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How to speed up your initial Backblaze upload

Backblaze is the best cloud backup service for macOS. I’ve been using it for a number of years, and it’s the best $50 per year that you can spend.

When you install Backblaze onto your computer, it runs in the background and you never have to think about it again. It starts by backing up all the documents on your computer. Then, it keeps track of when you create a new file, change a document, etc. When you do, Backblaze uploads the new/modified documents. The great thing about this service is that if your house suffers a flood, fire, or robbery, your data is still secure.

The problem is that the initial upload can be quite daunting. If you have 500+ GB, it might even take a few weeks depending on your upload speed.

If speed is your ultimate goal, here are some tips to improve your initial upload.

Backblaze settings

Raise the upload speed limit

  1. Go to  → System Preferences → Backblaze → Settings.
  2. Under the Performance tab, uncheck the Automatic Throttle option. The Automatic Throttle setting attempts to limit the rate at which Backblaze uploads files to 70-90% of your total internet speed. Unchecking this will allow Backblaze to run as fast as it can. This may slow down other activities, though.

Increase Backup Threads

You can also increase your Backup Threads limit. This feature came out in Backblaze 4.

Threading is designed to optimize bandwidth utilization when network latency is present. Our implementation works by having multiple processes independently sending encrypted blocks of data over the wire. The first process sends a block of data, and while it is waiting for an acknowledgement from our data center, the void is filled by a second process that sends its block of data right after the first process in done sending. Once the second block is done sending a third process can send a block of data, and so on. Optimally, most of the voids are now filled with data being uploaded.

Obviously, the wire can get overstuffed with too many processes and the upload speed can slow down to be even less than when you started. That’s why, if you do activate threading, you need to start with 2 threads and work your way up, monitoring network resources along the way.

I found that increasing my Backup Threads greatly impacted my upload speed when I started a fresh backup last year. Keep in mind, both of these tips will increase the amount of data and processing power that Backblaze is using at any given time. I would recommend plugging into wired ethernet, plugging in a power source (if you’re using a laptop), and then let it run overnight for a few nights.

Don’t delay in signing up for Backblaze.

We have more helpful tips right here.

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