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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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Today Show: Cryptolocker Continues To Hold Data Hostage

Last October we wrote a blog post about a new piece of ransomeware called Cryptolocker. At the time it was a relatively new virus, and was not yet affecting as many people as it is now. As of March, reports that Cryptolocker’s “… masterminds have raked in somewhere in the neigborhood of $30 million, and that’s because around 40% of victims are paying the ransom.”

A few days ago, the Today Show ran a report on Cryptolocker as well. According to the Today Show report embedded below, “You can backup your computer and use anti-virus software, but the best defense, experts say, is caution with unknown attachments and emails.”

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How Backblaze Can Help
Since Backblaze is an unlimited and continuously running online backup solution that is not locally connected to your machine, all of the data files on your computer and external hard drives get backed up and are available for restore.

That means that if you get hit with the Cryptolocker malware and your computer locks up, you can simply order a Backblaze restore with all of your data on it, reinstall your operating system and any programs that you had installed (including Backblaze), and then you’re back up and running! That means you won’t need to pay Cryptolocker hundreds if not thousands of dollars, and you’ll have all of your photos, videos, music, work documents, and anything else you’ve created safely back on your computer.

Backblaze has already saved multiple customers from losing their data to Cryptolocker:

We’d like to remind all of our users and blog readers to stay vigilant and use best-practices when using the internet and email clients. Hopefully you’ll never be hit with Cryptolocker, but we’ll be here for you if you do.

Author = Yev

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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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Candace Sails Her Way to Backblaze


Let’s welcome Candace as she joins Backblaze as a Senior Software Engineer, initially assigned to our Mobile products group. Previously she had worked with our CTO, Brian and yet she still decided to join us ;-)

What’s your favorite hobby?
I love both cooking and sailing. Over the last year I’ve been working my way through the American Sailing Association certifications, I’d love to be able to charter a boat.

If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you do?
I’m pretty happy with my life now. I think my post-lottery life would be just the same except with a catamaran.

Where are you originally from?
A tiny town in Wisconsin. I moved to the Bay Area when I was young, then moved back to Wisconsin a few years back.

Why did you move back here?
I’ve missed the people here, the tech industry, the weather, the fresh food, the oceans, and the mountains. I even missed the fog. I’m really looking forward to working with Brian W., Brian B., and Monika again.

How did you get into computers?
I got a Commodore 64 when I was young. I remember writing simple games in BASIC and playing around with the turtle graphics. It seemed like magic.

Where did you go to school?
I have a BS in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT.

Where else have you worked?
At first I worked on video editing and search software (SGI and Virage), more recently I worked on bioinformatics software (DNASTAR and Roche NimbleGen).

We look forward to having Captain Candace aboard the good ship Backblaze. May the skies be clear, the seas be calm, and the winds be strong.


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Next Batter: James, Partner Program Manager


James started at Backblaze several months ago as a contractor and recently accepted our invitation to join Backblaze as an employee. We hired him not only for his partner management skills, but because he said he would manage the Backblaze softball team. Now all we need is a Backblaze softball team.

Are you from the Bay Area?
I’ve lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 5th grade and graduated from San Jose State. [Ed: Go Spartans]

Where have you worked before Backblaze?
I started my career when I was living in Palo Alto with a good friend of mine who had just joined a recently funded startup a few blocks away from our place. They needed someone to buy Aeron chairs and stock the fridge with organic fruit. I excelled. I’ve also taught English in Korea and done Sales and Partner Management for a couple of startups in Silicon Valley.

How do you backup your photos, music, data, etc. on your home computer?
I use Backblaze to back up my two laptops and an external drive. I was one of the original customers way back when. It works great! I’m hoping they come out with NAS support some time soon.

Favorite place you’ve traveled?
Rose Island: a tiny piece of snorkeling paradise in the Bahamas.

Favorite hobby?
Duh, Softball. I also like running, it’s where I get some of my best ideas.

If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you do?
Totally freak out. Then travel around the world with my family.

As a Partner Program Manager, James spends his time pitching to partners about the Backblaze partner program and handling the curves that come with along the job. He only wears his cleats to the office on Tuesdays — that’s game night.


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Introducing: Flash Drive Restore Boxes


We’re excited to announce that our 128GB USB flash drives will now be shipped in tiny little restore boxes that will come to your door with all your lost data eagerly awaiting to return home. To some of us in the office, these little restore boxes look like tiny flash drive coffins, with the USB drive resting peacefully inside them, just waiting to be plugged in so your data can come back to life. Coffins or boxes? Who cares, you’re getting your data back! Yay!

