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Six Billion Files Restored and Counting


Funny thing about providing an online backup service that is currently storing over 100 Petabytes of customer data, sometimes people need their data back. In fact, nearly half (46%) of our customers restored one or more of their files in 2013 and that adds up. From when Backblaze first started until the end of May 2014, we have restored 6.27 Billion files for our customers. Back in January 2014, we crossed over the 5 Billion files restored mark meaning we’ve restored over 1 Billion files in the last 4 months alone – busy, busy, busy.


That’s How Many Files Per Second?
In May, our busiest month so far, we restored files at a rate of 135 files per second. That’s 135 photos, documents, songs, and so on returned back to their owner every second. That got us to wondering, what else happens in a second. Here are a few things we found that we thought were interesting…

Of course there are many other things that happen in a second, for example each second there are over 7,200 tweets, over 44,000 Google searches, and more than 84,000 YouTube videos viewed. All of these still pale in comparison to the 2,312,474 emails sent each second – that’s a lot of rich Nigerian Princes…

Restoring What You Need
We all know that when your hard drive crashes or your computer is lost or stolen you can save the day by restoring all your data from Backblaze. Some of you have also discovered that you can use Backblaze to restore just one or two files from the Backblaze cloud – anytime, anywhere – simply by using our web-based restore feature or the Backblaze Mobile app. Need a photo from your laptop back at the hotel or a document from your desktop at home? No problem, if it’s in in your Backblaze backup you can restore the file you need in minutes. In fact so far this year, 25.7% of our restores were for 1 file. So remember, you can save the day one photo/video/document/song/file at a time with Backblaze.

Taking the Weekend Off
Many people believe their computer waits until the most inopportune time to fail, just before a deadline, right after you’ve added a bunch of new photos, etc. That may be true, but when it comes to recovering our data, we seem to prefer Wednesday (15.6%) and Thursday (15.8%) as 31.4% of the restores occur on those days as opposed to Saturday (11.2%) and Sunday (11.0%) when just 22.2% of restores occur. I guess we have better things to do on weekends.

For the “one second facts” we used the following sources. We acknowledge that in some cases other sources provided different “one second facts”, but we choose to use the data from the sources listed below.

  • “Just a Second: A Different Way to Look at Time” by Steve Jenkins, 2011. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  • Internet Live Stats, 2014 (Internet Live Stats is part of the Real Time Statistics Project)
  • Cisco Systems, 2013.


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Seniors are the Kings of Data Backup


June is Backup Awareness Month and the results from our annual Backup Awareness Survey are in. Say what you want about your supposedly technically challenged grandparents, but they backup their computers. It’s not even close. Grandpa in particular is a backup fiend when compared to the 18-44 year old crowd. He’s more than twice as likely to backup his computer at least once a day. Grandma is no backup slouch either, as she is 80% more likely to backup her computer each day versus the 18-44 year old survey respondents. Let’s face it; the older generation is kicking your collective youthful butts when it comes to regularly backing up computer data.

This is the 7th year Backblaze has commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct our annual Backup Awareness Survey. Each year 2,000 or so random computer users are asked how often they backup all the data on their computer. The results are tabulated across a multitude of demographic dimensions and then we get the data to review. For 2014, the breakdown of how often people backup their data is below:

Question: How often do you backup all the data on your computer?

Over the years we’ve focused on how many people report that they are backing up their computers each day or more often. Typically this would be someone with an automated backup solution such as Backblaze, Time Machine or a similar product. In the 2014 survey that figure is 9%. This is about the same as last year (within the margin of error for the survey) as seen in the table below:

      2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
    Daily or more 9% 10% 10% 6% 8% 6% 6%
    Weekly or more 18% 19% 20% 14% 16% 14% 12%
    Monthly or more 33% 36% 36% 27% 30% 27% 26%

On the other hand, 14% of senior males over 55 reported that they backup daily or more often. This compares to the almost anemic 7% rate for males 18 to 44 for the same reported backup schedule – daily or more often. Young women are even worse when compared to senior women, as 18-44 year old females backup daily or more often at a rate of 5% as compared to 11% for their 55 and older counterparts.

I can almost hear the excuses being formulated in your head as to why Grandma and Grandpa are better than you at backup, let’s see if we can address some of your questions…

You: Grandma and Grandpa have plenty of time so they can backup everyday.

