Arq Backup – great and diverse backup software

Backup anything to any cloud service or sftp of your choosing. Great application worth every single penny.

arqbackup

I don’t often buy software since there are so many free and open source alternatives to most things I need. And when it comes to backup solutions, there’s not exactly a lack of alternatives there either. However, I tried Arq backup a few months back and felt it worthy of a review.

What’s great about Arq is that it allows you to back up your data to most any cloud service or secure FTP of your choosing. And it stores your encryption key on your computer so no backup service ever has access to your stuff. That means you can’t just ask your backup service for help and they’ll fix it for you, you actually have to keep track of your keys your self. Which is a good thing I might add. I don’t really like the idea of giving all my credentials away to someone else to handle.

The Arq team, recently updated the software to version 5 which added a whole bunch of interesting and great features. Since I have my files on both my computer and spread out on network drives. Arq let’s me run a script before and/or after the backup. So I can easily create a script that checks if the network drives are mounted and if not, mount them before running the backup.
Below is the code btw for anyone who needs it. Just code and save it as AutoMount.sh (you might need to change permissions and make it executable). Add that to the settings of your backup.

#!/bin/bash
osascript <<EOD
tell application "Finder"
if not (disk "VolumeName" exists) then
mount volume "cifs://ServerName/VolumeName"
end if
end tell
EOD

 

AutoMount

At the moment I’m running my backup to Amazon Cloud Drive which gives me unlimited space for 60$/year. Adding to that a one time fee for Arq really felt worth it to me. When you purchase Arq they give you the opportunity to pay an extra fee for lifetime upgrades which gives you access to all future versions of the software. So it really is a one time fee.

I am btw not affiliated with Arq more than the fact that I’m a paying customer, I just though the app was great and the customer service is top class and worthy of a review. I’m hoping they stay in business a long time because I wish to keep getting amazing updates =)

So if you’re looking for a backup program, Arq is great and you can get a 30 day trial and usually a trial at most cloud services like Google cloud services or Amazon as well, so it’s free to try. And it works in both Windows and OSX which is great too. Hopefully they’ll add support for Linux systems as well. I’d love to run this on my Raspberry Pi.

Explanation of common terms

This is an attempt to explain different terms used by the community. I’m going to keep the explanations short and I hope I’m right.

This is an attempt to explain different terms used by the community. I’m going to keep the explanations short and I hope I’m right. If I’m wrong, please tell me so I can correct it. Am I missing something? Tell me and I’ll try to add it to the list.

Bootloader
The bootloader is what tells your phone what to do when you power it on. If you would like to install to different ROMS on you phone, you would have to tell the bootloader which one to start. If you’ve played with multiple OS’es on you computer you might be familiar with Grub, or Refit?

CSC
Country Specific Code – This is just what it sounds like, it’s the location settings of your phone. Let’s say you buy a phone in Sweden with the CSC specific code “NEE” (Nordic countries) and later flash a custom rom with the CSC specifics of Russia “RUS”, you will have some explaining to do if you turn you phone in for service..

Firmware
The firmware is the program/code that provides the phone with the control to run all it’s functions. Without the firmware your phone will not run.

Kernel
The kernel is the core of the firmware that makes your phone run. Using different kernels can make your phone behave very differently. You may have a kernel that makes your phone fly but instead drains the battery or maybe a kernel that makes the battery life very long but the phone slow. If your lucky the phone will be both fasst and have good battery life. If you phone freezes a lot it might be a faulty kernel.

Odexed/Deodexed
There are many high tech explanations of this but I’ll keep it simple, please correct me if i make a fool of myself.

DeOdexed – slower
Slower loading times the first time you start the apps after changes are made on your phone. It will fill the Dalvik Cache with Dalvik Executable (.dex) files. So every time you clear Dalvik cache, the loading time of each app will be slower. But the apps will be more more customizable for theming and such.

Odexed – faster
The phone will slightly faster, won’t fill Dalvik cache but it will be less customizable. A normal user will probably not notice the “customizable” difference but maybe the speed.

Odin
Is an application developed by Samsung to control, flash, install stuff on Samsung phones. It only works in Windows but there are other alternatives for Linux, Mac and even for your phone like Heimdahl and Mobile Odin.

PDA
If you flash the PDA in Odin, it will at the least include the kernel but often it can include the entire ROM. Make sure you know what you downloaded..

PIT
You might run across a file with the file ending .pit. Be careful it includes the Partition Information Table and will repartition your phones internal storage and format the phone. You will loose anything you have not saved.

Radio, Modem, Phone
Different names used for the same thing. Its what makes you able to use the cellular and other networks. If you have bad reception you can try another Radio and it might get better.

ROM
A rom is usually just like above although it doesn’t necessarily have to include the kernel or the modem. Usually the ROM is what makes your phone look and feel the way it does, including themes, ringtones, settings and standard apps.

Stock ROM
Is the firmware that came with your phone or at least a firmware signed by the manufactorer of your phone. The stock ROM will include everything needed to use your phone.

Zipalign
Zipaligned applications (apk:s) are optimized with an alignement tool to be less memory consuming (and faster).