Problem with backing up B2 with Arq, causing double backups?

Quick thing. I have always backed up locally and thanks to MPU have started to use Backblaze (B2). I now have gotten interested in using Arq for encryption to backup to Backblaze B2.

My questions are as follows:

  1. I’ve started and am mostly done with an initial backup of my home folder with B2. This was before downloading Arq. Does this mean I’ll have a mix of encrypted and non-encrypted stuff on Backblaze?
  2. I have a external drive partitioned into a backup drive, a Archives, and Photos. Should I use those with B2 or backup and encrypt through Arq?
  3. The encryption aspect does take longer correct?
  1. Since you didn’t do the initial backup with Arq, that backup won’t be part of the “Arq backup” (for lack of a better word). In other words, for Arq this initial backup doesn’t exist. My advice would be to start your backups from scratch (which will happen if the Home folder is part of your Arq backup set).
  2. I don’t understand this. What is an “external drive partitioned into a backup drive”?
  3. Yes, but with modern processors it’s hardly (or not at all) noticeable. These processors have something that’s called “Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions”, which basically means a part of the processor is specifically build for encryption tasks.

When storing backups in the cloud (like B2) encryption is always (always!) a good thing. For everything, not just the files you consider confidential. Besides, making a distinction between encrypted and non-encrypted backups complicates your backups considerably, which is tha last thing you want with backups!

For the records, I’m not familiar with Backblaze B2 and their tools, but I am a longtime user of Arq (using S3).

I second @vco1 advice, all of them.

I backup to B2 with Arq too, and beside my home folder I backup the external hard drive where all the photos are stored and another one that I use mainly as an archive. Everything encrypted with no performance issue.

Would I go into B2 and delete my initial backup?

External drive has 3 partitions. One is “backup of HD, another is “Archive”, and another is “Photos”.

Should I instead of backing up my home folder backup my entire internal HD?

Yes. That seems the most logical to me. You could also leave it on B2 for a while.

That’s up to you of course. It’s probably better, but for example I only make a backup of my documents to S3 and have the rest backed up on HD’s (multiple times). It won’t hurt to have a full backup on B2 of course. However, it might cost you extra (don’t know B2 pricing) and will cost you some/considerable time to get everything copied over to B2.

So interesting enough I think I deleted my backup from Backblaze. The weird part is that it doesn’t allow me to deselect the HD from the backup option.

Ok so actually didn’t realize it was a separate selection of backing up the computer vs backing up to both B2 and backing up my computer.

I have backups on HD’s as well but would appreciate the added security of the cloud as well given B2 is so cheap ($0.005 per GB to upload).

So to amend my question from the first part, it still seams that I’m backing up both encrypted through Arq and through B2 using the Backblaze app on my computer?

The Backblaze app (for consumers) is a different from B2 space; it is the 50$ solution you’re talking about, isn’t it (which can be encrypted too, btw)?

True, is it as simple as deleting the Backblaze app off my computer and just backing up through Arq?

It should be as simple as that.

Not exactly.

It sounds like, if I understand the thread thus far, that you initially got a standard BackBlaze account and now have set up to use Arq to backup to BackBlaze B2. As noted, these are actually completely separate services provided by BackBlaze.

Personally, I am a fan of Arq and do not like the standard BackBlaze for two main reasons: 1) BackBlaze does put some restrictions on what is backed up, although you can override some of these in the preferences, but more importantly, 2) BackBlaze assumes that any file that has not been present for 30 days can be deleted. This is a real problem in my view, because if you accidentally lose some files and do not realize it for some time, you are out of luck restoring from BackBlaze. While I understand the argument that you should have local backups with the cloud as a last resort (and I do have this with both TimeMachine and daily Carbon Copy Cloner clones), I still prefer to have my cloud backup be capable of a complete restore if needed.

It seems that the best solution for you based on what you are doing is indeed to use Arq with B2 as your backup target, and select whatever you want to be backed up there - whether your entire home folder, your entire hard drive, or a subset of your files. Since you pay for the space you use, you can decide how much to save and how much to pay.

While deleting the BackBlaze app from your computer will stop backups to BackBlaze, you should also go into your account on the website and remove that computer from your backups as well - especially if you have a renewal date coming up, at which point you will be charged for a service you decided not to use!

In terms of your backup drive at home, you CAN use Arq to backup to a local drive as well, and that does have the advantage of encryption of the local backup as well. I don’t do that myself - I use TimeMachine and CCC as I am not that worried about encrypting my local backups.

You nailed it! Thank you thank you thank you! I’ll delete the Backblaze app when I get home and I’ll be good. Great points about the 30 day’s retention and such too.

Just an update, deleted the app off my computer and it should be working properly now with Arq. Should I check the B2 website to ensure as well?

Yes, If you only check it when you need it, it’s too late.

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Is it dumb to backup my applications and library folder on my HD to b2 with Arq or should I wait till my homefolder and photos drive are backed up?

The thing with Arq is that you can backup anything you want, you just have to pay the storage costs (and the bandwidth if your internet provider has a bandwidth cap).

In terms of backing up applications, I do not. Since I do have my local TimeMachine backup and clone, I can restore from those if needed. Secondly, anyth8ng purchased through the App Store is easily reinstalled, and apps purchased directly from the developer can also be redownloaded, so I see no reason to pay for online storage for these files.

For the Library folder, I back up some of it, but exclude things like caches, email, etc. again there isn’t much lint to me in backing up things that can easily be replaced or regenerated. For instance, if I were restoring from the cloud, it likely means my home computer or laptop were stolen or destroyed, and I would be doing a clean setup on a new machine, so I would likely recreate preferences and so forth as I went along, rather than trying to restore from a backup. On the other hand, if I lost the system drive on a machine and had it replaced, then I would (presumable) either restore from TM or a clone.

So, my thinking is to spend the money for cloud storage primarily for irreplaceable data.


I should look into this, any idea about Comcast having an upload limit?

I agree with you about backing up the applications, I rethought it as it seems rather redundant to do so separately as if I’m already backing up my home folder these should possibly be backed up already.

I also need to specify and ensure I’m not backing up email and caches as I agree that caches and email can be replaced.

I also found out why things were uploading so slow. It’s because I had it as throttling when there’s other devices on the internet. I switched to max upload based on connection speed and things are moving swiftly, should have it done within the coming couple weeks.