Arq Help

Which Destination is Best For Me?

Choosing where to put your backups depends on a few factors.

Do you want to back up to the cloud, or to your own external drive (or NAS)?

Cloud backup is great because it happens automatically, whenever you have an internet connection. Backing up to your own disk or NAS means you have to remember to plug in the disk or connect to the NAS, so it's a bit less "set and forget"; it only works when your laptop is in the same location as the disk/NAS, for example.

Of course, with Arq you could do both cloud and your own disk drive.

Do you already have a cloud account?

If so, it probably comes with a lot of storage that you're not utilizing. You could use Arq to store backups of your files there.

If you have a Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, or Amazon Drive account, you get 1 TB (or more in some cases). If you're not using all that space, put your Arq backups there. Many of them also offer free plans; Google Drive offers 15 GB for free, for example.

Do you have lots (multiple terabytes) of data to back up?

If you have more data than you can fit in your cloud account, you could use a pay-as-you-go service like Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, Backblaze B2, or Wasabi. See the comparison chart below for pricing details.

Do you have your own server or NAS to back up to?

If so, enable SFTP on it and configure Arq to connect via SFTP to store your backups there.

If you mount your NAS as a drive on your computer, you can add it as a "network volume" in Arq's preferences (on Windows only) and Arq will mount it. On Mac, you can configure a script to run before backup starts that mounts the NAS if necessary.

You could even run Minio on a server, and configure Arq to use it. Choose "S3-compatible server" and enter the URL and key pair for your Minio server.

Do you want to use a different cloud provider that has SFTP access?

OVH and others offer access via SFTP.

Do you want extremely durable storage for your backups?

The most durable storage option is Amazon S3. Amazon can withstand the simultaneous loss of 2 of their data centers and still not lose your data. If you want that level of robustness, S3 is amazing. It has proved its reliability for 10 years. But it's more expensive. Wasabi is newer but promises the same level of durability for 83% less ($3.99 per TB per month instead of $13.50).

Cloud Comparison Chart

  Storage Cost Speed Additional Costs for
Downloads, Transactions,
Google Drive 15GB free
100GB: $1.99/month
1TB: $9.99/month
Best No
Dropbox 2GB+ free
1TB: $9.99/month
Best No
OneDrive 1TB: $69.99/year Better No
Backblaze B2 $.005/GB per month Better Yes
Wasabi $0.0049/GB per month
(1 TB minimum)
Best No
Google Cloud Storage $0.007/GB per month
(Coldline storage class)
Best Yes
Amazon S3 $0.0135/GB per month
(Infrequent Access storage class)
Best Yes
Amazon Drive 1TB: $59.99/year
(5GB free with Amazon Prime)
Better No

Next: Adding Your Backup Destination