Backing up and Syncing to iCloud and External Drives

I’m interesting in improving my current backup/syncing solution for my Mac.

Right now I have backblaze for my laptop and 2 external drives that are almost always connected. It’s essentially a manual Desktop and Documents sync setup. (I have lots of node_modules and venv directories (~20GB on any given day) that it would be horrible to be automatically synced to iCloud).

I’m currently using a verbose rsync call that I spent a long afternoon creating that ignores files and folders I don’t want synced. @tjluoma mentioned in another thread resilio sync but it doesn’t look like it can be used for iCloud or local drives.

Are there other alternatives? I’m not interested an Time Machine or snapshot based backups.

You’re correct - Resilo doesn’t do local sync which is a shame. If I need to do local sync, I use Freefilesync. For me, it copes files to my external drive that I carry around with me, but also had access to SFTP, which allows me to sync my Hugo website to my web server. It’s also cross platform (which is good for when I use my work windows machine).

Has the ability to ignore files, have versions, use the trash etc. I find it powerful enough for my needs.

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Arq version 5 is very robust. I have it backing up to MinIO on my NAS, as well as to a local external drive.
If you use S3, B2, etc. they can also be destinations.

Beyond that, there are the usual suspects (that I also use), Carbon Copy Cloner, and ChronoSync.

I’m assuming you have a cloud-based or off-site backup? Reading that you have two-externals makes me nervous.

Arq looks perfect.

I have a Backblaze subscription iCloud Drive for cloud based backup. I have 2 external drives mostly because I was able to get a 1 TB drive for a significantly reduced price last Black Friday and haven’t found a purpose for the older one (only 250 GB)

Edit: Arq, carbon copy cloner, and chronosync look like they want to store everything as snapshots. I’m looking for something closer to syncing.

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Ah, gotcha.
I use ResilioSync for that. It works really well and I routinely forget it’s even there. I sync between my iMac Pro, MacBook Pro, and Synology NAS. It was mentioned in another thread today. Here’s my note about restricting sync to your local lan (if you want).