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How to Manage Backups With SFTP on VPS and Dedicated Hosting


This article will discuss downloading or deleting server backups on a VPS or Dedicated with SFTP. In this example, we will use FileZilla; however, you may download and install your preferred FTP client application. You can check out this article to find where you can download one:

Both FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol), commonly called Secure File Transfer Protocol, provide file access, file transfer, and file management between your computer to your web server. However, SFTP offers a secure way to send and receive files using tunneling and performs file transfers over SSH.

Download FileZilla

To get started, visit the FileZilla website and download the FileZilla Client by selecting the software version for your platform.

Access and manage backups

Once you've set up your Filezilla (or your preferred FTP application), let's go ahead and navigate to your backup directory within WHM.

  1. Open FileZilla.
  2. Click File and select Site Manager from the list in the top left corner.

    HostGator - FileZilla File Site Manager

  3. Click New Site and enter the following information:
    • Host: Your Server IP
    • Port: 22
    • Protocol: SFTP
    • Logon Type: Normal
    • Username: root
    • Password: Your root password
  4. After you have entered the information, click Connect.

    HostGator - FileZilla Site Manager Connect button

  5. Once connected, you will be taken to root (the root users directory; you can't do much here); click / to go up a directory.

    HostGator - FileZilla Files Directory

  6. Now that you're at /, you can navigate the /backup directory and the backup/cpbackup directory.

    HostGator - FileZilla backup folder

    • /backup - for Backup Configuration
    • /backup/cpbackup - for Legacy Backup (the default backup manager)
  7. You will find a daily, weekly, and monthly directory in the /backup/cpbackup directory. Depending on which backups you run, you'll want to go to the directory. By default, daily and monthly backups are running. So if you're going to modify your daily backup, you'd go to the daily directory.

    HostGator - FileZilla backup dates

  8. You can drag and drop the file to where you want to download it or delete it. The file you want to get will be username.tar.gz, and the username will be the account's Username.

    HostGator - FileZilla Manage files

It is highly recommended that you download anything before you delete any files. Deleting any of your files is a bad idea unless you know it, have a backup, or are 100% sure it's unnecessary.