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How to Backup to FTP


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Mar 22, 2022
Backup4all 9.x
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Backup4all supports backing up to a remote computer or device using FTP (File Transfer Protocol) connection. This is a practical backup destination because the backed up data can be easily accessed from any other computer with an Internet connection.

Defining FTP configuration

Before using FTP as a destination for backing up, you should define a new FTP configuration using the File->Options->Online connections->FTP window. Once defined, you will be able to apply this FTP configuration to individual backup jobs.
Press the Add button once in File->Options->Online connections->FTP to add a new FTP connection. The name New FTP configuration will appear in the list. You can enter the following settings for the connection:
  • Configuration name - Enter here an arbitrary name for the connection.
  • Server name or IP - Here you must enter the FTP server name or its IP address
  • Transfer mode - Here you can chose between: Binary, ASCII and Auto
  • Port - Here you can change the port number, in case it is different than the default value (21).
  • Destination folder - Here you can enter the destination path if different than root.
  • User name - If this is a private FTP server (no anonymous access allowed) enter the user name for your account.
  • Password - In this field enter the password for the FTP server.
Some FTP servers allow anonymous access (public FTP servers). Usually, you connect to this type of servers using "Anonymous" as your username, and your email address as your password. It is not recommended to backup important files to public FTP servers.
Also in the Online connections page you can set the number of retry attempts and interval length (wait) for connecting to FTP a server. This is a global setting for all FTP connections. By default, if a FTP server cannot be reached the first time, Backup4all will attempt to connect 5 more times at intervals of 60 seconds. If all attempts fail, then the backup is aborted.
Additional settings like bandwidth, SSL connection and firewall can also be configured from this page.
Once you have finished defining the connection, press the Test button to check if the FTP details you have entered are correct. If the test was successful, The FTP connection was tested successfully message will be displayed.

Setting the destination to FTP
When defining a new backup job using the New Backup Wizard, select the FTP option in the Destination section (1st page of the wizard). If you already have a defined backup job and want to change the destination to FTP, select that backup job, open the Properties window (Ctrl+P), go to the Destination page and select FTP. There you can chose from existing FTP configurations or create a new connection.
If you have any defined FTP configuration, you will be able select it from the drop down list (to define a configuration go to File->Options->Online connections->FTP ). Alternatively, you may define a custom configuration during the same step of the Backup Wizard.
You can change the defined settings by selecting the Custom configuration option and pressing the Edit configuration button. Here you can modify the data in the fields and press OK to save. Once you've entered the FTP connection details, it is recommended to run a connection test by pressing the Test button.
In case of a connection error, Backup4all will notify you with a message in the pop-up Notifications window. To change the number of connection retries and retry intervals go to File->Options->Online connections and select FTP. There you can edit the Retry and Wait parameters to be used for FTP connections.
As a requirement, the FTP transfer mode used for most backup types is Binary. However, for the Mirror type you may choose between Binary, ASCII, and Auto modes. The list of ASCII file types can be found in File->Options->Online connections->FTP.

Recommendations for backing up to FTP
  • After each change to the FTP configuration be sure to use the Test function.
  • Most FTP sites have policies against hammering (repeatedly attempting to connect to an unavailable FTP server with little or no time between connection attempts). Thus they require FTP clients to set retry times at specific intervals, commonly at least 120 seconds between each connection attempt. Most FTP sites can also monitor for devices that hammer, and once detected the server will ban access to the offending IP address, either permanently or for a limited amount of time. Therefore, when you set the retry time intervals in File->Options->Online connections->FTP, you should use 60 seconds or more.
  • If you backup important data to a remote location using FTP, encrypt the zip files for increased security. In this case, even if another person manages to gain unauthorized access to the FTP, your files will still be protected.
  • 4) It is faster to use XCRC when testing FTP backups (on by default).