Online Backup

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Requires Mac OS X 10.9 ("Mavericks"), 10.8 or 10.7
More info:  Arq Release Notes   Arq Manual
Arq 3.x available here

Need Dropbox-style file sync?
Try our new product Filosync!

Arq is super-easy online backup

Back up your files automatically, to your own cloud account, with Arq.

Just connect Arq to your own Google Drive account, Amazon Web Services account, SFTP server, Greenqloud account, DreamObjects account, or any S3-compatible server.

Everything is encrypted before transfer, so your files are safe and secure.

Arq backs up your files automatically, every hour.

If you accidentally delete a file, you can go back in time and restore the file from your cloud backups.

Back up external hard drives, NAS files, whatever you want. Arq has no limits.

Try it for free for 30 days: Download

App Pricing

$39.99 per computer for Arq 4 (the app) Buy Now

Minor updates and bug fixes are free. Upgrade pricing is typically available after a major version upgrade, e.g. to Arq 5.

Storage Pricing

Backup to Google Drive:

15GB free storage with any Google account

1TB/user storage for $10/month with Google Drive for Work (1-4 users)

Unlimited storage for $10/month with Google Drive for Work (5+ users)

Backup to Amazon:

$.01/GB per month for backup to Amazon Glacier

Retrieving your files from Glacier takes 3-5 hours plus the download time.

Your initial backup will incur approximately $.05/GB in per-request fees. Subsequent backups will incur insignificant fees.

$.03/GB per month for backup to Amazon S3 (US East region)

No delay in retrieving files.

Per-request fees are typically insignificant.

Free Usage Tier: Up to 5GB free for 1 year

All recurring costs are billed to you by Amazon Web Services.

True privacy and control

Arq backs up your Mac to your own Amazon account, or SFTP server, or GreenQloud, DreamHost, Google.

Encrypt your backups with a password only you know. Haystack Software employees have no access to your data.

All encryption is done before your data leave your computer.

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!)

Awesome support

We believe backup is a critical function, so we strive to fix critical issues in Arq quickly. If you have questions or feedback, please email us at and we'll get back to you promptly. We strive to answer all emails within 1 business day.


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." We make sure Arq passes all Backup Bouncer tests.

Other Features

Wayback Machine

Arq keeps multiple "versions" of your files — a backup history. So if you discover a file was corrupted or accidentally deleted, you can go back and get it.

Arq automatically backs up every hour or every day, depending on the schedule you choose. Only the changes are uploaded for each backup, minimizing network and storage usage.

No limits

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 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.

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.

It turns out lots of people were looking for something similar, and through word of mouth Arq has become very popular among Mac users. Now with the super-cheap Glacier storage option, Arq is set to grow even faster!

Screen Shots

Back up anything
Back up anything
Exclude files by name or path
Exclude files by name or path
Set S3 budget
Set maximum storage budget
Limit network impact
Limit network impact
Multiple versions
Versioned backups
Restore from other computers
Restore from your other computers

