You turn on your Mac and nothing happens. Nothing. Something in the Mac died and all your data is gone. Documents? Gone. Music and photos? Gone. Video clips? Gone. Most Macs are notebooks and all Mac notebooks these days have solid state storage– SSDs– so when the device’s motherboard dies, it all dies. What can you do? Backup. But how?
Out Of The House
We at Mac360 have written extensively about various and sundry backup plans over the years. Backup using Time Machine. Backup using SuperDuper!, Carbon Copy Cloner, ChronoSync, or any of the many useful backup apps that can clone your Mac’s disk drive, SSD or hard.
What’s the problem with using Time Machine or an external backup with one of the favored Mac backup apps? The backups are at home or office and do not take into account what I refer to as a catastrophic event. Fire, tornado, flood, theft, earthquake, etc. With those in mind, is there a good, safe, easy way to backup files to get them out of the home or office?
What you get in Arq is an elegant, Mac-like method that lets you backup selected files, folders, music and photos, video clips or the entire Documents folder, and save it all online.
Arq is easy to set up, easy to use because most of the work is handled in the background and automatic.
Arq takes whatever you tell it to backup and moves it online to any one of half a dozen different cloud storage options so your most important files are also stored somewhere else– not in your home or office.
If you have an Amazon account then you’re halfway there already because Arq can store your Mac’s files on Amazon’s highly touted Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, Amazon CloudDrive, or even Google Drive, Google Cloud, Microsoft OneDrive, or Dropbox. The advantages to using any of those services– I use Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier (retrieval is slower, but cost is less)– are many, but obvious. One, they’re not in your home or office. Two, retrieval through Arq is quick and relatively painless. Third, cost is remarkably low. Fourth, files are encrypted and secure. Fifth (this could be a long list), files are uploaded and backed up in the background, while you work on your Mac. Sixth, easy of the online cloud services also makes backups of your backup, so there’s an extra layer of safety built-in.
The first backup, of course, is the one that takes the longest to complete because all the files you select get backed up online. But subsequent backups are incremental– much faster because only changed files are backed up. The Arq website has excellent step-by-step instructions on how to get started, including a list of prices for online storage services. There’s also a Windows version so Arq is cross platform.
The app isn’t finicky with file types, either. If it’s on your Mac it can get backed up, including files of any size, external or network drives, and it easily restores files right back to your Mac. Nicely done. A Mac favorite that I recommend to friends, family, co-workers. Check out my review of Arq from 2016 on my personal blog, Bohemian Boomer.