Arq vs Backblaze for backup of your MacBook

Which one is better for backing up your MacBook. eg. Only one computer. Thank you

“Better” is hard to say.

Easier to setup and get running? Backblaze.

Can backup to a computer on your friends/parents/work network (which can be easier to restore a lot of files)? Arq.

Set it and forget it? Backblaze.

Pay once to set it up and that’s it? Arq.

Lower initial cost? Backblaze.

More control over what you can backup? Arq (Backblaze has some things it will refuse to backup)


This is a hard question because in part it depends on your back up ecosystem. I think Arq is probably better than Backblaze, but I use both as I do not want to be dependant on one app. In the end it is about what elements you give greater weight in the decision process. I have ruined a restore process in the past due to my own error (an issue rarely considered when talking about backups) so I like plenty of backup choices. I agree with tjluoma’s bullet points.

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I use Arq to encrypt to B2. It works fantastically!

+1 for TJ’s reply. If you need to just back up one machine offline, BackBlaze is the simplest, easiest solution. It does not back up applications or system files, so it is designed to protect your personal files with the understanding that you can re-download the OS and apps if needed.

This is why I recommend that people clone their drives with SuperDuper! or CarbonCopyCloner to external drives they maintain locally in addition to using offline backup - if your system drive dies on you you merely plug in the clone and get back to work in seconds; with offline backup (or Apple’s Time Machine) you will involve yourself with a time-consuming restore process that can easily take hours, and necessitate having a new drive to restore to anyway.


I agree with @bowline, BlackBlaze is the easiest solution. I used it several years ago and was very pleased with their service.

But, if you ever need to restore a previous version of a file, Backblaze only keeps previous versions of deleted files for 30 days. Arq keeps them until you choose to “thin” your backups (like Time Machine) or delete older backups. This feature was one of the reasons I switched to Arq.

Both are excellent solutions.


Before concluding that BackBlaze is easier to set up, take a look at the new Arq Cloud product, just released.

I use Arq to B2. If I didn’t already have that all set up, I would go with Arq Cloud. I have used Backblaze in the past, but stopped because of the 30 day limitation on file retention. I once lost files that are rarely accessed but still important to me. I had lost them at least 6 months before realizing the loss. Restored from Arq. If I were using BackBlaze I’d have been out of luck.


Thanks for the heads-up about Arq Cloud. It’s more expensive than BackBlaze ($11.88 more per year, and additional Tbs of storage beyond the included 1Tb storage cost $5.99/month per Tb), but it does more (revisions can be useful!). I’ve got a half-filled 2Tb Fusion drive, and external storage totaling around 6Tb right now, so Arq would be way too expensive for my needs compared to the flat $5/month I’m paying for BackBlaze.

But it seems like a similarly-priced option to CrashPlan Business for people with a NAS they want to back up, though the price ramps up quickly for that.

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I’ve found Backblaze will occasionally bloat up and slow down my system to a crawl. I write to Backblaze and they say the cause is a folder or folders with hundreds of thousands of very small files in it.

They say this as if I have any idea whether I have such a folder or folders on my system. I imagine the tech support guys at Backblaze rolling their eyes at the concept I might not know whether I have such a folder. But in fact I do not know. I’ve got folders on my drive for work I did back in 2002.

My solution has been to go off Backblaze for months or years at a time. I used Crashplan for a couple of years until they phased out their consumer plan. Now I’ve made a note to try ArqCloud. I come back to Backblaze because it is so very highly recommended by the Apple community, but if it won’t work for me I can’t use it and that’s that.