OT: Backup Synology with HyperBackup or Arq?

Off topic, but I suspect a fair number of us have Synology or similar NAS devices, so I thought I would seek input here.

I have a Synology which I use several major functions:
– SynologyDrive which is my Dropbox replacement (possibly less useful now that I have gone laptop-only, but I do have a shared folder with my wife’s iMac as well, and it does allow me to use the iOS and iPadOS apps to access my files as well)
– Target for TimeMachine backups
– Target for a daily CCC clone of my laptop’s SSD
– Plex server, with a share where all of my media is stored (I don’t keep any media on the laptop since it is easily accessed via Plex whether home or away)
– “Archival” storage for a fair amount of data that I don’t really need on my laptop, like archived software distributions that I cannot easily reobtain but might need, and all of the archived files from my previous medical practice after I sold it.
– Old clones of previous Macs, which I keep because I have had occasion to discover files that “went missing” (yes, I figured out why, and it was my mistake, but still they were missing) and which I restored from old CCC clones.

I would like a cloud backup of all of this stuff, just in case. For my sole current Mac, my 14" MBPro, I use both BackBlaze and Arq to Wasabi.

What I want is a good and low maintenance approach for backing up the Synology. The amount of storage space is large, but with the exception of the SynologyDrive shares, it changes infrequently (so I could consider Amazon Glacier for cost savings). I don’t have to backup any folders that are part of SynologyDrive since they are backed up to the cloud from the laptop.

I have thinking of two solutions: Either mount the shares to the laptop and have Arq back them up to Wasabi or B2 or whatever, OR use Synology’s HyperBackup utility to either Wasabi or Synology’s C2 storage.

In favor of Arq is that I have used it for years, I have restored data with it, and know it works and is reliable. I can send the data anywhere I want. Even better, if the Synology dies and I don’t or can’t replace it, I can still get at these files through Arq. However, I have to deal with the overhead of either keeping the shares mounted (eg Automount) or a script to mount and dismount on demand, and it makes the Synology backup dependent on the MBPro which means more to maintain if/when I change machines (not that that is likely for a while with this new MBPro). Plus I can easily restore using any computer with Arq installed.

In favor of HyperBackup is keeping everything contained to the Synology. However, the interface and utility of HyperBackup seems less than with Arq (although Synology’s description of C2 implies support for hourly backups, HyperBackup doesn’t actually seem to work to do that, although since the data doesn’t change often, that probably doesn’t matter). If I want to restore outside of having a Synology, I either have to download the entire backup data first OR store it in C2, since HyperBackup Explorer, their utility for accessing HyperBackup archives from a Mac or PC will only connect to a local copy OR to C2, but not to for example any S3 compatible store like Amazon S3 or Wasabi or B2. Finally, I have never had occasion to test a restore from HyperBackup, so I don’t know from personal testing that it work.

I was wondering what others might have hit upon as a solution and what suggestions you might have.

If you prefer Arqbackup, have you considered picking up a used mac (or pc) to do the job? I’ve even seen new 8gb ram PCs available on Amazon for around $250.

True, but I don’t really want to run yet another machine just for the purpose of handling the backup. Ideally I would like things to work with my current hardware. I agree I could repurpose an old computer with Windows just for running Arq and have the Synology shares mounted, but it seems like overkill and another potential point of failure.

Part of the appeal of the Synology is ease of use. I could set up a Mac or Windows system as a TM destination, clone and archival storage, Plex server, web server, etc…but part of the beauty of the Synology is how easy it is to make all of that happen.


Personally I am a fan of Arqbackup. I have not used Synology.

Also - External large size spinning drives are cost effective.You might consider to make a secondary local backup to these in addition to offsite. And you might keep them somewhere outside the house such as friends or family…

Arq - I have several schedules set up to back up different folders at different times…

  • important folders are backed up often

  • older archive data is backed up once in a while since it rarely changes. For these you can just manually choose ARQ > “back up now” when you want.

  • Arq has several destinations - offsite and also local external drives as mentioned.

I hope this helps - Dave

No problem, it was just a suggestion. In that case, it’s HyperBackup or your laptop. If you go mobile with your laptop very often I’d suggest HyperBackup. That would save you having to test everything each time you brought it home.

Sounds like HyperBackup is the way to go, given your criteria.

If you want an alternative with more targets (SFTP, S3, B2, GCS, Azure, Google Drive, OneDrive, OpenStack Swift, WebDAV, Dropbox, File Fabric), there is a DSM 7 package available for Duplicacy.

I have a couple of Synology drives and have been quite successfully (and it just works) using Arq to backup my laptop to both the Synology and the cloud. Easy to set up and does not need any ongoing TLC.

Worked great too as I had to go back and get a file from earlier in the week and it where it should have been.

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One other option. If you are a subscriber to MS365 ($99/year), you get 1 TB of OneDrive storage for each of 5 family members. Synology has a Cloud Sync app that can move things to OneDrive. I have one log in using my main email where I sync several of my important folders and my wife also has one that she uses for the same purpose. I then used one of my email aliases to create another account and I sync my Plex library and Photo library to that one. Etc.

I also put a Synology system in my son’s house in another city and I do several HyperBackup jobs to that every night.

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I like Arq, but I would (or better, I do) still go with HyperBackup for DiskStation backups - or at least evaluate it.

Routing all your backup traffic via your MacBook creates additional load and additional breaking points.
For example, what if one of your shares doesn’t mount for some reason? What if there is a funny bug in macOS and suddenly your share seems to be mounted, but Arq cannot see it until you actively read files from it, or whatever other bugs might get introduced to SMB implementation and other related components, both by Apple and by Synology.
As reliable as Arq usually is, the system’s complexity will increase and it will become more fragile.

HyperBackup has been very robust in my experience. It is very low maintenance, it will just run in the background without taking up any of your MacBook’s resources, you can schedule your backup jobs to run at night and thus not block your internet connection during the day, and you can easily backup almost anything from your Synology without hassle, including e.g. Synology Photos or Surveillance Station data. (It’s probably also possible to access their storage directly, but you’d probably lose settings, album structure etc.) You can also configure HyperBackup to send emails after every successful backup, or only in case of failure.

And if your data (at least the data that’s in focus of this additional backup) does not change frequently, a full backup run every 24h should probably be enough? :slight_smile:

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Thanks to everyone who replied. I appreciate the thoughts and help!

I decided to set up HyperBackup to Wasabi. I will break each share up into its own HyperBackup job; the first is running now.