This article was published on January 25, 2013

Backup service Backblaze triples its hard drive restore program limit to 3 TB

Backup service Backblaze triples its hard drive restore program limit to 3 TB
Ken Yeung
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Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startup Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startups, parties, and interesting people. Follow him on Twitter, on Facebook, and Google+.

Backblaze, a Silicon Valley backup service provider, has announced that it is upgrading its drive restore package. Beginning today, customers can receive large hard drives containing copies of their files should the need arise. For just $189, instead of receiving a 1 TB hard drive, customers now will be shipped a 3 TB drive. A flash drive can also be requested, but instead of a 32 GB drive, it’s now 64 GB, for just $99. Both packages come with the drive, restore feature, and FedEx shipping worldwide.

In an age where there is a whole lot of data floating around from device to device, finding a way to securely store and backup data is becoming ever-so important.  Backblaze is a service similar to Crashplan and Carbonite that lets users to transmit files they want to have stored away in the company’s cloud-based data center, all for just $5 per month. The company has said that it is aiming to reach out and appeal to the “90 percent” of Mac and PC users that don’t back up their machines.

We spoke with Gleb Budman, CEO of Backblaze, and he shared with us some interesting statistics about the company:

  • 2.5 billion files have been restored since the company was started with the total expected to grow to 5 billion in the next year
  • In December 2012, Backblaze restored an average of 5.7 million files per day
  • More requests for file restores come from those with Macs (51%) versus PCs (49%)
  • The largest user restore via web downloads was 4.9 TB
  • 1 in 2 people every year lose data that needs to be recovered
  • The company saw a 70% increase in the number of files restored per user from December 2011 to 2012

Backblaze says that it has stored approximately 50 million GB of data for its customers, which is 1/3 the size of what Facebook has, and this will most likely increase with the various ways people can create content.

As you can see, Backblaze is expected to restore at least 5 billion files by the end of 2013. In most cases, it would be confusing to understand because some people might believe that restoring that many files could infer that there’s something wrong. However, for the backup service, it could perhaps be considered a testament to the quality of its service. Specifically that when customers lost data, Backblaze was able to help them out.

So why are there so many files that need to be restored? We asked Budman and he said that it’s most likely attributed to the fact that as we become exposed to more devices such as laptops, Chromebooks, mobile devices, and tablets, people are finding their data scattered. And with these devices getting cheaper each year, people start to become more careless in how it’s taken care of — whether it’s being placed in a bag and tossed on the ground or dropped on the floor.

Another reason could be that the more advanced the device, the greater the risk of it being stolen. With the iPhone or other smartphone devices, these frequently get picked up when you’re riding the bus, walking down the street, or picked from your pocket. It could also occur when you’re in a taxi cab or when you’re at an airport. By having the a service like Backblaze, the company says that customers don’t have to worry about losing any of their precious data — it’s already stored in its servers.

Interestingly enough, it appears the company proved its worth in a rather bizarre case when a thief stole a Macbook Pro and iPad from someone’s car. When the victim contacted the police, he was asked if he had used the “Find my iPad” feature, which he did to no avail. However, Backblaze has a similar feature called “Locate My Computer” and helped pinpoint the area where the stolen goods were, but wasn’t able to give a specific address, which police needed.

Thankfully, the thief was looking to sell his car and put a few photos of it on the MacBook Pro, which Backblaze then in turn backed up to the cloud. As a result, the victim managed to get the perpetrator’s address and phone number by doing two things: comparing the house in the background of the photos against what Google StreetView showed, and finding a Craigslist ad for the sale of the car.

As a result of smart thinking and usage of Google Maps and Backblaze, the victim was able to retrieve his stolen devices while also helping to uncover “multiple, large jars of suspected Marijuana, multiple individually packaged vials of suspected Marijuana and multiple knotted baggies of suspected Marijuana.”

Last summer, Backblaze raised $5 million from TMT Investments — the first time in its six year history that it has taken on any outside institutional investments.

Photo credit: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images