Why Arq5 Just Made My Backup Solution Simpler (and you should use it!)

Let me start out by saying that I don’t have any affiliation to Arq other than the fact that I’m a loyal customer and lover of their software. They just released the latest version of their backup software, Arq 5, and it’s going to simplify my backup solution in amazing ways! First, some background

Some Background, for non-experts: “Sync” vs “Backup”

You’ll often hear people use the terms “sync” and “backup”. Many of you may think they’re the same thing but they’re quite different and understanding the differences is important when making sure your photos are safe. Sync is not backup!

When people often talk about “backing up” their files, they’re not actually talking about “backup”, they’re talking about “sync”. Don’t make this mistake. Learn what “backup” really means.

Sync refers to a two-way transfer of files between 2 locations in which both locations have the exact same data. If you add, edit, or delete photos to one, the synchronization process will add, edit or delete the photos to the other. Sync is for availability, when you want fast access to your photos if you lose them or want to access your photos from another location or device.

Backup refers to “versioned copying” of your photos from one location to another. Versioning keeps track of all of the changes of a file. If a file changes from the previous time, it records a copy of the old version and the new version (not just the new version, which is what Sync does). Backup is for durability and lets you get your photos back from a specific point in time if your photos were lost or corrupted.

A service isn’t “backup” unless it can recover back to a specific point-in-time.

If a photo was corrupted 3 months ago and you last “sync’d” your photos yesterday, your corrupted photo made it into the sync. In backup, you could go back to the copy from 4 months ago and retrieve the uncorrupted version!

What’s So Great About Arq5?

Arq is the best tool on the market for doing cloud-based backup. It’s not a sync tool but rather a backup tool; it creates multiple versions of your photos, as they change over time, and allows you to restore any version you’d like, should something happen.

Arq will encrypt and backup your photos to a number of cloud storage locations, and now local storage drives too!

The best part is that it does all of this automatically. It:

  • Automatically recognizes new, changed, or removes photos
  • Automatically creates versions of your photos over time
  • Allows you to backup to multiple cloud locations
    • Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, and many more
    • I use a combination of Google Drive and Amazon Cloud Drive
  • Encrypts your photos so that they’re sitting safe in the cloud.
    • Even if someone breaks in, they won’t be able to decrypt (open) your photos
    • The Apple iCloud celebrity breach isn’t possible!
  • Allows you to set the frequency at which backups occur (I prefer hourly)

So What’s New That is Causing You to Rant and Rave?

The newest addition of Arq5 lets you backup to a local drive:

Arq5 can now backup to a local hard-drive!
Arq5 can now backup to a local hard-drive!

What this means is that I can now have both local and cloud based backup copies of all my photos, all using 1 piece of software!

Previously I was using either FolderWatch (sync), Carbon Copy Cloner (sync), or TimeMachine (backup) paired with Arq; now all I need is Arq!

So What’s Changed?

Here’s how my old Backup setup looked:

My Old Backup Setup
Previously I had to use FaceTime + Arq

Now with Arq5, the FolderWatch / TimeMachine piece is cutout and I only need 1 backup software:

My Backup Solution Using Arq5
Arq5 is all I need now!


So What Does it Cost?

Arq5 can be purchased for $49.99 (per user … meaning you can install it on as many computers as you own) or upgrade from Arq4 for $24.99

Aaron M Written by:

Aaron Meyers is a landscape and wedding photographer living in Silicon Valley, CA. His love of the outdoors makes for frequent forays into the Californian wilds, where he delights in the stunning vistas of Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe, Big Sur, and the Pacific Coast.