Backblaze vs ARQ

Hi folks! Recently, someone asked about which of these two solutions people recommend. I need help as well.

I’m a blind user, which means I don’t store images or videos. Furthermore, I have MBP with 256 GB and 176 GB of them is free. ARQ offers interesting solution to back up to your cloud service of choice. However, I can’t find iCloud Drive in the list of supported providers?

My idea so long, purchase ARQ, expand iCloud Drive storage to 200 GB and store backup there. Maybe people have other recommendations for such workflow


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iCloud doesn’t feel like the way to go here, even if were formally supported. iCloud (as we’re discussing it anyway) is a sync service, not a backup service - so it’s highly vulnerable to sync corruption and related issues.

That said, Arq supports Backblaze B2, which is kind of like a cheaper version of Amazon S3. Arq can manage the data archive and handle versioning and such, and you don’t have potential issues with sync.

For 100 gigabytes or so of backups you’d have a pretty small monthly bill - a buck or two, maximum.


iCloud is really a syncing service, not a backup service. Frankly in your position I’d just sign up for Backblaze and be done with it. One and Done.


Normally I would agree with you, Backblaze is a good solution for people with 1TB or more to backup. But $60/year to backup 80 - 256 GB is a waste of money, IMO.

I pay about $3/month for 400 +/- GB on B2 so I’ll have to go with @webwalrus on this. @RDK would break even in less than a year if he purchased Arqbackup ($50) and used Backblaze B2.

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As others have remarked, iCloud is a syncing service and not a backup service. Said another way, iCloud doesn’t provide a big bucket of bytes where you can store anything you want. That’s why it isn’t good for backup storage.

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The other option that I use is ARQ + B2 storage, the best of both worlds, and it might end up cheaper for you.


Do you subscribe to Microsoft 365? (Previously Office 365)

If so, you can use the 1 TB OneDrive storage that’s included.

(I use that with Arq)

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Ark is $50 to purchase, then going to cost you between $25 > $50 every few years to maintain it, so when you look at total cost of ownership make sure you factor in upgrades.

Ark a great solution, however you need to be a heavily involved user, in that the shared accountability model really sits mainly with you for config and cloud/local service selection and maintenance.

For me paying $72 a year to backblaze is a no brainer, to have a highly reliable turnkey solution.

Also use time-machine locally, it is similarly simple and rather fool proof.


Good point. I purchased a Lifetime Upgrade v5 license around 5 years ago and didn’t consider upgrade costs.

What a great deal you managed to get :slight_smile:

If only apple offered the ability to have at least 30 days of versioning (including retention of deleted files) on iCloud Drive, for this use case that could actually do the job to a reasonable level. I know that you can see history per file, but I can’t see a way that would allow you to recover from Ransomware (ie I want to restore everything as it was last Tuesday use case).

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Backblaze is something I just don’t have to think about. I get an email from them every once in a while telling me the last time my two machines were backed up. A quick check and if they both say “Today” I know I’m good to go.

Every six months or so I check online to confirm my external drives are being backed up, and just generally check things. Maybe restore a few files.

It’s really the most hands off and reliable backup system I’ve used.


Does Backblaze still decrypt on their servers instead of your local machine, in the case of a restore?

For me that was an absolute “No!” for their service (when I last checked).

There is an option in Arqbackup to ‘Make last backup immutable for “X” days’. However your storage location needs to be set up with this option before your first backup. That wasn’t an option in Arq when I set up my backups, so for now my offline “drive on a shelf” backup is my ransomware insurance.

The website sez “All your files are encrypted before being transmitted over SSL and stored encrypted.”

“All your files are encrypted before being transmitted over SSL and stored encrypted.”

That’s for backing up. For restore it’s still a “No Go” for me:

we decrypt your data on our secure restore servers and we then zip it and send it over an encrypted SSL connection to your computer.

Source: Backblaze

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You’re right, that’s no good because it means they’re holding the keys.

Thanks for this topic, I just started using Time Machine with my 1TB 7200RPM external HDD. I never thought to backup my mac, let alone research about Time Machine/Arq/Backblaze.

What do you do for offsite backup, then?

You have to enter your key to do a restore, so they aren’t holding the keys.


What do you do for offsite backup?

Arq (with local encryption) to OneDrive.

(I’m lucky that my backups still fit in the 1 TB that I get with Microsoft/Office 365)