I’m a strong believer in redundant, excessive backups. I’ve lost enough data over my lifetime to more than justify running multiple backup systems constantly and simultaneously.

I clone my drives every night. I run Time Machine on all my Macs to a local server. But the big one—and the one that’s turned out to be the most important in cases of severe data loss—is a good “cloud” backup. I’ve had great luck with services like Backblaze and CrashPlan, but Arq from Haystack Software (Mac and Windows) has allowed me full control over my backups, and in many cases, the most affordable options over long periods.

I use Arq with a couple of external drives connected to a Macminicolo box (the same one that hosts this site), so I don’t have any additional monthly fees for backing up multiple machines. I also run a couple of machines to Amazon Glacier, which is dirt cheap for the most part (you pay more for restoring than storage). Arq also works with services like S3, Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Drive, Google Cloud, Dropbox, and OneDrive, or even your local NAS, performing versioned backups to services you probably already have installed. All of your data is encrypted before it leaves your machine, and the storage format is safe regardless of the security of the hosting cloud.

Version 5 of Arq just went live today, and it’s a major performance upgrade. New LZ4 compression allows backup speeds up to six times faster. The storage format for your backups is open and documented, so no matter which endpoint(s) you choose to use, your data is safe regardless of the host software’s development.

The flexibility of the app has also improved, with features like fast file search and restore, session logging and reporting, and even the ability to run your own scripts before and/or after backup to mount drives, open tunnels, etc.

Arq 5 costs $49.99 (one-time purchase), and Arq 4 users can upgrade for $24.99. If you’re looking for a reliable, secure cloud backup solution, check it out.