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Super-easy off-site backup
Just add your folders to Arq, and Arq will back them up automatically.
It's super easy. Just drag and drop a folder onto Arq to add it for automatic backup. Drag and drop from a backup to immediately start restoring. Watch a 30-second movie
True privacy and control
Use Arq with your own Amazon S3 storage account. Encrypt your backups with a password only you know. Haystack Software employees have no access to your data.
Your backups are stored in an open, documented format. We've also delivered an open-source command-line utility called arq_restore that's hosted at github, so you can read your data anytime without depending on Haystack Software (although we're in this for the long haul, so we'll be around for a long, long time!)
The most reliable cloud storage
Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) is the gold standard of online storage, backed by Amazon.com, Inc, a $100B company.
Amazon offers 99.999999999% durability of your S3 data. It's designed to withstand the concurrent loss of 2 data centers without losing your data.
We believe backup is a critical function, so we strive to fix critical issues in Arq quickly, often delivering a fix within hours.
If you have questions or feedback, please
email firstname.lastname@example.org and Stefan will get back to you promptly, or
look through the forums
Arq is a one-time license fee: $29 per computer.
Amazon's AWS Free Usage Tier includes 5GB of free storage for 1 year.
Otherwise, pricing is $.125/GB per month (or $.093/GB per month for Reduced Redundancy Storage).
In addition, Amazon charges very small fees of $.01 per 1,000 requests for "PUT requests" and $.01 per 10,000 for all other types of requests. Data transfer into S3 (uploading) is free. For more details, see the S3 pricing page.
Arq restores all your data and metadata correctly, unlike some other online backup offerings. Backup Bouncer is a test suite independently developed by Nathaniel Gray to verify the accuracy of backup products restoring Mac file data and metadata -- in his words, to "keep the ugly backup tools out of the club." I tested Arq and some other leading online backup offerings and the results are presented here:
Backup Bouncer Test Results
BackblazeFailed 19 of 20 testsView Results
MozyFailed 16 of 20 testsView Results
CarboniteFailed 20 of 20 testsView Results
DropboxFailed 19 of 20 testsView Results
CrashPlanFailed 1 of 20 testsView Results
Jungle DiskPasses all testsView Results
ArqPasses all testsView Results
What do these results mean? For most scenarios, probably nothing. Any of those backup apps can restore your file contents -- photos, Office docs, music files. You'll still be able to view your restored photos, edit your restored Office docs, play your restored music. But the dates on the files might not be correct, for instance. Arq is built with the view that if everything is backed up and restored properly, then you don't have to learn or worry about what all the metadata are and whether or not they matter for your situation.
Arq keeps multiple "versions" of your files — a backup history.
Following the initial backup, Arq automatically makes incremental backups every hour, every day, uploading just the files that have changed since your last backup. Arq keeps hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for everything older than a month.
Arq backs up everything you tell it to back up:
It doesn’t skip videos or ignore certain file types.
It backs up files of any size -- 4GB, 40GB, it doesn't matter.
It backs up your external drives and your network drives.
It doesn’t delete backups of your external drives just because you haven’t plugged them in lately.
It doesn’t forcibly delete backups older than 4 weeks.
Perfect Complement to Time Machine
Time Machine works well and provides fast restore, but you have to remember to plug in your backup device (unless you have a Time Capsule), and it doesn't cover all scenarios:
theft of computer and backup device
backup while traveling (unless you bring your backup drive)
Arq backs up whenever/wherever there's an Internet connection.
Flexible Scheduling Options
Arq can run every hour (like Time Machine), once per day (at a time of day you choose) or "manually". You can always click "Back Up Now" to start backing up any time.
You can tell Arq to pause its backups: you specify the time to pause, and it resumes automatically once that time has elapsed.
Flexible Bandwidth Options
Arq can upload to S3 at maximum speed, or at a fixed transfer rate that you choose. Or choose automatic transfer rate to slow down uploads whenever you're using the Internet for other tasks.
Arq "de-duplicates" your backups, never storing the same file twice in your S3 account.
The Story Behind Arq
I started thinking about Arq back in early 2009 because I wanted an easy-to-use backup program but couldn’t find one that worked well. I liked Time Machine and even bought a Time Capsule so I wouldn't have to remember to plug in an external hard drive. But it still only backed up when I was at home near the Time Capsule, and if my house burned down or someone stole my computer and Time Capsule my stuff would be gone. I wanted online backup, at least for my most important documents and photos.
