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My host does an automatic back-up once a day. I just upgraded to every 12 hours.
As has already been said, host backups should not be relied upon. Hosting companies have storage failures just like everyone else and there are occasions where for whatever reason they are unable to restore a backup.

I am on shared hosting. There are some back-up options in the cPanel that I can see. One of them allows me to manually download a back-up to my own computer.
Think about how much content you are willing to lose. An hour's worth? A day? A month? That's the best way to determine how often you should take a backup of your database.
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