Arq on Hacker News

Hacker News comments: March 4, 2014

Recent Tweets about Arq

bobveznat @quarterbar This and Amazon's Glacier are an amazing combination. Sep 08
wimleers @jozilla If you want seamless back-ups, use @arqbackup, not Dropbox. Dropbox is extremely slow and reduces battery life significantly. Sep 08
will2041 First experience with @arqbackup support was great. I'm already a lifetime user. If you're on a Mac, you need Arq! Backup to S3 for pennies. Sep 05
cphaynes Sweet! @arqbackup now works with Google Drive! Sep 04
brain_sprain Encrypted, unlimited backups to your choice of cloud providers. Open, documented storage format. Sep 01
mariusandra With @arqbackup and Glacier I have found the perfect set-it-and-forget backup system. 0.01$/GB. What's your excuse? Aug 20
MagisterNavis Thanks to @arqbackup. Saved me a lot of work! :-D Aug 19
dotten .@arqbackup just saved my bacon. I can’t recommend this little tool enough. Automatic backups are a life-saver. Well then, back to to work. Aug 18
yavel @mariannemyers Can't remember how much @arqbackup is. But it is well worth it. I've been using it for a couple years now. Aug 15
DaveHamilton Sweet! @arqbackup now has support for Google Drive as a destination. That means 15GB free storage for backups. W00t! Aug 13
gglanzani The new @arqbackup with Google Drive integration is SO good. Too bad it didn’t stay enough on top of HN. Aug 13
joschafeth @arqbackup just got my TB of storage - works like a charm! Aug 13
martin308 @bnolan I use @arqbackup, good if you’re on a Mac Aug 11
JWDixonizer @eeide thx for the ref to @arqbackup Aug 07
rsharrer Pretty cool and easy to back your stuff to Amazon S3 and Glacier Aug 06
mambocab Running @arqbackup. Pause for an hour. Restart computer within the hour. When Arq opens again at startup, it's paused! 👍 Absolutely perfect. Aug 05
AndrewJanke The @arqbackup 4.0 upgrade is good; useful new controls like pause on battery and selecting wifi networks to use. Worth the money for me. Aug 03
andrewpriceau On Backup - I have Google Apps unlimited + @arqbackup - hmm me thinks Backup companies are gone.. Aug 01
mondras @backblaze thanks to @xiam for the clarification, ended up choosing @arqbackup! @OphCourse Jul 29
joshkopecek Wow, @arqbackup is smoooth. With three Os. Jul 29
joschafeth @arqbackup works like a charm with @STRATO_AG #HiDrive via SFTP! Amazing! Jul 28
wdt_b “...privacy-conscious, on a Mac, and you aren't backing up using @arqbackup ...” Geräuschlos u. zuverlässig im Hintergrund. Großartig! Jul 27
thestereobus If you're privacy-conscious, on a Mac, and you aren't backing up using @arqbackup - you're missing out. Jul 26
leemunroe I might have finally found the backup solution I was looking for with Glacier and @arqbackup ($0.01/GB per month) Jul 20
jtdowney Solid support from @arqbackup. Although I hit a bug, they were able to work through it with me and all my data is safe. Jul 15
marcinignac Good to have Glacier @arqbackup around when the winter comes... My amazing app overwrote it's data base with blank file. Yay. Jul 11
mjuarez I finally cancelled my Dropbox Pro service, now fully on @arqbackup to my AWS S3 account. With 50GB, price went from $10 to $1.86 per month! Jul 05
it_merc I have 230GB of data backed up to Amazon Glacier. I paid $2.60 this month for storage. @arqbackup rocks. If you use a Mac, try it. Jul 03
willhenderson Pretty pleased with my $1.48 bill this month for backing up 3 computers to Amazon Glacier storage. @arqbackup for the win. Jul 03
willbuckingham Hugely impressed with @arqbackup as a tool for backing up online. Jun 27
newmaniese .@arqbackup is the best backup tool around! Laptop was stolen yesterday from my home and having that piece of mind… And A+ support on Sunday Jun 22
omichde After complete MBP crash @arqbackup recovered my digital life over night: over 200000 files and not one single failure - perfect! #thx May 18
james_allardice Finally got automated backups set up on my laptop. Went with @arqbackup and AWS Glacier in the end. May 12
djdiaz @arqbackup Your software is fantastic! May 09
wlodarczyk So nice to set up a new computer and be able to easily move cloud backups from the old machine -- no reuploads. Highly recommend @arqbackup. May 09
mledford Wow. Backing up my computers with Amazon S3 has gone from $17 a month to about $4. Love @arqbackup! May 08
wfdobie Been using @arqbackup on the recommendation of @jdrivas (with storage on @awscloud). Constant effortless backup and my monthly S3 Bill is $4 May 04
heikopanjas @arqbackup Just want to say thanks for saving my ass tonight. Brilliant tool! May 03
larrysalibra Thanks @arqbackup - just upgraded to v4. Backup/restore to sftp saved me when time machine failed. Arq == favorite Mac backup solution May 02
adders . @johncthompson Thanks for the @arqbackup recommendation. It’s bloomin’ great. Apr 30
tapajos I've been using @arqbackup for several years and always loved it. Now, they released a new version with everything that I want. #awesome Mar 03
daviddixon If your an OSX user and dont have a good external backup solution, then I really recommend @arqbackup. Invaluable for any business. Mar 03
daviddixon New version of @arqbackup released today in what looks like could be the most interesting version yet. Multiple locations and SFTP support! Mar 03
whitedonkey If you’re on a Mac and you aren’t using @arqbackup you should start now. Mar 03
journalist_tool Feine Sache: @arqbackup 4.0 laesst sich nun auch mit HiDrive von @STRATO_AG nutzen. Lesen Sie mehr unter Mar 03
tedserbinski Do you have a Mac? Absolutely best way to back up your mac. < $2 a month on Amazon's Glacier. @arqbackup Mar 03
Justin_Lund Look at all the ways to store data in @DreamHost DreamObjects. Now including @arqbackup Mar 03
avi4now Really impressed by the feature set of @arqbackup 4.0: and what a great post too. I love supporting independent devs! Mar 03
jpinnix Version 4 of my favorite remote backup tool @arqbackup is out. Amazing new features. Mar 03
nfarina New version of @arqbackup supports backing up to S3 objects with Glacier lifecycle. Way more awesome than it sounds. Feb 04


"a terrific addition to an already excellent tool" - TUAW

"near-perfect low-cost off-site backup solution" - Webmonkey |

"I've read great things about Arq" - Marco Arment

"The deeper I dig, the more I wish I was a Mac user" - Steve Gibson , Security Now Episode 350

"einfach und genial die Datensicherung mit Amazon S3 über Arq" - Blog IT-Solutions

"Uploading and maintaining 50 gigabytes of data on Arq will cost about $5 a month" - New York Times

"My files get backed up to S3 using Arq" - Chris Wanstrath, GitHub co-founder

"I can vouch that it's a very effective system." - Brett Terpstra

"a better way to backup critical files online" -

"easiest to use, most flexible, and gives me the most control" - NoodleMac

"My favorite cloud backup tool" - Practically Efficient

"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

" 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

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