I tried Mozy, Carbonite and Backblaze. They all offered “unlimited” size backup for a fixed fee, but the “unlimited” service had limits. I couldn't back up a network drive, for example. I couldn't keep backups of external drives reliably -- Backblaze promised to delete backups of external drives that haven’t been connected for 30 days. They were vague about durability and availability of my backups. And then there was the risk of the backup storage provider closing up shop and me losing all my backups. I'd seen that happen before (Upline, Xdrive, Omnidrive, Digital Railroad).
Amazon S3 seemed like a great place for my backup data. It's backed by the power of a large, profitable, public company. It offers clear durability and availability numbers and replication to multiple data centers. And it isn't an “unlimited” type of offering, so they don't add constraints to minimize the amount of backup data I have.
Backing up to S3 felt like real backup, but there wasn't any great software to do it.
I had been working on a project that used Amazon S3 for storage, and stored its stuff as a content-addressable storage (CAS) system, written in Java. I decided to rewrite those bits in Objective-C. Then I added logic to correctly back up all Mac-specific metadata, plus strong encryption, plus a simple but powerful Mac UI. Thus Arq was born.
Back up anything
Exclude files by name or path
Set maximum S3 storage budget
Limit network impact
Restore from your other computers
"My files get backed up to S3 using Arq" - Chris Wanstrath, GitHub co-founder
"a fantastic backup utility" - AppStorm's Best Mac Software of 2010
"simple and elegant and works as expected" - Macgasm
"Arq makes it easy to retrieve your Mac's files." - Mac360
"If you’re serious about backups and like the idea (I do) of having your stuff on Amazon S3, go download Arq. It’s just great." - MacStories
"I love Dropbox for its elegance and simplicity, but actually those are exactly the qualities I like in Arq too." - AppStorm
"It’s exactly as simple as it can be, and it f***ing works perfectly." - Mason Mark
"...it kicks Jungledisk’s ass when it comes to speediness." - Snipe.Net
"powerful" - Full Creative
"I love it" - Trevor Turk
"Die technische Seite von Arq macht einen sehr sauberen und vielversprechenden Eindruck." - macfidelity
"Empfehlenswerte Mac-Datensicherung" - MacMacken
"phenomenal user experience" - OS X Attack
Recent Tweets about Arq
brianrants I accidentally deleted a bunch of SEO data, but got it all back thanks to daily @arqbackup to Amazon. Jan 06
scottmccracken Finally signed up for Amazon S3 and setup nightly backups of all my photos via @arqbackup. Redundancy has never felt so good. Jan 05
andreaskern Forgot to commit. Played with git. Destroyed work from the last hours. Cried. Remembered that @arqbackup is running in the background :D :D Dec 30
bengoodyear Should get around to setting up @arqbackup for backup to S3. From research it seems like one of the best options out there for my needs. Dec 29
ywxwy Setting up parents with backups to S3 via @arqbackup during the xmas trip home. 65GB from mom and 100GB from dad safely stored just in case. Dec 27
dansimau Absolutely love Arq backup. Just backed up a copy of my virtual machine (4GB), and it didn't use any extra S3 storage space! @arqbackupDec 06
patmaddox I <3 @arqbackup - it backs up more info for longer than time machine does, and uses less disk space. Plus restore actually works Nov 29
ErrolSayre After trying several things, I'm officially running @arqbackup to backup my digital photos offsite to Amazon S3. #RecommendIt Nov 28
paulcolton Been using @arqbackup for a while now to store nearly 1TB of my life photos on Amazon S3. A must have if you are serious about backups. #fb Nov 24
Rokfiles Once again ARQ saved my life!!! Just found a backup of some files I thought I lost from my failed harddrive. @arqbackup you guys rock! Nov 15
jamesurquhart Trying @arqbackup. Clearly upload b/w may be an issue, but hoping it isn't after initial backup. Will report if worth the $29 + S3 costs Nov 13
pedromelo Thank you @arqbackup, saving my bacon from a misplaced rm -rf :) at #codebits2011 Nov 11
Rainerbird Just opened up @arqbackup, clicked on the client folder and pressed "restore". Got most of my shit back. WTF Filezilla. Nov 10
marcus_blom thanks @arqbackup for quick and good feedback. Really impressive and appreciated! #reallygoodbackupsoftware Oct 07
donmcallister Had to give up on CrashPlan as my upload speeds fell off dramatically ;-( Now using Arq and getting 1.1MB/s upload. Sweet! Oct 07
scott_lyttle Finally got round to backing up my files to S3 and Arq has been absolute magic - thanks @arqbackup! Oct 03
