Ron Guest

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I’ve made the switch to Arq Backup for all devices (Mac, Windows, NAS, and Raspberry Pi) and all 3-2-1 destinations (Local NAS, Cloud and Offline Disk). I’m really pleased to have one backup tool “to rule them all”.

I started using Arq 5 a couple of years ago to do low-cost offsite backups to Amazon’s AWS Glacier storage. It was much cheaper than a service like Backblaze since I needed to run on multiple computers. Over that time period Arq proved to be stable and reliable.

Recently I moved some data-oriented workloads from my NAS to Raspberry Pi’s. This triggered a look at how to include Pi’s in my backup plans and, one thing leading to another as it does, I reviewed my whole backup strategy. As I started documenting my goals for backups and the possible tools/solutions I could use I saw how Arq’s v7 backup tool could greatly simplify my life (well my backup life at least).

Arq’s software can backup to a crap-ton (technical word) of online services including Amazon Drive, AWS, Backblaze B2, Dropbox and OneDrive to name a few. Arq can also backup to local HD/SSD as well as NAS devices. When I set up AWS Glacier a couple of years ago it was a bit daunting and I have to admit I’ve found monitoring AWS usage to be rather opaque.

To advance my effort to simplify backups I decided to adopt Arq Premium which includes two key features in the annual fee: a license good for 5 computers and a very easy to use 1 TB of their own cloud storage (additional costs charged at a reasonable amount per GB). N.B. They also offer their software on a license basis without an annual fee with no Cloud storage included i.e. a “bring your own storage” approach.

From a design standpoint I decided to make my iMac the primary hub. In addition to running its own 3–2-1 backups it backs up the Raspberry Pi’s as well as selected portions of my NAS using Arq tasks that automatically mount those devices’ drives. The other Macs and Window devices independently run their own 3-2-1 backups using Arq.

Setting up the Arq tasks was straightforward. Over the course of my research and implementation I contacted support with questions and she very responsive and accurate in her answers. Since I never include operating system files or applications I was pleased with how much fit within the 1TB included storage amount even though my backups do include a large library of photos as well as our movie library. I don’t know that I’ll ever need more than 1TB in spite of backing up the key data from multiple devices. I think Arq’s de-dup and compression algorithms work well.

Overall I feel I made the right decision. If I didn’t already have a few years experience with Arq 5 I probably would have taken a slower approach. But jumping in with both feet feels right and the result is more reliable backups and more convenience for me in checking on status.

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