Arq 6

As a long-time user1 of the backup software Arq, I did not hesitate to upgrade to the new version 6 on the day it was released. So far, I’ve had nothing but the best experience with the software.

That changed with Arq 6. As an early adopter, I still got the chance to migrate my existing Arq 5 to the new version. This process went relatively smooth. Not for everyone, apparently. The migration has been removed from the app in the meantime.

Next thing, I wanted to trigger a backup. But it is no longer supported to manually trigger a backup. It is only possible to define a schedule and stick to it. Hm.

One of the most often used features in the previous versions was the ability to check whether the app regularly updated a computer (especially on the ancient 13″ 2011 MacBook Pro that is still in use as the kid’s computer) by attempting a restore and get the list of existing backups to choose from. Guess what, no longer possible.

But the shortcomings do not only extend to features. Yesterday, the fans of my iMac spun up heavily for a longer period of time. Curious, I went to iStat Menus and checked the CPU utilization, only to find out that Arq was at 500 and change percent of my CPU. I don’t remember any similar incident with Arq 5.

A couple of days earlier, I tried to upgrade the trial version of Arq 5 for Windows on the only Windows Machine in the household. This was already at a time when the migration was disabled. So I tried to set up a new schedule and made sure to provide Arq with a password for encryption.

After the creation of the schedule was completed, Arq 6 presented me with the result that was, according to Arq, creating unencrypted backups, with no apparent way top fix this. Finally, I managed to downgrade back to version 5 and let that one take care of doing backups for the remaining days of the trial period2.

But although I’m pretty sure that not all is bad about Arq 6, I’m no longer sure if Arq has a future in our household. It used to be the perfect solution for backing up to an off-site destination. I never saw the need to even casually check possible alternatives3. This has changed now. I still hope that Arq 6 can be fixed, but the fix better be fast.

  1. I started to use Arq at version 3. 
  2. I would actually consider going back to Arq 5, but I fear that this would not be a sustainable solution. I don’t expect a lot of maintenance for Arq 5 going forward. 
  3. That are very likely still inferior to Arq 5.