scott_lyttle Finally got round to backing up my files to S3 and Arq has been absolute magic - thanks @arqbackup! Oct 03
MichaelTyson Arq from @arqbackup: Brilliant. Easy, just-works S3 cloud backup: incremental updates, encryption, resume, great in/exclusion interface. Wow Sep 26
areiamus Arq (@arqbackup) is awesome. $30 purchase and it backs up my Dropbox to Amazon S3 every day. $0.10/month for S3 transfer/storage. Do it now. Sep 25
Zerofee Highly recommend @arqbackup - great app, pro attitude to support and fixing even obscure bugs (I'm looking at you, InDesign). Sep 24
Bretton Accidentally overwrote an important file and @arqbackup was there to save my bacon! Arq is an awesome service - highly recommended Sep 23
mjtsai So far very impressed with @arqbackup. Excluding some large, infrequently folders/files should keep the S3 fees reasonable. Sep 22
danudey@flyosity@arqbackup and responsive! I found a bug and he's been eager to get it fixed. Very impressed with dedication. Sep 19
flyosity@arqbackup Just wanted to say I love Arq so far, it's exactly what I've been looking for. Very well-written and stable. Congrats! Sep 19
eWorkshop Just spent the last few hours working on a secured S3 backup script and realized the perfect tool was already there : Thanks @arqbackup :) Sep 18
chrisridd Bought a copy of @arqbackup - very impressed at how well it (and Amazon S3) works. Sep 18
mrtazz@roidrage thanks btw for mentioning @arqbackup the other day. Finally convinced me to try it and it's great so far. Sep 08
ceedee Loving @arqbackup . Finally able to play by the "rule of 3", painlessly & securely. Great piece of software! Sep 05
tlivings I've switched to @arqbackup over carbonite. So much less random CPU usage. Sep 05
freaklikeme have to say @arqbackup is the best pice of software i ever had, does its jobs, stays out of the way, free major version upgrades.#backup #v2 Aug 23
macarne Thanks @arqbackup for Arq 2 awesome how you make great stuff even better. Aug 23
askielboe@arqbackup Good work on Arq 2.0 Stefan! I'm amazed by how frequently you are updating the client and taking care of issues. Aug 23
garybernhardt Having built a mostly-equivalent product from 2006-2009, I'm very impressed with how, and in what order, @arqbackup was built. Aug 23
sgaw Just used @arqbackup to do a Time Machine-style restore of a file. Worked absolutely brilliantly and saved me from losing months of data. Jun 13
esbite@humble I found crashplan way too complicated and java-ugly for my taste. Just started using @arqbackup and it works great! May 16
EricDobson Been using @arqbackup for months and finally needed to restore several files. Couldn't have been easier! May 10
jacobian . @arqbackup also major props for the open source restore utility. It's something every backup tool should have. May 02
roustem Installed @arqbackup on the new laptop and immediately feeling better. Apr 22
roidrage Finally bought a license for @arqbackup. About frickin' time. Simple yet very effective piece of backup software. Apr 17
yoink1 Amazon S3 is the most reliable and cost effective cloud storage service and @arqbackup makes it easy and painless to backup my Macbook Pro Apr 05
bluecrowbar Just bought a license for @arqbackup. Great tool for automatically backing up important stuff to Amazon S3. Mar 15
Bandit Stefan from @arqbackup is awesome - helped me with the migration from my old MacBook and responded to emails within minutes. Nice! Mar 15
jamiemill Operation mega-backup is underway. Going to my Amazon S3 account via the rather lovely and Apple-ish @arqbackup. Mar 9th
cahuk Time to buy @arqbackup. Trial is over, S3 is a great service and Arq makes it simpler. Mar 8th
marcedwards Really impressed by @arqbackup. It’s working well and soothing my backup-related anxiety. Feb 24th
pdlug Loving backing up my Macs with @arqbackup nice client app, bring your own S3 account, open API Feb 20th
garybernhardt I just did my occasional paranoid @arqbackup restore test. Pulled a 700 MB sparse bundle down at 600 K/s, verified OK. Still recommended. Feb 14th
danshort Thank goodness for @arqbackup. Serious disaster averted by awesome backup software. Jan 21st
gracesmith Just purchased Arq (after my 30 day trial ended) - http://bit.ly/aqjhwa *Easily the best backup service around. Excellent backup 2 Amazon S3 Jan 16th
garybernhardt I was about to complain to @arqbackup that it wasn't working – no backups were happening. Then I realized they're so fast I didn't see them. Oct 16th
Chris Wanstrath Ended up going with Arq for backups (to S3) -- http://www.haystacksoftware.com/arq/ Aug 23rd
Federico Viticci Dropbox and Arq should be installed on every Mac by default. Jun 17th