    Backblaze: Good online backup and local backup solutions work automatically and continuously. Grandpa does not have to remember to press the Backup Now button every day at 5:00pm to backup his computer.

You: Setting up a backup solution is a pain.

    Backblaze: Backblaze takes three steps and 5 minutes to install and get running. Many other daily backup solutions are similar, taking only a few minutes to set up. Pause your King of Thrones binge watching for 5 minutes and give your Grandpa a call, he can walk you through it.

You: Young people don’t own computers they only have phones and tablets.

    Backblaze: The survey specifically gathered data from people who owned a computer. There were 798 people from 18-44 and 838 people 55 and older.

You: If my computer fails, my data is online somewhere.

    Backblaze: The average data restore from Backblaze for a given customer contains over 30,000 files and includes, photos, videos, music, documents, spreadsheets, email, source code, and many other different types of data. So, yes, your files may be online somewhere, let’s hope you don’t actually have to try to find all of them.

You: I don’t have time to drag files and folders to my backup.

    Backblaze: Then don’t. The better online backup and remote backup solutions are built to discover all the data on your system and back it up automatically. This includes files like MS Office temp files and application data located in non-standard folders and directories. You shouldn’t have to spend your time trying to manually locate and select files so your backup solution will work right.

You: Who are these survey respondents anyway?

    Backblaze: The survey is an online survey conducted by Harris Interactive during the period of June 2-4, 2014. All the data cited was based on the 1987 respondents (weighted base) who said they owned a computer and answered the question; “How often do you backup all of the data on your computer?”

You: I’m already a Backblaze customer so why does this matter to me?

    Backblaze: First, thanks for being customer. Second, 54% of the people who become Backblaze customers have either personally lost or know someone who has lost computer data. Yes, 54%. We’d like it to be 0% so tell your friends and family to backup. Better yet, use our new refer-a-friend program to get them started.

You: Anything else interesting in the survey?

    Backblaze: Here are a couple of additional observations from the survey:

      1) Income is related to how often you backup your computer. In the survey, the percentage of people who have backed up their computer at least once is:
    • 62% for people who make less than 50K per year
    • 71% is the average for everyone
    • 83% for people who make more than 100K per year
      2) Education level is related to how often you backup your computer. In the survey, the percentage of people who have backed up their computer at least once is:
    • 63% for High School Education or less
    • 71% is the average for everyone
    • 79% for a College Graduate

We could probably think of a hundred other reasons as to why Grandma and Grandpa do a better job at regularly backing up their data. It really doesn’t matter though, the simple fact is only 9% of all computer users do it. This means 91% are leaving to chance the continued existence of their digital photos, videos, documents, spreadsheets and more. Grandpa doesn’t like those odds, that’s why he backs up.


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The Survey Says: Apathy is Winning

Why is Yev so sad? Is it because Backup Awareness month is nearly over? No. You see we just got back the results from our annual State of User Data Backup survey and the results made him sad. Let me explain. Each year for the past 6 years we’ve asked the folks at Harris Interactive to conduct this survey for us. Each time they reach out to thousands of people and ask them a simple question: “How often do you back up all the data on your computer?”

We sponsor this survey each June, in concert with Backup Awareness Month. While more and more people sign up each day with Backblaze to back up the precious memories and important files stashed away on their PCs and Macs, the survey is completely blind to that fact. The survey takers reach out across the US to grab a cross section of users from all regions of the country, in ages from 18 to 80+, across different social economic ranges, different educational backgrounds and more. The results are tabulated and sent to us.

For 2013, only 71.17% of the people surveyed have ever backed up their computer as compared to 2012 in which 71.21% of people reported doing the same. Basically that’s no change, nada. So how often do people back up their systems? Here’s a comparison of 2012 versus 2013. Not much change, is there?

“But, my data isn’t valuable enough to back up everyday.”

Some people tell us that they don’t need to back up everyday, for them once a week or even once a month is fine. At that point they back up their computer, usually manually, to an external hard drive or a USB stick and they’re happy. But nearly half of the people surveyed, accumulate 6 or more months worth of photos, videos, documents, spreadsheets, etc., before they back up their computer. Think for a minute about the files on your computer that you added or changed in the last six months. What would you lose if they were gone, forever?

The 10%

Reality check time. I would guess that since you are reading this blog you are a Backblaze customer. So we are, as they say, preaching to the choir. If Harris Interactive called you, you would happily say that you not only backup daily, you back up continuously and automatically with Backblaze. You are part of the 10% and we thank you.

