Mac users, rejoice. You never ever had so many choices to backup valuable files. Copy files to another Mac. Backup files to another hard disk drive.
Clone your entire Mac to another disk. Or, backup important files online, over the internet, to a remote storage facility. There’s even a uqinue option to use Amazon to store files from your Mac. Yes. Amazon. As in, the online book and gadget seller.
It’s Not Just For Books Anymore
Backing up files online isn’t new. It’s been around for a few years and offers a good way to protect valuable files from a catastrophic disaster. Your files are stored, not at your home or office, but in secure servers in a remote location.
Sandwiched between your own backup plan to another Mac and online services is Amazon.
Yes, that’s the same Amazon that sells books, iPods, clothing, Macs, PCs, and gadgets of every type. Good old Amazon has a backup plan for you.
It’s called Amazon S3. Amazon’s Simple Storage Service. It’s fast, reliable, affordable, and something of a pain to use. A few Mac FTP and SFTP file transfer apps can connect to Amazon S3, but you still have to backup files the old fashioned way.
Maybe what you need is what Noah had. Only better. Digital. Faster.
The Arq Protects Your Mac’s Files
I’ve used Amazon’s S3 service for many years and I can attest to it’s reliability and speed. In fact, many graphic images you see on Mac360 are stored, backup, and served from Amazon S3 servers.
To reduce the complexity of using S3, the folks at Haystack Software created Arq—a Mac app that does one thing, and one thing only. Arq takes your critical, important, valuable files, and stores them on Amazon S3 servers automatically.
First, you’ll need to set up an Amazon S3 account and fire up Arq. Amazon charges you only for the storage and bandwidth you use, so it’s not an expensive storage solution.
You can do all the dirty work right from within Arq.
Amazon S3 requires an Access Key ID and a Secret Access Key. Your files are stored in an Amazon bucket (which acts like a folder).
Arq has default set up arrangements for specific files on your Mac (Home folder, Music, Photos, Documents, etc.) but you have complete control over which files get stored by Arq to your Amazon S3 account.
Arq also has options to backup according to a schedule. Files are encrypted using AES-256. All your Mac file metadata is retained (an advantage over some online services). Your password is only known to you.
Preferences abound, though Arq runs in the background, makes backups according to your schedule and specifications. It even makes sure you don’t run over a specific monthly budget by trimming older backups.
You control the data transfer rate and the backup schedule via Arq’s Preferences.
What happens with Arq and Amazon as a backup option is unique. Your files are stored on Amazon’s servers, which are stable, secure, dependable, relatively fast, and affordable.
Arq makes it easy to retrieve your Mac’s files, but isn’t required (an open source utility can be used in place of Arq—great for disaster recovery). As an option for online storage, Arq and Amazon S3 is competitive with other online solutions, but provides far more control.
Why go to an online storage option? We can’t predict our disasters.
It’s one thing to have a Mac’s hard disk drive die, and it’s something else to have a house burn down. We can easily recover from a bad disk drive, but not recover so easily from all the backup solutions going up in flames. An online storage option is one more layer to protect valuable files.