it. The moment you need any of your data your cost will skyrocket. Plus dealing with AWS unpredictable pricing is totally not worth it.

I b2 everything nowadays.

Not sure when you last looked into Glacier, but they did away with the "peak hourly request" fee which could be insane if you restored data too quickly. Pricing is much more reasonable now. You still have to wait hours to download your data, but Glacier deep archive is about $.001/GB per month for storage and about $0.29/GB to download (plus some transaction fees that aren't usually significant).

Jottacloud offers unlimited (in reality after 5TB they start slowing your upload speed to them) with a cli, or rclone + restic support.

It's worth noting that for most uses the throttling doesn't matter up to about 16TB, where you hit a harsh inflection point.

And really, at that point, don't be a cheapskate, it's already super cheap (and reliable), so buy another account (or two, or three).

>We charge you $9 / month per computer. Each computer is allowed to backup up to 5 TB of data.

Seems to be exactly how much you want to backup.

You can make a snapshot of a Backblaze Personal and then store it in Backblaze B2. Works fine.

“5 terabytes is so little that I've forgotten how to count that low.”



Well, pardon me for explaining the joke for people who might not know the reference.

Speaking of this, does anyone know about any local backups for Linux with a nice GUI? I turned into a GNOMie and don't want to spend time with commandline options to figure it out. I tried APTIK but it flat out didn't work.

I've always liked the vorta project (https://github.com/borgbase/vorta)

[Pika Backup](https://apps.gnome.org/app/org.gnome.World.PikaBackup/) is a simple and well-designed GTK frontend for borg IMO

I've been using BackInTime (https://wiki.ubuntuusers.de/Back_In_Time/) since 6 years and happy with it. - it's using rsync and hardlinks, the files on the backupdrive are just normal files - it got "smart delete" of old backups (e.g. keep 1 backup per year older 1 year, 1 per month older 1 month and 1 per week older 1 week) - starts an backup automatic in background if you attach the external drive (with udev, if you want it) - has a nice simple ui (i like it)

Crash plan pro is still around. About ten bucks a month for unlimited backup per machine.

It probably isn't quite what you are looking for, but have you ever tried Syncthing? It doesn't have enough features to be an actual backup solution, but it is nice if you just want another copy of your files somewhere else

I actually use Syncthing for everything, but I was looking for a one click and I'm back where I started when I have to reset my PC

I’ve been using Deja Dupe for 4 years now for a local backup on my NAS. It’s extremely slow though, and I’d prefer fs level like ZFS or even btrfs at this point.

Deja Dup has recently offered Restic backend.

That's great! Couple questions, is this on a recently released version, will it be in the next Fedora? Is it best just to grab the Flatpak?

deja-dup. I even believe this is installed by default on distros.

I like Arq https://www.arqbackup.com/

They were only an app back in the day, which backed up to any object store you chose.

Although now they are trying the saas way of things too.

Not sure what you mean by "trying the saas way of things". We still sell Arq 7 as a standalone app. It comes with a year of updates. You can choose to renew, or not and keep using the app you bought forever. Similar licensing to Panic's Nova app https://www.arqbackup.com/documentation/arq7/English.lproj/a...

Well - you changed from a pure Mac App to a SaaS style offering with a reasonable licensing for people who don't want to subscribe.

That's fine - and I am a subscriber. Seeing you adding storage directly makes me slightly afraid that you will join the VC money train at some stage (like 1password did). No shame in doing it but things change then.

I like single-purpose crafted apps, and Arq has been this for me for a long time. I hope it stays this way & Thank You for your good work ^^

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