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Backup to SFTP

This article applies only to Backup4all. If you don't have it yet, you must download it first.

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May 04, 2018

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Backup to SFTP

SFTP, also known as SSH File Transfer Protocol (and sometimes called Secure File Transfer Protocol or SFTP) is a network protocol that provides file transfer and manipulation functionality over any reliable data stream. It is typically used with version two of the SSH protocol (TCP port 22) to provide secure file transfer but is intended to be usable with other protocols as well. The SFTP protocol is much secure than the FTP protocol.

Remote backup to SFTP is suitable for:

  • Regular users - can be used as a personal remote backup solution, protecting your data from theft, fire or other disasters that could affect your hardware. If you are a dynamic person that travels a lot then an FTP backup is a must because you can access your remote backed up data on the FTP server from any computer, given that you enter the security details known only by you.
  • Computer Consultants - if you are an individual or a company that provides consulting services then you can install Backup4all on your clients' computers and set it so that it does automatically the SFTP backup. You are sure this way that their important data is backed up. The advantage: there is no need for their manual intervention, not to mention that if you set Backup4all to send email notifications, you will receive information on the status of their backup without visiting directly with them.
  • Hosting companies - as a hosting company, your clients need to know exactly the value they get using your services. Offering a reliable online backup solution increases the value of your service but this depends on the remote backup software used too. Backup4all is the best choice for your clients given its simplicity and reliability. If you are interested in offering your clients our remote backup software as an online backup solution, contact us at sales@backup4all.com
  • Companies - even if the company policy includes backing up locally as a must, you have to consider a remote backup solution too. This gives your company an additional security option against natural disasters, theft, fire, local hardware fails.
  • Outsourcing companies - if you are outsourcing work to freelancers or other companies, or if you have employees working in different locations, you know that backing up offsite files is very difficult. In the same time, your success depends on their work too, thus you need to use SFTP backup to have their work protected.

Using Backup4all you can easily backup to SFTP by selecting your SFTP server as a destination. You can define the SFTP configuration and use the security details that you have (username/password)

Once the connection is defined and tested, you can set this as an automatic schedule with email notifications enabled, to have a fully online backup solution with minimum manual intervention. Advanced features in Backup4all's SFTP backup: User Authentication, Host Authentication, Password Authentication, Public Key Authentication, Data Encryption, Data Integrity.

Recommendations for backing up to SFTP

  • After each change to the SFTP configuration be sure to use the Test function.
  • Most SFTP servers have rules against hammering (trying repeatedly to connect to an unavailable SFTP server with little time between attempts). This is why they require "retry times" at specific intervals, commonly at least 60 seconds between attempts. They also monitor for computers that hammer and once detected, the server will ban access to the IP address either permanently or for a limited time. Thus, when you set the retry times intervals in Tools -> Options -> SFTP, you should use 60 seconds or more.
  • When selecting a hosting company that provides SFTP access for your SFTP backup, consider these elements too: if they have a backup plan too, if they provide high-speed connection and if they have your data on servers with restricted access.

Backup to SFTP

Steps to follow:

  1. Open Backup4all and select File -> New Backup (Ctrl+N).
  2. On the first page, enter a name for the backup in the Backup Name field.
  3. In the Where do you want to save the backup? section, select the SFTP server as the backup destination. Press Next.
  4. On the What do you want to backup page, add the backup sources. Press Next.
  5. On the third page, you can choose the backup type and the encryption.
  6. Press Save and run.


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