But we know that over 50% of you are Backblaze customers because either you or someone you know lost data first. The truth is that in this digital age, many of the memories we cherish and the other important information we store can be lost in the blink of an eye.

Tell us what you think

As one of the 10% of the people who back up their systems regularly, what do you think of our survey results. Do only 10% of the people you know back up their computers daily or more often? Is it more than 10%? Less than 10%. Tell us what you think. You can comment below, tweet, post, email, whatever. Yev, our Social Marketing guru loves to hear from our customers, here’s your chance to make him smile.

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VIZIO, Backblaze and friends…

It’s nice to have friends. You’ve probably heard of VIZIO and maybe some of those other companies in the picture above, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and the rest. And there’s Backblaze right in the middle – cool huh? That’s Matt McRae, the CTO of VIZIO, introducing their new PC lineup, All-in-Ones, Notebooks, and Thin + Lights. Matt gave us a nice shout out to everyone there, thanks Matt! Yup, really cool.

What all this means is that online backup has taken the first step in becoming an integral part of the PC experience. You get a new computer and one of the things it should do is protect the stuff you put on it, automatically and continuously. VIZIO understands this and reached out to Backblaze, and there we are, with all our new found friends. As part of Backup Awareness month, Backblaze recently announced survey results showing that 10% of computer users backup their computer daily or more often. Having online backup be an integrated part of the PC experience can only help to reduce the senseless loss of data that occurs when a person does not backup their system. VIZIO believes that data backup should be part of the PC experience and we agree.

To be clear we are not built in, we are an add-on service that must be installed. But VIZIO has made it pretty simple. They have a “V” button that brings up a list of services. You can download and install the Backblaze service onto the VIZIO PC, pay for it, and you are backing up your photos, videos, spreadsheet and more. Check out the press release for more details.

10% now back up daily, 90% to go!

Backup Awareness 2012
Five years worth of data
10% percent may not seem like a lot, but in the world of online backup it’s a milestone. For the last 5 years Backblaze has had the folks at Harris Interactive ask “How often do you backup all the data on your computer?” To our dismay, daily backup of the photos, videos, music, data and more on people’s computers has languished at 6-8%. But our 2012 survey said “10%” now do daily backups, a 47% increase over 2011 – Woo Hoo. Even better, the survey also revealed that weekly backups increased 38% over 2011 and monthly backups increased 29% over 2011. In other words, people are backing up their data more often and that is GREAT news.

There’s still work to do
But all is not rosy in backup land as 29% of computer users have never backed up all the data on their computer (cue scary music here). While 29% is a decrease of 15% over 2011, it is still too high. So we wanted to know why would someone not do daily backups? Amazingly, 59% thought that daily data backups were either too complicated or too expensive, or they just plain forget to do it. Hmmm, so is there a way to backup a computer that is easy to use, affordable, automatic and continuous?

Our challenge for 2013
Here’s our audacious goal for 2013. Let’s get the percentage of people who backup daily (10% in 2012) to be higher than the percentage of people who don’t backup at all (29% in 2012). Impossible you say. Let’s try – “no try, do”. How can you help? Give the gift of Backblaze, to someone you know from the 90% who don’t back up daily. Of course we’ll keep plugging away here and between us we can reach the 2013 goal. Thanks for your help.

“How often do you backup all the data on your computer?”

Other interesting statistics from the 2012 survey:
• 43% of computer owners backup less than once a year (or never.)
• Only 3% backup more frequently than once-per-day
     (Backblaze recommends backing up continuously!)

How backup corresponds with education; percent of people who have ever backed up their data:
• 62% High-school or less
• 74% Some college
• 79% College or more

How backup corresponds with income; percent of people who have ever backed up their data:
• 71% Less than $35k
• 68% $35k – $49k
• 69% $50k – $74k
• 74% More than $75k

How backup corresponds to employment status; percent of people who have ever backed up their data:
• 75% Full-time employed or self-employed
• 70% Part-time employed
• 68% Unemployed
• 71% Student
• 65% Retired

Survey Methodology
The surveys were conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Backblaze as follows: May 31–June 4, 2012 among 2,209 respondents, June 28–30, 2011 among 2,257 respondents, June 3–7, 2010 among 2,071 respondents, May 13–14, 2009 among 2,185 respondents, and May 27–29, 2008 among 2,761 respondents. In all surveys, respondents consisted of U.S. adult computer users (aged 18+), weighted to the U.S. adult population of computer users. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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Backup Awareness Month 2012

Backup Awareness Month 2012

June is Backup Awareness Month. To celebrate we’ve gathered up some of our favorite stories to share throughout the month. We’ve also added in a dash of Billy and his cat Felix throughout the month to make it fun. So look for the latest story or Billy adventure by checking out the Backblaze web site throughout the month of June. There’ll be something new nearly every day, enjoy.

