Got backup? Let’s hope you do because Murphy’s Law works on the Mac, too. Simply put, if you have a Mac– notebook or desktop– you need a backup plan.
A couple of weeks ago I outlined My 5 Favorite Mac Backup Tools over on Mac360. It was a list of the usual suspects from Carbon Copy Cloner to SuperDuper!, from ChronoSync to Time Machine, with iCloud as an off premise backup of critical files.
What I failed to mention was another backup app that has been running on my Macs for a few years. Arq. It just works. In fact, it works so well I forgot to include it on my list. You want Arq in a way you want iCloud. To get your Mac’s files out of your house or office. Arq automatically backs up files to Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Amazon, and others– including a remote SFTP server or a network attached server (NAS).
Select a folder of files you want to backup. Select where you want to save the files. Done.
Seriously, setting up an Arq backup takes about one minute, and that includes various and sundry configurations. Files are encrypted in a non-proprietary format so they’re easily retrieved.
Some backup cloud services charge by the amount of storage you use, and multiple backups take up space. Arq is smart enough to keep you in budget by eliminating older backups.
- Arq backs up everything or just the files you choose.
- Arq doesn’t skip videos or ignore certain file types
- Arq backs up files of any size — 4GB, 40GB, it doesn’t matter
- Arq backs up your external drives
- Arq backs up your network drives
- Arq doesn’t delete backups of your external drives just because you haven’t plugged them in lately
- Arq doesn’t forcibly delete old backup records (unless you tell it to).
- Arq restores your files onto any computer.
Once Arq is setup and running it works in the background. Any changes you make to the backup folder Arq takes care of by backing up to whatever cloud source you selected.
Files on your Mac are encrypted before they get uploaded so no files are sent over the internet without encryption. Choose a good password. By compressing files before they are backed up Arq saves upload time and storage space. The list of online cloud backup services continues to grow, too.
- Amazon Cloud Drive
- Google Drive
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Backblaze B2
- Google Nearline
- Google Coldline
- Amazon Glacier (lower cost)
- Amazon S3 (my favorite)
There is much to like here, and like Carbon Copy Cloner, SuperDuper!, and ChronoSync, Arq just works. Preference settings are nominal but mostly self explanatory, including how much of your Mac’s CPU to use during a backup, adjustments for the transfer rate, with an option to send email after each backup.
And, yes, there’s now a Windows version.