Monday, February 15, 2021

Arq 7

Stefan Reitshamer:

Arq 7 is fully backward-compatible with backup data created by older versions of Arq, but it’s packed with new features. It’s been through 4+ months of internal and beta testing, so it’s solid.

Many of the features listed on that page were also in Arq 6. The more detailed change notes are here. The biggest change is that it’s no longer an Electron app. The new interface is a big improvement, much better than Arq 6 and in most respects better than Arq 5, too. (I’m not crazy about the new, unsorted, list of the paths to back up or the way exclusion rules are handled and duplicated.) You can once again navigate backup settings and restores without having to repeatedly enter your password. The backup logs are now integrated into the main part of the app, and you can jump from a backup’s settings to its latest log. And the global Arq menu clearly shows what’s happening with each backup. I did run into an issue where the ArqAgent process consumed 7.6 GB of private memory. After restarting my Mac and doing a few (smaller) backups, it so far hasn’t recurred. Overall, a smooth and trouble-free upgrade, unlike last time.


Update (2021-02-22): Arq 7 costs $50 and includes one year of updates. You can optionally subscribe beyond that for $25/year. It continues to work well for me with the following exceptions:

Nicholas Riley:

A warning if you’re upgrading to Arq 7: check your retention settings first. Several of my family’s Macs ended up deciding everything was new from the Arq 5 backup, then this pushed the overall backup size over quota to the point that ALL of the backup history was deleted.

Thomas Clement:

Why does Apple keep restraining the snapshots API to select developers? Aren’t all developers treated equally?

All the apps that might have been but never will...

(and yes I applied to get access at some past job and we got refused for trivial reasons)


Update (2021-03-14): I’m currently using Arq 7.2, and the memory use issue seems to be resolved. The app is apparently more efficient now about which changed files it tracks in RAM.

7 Comments RSS · Twitter

I’m not a fan of the duplicate exclusion lists either.

The new UI looks like a huge improvement from 6. I might buy Arq 7.

The one thing that's holding me back is that the license is per Mac, not per user. Every other Mac app I've ever bought has been per user, at least up to some number of machines (I think the MAS allows 5).

I have 2 Macs right now and I'd be fine with paying $100 for an "up to 5 machines" license, and I'll probably never use even 3 copies, yet I have trouble spending $50 per machine. I know logically that doesn't really make sense.

Beatrix Willius

Arq is one of the most terrible apps I have ever used. Slow restore. When my computer broke I found out that Arq hadn't run the backup for 9 days. Only excuses from support. In the end I broke the backup completely. Incompetent support.

I’m delighted to see Arq continue to move forward, and move past the problems with Arq 6. This is great news.

Overall my experience with Arq 7 has been good. I got a whole bunch of “not found” messages when it tried to migrate my backup but they didn’t seem to break anything. The logs remain somewhat inscrutable as to what was actually backed up.

On the positive side, I like how backup destinations seem to be independent of one another; previously a problem with one of them could stall all of them. There’s also an option to notify you if there’s been no successful backup in a certain time period, for which I had previously built my own monitoring system.

It would be nice if they released the format spec, like they have for versions prior to 6. That's a pretty key feature, for me.

Agreed that this is a massive relief from the Arq 6, ahem, experiment. There's really nothing quite like the Cocoa way and I'm utterly astonished it was even contemplated. Also agree about the either/or weirdness of drives vs folders, and the way exclusions are handled.

Unfortunately ... I can't see myself going back from restic running on my NAS which I set up after Arq 6. I have a lifetime license so I set up as a replacement for Time Machine, but I think TM has the advantage in supporting Apple's first-party apps, so I dunno if I'll be using this long-term. The performance is certainly very nice compared to TM.

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