“Wait a minute”, you say, “I have a fabulous story to share!” About the time when Backblaze saved all the photos from your wedding or the videos of your first child or your tax returns or your demo recordings of your soon to be famous boy band. We want to hear it! Send us your stories and don’t forget to send a picture, it’s always nice to connect real people to real stories. Email your love to:

Send your love to Backblaze

But, an entire month for Backup Awareness? Yes, there are still too many people out there that do not backup the stuff on their PC or Mac and lose irreplaceable data. Yes, it’s true. Try this: ask 10 of your friends, “Do you backup your computer everyday?” See how few do, and then see how many different reasons you get for why they don’t, “It’s too hard”, “too expensive”, “I forget to do it”, “what’s backup”. We’ve heard them all. You’ll quickly see why we need a whole month for Backup Awareness. You have 30 days, better get started…

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94% of computer users still risk data loss

Backup Awareness Month 2011
Each of the last four years during June’s Backup Awareness Month, Backblaze has conducted a data backup survey using Harris Interactive. We always ask the same question: are you backing up your computer data and, if so, how often?

The results of this fourth annual survey and the three previous ones are:

Percent of Respondents Who Backup Computer Data






Backup Daily or More





Backup Weekly or More





Backup Monthly or More





While in the last few years there has been a steady trend of more people backing up data; this year surprisingly fewer people responded that they backup their computers. Anyone have any theories?

Other interesting statistics from the survey:

  • 35% of computer owners have NEVER backed up their computer.
  • 51% of computer owners backup less than once a year (or never.)
  • Only 2% backup more frequently than once-per-day
    (Backblaze recommends backing up continuously!)
  • Women are 33% more likely than men to have never backed up their computer.
  • Backups correspond with education; percent of people who have ever backed up:
    * 56% High-school or less
    * 68% Some college
    * 75% College or more
  • Backups correspond with income; percent of people who have ever backed up:
    * 56% Less than $35k
    * 63% $35k – $49k
    * 67% $50k – $74k
    * 74% More than $75k
  • Backups correspond to employment; percent of people who have ever backed up:
    * 74% Full-time employed or self-employed
    * 58% Part-time employed
    * 58% Unemployed
  • Your thoughts on these? Expected/not expected?

    Have some friends or coworkers who are not backing up?
    Give them the gift of online backup ;-)

    These surveys were conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Backblaze June 28-30, 2011 among 2257 respondents, June 3-7, 2010 among 2071 respondents, May 13-14, 2009 among 2,185 respondents, and May 27-29, 2008 among 2,761 respondents. In all surveys, respondents consisted of U.S. adult computer users (aged 18+), weighted to the U.S. adult population of computer users. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.

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    Backblaze is giving away 2 Apple iPads

    Free iPad
    Losing all of your photos forever.
    Paying iTunes a second time to buy all your music again.
    Pulling your hair out when your computer won’t boot.

    …if these reasons aren’t enough to backup your computer, we’re giving you one more:
    A free Apple iPad.

    Every computer that starts backing up in June will be entered to win an iPad.
    * Already backed up your desktop? What about your laptop?
    * Already backed up your PC? What about your Mac?
    * Already backed up your home computer? What about your work computer?
    Start backing up any of them and you will be entered to win!

    But you say, I care about my data and already backup all my computers with Backblaze!
    No problem.

    Refer a friend, family member, or co-worker to start backing up -
    BOTH of you will be entered to win an iPad.

    * They will be entered to win an iPad as the one who started backing up.
    * You will win an iPad if they win an iPad.

    Want to increase your chances?
    Recommend users backup with Backblaze on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

    Some more details:
    * Backblaze must be installed initially on the computer between June 1-30, 2010.
    * Installing multiple times on one computer does not increase your chances of winning.
    * Apple iPads being awarded are 16 GB versions ($499 value each.)
    …oh, and aside from an iPad, you’re really going to be happy that you’re backed up!

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