Services & Software

Backblaze raises online backup prices $1 a month, but still cheaper than rivals

The unlimited-data service now charges $6 per month or $60 per year, but existing customers can sign up for another year at the old $50 annual rate.

Backblaze tries to keep online storage costs low by building its own storage "pods."

Online backup specialist Backblaze raised monthly prices from $5 to $6 on Tuesday -- its first price increase since launching in 2008 with unlimited data storage.

That's a bummer if you're already absorbing price increases for Netflix or Amazon Prime or choosing to pay for services like Apple's iCloud and Google Photos. But the company has to fund the development of new features, and the storage price declines no longer match the increasing per-user storage demands, Chief Executive Gleb Budman said in a blog post Tuesday.

"It was not a decision we took lightly," Budman said. "By making this decision now, we are ensuring we can continue to offer unlimited backup and keep improving our computer backup service."

Backblaze is notable for offering unlimited backup, a business feat that's been difficult for competitors like Code42's Crashplan, which exited the consumer market and now sells to businesses for $10 per month. Other rivals include OpenDrive, which charges $10 per month, Livedrive Internet, which charges $8 per month, and Carbonite. Carbonite charges $72 per year compared to Backblaze's $60 annual billing rate, but Carbonite's price rises to $112 per year if you include external drives and $150 for the option of data recovery drives by mail, options that don't cost extra at Backblaze.

"We believe that we have the lowest cost of storage in the industry," Budman said.

Existing customers can sign up for an extra year now at the older $50 rate through March 12.

In an interview, Budman was upbeat about the change. "So far the response has been overwhelmingly positive."