Welcome to Backup Awareness Month 2015

June 2nd, 2015

June is Backup Awareness Month and we are kicking things off with a review of the 2015 results from our annual Backup Awareness Survey. Since 2008, in preparation for Backup Awareness Month, Backblaze has tasked the folks at Harris Interactive to poll computer owners to determine how often they back up the data on their computer. Throughout the month of June we’ll pass along insights we’ve gleaned from our 2015 survey as well as the things we’ve learned digging through 8 years worth of data on the trends and demographics of data backup. Let’s start with the 2015 survey results.


Question: How often do you backup all of the data on your computer?
2015 Backblaze Backup Awareness Survey
Backup Awareness MonthIn 2015 there were 2,010 respondents each of which owned at least one computer

Over the years we’ve focused on the percentage of people that have reported they are backing up their computers each day or more often. Typically this would be someone with an automated back up solution such a Backblaze, Time Machine or a similar product or service. In the 2015 survey that figure is 8%. This is less than last year and continues a downward trend from 2013 as seen in the table below.

Computer Backup Frequency 2008-2015
Frequency 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Daily 6% 6% 8% 6% 10% 10% 9% 8%
Weekly 9% 8% 8% 9% 10% 9% 9% 9%
Monthly 13% 12% 14% 14% 16% 17% 16% 19%
Yearly 19% 20% 21% 21% 19% 22% 22% 23%
Year Plus 15% 17% 15% 16% 14% 13% 16% 16%
Never 38% 37% 34% 34% 31% 29% 28% 25%

Definitions:

  • Daily – once a day or more often.
  • Weekly – two days to once a week.
  • Monthly – eight days to once a month.
  • Yearly – more than one month to once a year.
  • Year Plus – more than a year, but at least once.
  • Never – have never backed up their computer.

Here is the same data in graphical format to visualize trends over time. Fewer people are “Never” backing up their computer while both “Yearly” and “Monthly” backups have risen over the past 8 years.
Computer Backup Frequency
Good news, it looks like more people are backing up their computer at least once. Now only 25% of computer owners will lose all of their data when their computer crashes or it is lost or stolen. Stay tuned throughout the month for more facts and figures from our 2015 Backup Awareness Survey.


The surveys were conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Backblaze as follows: May 15-19, 2015 among 2,090 U.S adults, June 2-4, 2014 among 2,037 U.S. adults, June 13–17, 2013 among 2,021 U.S. adults, May 31–June 4, 2012 among 2,209 U.S. adults, June 28–30, 2011 among 2,257 U.S. adults, June 3–7, 2010 among 2,071 U.S. adults, May 13–14, 2009 among 2,185 U.S. adults, and May 27–29, 2008 among 2,761 U.S. adults. 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.

Andy Klein

Andy Klein

Andy has 20+ years experience in technology marketing. He has shared his expertise in computer security and data backup at the Federal Trade Commission, Rootstech, RSA and over 100 other events. His current passion is to get everyone to back up their data before it's too late.
Andy Klein

Latest posts by Andy Klein (see all)

  • karl

    Backing up today is so much easier than ever. With lots of free services and improved software (such as Backblaze’s) there’s no excuse. People don’t even need to buy expensive hardward, with lots of free online storage (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.)
    Talking of which, I think Backblaze should create a free version. Maybe 1GB of data allowance and could be limited to one area (folder) on the user’s PC. Get people started and allow them to play around with the backup progress.

  • I’m one of the NEVER section. And the reason is cloud. My photos are in cloud and i do a backup only of my photos occasionally on external hard drive. I work as a developer, all projects are on github, all applications settings are on Dropbox or something like that. Do not see the point of doing that.

  • Andy Youstic

    Every year we are reminded about backing up….but according to backblaze, Linux folks aren’t a target for support. This will be my last year subscribing to a service that doesn’t provide platform agnostic support.

  • Chris Hockaday

    One reason I switched away from the automated backup via the console is that it will run when full screen apps are launched, i.e. games, and it kills my PC’s performance while running, lagging my games. If there was an option to halt while in a full screen app I would re-enable this feature, and be backing up daily again.

    • GrandpaReindeer

      What I do, before running something I don’t want it to interrupt is: Open the BB Control Panel, Click Backup Now…it will begin scanning. I give it 30+ seconds, then click Pause Backup. It will then pause for two hours. Not quite as elegant and Norton’s Silent mode with a variety of time period selections, but it works.

  • I would love to see computer manufacturers implement education along with computers. Most people don’t have that thought process of general back-up with any digital devices. So education plays a big roll in something like this. My thoughts as a certified personal photo organizer.

  • David W Ristau

    Why anyone would never back up their computer is something I can’t even begin to understand.
    Or for that matter, not backing up on a daily basis.
    With Backblaze it’s so easy to avoid the disaster of lost data.
    And, either you back up your data or you don’t. I think that was the intent of your question; not some or all: yes or no.
    My answer: yes I back up my data daily with Backblaze.

    • Dahc Renrut

      Even to an external local drive. Such a low cost way to prevent loss of all pictures, music, documents, etc that could avoided with such a simple already backed solution. I understand people being a little leery of uploading data into “the cloud”, but to not backup onsite in some fashion is just pure ignorance and carelessness.

    • Alexander Wood

      There are clearly some people who are just irresponsible with their data. But I also think there is a segment of the computer using population that has nothing of value on their computer. That’s even more likely these days, where everything they have is on a cloud service anyway, so it’s inherently backed up. I’ve known several people who never saved anything on their computer in the first place, and didn’t care if the hard drive went south. Not me. I have probably a TB or more of data, the more important of which is on Backblaze and locally, and the less important of which is only locally backed up.

      You could back up some of your data and not other data. I have a folder that I don’t back up anywhere. That’s where I keep stuff like episodes of video podcasts, the update files for 15 different versions of Flash and Java, and other stuff that’s easily replicable. My pictures are backed up online, and on two local hard drives.

  • ruralbob

    Another question might be *how many* backups. I backup to Backblaze, two physical hard drives (one using Time Machine and one with Carbon Copy Cloner), and my Time Capsule. The intervals for those all vary.

  • Gavin Lanoe

    I wonder how many people who answered never are using cloud hosted data storage like Dropbox or OneDrive etc and as such never need to do a local backup. I don’t consider myself as ever having to perform a backup myself as Backblaze is automated so I would answer never to the question because I don’t have to backup my data in Dropbox and I never have to backup my non-Dropbox data because Backblaze has my back on that.

  • Loren Pechtel

    The question is poorly done–I don’t ever back up *ALL* the data. That doesn’t mean I don’t back things up–most everything of any importance exists in at least two places, the very important stuff exists in 4, two of which are on-line.