Back Up files on Web Server?

Does anyone know about backing up your photo and Video files on dreamhost web server ? Let’s say i have 500 GB of space, is it feasible to back up 500 GB of RAW photo files ? and are the files safe ?


wosiho (a)

Its feasible, the safest place to put them would be in an ftp directory that isn’t browsable on the internet such as a sub folder in your accounts root directory.

Backup can be done by ftp to wherever you want.

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Definitely safe with the snapshots and for $150 dollars a year for a backed up offsite storage, can’t beat it.

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I set up a user somewhat for this purpose. The user has no domain associated, so it’s an un-browseable directory.

More specifically, I use it somewhat like my iDisk, but with tons more space, though slower. If I need it to be faster, I mirror it to my local disk. rsync is my friend.


This is interesting. I’m learning how to use Linux currently. Hope I can master it asap :wink:

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ok, this sounds very nice if this can work! So how long would it take with a normal DSL connection to upload 20 GB of RAW photo files ?

It’ll take seemingly forever to upload. Plus it depends on your upload speed. Really, uploads tend to take forever because cable and DSL upload speeds tend to be, at most, half of the download speed. But if you’re using decent sync software, you can abort it when you run out of time and continue later.


You do not define the meaning of the word “safe”. That question is, therefore, not answerable. (safe can mean safe from deletion, safe from corruption, safe from unauthorized access, safe from law enforcement, safe from in-transit capture, safe from prying eyes, safe from system administrators, etc. – and varying levels thereof, i.e. “safe from unsophisticated webbrowser” over “safe from password-guessers” to “compartmentalized top-secret kind of safe”.

It’s feasible. Don’t use it as the ONLY storage for those files. You will regret it some day.

Uploading 20gb over DSL can take a while, depending on how fast your DSL line is. “DSL” can mean many things. ADSL, SDSL, VDSL, ADSL2+, etc., in varying speeds. With 1mbit/s upstream, for instance, it’ll take about two days to transfer the files there. With 512kbit/s upstream 4 days, with 4mbit/s upstream half a day.

You may want to consider using SFTP, ssh+rsync, or scp to do the transfers to ensure the security of the connection from you to Dreamhost. (WinSCP is a nice tool for that under Windows, for instance).

I have about ~300gb files on my dreamhost account, most of which being backups from elsewhere. If you require confidentiality, have a look at duplicity; It combines rsync with strong encryption via GPG, so unless you have the key, the files are worthless. (And no, this isn’t “just” useful for nefarious purposes; there is plenty of legislation requiring protection of privacy and data in various jurisdictions; not using encryption for off-site backups under the control of another party (DH in this case) just may be criminal negligence; even if that does not apply to you and you trust Dreamhost staff completely, security breaches happen everywhere. Even at DH ;).

If confidentiality is not that big a problem, you could just use regular FTP or WebDAV folders to do this; some imaging software allows you to use WebDAV as a storage medium, as well; and some operating systems allow you to mount WebDAV sources as drives (MacOS makes this easy; Windows has some broken support for it, though there are decent third-party clients from Novell, for instance).

I use rsync scripts on my home machine to back up my important files to Dreamhost. (I also create DVD backups now and again that go offsite for our family pictures – just as another precaution).

Here is how I do it:

LPATH=/path/to/your/pictures <-- no trailing slash


This allows for automatic backups (i.e. no logins) if you have SSH keys established and in the right place.

(lest you think I am some kind of guru, all of this was on a page here:

I had a similar need, and I arrived at this script which allows me to synchronize the files from a remote server to my local PC running Windows XP. I do this so that I have a copy of the most recent backups from my server to my PC.

I was delighted to find WinSCP as it allows me to do secure FTP transfers between my server and my local PC, which I consider to be essential.

I have a directory on my server named “backups.” In this directory, I have another directory, “archives” which holds the files that I want to copy. In “backups,” I also have the script files to do my backups.

My script was derived from some I found on the WinSCP site. At first, I planned to copy files from my server to my local PC, but then I found “synchronize” and this works better for me as it only copies the new files, that is, the most recent backups. I left the copy commands for reference. The script is:

Automatically answer all prompts negatively not to stall

the script on errors

option batch on

Disable overwrite confirmations that conflict with the previous

option confirm off



Change remote directory

cd backups

Force binary mode transfer

option transfer binary

Download file to the local directory

get archives/* f:\backups\archives*

Delete downloaded files

rm archives/*

sync from remote to local

synchronize local f:\backups\archives archives

Exit WinSCP


To synchronize from local to remote, change

synchronize local


synchronize remote

You could also use “put” instead of “get” but synchronize only transfers new or changed files, which is what I wanted.

I used Windows XP Scheduled Tasks to run this program weekly, a few hours after the backup is generated on the server. The command I used in Scheduled Tasks is:

C:\PROGRA~1\WinSCP\WinSCP.exe /console /script=f:\backups\download.txt /log=f:\backups\winscp.txt

This command runs WinSCP and uses the script “download.txt” and logs the results to “winscp.txt” These files are on my F: drive in the backups directory.