Even cooler, we’ve updated the USB flash drives to USB 3.0. Now you’ll be able to restore up to 110GB of your data, and get it back on to your computer almost 10x faster than with USB 2.0, and it’s still $99 – next day shipping included. Restoring to a flash drive is quick and painless, just log in to, select the files/folders you wish to restore, and we’ll express ship the drive to you. As always, you get to keep the drive.

Some key improvements that come with our upgrade to USB 3.0:

  • Faster transfer speeds (Approximately 4Gbs)
  • More power availability and power conservation when idle
  • USB 3.0 is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 ports

Of course, restoring data to a USB flash drive is not the only way to get your data back. You can still download files for free using a web browser and the Backblaze downloader. You select which files/folders you’d like to restore and download the .zipped files. We also have our USB external hard drives, with up to 3TB, for $189, shipping included.

Please enjoy this .gif of a flash drive rising from its little box, spooky…

Author = Yev Pusin

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Welcome Ariel: Nomad, Couch Surfer


Ariel has a beautiful home in Oregon, yet we lured him to the San Francisco Bay Area to work for Backblaze as our new Purchasing and Inventory Manager. As he gets settled into the Bay Area, Ariel has become somewhat of a nomad, making the couch de jure his latest home. He doesn’t have to be a couch surfer, but he really seems to like it.

Why did you move here?
My Fiancée and I love San Francisco and the Bay Area. We visit frequently and have often daydreamed about living here. We are drawn to the higher energy, vibrant arts and the fantastic food of the Bay Area.

What attracted you to Backblaze?
I’ve actually been a Backblaze customer for a number of years. Needless to say, I appreciate the product and really like what we’re doing. I used to be fascinated reading the blog posts about PODs.

How did you get into computers?
I remember the joy of my parents buying me a Commodore 64 when I was in 5th grade. That was really exciting at the time. We also got a Mac Plus shortly afterwards, which got me hooked. I’ve been heavily into computers since then. In 1988 my family moved to Cupertino, and, well …I guess it’s in the air.

Favorite place you’ve traveled?
There are certainly a lot of places I still need to see. Throughout my travels I felt a real affinity for the Scottish Highlands, Tallinn Estonia, Riga Latvia, and Hong Kong.

Favorite hobby?
I love filmmaking. I’m particularly drawn to cinematography. Music and photography are also favorites of mine.

If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you do?
I’d buy an Arri Amira camera package and start traveling the world with my Fiancée, making films.

Let’s hope that if Ariel wins the lottery and starts traveling the world with his Fiancée he gets over his couch surfing ways and gets a room. In the mean time, he’ll be a welcome addition to the Backblaze family.


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Backblaze Launching Refer-A-Friend


Help Your Friends and Yourself

You back up your computer. You go to bed every night, wrap yourself up in a blanket burrito and think about how peaceful your life is now that you have an online backup; and hard drive crashes no longer loom in the back of your mind. Sometimes you think about your friends, wondering why they’ve never backed up their computers and known the true comfort of having digital peace of mind. Now you can help your friends get backed up, and it’s easier than ever.

Announcing the new Backblaze Refer-a-Friend program

We’re thrilled to announce our brand new Refer-A-Friend program. Starting now you can invite your friends to try Backblaze for one month, free of charge. For every friend that signs up with us, you’ll get one month’s worth of Backblaze applied to your Backblaze account. What could be better than helping your friends get peace of mind, knowing their data is safe, and getting a little something in return too? Possibly doing all of that while eating cake, but that’s about it!

How the Refer-a-Friend Program Works

How will it work? Once you log in to your Backblaze account, you’ll see a “Get Free Months” tab on the left hand side. After going there you’ll see your personal invite link, which you can then tweet, share, or email to your friends. We’ll show you the status of everyone who you’ve invited, and once they purchase, you’ll get a free month’s worth of credit applied to your account, one for each new account that signs up with Backblaze using your invite link.

Get Backblaze Free Forever

Backblaze is all about unlimited, so there’s no limit to how many months you can get for free. That’s right! Get enough of your friends to sign up and your Backblaze can be totally free. So get to it! Invite your friends to Backblaze, get some free months, and help spread some good on the planet!

Continue reading…

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